Just about every big organization ignores all these

It’s now possible to reach people (customers, clients, subscribers, etc.) based on shared ideals and values. Microbusinesses of one sort or another have been around since the beginning of commerce, but the ease of connecting with people is a new phenomenon. Also, a large percentage of the population is being comfortable with making purchases online. These things create a perfect storm of economic convergence. It’s never been easier.

Three changes have occured in Marketing –
1. Advertising and marketing are no longer the same thing.

2. The most valuable forms of marketing are consumed voluntarily.

3. The network effect is the most powerful force in the world of ideas.

(The last assertion is based on the fact that culture changes everything about how we live our lives, and culture is driven by the network effect… society works because it’s something we do together.)

Spurce up your service for complete customer experience

May it be retail or B2B , the stars are the Sales Persons. They are the ones who dress smartly.Most of them wear suits. Flashy, suvave, charismatic, they are the ones who make sure that your business hits the numbers with quality customer engagement.

And yet you also have a group of people at the back end of the business, servicing the customers once your supersales person has closed the deal. How could you get these back end guys to be as motivated and equally engaging as the front end.

If one were to draw a parellel to human anotomy the salesfloor is the face of your business, cosmetically well presented. One of my friend Lawrence(apart from sampling choicest homemade goan wines he had much more wisdom to share) who was the workshop manager at Maruti Suzuki in Gorwa, would tell, ” Let me tell you what an back end is- “pichwada” That is the back end(he will point to his posterier). Here we call it our Heart of the House.”And that means we really think of them very differently.

He would go on to explain. “If you think of them as the heart of your business, servicing the cars, valeting, washing, offering technical advise to a customer, all of which is an important function of your business.Right ?” So you know their names and their children’s names. You know what is going on in their lives. You know their birthdays. If you go and talk to them twice in day, you are sure to get a lot of insights on how to make the service experience better. You would have a completely different and a more fulfilling relationship with your customers.

Hence if you would consider your production department (in case of manufacturing) or service department ( for services oriented business) as the Heart of your business , it will change the way you connect with your customers.

Customer loyalty can be gained through empowered employees

The most valuable assets of a 20th-century company were its production equipment. The most valuable asset of a 21st-century institution, whether business or non-business, will be its knowledge workers and their productivity.”
(Drucker 1999, P135)

Decades ago there was a debate about quality vs price. Many experts beleived that investing in quality will always increase the cost of the product or the service. But Companies like Toyota demonstrated that by investing in people and process actually improved the quality at lower cost.

My entire work experience till recently has been in the manufacturing sector. Most of the manufacturing activities are human resource oriented. Automation of assembly lines too areoperated by humans. The only shift has been from ‘unskilled’ to ‘skilled ‘ labours. So we are in the era of what Drucker calls “the knowledge works”. Who can think, identify and solve problems to improve the process performance.

Take any industry today from Steel to Healthcare, human centered approach has allowed the companies to cruise ahead of competition. Just like Toyota’s human centered operations strategy allowed the company to produce higher quality cars , at lower prices, any business, may it be a service oriented, this approach will allow them to offer better customer service at a fraction of the cost than their competitors.

Let us take the example of a omni channel retail brand. E Commerce and varied product offerings are raising the operational demands at a store level. Customers browse and compare product,quality and prices online. Then they might order online or in store. So your inventory data better be accurate. Otherwise it can turn into disaster.

Like “Good Manufacturing” can a company would adopt a ” Good Job” concept, so as to attract and retain the best talent. This will involve investing in people and making a set of operational choices. Which would consider how many products and services a company will offer. And there has to be a balance between job standardization and empowerment to the employee.

In todays era of e-commerce, brick and mortar companies have to adopt innovative approaches to gain customer loyalty. Lowering your prices is not a good strategy. Some E Bay or Amazon will beat you at that.

But if you create a better customer exprience to give your customers a more compelling reason to shop at your store, they are more likely to do so, repeatedly.

Those reasons could be –
# In stock merchandise;
# Friendly and knowledgable employee;
#  Your employee should be empowered to have time to spend with the customer to help him/her make the correct choice of the product they like and would love until they use it;
And
# Have transperency and consistency in your dealings.

In todays age of computorization you dont require great software to ensure  a much better store experience for your customers. Computers installed in each zone to take payments can thin the lines at cash counters. Because a customer may spend couple of hours in store browsing, selecting and purchasing a product. But cannot wait more than two minutes to pay.

So a good store operational strategy will ensure repeat customer.

Things that can change something

That introduction you need.

The opportunity you crave for.

The breakthrough in what you’re trying to build…relationship / career / capital

If you notice, as soon as you get that one thing, everything just doesn’t change?

In fact, the only thing that changes is that you realize that you don’t need that one thing as much as you thought you did.

Most likely, that meeting, or that interview or this review won’t materially change things overnight.

Companies which raise hundreds of millions of dollars don’t seem to have an effortless time in changing user behavior, and well connected professionals still have trouble selling that new concept.

It turns out that nothing will change everything for the better. It works better to focus on each step instead of being distracted by a promised secret exit.

Sooner or later, the ones who told you that this isn’t the way it’s done, the ones who found time to sneer, they will find someone else to hassle.

Sooner or later, they stop pointing out how much shortcomings you’ve got, how you’re not entitled to make a new thing, how you will certainly come to regret your choices.

But surely….

Sooner or later, your work speaks for itself.

Outlasting the critics feels like it will take a very long time, but if  you’re more patient than they are……

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