Be The Change

Exactly at what point do we transition from feeling sorry about a problem and become a part of the solution?

This was running through my mind after having participated in a business meeting that contributed about 300 plastic bottles to our environment. This number is but a drop in the overall 100 million bottles that we thrash globally every single day. It’s appalling, to say the least!

Usually, I would feel bad about an incident like this, crib about it to family / friends & forget about it in a few days. This time it was different.

Soon after, I identified a series of events that generate a similar number of plastic bottles every month into the environment. I suggested to my colleagues that we ought to stop this & switch to a better alternative. Most of them supported it whole heartedly. And thus, we have collectively initiated a change.. a change for the better.

Why did I deviate from my usual routine to do what I did. A big part can be attributed to a social media post similar to this by someone I admire. That post was on top of my mind & when an opportunity cropped up, I took action.

Hence this post. In the hope that it will inspire & prompt some more action. It’s a complex issue & needs a lot more of us to be a part of the solution.


  1. It takes at least 450 years (& up to 1,000 yes) for a single serve plastic bottle to decompose
  2. A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute – which breaks down to 20,000 plastic bottles a second
  3. Less than 6% of bottles are recycled globally
  4. Bottled water can cost 10,000 times more than tap water to manufacture
  5. Making a plastic bottle uses 2-3 times as much water as fits inside the bottle
  6. Research has found that 93 per cent of bottled water brands tested contained some sort of microplastic.

25 Ways to Show Loyalty to Your Customers

ThanksYou_Flickr-woodleywonderworks(Photo courtesy flickr | woodleywonderworks)

A business that values its focus on its customers, regularly find ways to show their loyalty to their customers. It is a good practice for your & your customer facing teams to regularly find novel & memorable ways of doing this.

Chip Bell & John Patterson have listed 25 ways of doing this in their Wired & Dangerous blog:

  • Invite a customer to an important staff meeting to talk about their needs and goals
  • Arrange for a special learning experience for customers
  • Name a policy, building, or conference room for a key customer
  • Start a fund or scholarship in the name of a key customer
  • Poll your customer for their input on important changes you plan to make

Read the entire list here.

Related Posts:
~ Suddenlink | Customer Experience Lessons
~ Social Media Lessons From FedEx
~ Customer Loyalty
~ What is a customer centric organization?

Suddenlink | Customer Experience Lessons

(Photo courtesy flickr | Dex Encarta)

In his post FastCompany | 7 Timeless Ways To Improve Customer Satisfaction, author Drew Neisser filters out the following success factors for customer (satisfaction or experience – call it what you may) initiatives based on Suddenlink’s success. In a struggling economy & in an industry with a questionable reputation for bad customer experiences, Suddenlink has shown improvements in multiple industry measures – $ terms & otherwise. 

  1. Put someone in charge – having someone responsible for customer interest makes customer initiatives more focused
  2. Measure. Measure. Measure. – rely on multiple measures of how your business has performed in the customer’s perspective
  3. Fix the real issues – measuring is a starting point; addressing issues that are identified as part of the measurement is the REAL deal
  4. Link metrics to evaluation – to make customers a priority, link metrics to performance evaluation & even compensation
  5. Detractors are an opportunity – unhappy customers or detractors should be viewed as an opportunity for positive conversion
  6. Use social media to understand & serve customers (not sell more) – social media is a great listening tool to understand needs & respond to issues
  7. Continuous improvement – customer initiatives should never have an end, they are always work in progress to achieve even better customer outcomes

Related Posts:
~ Amazon – World’s Most Customer Centric Company
~ Tony Hsieh – Delivering Happiness
Volvo’s Quest For Customer Centricity
~ Customer Service Champs 2010

Customer Experience Resolutions

“Many companies have customer experience efforts underway and it’s time for them to embed customer experience management into the rhythm of their business — making it a fundamental part of how their organizations operate. Here are my 2011 resolutions for companies that have the courage and resolve to get to that next level.”
– Bruce Temkin

Read the full post here.