Thursday, February 4, 2016

Gathering Merit

Gathering Merit!
What does that mean in the customer experience space? Simply put, you train your employees to gather merit in their favor when interacting with a customer. It is about compassion, having an altruistic motivation to help and resolve the customer issue, and be sincere. 
Helping customers requires discipline and patience, and these qualities get amplified when approached from ‘gathering merit’ filter.
Go on, be kind and gather all the merit you can.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Innovation and Customer Experience

Till recently, ‘Customer Experience is everyone’s job’, has changed to ‘Innovation is everyone’s job!’

But can you have innovation if you do not keep an eye on customer experience? Said differently, is customer experience and innovation different or can they even be considered to be different? Purist will argue how each have different objective, and while I agree, my point is simple….

Great innovation companies or great customer experience companies combine the two and think of them as a unit.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


How long have we done business together?
And you treat me like a stranger!!!
Do we not all feel that way when interacting with so many companies customer facing employees? Wanting to be customer centric is a great desire. But it starts by not treating your customers as complete strangers. Take the effort to use the CRM tool available to you, and at the very least, find something about me that could make that conversation personal. And if you can make it personable, two thumbs up!
What comes next is a sincere curiosity to learn more about your customer and the willingness/ ability to use that knowledge in forging not only a strong connection but in delivering a service experience tailored to their life and/ or their business.

Friday, November 27, 2015


Delivering great customer experience has to be created and nurtured in the fabric of the companies culture. 

To do this, great cultures draw a clear distinction between the ‘permitted’ and the ‘prohibited’. 

This can be a murky and ambiguous distinction for some. But company culture, when designed right, helps employees stay on the the correct side of an ambiguous boundary. Empowerment and encouragement to make decisions on the spot are the underlying framework and foundation.

Opinions don’t belong in customer experience, actions do!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Real Time or Right Time

There is always the chatter about ‘real time’ customer service specially for online and social media related support and conversations. While that may be true, what about ‘real time’ customer service in the physical space? Most of us will agree that when things go bad, or a customer needs help, it will serve a company real well (assuming cost structure supports) in addressing and resolving the issue in real time. For example if I am having challenges checking in to a hotel because someone made an error on my arrival date, resolving the problem in real time is a good thing.

But what about resolving an issue at the ‘right time’?

Not all customer service activities require ‘real time’ help. Sometimes it helps to intervene as a company at the ‘right time’.

On a flight coast to coast, I was ‘accidentally’ forgotten by the airline as a Diamond Medallion customer. They ended up putting in the middle seat at the end of the bus. I was not angry about being put at the back of the plane. My frustration was their complete incompetence in figuring out who I am and treating me differently just enough to make me continue doing business with them. The boarding gate agents did no favor to their company with their attitude. So I sat angry and frustrated and no ‘real time’ intervention was needed anymore as there were no other seats to sit on. I had resigned to a 5 hour flight stuck in the middle seat.

About an hour into the flight, one of the attendants who had a roster of passenger came back, apologized for my seating situation and thanked me for being a loyal customer. She went on to serve me dinner and drinks from the first class cabin given that is where I would have been sitting had the airline got it right. She did not throw ‘limited’ meals as a disclaimer either. She just made my situation better given all the constraints.

Here I was. Same seat and same situation, but a caring staff intervened at the ‘right time’ with the ‘right offer’ (you cannot move seat if flight is full but there are other ‘right’ solutions when that limitation exist) to make me feel appreciated. Honestly, her going out of the way made me forget my problem and renew my commitment to the airline.

Right Time!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Once a choice is made, it becomes a habit!!!

Are you making choices for your organization that will become habits? To make a choice, you, the leader has to make a decision.

Make more decisions!!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mayan culture

I got a great opportunity to visit a Mayan city of Chichen-Itza last week. I learnt how the Mayans were excellent astronomers and mathematician. Their capability can only be marveled by understanding, visiting and studying how detailed they were. Their excellence was predicated with years and years of careful observation of the sky and documenting every detail. They had a firm grip on their calculation and even NASA in the 20th century using all modern instrumentation confirmed the accuracy of an ancient civilization.

Their success was based on one simple fact. Detailed observation and documentation.

So how much of our experience that we intend to deliver can be observed with a keen eye, documented for delivery, designed and then executed consistently?

Oh by the way, the story about the end of the world on December 21st, 2012….no one paid attention to what the Mayans were saying. They said after 5,126 years, the sun, planets and stars end up in the same exact place and start a cycle again. Which means if you create a calendar of the sky that is 5,126 years long, you can repeat it and there is no need to create a new calendar as it has already been done. It so happened that the end of the 5,126 years cycle was last year. Which means we can go back to the year 1 calendar of 5,126 year cycle and start counting again. It was never about the end of the world.

Clearly says how people will misconstrue even simple things. We take information from our senses and given each one is unique, we hear, observe, smell, taste and feel different things about the same topic. The topic is the same. The interpretation is different. Fear drives strange behavior. Facts can help.