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Posts Tagged ‘Service’

“Customer experiences are being harmed because business efforts to improve employee engagement are fundamentally flawed” – Neil Davey (Managing editor, MyCustomer.com)

As a result, there has been increasing attention paid to the employee experience in recent years, with growing focus on areas such as wellness, diversity, inclusion, mental health, capability development and training.

Yet despite the proliferation of these projects, estimates by Temkin Group suggest that the number of engaged employees still remains disturbingly low – with its research indicating that only 33% of staff are highly engaged, and that number dropping to as low as 26% for those aged 18-24. This last statistic is of particular concern because this demographic is amongst the most likely to be serving customers, whether in contact centers or in other customer-facing roles.

He identifies a few reasons why engagement continue to be so low despite the surge in employee experience effortsincluding the mistake of treating money as an overriding motivator.

Among them are two crucial areas, I thought, that go a long way in strengthening employee engagement and in turn CX:

“Failing: Not engaging staff with the company’s wider purpose.

If understanding employee motivations is crucial, there is also the other side of the coin to consider: do employees understand the organisation’s motivations? Do staff know what the company’s purpose is, and do they buy into it…

Whatever the purpose is, it has to have meaning and connect with the employees in the organization…whether it’s a customer-centric purpose, or a profitability purpose, it has to be something that employees want to rally behind to achieve…

And then the leaders need to translate that purpose to every part of the business in a meaningful way.

Reminds me of an inspiring anecdote SU (a Division head) shared with us years ago:

In his days as a salesman, on one occasion, he moved heaven and earth to fix a problem on a IBM 1403 (a legendary line printer) he had sold to a customer – the awry drum and fan-fold paper movement was ultimately traced to dampness in the paper, fixed by heating up the stock with an electric bulb before usage! For him, a mere salesman, and his organization, the sale did not end with invoicing and collecting.   

Needless to emphasize the purpose needs to be authentically reflected in both thought and action at all times. Any incongruence at any time in this regard on part of the leadership, careless or otherwise, seriously undermines the cause.

This leads us to the second significant failing which is a little more of a challenge.

“Failure: Not connecting day-to-day tasks to the bigger purpose.

…As well as understanding and being engaged with the organization’s wider purpose, the employees also need to understand how their basic, daily activities contribute to that purpose.

The most famous and possibly apocryphal story that best demonstrates this, concerns President John F. Kennedy’s first visit to NASA headquarters in 1961. During his tour of the facility, he introduced himself to a janitor who was mopping the floor and asked him what he did at NASA. “I’m helping put a man on the moon,” came the reply.

The janitor understood his employer’s wider purpose, and also understood his daily task’s contribution to it – by ensuring everything was spotless, all of the sensitive equipment could function without fault. The cleaner did not view himself as simply a janitor, but a member of the NASA space team with an important role.

Without this important connect, the purpose remains as a lofty statement enshrined on some plaque. The tail does not go with the head!

For instance, it’s necessary and important to ask and answer How does having a customer-centric purpose translate to a call center agent? At the meaningful level, how does that tell you to behave and operate in a certain way? Does that tell you to smile more often, or to say please, or thank you, or does it help you answer the telephone in a slightly different way?

Of course it is not always so simple when it comes to those daily tasks that often appear dull and of non-strategic value. At this point it is important to realize even these tasks are connected; else they would not be performed in the first place. The trick is to uncover and present the connection that exists in right context.

Guarding against these two failures significantly enhances employee engagement.

And, how does an engaged employee perform?

Here’s a short and timely anecdote from Seth Godin:

“The $50,000 an hour gate agent:

Conventional CEO wisdom is that top management is worth a fortune because of the high-leverage decisions they make.

But consider the work of Wade, an unheralded Air Canada gate agent. Yesterday, I watched him earn his employer at least $50,000 while getting paid perhaps .1% of that.

The microphone was out of order, but instead of screaming at the passengers, he walked over and spoke directly to the people who needed to hear him.

On his own, he started inquiring about the connection status of a family of four. He could have cleared the standby list, closed the flight and told the four that they’d have to find another way home. Or, he could have saved them their four seats, which would have flown empty if they hadn’t been filled. Instead of either path, he picked up the phone, organized other staff to find and expedite the family and get them on board.

And then, in an unrelated bit of valor, he tracked down a lost wallet and sent his #2 to fetch it from where it had been left–getting it to the plane before it left.

Most of all, in an era when loyalty is scarce, he probably increased the lifetime value of a dozen wavering customers by at least a few thousand dollars each.

Krulak’s Law states that the future of an organization is in the hands of the privates in the field, not the generals back home.

In conclusion, when Godin asks, “Where is your Wade? What are you doing to make it more likely that he or she will bring magic to work tomorrow?” you know where and how!

Davey may be read here and Godin here.

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Source: Pinterest, Wikimedia.org and huffpost.com.

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“Good service design is important for the overall user experience. Yet, it is even more important at the end of an experience (or exposure to a brand) due to the Peak-End Rule and Recency Effect. Placing the business needs before the user’s needs, breaking the user’s flow and not addressing a user’s need at the point of their need are primary culprits in designing a poor experience.”

Chris Kiess writes in his article “Service Design — How to Fail at the Checkout and Ruin Your User’s End Experience” appearing here.

While he talks about “8 ways I see retail merchants like Target, Walmart or Meijer fail in service design as it relates to the end of the customer experience and the final impression they make with consumers,” there’s an interesting snippet about a negative perception and how it could be turned around.

First about the perception:

“The biggest faux pas of superstores is having too many checkout registers and not enough cashiers. Most people would probably not be concerned during the holidays (or any other time) if they sauntered over to the checkout and there were ten cashiers at all ten registers with lines behind each. This would give the customer the illusion the store is busy and they are doing everything they can to help customers move through the checkout process. But, what generally happens instead is you walk up to the checkout area after finding everything you need and there are thirty registers with only five in service. This, I cannot understand. On the surface, it gives the impression the store could do more. After all, there are twenty-five more registers and surely they could open one or two more of them. It boggles the mind that a store would feel the need to install thirty checkout lanes and never use them all at one time.”

He suggests:

“This is largely about human perception. The simple fix is to cut the number of registers installed and use a greater percentage of them during busy times. This would give the impression (and shape perceptions) a greater effort is being employed to move people through the lines.”

A thought:

The suggestion could still leave at times a few unattended counters. So why not have counters that could be rolled in from back of the store on need basis and wheeled away when done? Just as many as needed, leaving no visibly unattended counters at any time.

Also could the stores do like the airlines doing in-line check-in with staff going around with their special devices? Of course, it needs some adaption to allow for handling the purchases in the cart.

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Image from here.

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Ours And Theirs

 

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Via: morningstoryanddilbert.wordpress.com

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Part 1

An edited extract from an interesting article in here on brand messages (for that matter, any message sent out) getting thru to or lost on the audience:

“…

So why do we say we hate so much advertising, and yet there are clearly ads that inspire us? Is it just a quality thing, or is there more to it than that? Partially I believe social media and the ready availability of news, views and entertainment has shifted how we categorize what we are seeing. Increasingly we consciously or otherwise and mercilessly sift the streams of all the content that presents itself to us into two categories: noise and signal.

SkipAd

Noise is the stuff that clutters up our day, that interrupts and annoys and where we see little worth. The ads…loud, imposing, uninteresting selling. It has many of us reaching for the mute button within seconds, or hitting Skip Ad as soon as we can on the videos we watch online…

Much is made these days of our shortened attention spans, and that our ability to concentrate is now 0.5 seconds shorter than that of a pet goldfish. That, some commentators rush to explain, is why marketing increasingly doesn’t work…

Signal is different. It’s the stuff, from a range of sources, that we choose to form an opinion over. It does more than inform us. It entertains or provokes us. It makes us proud or angry…increasingly it’s this content that forms our talking points on a daily basis through sharing, commenting or liking …examples: two babies bouncing on a Powerfit machine, Jean-Claude Van Damme straddling a Volvo truck, the latest Air New Zealand safety video, TED talks, box sets of our favorite TV series and so much more…Signals are what people share, because they’re made up of items that are conversation drivers, because we agree with them or not, because they’re trending, because they amuse us or they bring us together in some way. And the format of that content is becoming less and less important. It may be an ad. It may be an interview. It may be gossip…

Jonah Berger, in his book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, argues that we are drawn to what affects us and to ideas that we remember and that we believe others will be interested in. He suggests six factors: 1) Social Currency – we’re fascinated by things that are remarkable, literally, in the sense of worthy of being remarked on…They are only as interesting as their ability to rise above the surrounding noise 2) Triggers – this one will be no surprise at all to marketers. We like things that we can remember easily and where the associations are well known, because they act as shortcuts (acronyms) for life. You say “Kit Kat”. Everyone around you gets “have a break”…3) Emotion – similar to social currency, in that we’re drawn to things that affect us…The emotions that a group share around an idea—for or against—can be a powerful cohesive factor 4) Public – these are the ideas that are easily replicable and that gain strength as they are adopted. Think of the Ice Bucket Challenge. They work because they enable people to share in an activity and at the same time provide their own interpretation 5) Practical Value – this, says Berger, is the news that makes living easier. It’s why YouTube is so popular – simple, visual, practical and 6) Stories – again, no surprise to marketers. The power of shareable narrative is now well established. Increasingly brands are looking to stories rather than just “spots” to weave a longer more intricate view of why they matter and the value they add.

We all look at Berger’s list, and, four years on, I don’t think there are any surprises here. And yet turn on the television and in your average commercial break, it’s getting harder and harder to find advertising that has any of these qualities…There are very few good stories. It feels to me that brand owners have failed to see that they are competing in a new context, and that media presence is, by default, noise—unless a brand makes specific effort to make it more than that…

Part 2

Here’s a success story (in an edited extract) from our own backyard appearing in here:

Ever witnessed a television brand not talking about any impressive features – such as high-definition picture quality, surround sound audio system, movie theatre-like attributes – in its ad film?

Have you ever seen an ad campaign for a television brand where the protagonist is a visually challenged person?

Well, chances are you haven’t!

For the first time, Samsung has dared to take an unconventional step, and stirred the emotional quotient of viewers, rather consumers, with its latest ad film ‘#SamsungService’. The home appliance major has launched an ad campaign as part of its initiative to take customer service to the doorsteps of consumers, in both urban and rural India. (In October last year, the television manufacturer launched 535 service vans to ensure timely service to customers in the remotest corners of the country) … With this, Samsung’s reach will extend to customers in over 6,000 talukas across 29 states and seven union territories.

The enormous success of the film is owed to a taut narrative with an element of surprise backed by a fine performance of the cast. The new campaign showcases the journey of a Samsung service engineer, who undaunted by rough terrain, reaches a house in a remote hilly area to repair a television. The story retains a certain freshness and induces a ‘what next?’ feeling though this theme of bridging distances has been already milked by telecom co’s (and perhaps by a few others) some years ago. The film ends with the visibly content engineer leaving the house as the voice over is played, “Rishtey nibhaney ke liye kabhi kabhi thoda door jaana padta hai. Isiliye Samsung service vans jaati hai desh ke kone kone tak” (At times one must venture a little further than usual for the sake of relationships. That’s why Samsung service vans go to every corner of the country). A simple yet stirring message that we can readily relate to even outside of its Samsung context in myriad ways in our daily lives amidst family and friends!

The four-minute-long film, neither overtly mushy nor tear-jerking, which was released on December 30, clocked in a whopping 18 million views on YouTube in the first couple of weeks and 103 million+ views till date…Yes, a 4-minute+ clip in times when companies are struggling to achieve even a 15-to-30 second stickiness!!

Watch here:

https://youtu.be/779KwjAYTeQ

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Credits: Conceptualized by Cheil India, the film directed by Anupam Mishra, and produced by Crazy Few Films. Dhruv Ghanekar composed the music, while the song played in the background sung by Mohit Chauhan.

Source: Articles from brandingstrategyinsider.com/2017/08/how-brands-can-convert-noise-to-signal.html and afaqs.com/news/story/49662_18-million-views-in-6-days-Samsungs-4-minute-film-gathers-digital-moss

 

 

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Make Customers A Good Reason To Go To Work This Morning And Every…

And think of this: We, in service sector, do good to our customers again and again often see their happiness right before our eyes and get paid for it too!  Even Bill Gates giving away his billions in philanthropy doesn’t get to do that.

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Standing Ovation.jpg

Via: Skip Prichard’s (a coach, a trainer, a consultant…) blog here. Text in italics is added.

 

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Here’s the latest addition to the lore of what wonders could be wrought through end-point empowerment. Obviously no procedure manual would be able to cover even a small fraction of the large number of field scenarios that occur in real world of customer service. Remains largely unpredictable.

Here we go:

(Lightly edited for readability and conciseness from here – there was no way to reblog the article entirely from its source)

The IndiGo Way of Delighting Customers – A Case Study

indigo-1

“Excuse me, khane mein kya hai?” (“Excuse me, what are the meal options?”), asked the elderly gentleman seated with his wife just one row behind me. The question was directed to an airhostess of an Indigo flight to Pune from Kolkata (India) on a July 2016 evening. All the passengers who had a pre-booked meal, or wanted to purchase on-board, had already been served with their choice of food and beverage, and the cabin crew were busy with cash consolidation and preparing to clean up the deck.

Unlike the passengers around, I was not really taken aback by the loud and out-of-protocol address, as I was already afflicted with the couple’s high pitched conversations in Marathi and Hindi throughout the first hour of the flight. It seemed they were not used to flights. They had even interacted so audibly with their immediate neighbor, an old formally dressed man seating by the aisle seat that I knew they hailed from Satara, returning after spending some time with their newly born grandson at their son’s place at Gangtok (Sikkim). Their son had booked the journey tickets for them, the first leg of which was from Bagdogra to Kolkata, and here they were on their last part of the trip.

“Can I see your boarding pass, Sir?” asked the air hostess politely.

“Here it is”, said the elderly gentleman in a Marathi accented Hindi and extended a card to her.

“Sir, this is the one for the Bagdogra-Kolkata sector, can I please have the pass for this sector?”

To this the man seemed visibly unsettled, searching for the right card with continuous ramblings in Marathi. His wife joined the commotion with “Just see how heartless they are, we haven’t eaten anything since lunch.” The gentleman found the right card and handed it over to the lady in uniform.

As I was finishing my drink over a gripping novel, I paused for a moment to watch the drama happening live beside me.

“Sorry sir, you do not have a meal booked for this sector. You had one in the flight from Bagdogra. However, if you wish, you can now purchase any food or drinks”. The standard pitch.

“Yeh kaise ho sakta hai? Plane mein khana milna hai to? Pehla flight mein bhi diya tha?!” (“How come that’s possible? Planes serve meals, isn’t it? We were served food in the first flight!”), stated the gentleman with a demeanor that said won’t-pay-whatever-hell-comes-up-you-better

The lady excused herself for a quick whisper with her senior, handing over the boarding pass to her.

indigo-2

The lead lady, trained to expect the unexpected, came to the spot in quick time and was straight to the point, “Sir, what would you like to have?”

Seriously, none of the nearby passengers including me was expecting this.

“Dekha? Maine bola tha na?” (“See? I had told you!”), the man said with a smile, oblivious that he was going to receive a free meal. “What do you have in the meals?”

The no-fuss actions that followed next were heart-warming. The lead lady served them 2 sets of sandwiches and mixed fruit beverages with a smile and a wish, “Enjoy your meals, Sir!”.

The couple happily gorged themselves on the food over a high-pitched conversation in Marathi.

I returned to my novel.

Even though the sentences in the book were running in front of my eyes, my mind was absorbed in something else. I was reminded of a talk by Subroto Bagchi, co-founder of Mindtree Ltd…his point was on the right mix of process along with empathy in building and running an organization. All problems of the world can’t be solved by following the right process, unless you have an empathy element to back it up. It becomes particularly important when one deals with the most important aspect of one’s job, people.

If our lead lady had adhered to the laid down process, she would have rightfully refused to oblige the old couple with food packets. That was we had expected out of her. But when she decided to exercise her acumen of empathy, it suddenly made more business sense to all of us…Probably Indigo lost INR 500 (peanuts compared to their daily transactions) as a result, but what they gained was vastly in excess. It satisfied two old people without hassles, averted a possibly ugly scene, created many appreciating passengers, and made me write this blog lauding them.

“Process is not a substitute for building an emotionally rich organization. Process without emotion can quickly bring you down to the lowest common denominator.”

Subroto Bagchi, Co-founder, MindTree Ltd

Let’s not lose sight of the key enabler here: Indigo’s empowerment of its field staff – the end-point delivering the service – that encouraged the lady to make the gesture she did.

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Source: Amit Dey, Deputy Manager, Learning & Development | HR at EXL at linkedin.com. And thanks to Anshuman Deshmukh, HR Manager at Genesys International for bringing the article to my notice.

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