Training – Customer Service Excellence

One of the objectives of this blog is to share with all any useful new on the subject of customer strategy. Accordingly, am posting this mail I came across of a training being held across multiple cities in India.
I have no idea on how the program is & I am not recommending the same. Anyone who has attended this or know of anyone who has attended these sessions, please share your thoughts on the same.

Product centricity to customer centricity

(Photo Courtesy: Purdue University)

In her blog today, Patty Seybold shares a commentary about where organizations go wrong in the journey from product centricity to customer centricity. In Graham Hill’s own words –

“The stages start with pure product-centricity. This typically evolves through the development of internal networks of colleagues who need to work together to deliver the value proposition; to cross-functional teams that formalise the collaboration of the internal networks; to a customer segment coordinator who takes on formal responsibility for collaboration across different teams; to a matrix organisation with nascent segment teams reporting to both product and customer management; and finally to bona fide segment managers responsible for all aspects of segment experience delivery. The vertical silos of product-centricity have given way to the more connected, more collaborative customer-centric organisation.”

The key phrases (for me) from the above are :
  • work together to deliver the value proposition (ought not to loose sight of this)
  • formal responsibility for collaboration across teams (in the absence of a culture that fosters team work)
  • responsible for all aspects of segment experience delivery (key enabler – accountability)
As important as the end result is, the journey & the milestones involved are as or more important in ensuring effectiveness & sustainability of the end state. 

Quality – The Customer Centric Type

Intangible Quality: Engage in the Third Quality Revolution
Found this interesting article on Intangible Quality on RocketPosts – nice read. 
Some of my take aways –
  • Want to create products that meet the subconscious wants and needs of our customers. We want the customer, upon experiencing our products, to say, “This is exactly what I always wanted. This is what I have always needed. I cannot imagine what life was like before I had it.” 
  • Seeking quality that pleases the customer in ways he never before even imagined.
  • It is a concept of quality that falls into an almost spiritual realm. It means creating a product, or providing a service, that profoundly affects the customer. It is not only defect-free, but it is exactly what the customer has always desired.
  • Intangible quality requires a new model of customer awareness— one that includes continuous, meaningful contact, and a spiritual connection with a customer’s needs. In effect, you must become a virtual employee in your customer’s organization—seeing what he sees, understanding what she understands. Then, you must use this knowledge to develop possibilities of which the customer has never before dreamed. In a world where Six Sigma is commonplace, the goal of profoundly affecting your customer is the next quality battleground.
Some of the examples quoted in the article allude to concepts O’Reilly uses for the Web 2.0 definition (usage of data to improve customer experience – eg. Amazon, usage of CRM, etc. 

Recognize the unmeasurables

Check out this article by Jim Barnes on CustomerThink. I would guess that the article will strike a chord in most customer focus practitioners. My takeaways from the article –

  • We need some way to measure, capture and observe the softer elements of performance, those that involve how well employees interact with customers and how they influence the quality of the customer experience.
  • Organizations will increasingly have to ask: What kind of performance drives loyalty and positive customer relationships? And how do we encourage such performance?
  • Customer-tracking research and feedback must include questions that tap into how friendly, helpful and understanding employees are in dealing with customers; how they do at making customers feel comfortable and listened to; how well they instill trust and confidence in our brand, how well they diffuse confrontational situations, and over all how they make customers feel toward the company.