Sunday, September 25, 2011

Primal Ignorance in Customer Service

Customer Service Attitude
Whether you are in B2B, B2C and any other business model, one of the key things that you check on a periodical basis would be to measure overall customer satisfaction. Many of the tried and tested techniques include surveys, customer contact programs or measure satisfaction scores like Net Promoter score ( NPS). I am sure businesses are working towards getting better satisfaction measurement models.

While much of the effort has been put in to find out how consumer reacts, what gets neglected is the attention that one needs to give to the people/your employees who serve these customers. Regular training, feedback session,process manuals, monitoring are still not enough to create a delight to the customer. Want to check this out?

Walk to customer service team and ask them the reasons for pending customer issues or the reasons for low customer satisfaction score. 8 out of 10 times you will get  a very familiar answer that somebody else is the reason for the current state. The other departments lackadaisical attitude is the single biggest reason for the failure. What you will also hear is more problems. You are sure to be overwhelmed by the end of the meeting. With this team you are bound make incremental progress on customer satisfaction and with great difficulty.

What is missing? " Great attitude". Customer service is best felt when people with great positive attitude  are close to the customers. Some people have it in them and rest get it from the environment or organization culture. The attitude which makes them own customer problems, go to any length and breadth within the organization to solve issues , sets them apart from the rest of the crowd.

The first in customer service is to get people with right attitude. Not getting  right people but attempting to measure customer satisfaction is called primal ignorance.

Ignorance is not bliss at least in this case

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bottle necks are desirable

One of my favorite quotes of Steve Jobs " The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything". So what does it mean to me? " Loathe comfort zone. Get passionately curious ". 
Loathe Comfort Zone
Much has been spoken about about how one's passion leads to making remarkable contributions. What about comfort zone? How does one get out of it? To get out of it, one should be able to realize whether he is in a comfort zone or not?

It's simple... To find out if you are in a comfort zone,look for the following indicators:

1. You are very busy with your day to day activities. Mistaking Activities for accomplishment
2. I am the expert, I know it better and I cannot be questioned
3.You look for activity efficiency over creating new things
4. Nobody questions your decisions and you have a bunch of sycophants  who overwhelmingly approve your decisions
5. Nature of work is supervisory and you spend more time in meetings deliberating pointless processes

These are just some of the indicators of you getting stuck into a comfort zone. The lizard brain in you will reassure that the going is great till you realize that rapid changes will topple the existing set up.

Likewise what are the indicators of moving out of comfort zones... 

1. You are hands on with your job...Feeling of back to basics. Actually you pick up one of your books and start brushing up your basics 
2. Great deal of effort is required to push through your ideas
3.You push your work to everybody and solicit feedback
4.A child like enthusiasm to do work despite facing criticisms
5. When you listen more than talking. Better cognitive abilities.

Moving out of the comfort zone feels like crawling through a bottle neck. You may get pushed, squeezed but you are sure to move to the next stage.

Get uncomfortable with status quo. You will get shaped up well.

Looks like bottlenecks are desirable.