Its Always Time for …… Back to the Basics

Last week I wrote about my personal experiences with some Big Brands & asked you “Do Big Brands disappoint you? ”

My experiences tell me that as Brands grow & start their journey with standards, processes & systems that need to keep their focus on the purpose of building Customer Relationships rather than just the activity. It’s always time for Back to the Basics….

I see a ray of light too but from unexpected corners. These were lesser “know”, less “sophisticated” growing setups and it was a delight to see the kind empowerment given to the frontline and how beautifully the frontline uses it.

I would love to put down those brand names as: iBall (mobiles, computer & peripherals) and GM Bells (makes remote calling bells).

iBall Experience: Had my iBalls popping out and left me in disbelief. iBall designed a mobile for senior citizens a while ago– iBall Asaan, loaded with very practical and easy to use features. One of my colleagues had bought a handset for an elder member of the family and it was working perfectly until one day when she was out town and the phone’s ringer gave away. Since that was the only means to communicate with the elders at home, left with no alternate, she called iBall customer care and explained the situation & why she was so worried.

True to the spirit of service and level of commitment, iBall representative came to the house to collect the phone (as iBall understood and did not want a senior citizen to travel to the customer care centre). Offered a standby phone, repaired the phone and gave it back the very next day (realizing the urgency and utility of device for the senior citizen). And of course this was an exception and not the company policy.

GM Bells: The remote controller of the bell stopped functioning and there was no way it could be repaired. We wrote to the company asking if there is anything that can be done as the bell was not in the warranty period anymore. The response was quick and we were requested to visit the nearest dealer and get it replaced.

The person who replied from the company was not the MD or the owner; it was an empowered team member who cared to understand the issue and was graceful enough to make the service gesture without spending too much time on investigating and making the replacement sound like a big favour.

Something is going right for these companies; I guess it is the culture coupled with the hunger to stay ahead in the market. Perhaps they have a lean operation with plenty of ownership.

My sincere hope that while their businesses see plenty of growth, they don’t lose sight of what they are really doing well besides their products. Someone in their team has found the road to success for their organization. Here’s hoping they will cherish those employees & teach others to operate on a similar instinct

Do you have the most amazing & unexpected service experiences when you least expected them?

Share your inspiring stories here. As a silent Thank you to those Brands – small or large, that made their space in our hearts & minds

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Does an “Outsider” view help?

Here’s the upfront admission. As a “consultant” I’m bound to answer with a resounding YES!

But on serious reflection – yes, it does help. Why?

  • Added bandwidth
  • Independent view – no ‘babying’ of internal challenges or ‘parenting’ in house policies
  • Lack of agenda – no internal bias or restraint
  • Added perspective – assuming the ‘outsider’ is an expert with plenty of exposure
  • No competing ‘to dos’ on the list – typically the internal team carries the baggage of many jostling priorities

However – always ensure that the ‘outsider’ is tuned to your organization

  • Values & key focus areas
  • A clear & focused brief
  • Plans that are WIP, to prevent them from ‘reinventing’ the wheel
  • Agreement on intent

PS : If I didn’t believe that an outsider expert view is of immense value, when used in a relevant context, I’d have never dared to cross over from the “corporate” to “consultant” tag! I rest my case 🙂

What do you think? Love to hear your views

Why Mystery Shopping?

As your organization’s Service Leader, why would you bring in outsiders to ‘act’ as your customers & critique aspects of your service? If you are indeed focussed on Servicing & adding Value to the Relationship that exists between your customers & you, you would know that :

  • When location, pricing and product range are not unique, service is key differentiation
  • It costs much more to get a new customer than to keep an existing one
  • One unhappy customer will tell 5 other people of their bad experience with service
  • Four of five unhappy customers leave their service provider

There are business benefits to providing a consistent & outstanding customer experience.

Can you afford a bad service experience, knowing that 4 our 5 customers who have a bad service experience will tell others about it. Others may switch service providers without even giving a chance to rectify the issue.

So how can a service provider (telecom, retail, healthcare, BPO, bank, insurer, or investment firm) demonstrate commitment to customers and continue to win their trust?

By consistently inspecting what you to offer, will help improve service delivery while firmly establishing you as a service provider of choice, a trustworthy partner. Positive engagement will also ensure enhanced usage,opportunity to cross sell & improved retention.

Where do we fit in?

We create customized programs that provide actionable insights to the management They also motivate and enthuse teams to excel in delivering service. Net impact is higher customer & employee retention with increase customer advocacy.

What differentiates our Mystery Shopping Programs? Customized Program – At RAG Scores a Mystery Shopping Program is far more than the typical “Tick Box” activity by going into the detail of what really affects your customers’ experience. As our guiding principle is that the best feedback comes from genuine consumers in a real-time situation only.

Detailed Report – After every mystery visit each location will receive a detailed, yet easy to understand report, which identifies what you are doing well and where the opportunities lie to improve.

Analysis & Insight – Basis our first hand experience in service across industries (Hospitality, Financial Services, Telecom, healthcare and BPOs) we bring you a true outside-in perspective.

Improve the bottom line – Our mystery shopping programs identify the key touch-points in the customers’ journey that will improve sales, customer advocacy and ultimately profit.

Our reporting system,  RAG Track, ensures that you have a real-time pulse of the findings. Unique advantages include:

Objective Measurement – With national coverage, our team of auditors provide independent measurement and the flexibility to rapidly implement campaigns at short notice.

Data Capture near Real Time – You will receive live reports about your campaign as it happens. Photographic evidence and signatures can also be captured and stored online.

Critical Focus Alerts – With observations available near real-time, our RAG ALERTS function, updates the key person responsible in your organization, so any in-store issues are rapidly dealt with and also highlight any issues in the supply chain.

Analysis & Insight – Both during and after the campaign you will have access to report providing you with full analysis and insight highlighting the successes and where improvements can be made in the future