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Monthly Archives:August 2015

Five ways SOUL attracts new Karma

In the previous post Physics of Karma we have read what actually the Karma is and characteristics of Karma. We have also read why knowing about karma is the most important thing in the post The Law of Karma – 1.

Now in this post we will see why a soul attracts Karma which makes the soul its bondage. Just to re-emphasise the importance of Karma, knowing definition of Moksha is important.

Definition of Moksha is:

Karmaless Soul. I.e. when a soul sheds all Karma, it need not take a new birth as a body and attain omniscience status of the soul i.e. Kewal Gyan (Omniscience).   

As per the Jain Literature Tattvarthadhigam Sutras by Upadhyaya Umaswatiji Soul attracts Karma because of Yoga that means Mental, Physical and Verbal Activities.

A good deed attracts good Karma. A bad deed attracts bad Karma.

This attraction of Karma, good or bad is known as Aashrav. When Moksha or Salvation means Karmaless Soul, all kinds of Karmas whether good or bad is Aahrav and must be shed to attain Moksha. In short, whatever attracts new Karma to the soul is known as Aashrav.

Before I elaborate on Aashrav it is pertinent to know about Ratnatraya i.e.

  • Samyak Darshan – Right View about the Self (Body and Soul are different)
  • Samyak Charitra – Right Conduct (Without rage, greed, attachment, conceit)
  • Samyak Gyan – Right Knowledge (Knowledge of right laws governing our souls)

We have also read in one of the previous posts The Real Maths who we really are. We all living beings are Souls, but almost every one of us believes self as a body. Therefore, we all lack the basic understanding about the self, i.e. not having Samyak Darshan.

As per the Karma Granth,

One of the fundamental reasons for Aashrav is Mithyatva i.e. not having the right view of the self. Therefore, not believing self as a soul is the first and foremost reason for attracting new Karma to the soul i.e. Aashrav.

Over and above Mithyatva, Karma is also attracted by;

  • Non-observance of codes of conduct, i.e. Yama. These are nonviolence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence & possessiveness. This is known as Avirti.
  • Kashaya

This Granth further defined Kashaya as:

Things which enhance cycles of life and death for the soul.

There are four kinds of Kashaya:

  • Kroadh: Anger, rage, insult, hatred, excitement, passion
  • Maan : Arrogance, Self Pride, Conceit
  • Maya: Deceit (See all synonyms)
  • Lobh: Greed (See all synonyms)

These four Kashayas have four degrees of intensity.

  • High Intensity
  • Intense
  • Low Intensity
  • Very low intensity

This intensity decides how long a Karma will remain with the soul.

These are all bad Aashrav.

Similarly, a soul attracts new Karma by its good deeds also. These are known as Satavedniya Karma:

  • Respect and at service for teachers, elders, parents
  • Forgiveness
  • Empathy towards others
  • Practicing proper personal code of conduct – Yama
  • Religious reading and thinking
  • Not succumb to Kashayas
  • Charity & Personal Sacrifice
  • Right religious conduct

All these are the causes of good Aashrav.

These bad and good Karmas can be done by following nine ways:

  • Done by the self by thought, body or words
  • Inspire others doing it by thought, body or words
  • Praising others doing it by thought, body and words

To summarise:

A soul considering the self as a body; (Mithyatva)

  • By not observing codes of conduct ie. Yama (Avirti)
  • By indulging in Kashaya (Kashaya)
  • By doing good deeds (Satavdeniya)
  • By thought, word or body action (Yoga)

Attracts New Karma to the Soul. This attraction of new Karma to the soul is known as Aashrav.

As long as a soul believes the self as a body – whether it is a good Karma or bad Karma it is Aashrav and Karma is attracted to the body.

In the next post on the subject, we will see how a soul can stop attracting new Karma and even shed existing Karmas.

PS: Sharing of this post is permissible to friends on your social network.

Sunil Gandhi

Are you a victim of BAD design?

Most of us are not happy with our public utility services provided by Governments, but we are also not happy with the banking or insurance or hotel or airline or railway or telecom services. Many a times poor services are the reason for our frustration, but also of our changing of service providers.

Imagine an iPhone with poor functionality and some functionality even are even are not working. IPhone is a product, its manufacturers are known for superior customer experience and therefore what they design is for better customer experience, be it product design or service design at Apple stores.

When a customer buys a product it can inspect the product about quality and flaws. No such possibility exists when a customer buys a service which many a times is going to be utilised on a future date. We buy Insurance product or an airline ticket – its actual availment comes later than the date of purchase. We don’t know what quality of actual service we will get. Services are invisible, so it has to be deliberately designed like a product in order to get the desired result it is expected to serve.

User Experience is a new phenomenon when websites came into play. Customer Experience came into play when the book The Experience Economy was published. Service Design, though, is a relatively latest in the lot but used without nomenclature for ages. Any service be it banking, insurance, public utility services, railway, airlines, transport and communication everything is service design. Whether it is deliberately designed or not. It includes a gamut of services we use and experience around us.

In the experience economy, User Experience and Service Design are critical parts of customer experience an enterprise offers to its customers or a government offers to its citizen. Service Design is defined as:

Service design is a form of conceptual design which involves the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between service providers and customers.

Long queues are a bad design, huge traffic on the road is a bad design, any human inconvenience caused by enterprises and governments are examples of bad design.

bad-service

(Photo Credit: http://www.mrcapetown.co.za/)

Bad SD 2

(Photo Credit : http://www.makoinvent.com/)

Yes, we all are the victims of bad design by our service providers.

When the share of the service industry is on the rise, this discipline of service design is going to grow and used more extensively by all the service providers.

Recently I joined a FREE online course of Human Centered Design (HCD) conducted by NOVOED course designed in collaboration with IDEO, a firm pioneer in service design. They define HCD as;

Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem-solving. It’s a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor-made to suit their needs. Human-centered design is all about building a deep empathy with the people you’re designing for; generating tons of ideas; building a bunch of prototypes; sharing what you’ve made with the people you’re designing for; and eventually putting your innovative new solution out in the world.

This new science can be effectively used by for-profit and not for profit social enterprises. For profit enterprises are and will use it to better their customer experience. This they will be compelled to do in this sharing economy.

Insurance company Gjensidige, Norway has redesigned the customer experience with an extreme customer orientation by using the concepts of service design.

NHS (Ealing PCT), United Kingdom is working with the help of service design principles to reduce patient cost and the need for personal consultation

Entercard, Credit card provider Entercard wanted to know how to engage with customers to encourage them to use their cards more. Looking at card usage from the customer perspective, we defined a new customer engagement strategy.

This new science is effective and now extensively used by Governments to better citizen experience. All Govt – Citizen interaction is about service delivery. If the Govt is alert and sensitive about the concerns of their citizen application of Service Design principles can not only better existing services but many unresolved problems can be solved. These problems society is faced with are known as wicked problems.

There is a book called Wicked Problems, Problems Worth Solving by Austin Center for Design i.e. AC4D. The author defines Wicked Problems as:

A wicked problem is a social or cultural problem that is difficult or impossible to solve for as many as four reasons: incomplete or contradictory knowledge, the number of people and opinions involved, the large economic burden, and the interconnected nature of these problems with other problems. Poverty is linked with education, nutrition with poverty, the economy with nutrition, and so on.

What are these Smart Cards for Mumbai local commuters? This is service design thinking in action. Avoid long queues for customers and advance revenue for the railway. Win-win solution for both.

One of the African countries is using service design approach in tackling the spread of Aids.

Chicago library is using design thinking to transform into learning labs.

Design thinking is helping US Govt to become more humane.

The Business Registration and Licensing division within Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED) worked with the leading service design consultant for assistance to overhaul its customer service.

There are enterprises that are using design thinking approach to double country’s middle class i.e. lifting the people from poverty. (Just look at their problem statement!)

All Governments across the world is doing enormous investments in public infrastructure, healthcare, education and everything else. Imagine if the Government employs a team of design thinkers and practitioners what a miracle it can create with the resources in command.

What Roger Martin is a professor at and former dean of the Rotman School of Management, says in the interview Capitalism needs design thinking  is interesting and applicable universally:

I don’t see it taking hold much. I think the way that government generally works is to think, think, think, think, and then finally create legislation that brings about some change, and then they ignore their legislation and say okay, we’re finished with that. Then people go and figure out how to game that legislation, and the government doesn’t do anything about it. Whereas if they had a design view of it, they’d say when they passed a bill, that’s just the best idea we’ve got now, we have to go see how it works in practice, and then fix it. That’s just not the mentality.

The meaning of the word Design, what we used to believe as some form of an art is expanded beyond art galleries. This art of design thinking is now influencing our lives, customer experience, citizen experience & can help us resolve many problems and tackle many challenges.

Next time we will see HOW of Service Design and HOW we all can become Service Designers.

If you like this post, SHARE with your social network, have something to add please comment below.

Sunil Gandhi

Physics of Karma

In the previous post on the subject The Law of Karma – 1, we have read, there are predominately eight types of Karma which a soul can attract. In this post we will see what is Karma & its Physics.

There are in all nine elements in the universe. One out of nine is Ajeev i.e Non Living. This Ajeev has five types and one of the five types is Pudgala. Pudgala is derived from the words ‘pud’, which is defined as Supplement (Addition), and gala, which is defined as Disintegrate, or Division. Therefore, Pudgalas are best defined as all things that are continuously changing by the process of Supplementation or Disintegration, namely matter.

The individual unit of Pudgala is the material from which all is made, smaller than protons, called a Paramänu, which, by the process of supplementation, can combine to form what can be roughly said is an atom, called a Skandha, Either individually or in combination, this similar type of Skandha is known as Vargana.

There is infinite Vargana or cluster of Vargana in each Pudgala. There are eight clusters of Varganas which a soul can attract. Out of these eight Varganas, four are visible and four are invisible. Like our body is also made up of these Varganas and we can see that. Karma is one of the four invisible Varganas. Invisible Varganas are:

Varganas which helps us in speaking, breathing and thinking are known as Bhasha (Language) Vargana, Swasoswas (Breathing) Vargana and Mano (Thinking) Vargana. Fourth one is Karman Vargana i.e. Karma which is attracted to the soul.

This Karman Vargana is extremely minute and invisible. These Vargana are present everywhere in the cosmos. Every soul has this invisible Karma Body which is made up of Karman Varganas. The Karma body is a dynamic structure having a regular input of Karma Vargana and exit of karma, which have matured.

Soul attracts Karman Vargana due to vibrations. The soul experiences vibrations due to activity involving attraction (Raag) and aversion (Dwesh) attributes. Vibration takes place every moment at the level of our thoughts, speech and body movements.

That means with every vibration of a Soul, it attracts Karman Vargana which is like invisible minute particle is attracted to the Soul. Karman Vargana attached to the Soul is known as Karma.

Dr Narayan Lal Kachhara in his paper – Jain Dualism – 2, writes;

“The vibration in the soul (non-physical) induces vibrations in the karma body, which experiences vibrations of the same type that is the karma body vibrates at a particular frequency. The vibrating karma body attracts karman vargnas of the same frequency from the cosmos due to the phenomenon of resonance. These incoming varganas get bonded with the similar karma, present in the karma body due to the force of activities of body, speech and mind and the passions that originated vibrations in the soul. Thus new karmas are formed in the karma body.”

The attraction of Karmas to the Soul can be compared with:

A person with oil applied on his body attracts many more particles than a person without oil. Oil can be compared with the vibration of the soul. Quantity and stickiness of the particles will be much more of an oily body as compared to non oily body.

When a soul attracts Karma, Karma comes with four kinds of bondage to the Soul. These are:

  • Type – Broadly it is out of any eight
  • Tenure – Life of the Karma i.e. time within which it will give its fruit
  • Intensity – Intensity of its result. There are four degrees of intensity.
  • Quantum – Quantity of Karman Vargana

Every Karma when attach to the body, comes with these four types of feature. This can be understood by an example of medicine tablet.

A tablet can have a few types, expiry date, its power of intensity and size.

Type and quantum are decided by the level of involvement of mind, body and speech while tenure and intensity is decided by level of attraction (Raag) and aversions (Dwesh).

Till now we have known:

This is very important as well as a bit heavy subject, so more on this next time.

Share your views, comment and share with others if you think it’s relevant for them.

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Sunil Gandhi

Future of Banking & Role of Customer Experience

Prime Minister Narendra Mode announced the opening of 170 mn account opening during last less than 12 months under Jan Dhan Yojana. Additionally, he also asked bankers to finance start-ups. Indian banks, especially public sector banks are struggling with customer service. Imagine the additional customer load and service expectations.

About a year back I had blogged Everyone Else but Customers, wherein I had stated banks are for customers, but bank boards have nominees from all other stakeholders like RBI, Govt, Employees, Officers  & Shareholders but no customer nominees. In the absence of customer nominees who will advocate customers cause?

Few days back, I saw a recruitment advertise in a leading daily. A leading public sector bank is inviting an application for Chief Customer Officer. When public sector banks are suffering from problems of plenty, this bank has thought it apt to deal with customer onslaught is to offer them a better customer experience.

Competitive pressures coupled with social media sharing, banks are awakening to the dire need for better customer experience. Every consulting company is it Mckinsey and Boston Consulting or big four – E & Y, KPMG, Deloitte or PWC and Technology Consulting Companies Infosys, IBM, Accenture, Cognizant, Capgemini and Oracle all are talking about the importance and therefore the necessity of customer experience in the banking sector.

Capgemini’s World Retail Banking report 2015 has some very interesting finding about the state of customer experience in the global banking industry. The report reports;

Banks are facing stagnating customer experience. Their data of the world’s banks suggest customer experience at banks are deteriorating. In most countries customer experience index is down from 2013 index.

Percentage of customers likely to stay, refer and buy have decreased and percentage of customers unlikely to stay, refer and buy has increased as compared to 2014 data.

This data suggests customers are not happy with their banking experience. This is coupled with the trend of the emergence of financial technology firms offering some of the banking products. The report says that the banks agree;

Customers are more comfortable with internet/technology firms, significantly higher than the comfort level they have with banks.

The potential of the Fintech firms to disrupt the market comes from their agility and ability to leverage technology, derive insight from data and develop simple and intuitive offerings.   

Yesterday only RBI has given in-principle approval to eleven payment banks which will mostly operate through mobile and internet.

Imagine the situation; Unhappy customer experience on the rise and new players to capture the market. Banks are stuffed with huge manpower which is a cost, enormous NPA problem & low focus on customer experience. Fintech firms are agile, branchless, lower on people and high on technology.

The banking industry world over is facing an unprecedented challenge.

The report also says;

Customer experience figured prominently as a driver of investments in the front office, but not in middle or back office investment.  

The trend is also going to continue and this is a major cause of concern as majority of customer dissatisfaction emanates from back offices leading to increase in negative customer experience levels which have already risen from past years.

As far as India is concerned, CE Index dropped from 75.4 to 70.9 and customers with positive experience down from 46.2 to 38.1 during 2015 as compared to 2013.

All the reports on banking by leading consultancy firms are unanimous about the importance of customer experience and steps to become customer-centric. While there is no doubt about this KPMG report – Customer Experience Barometer – Banking drill down to attributes of customer experience:

  • Accessibility
  • Ease of doing business
  • Executional excellence
  • Personalised offering
  • Staff Engagement
  • Value for money
  • Brand value and reputation

While many still believe customer experience is all out the ambiance, branding, attire this report further drill down in detail by stating importance of 30 attributes from the seven broad stated above and performance vis a vis importance.

Parameters Importance Performance
1 Value for money (i.e. fair and appropriate fees and charges) 74% 49%
2 Staff who are honest and tell the truth 74% 56%
3 Staff who consistently follow through on their promises 70% 51%
4 Getting things right the first time 69% 53%
5 A company that puts the consumer first 69% 46%

All these reports and data suggest how seriously banks need to focus on customer centricity and create a better customer experience.

Following image from a report Banking on Customer Centricity by Mckinsey says it all very aptly:

Mckinsey

Banks are at the cross road. Technology, social media, population, Govt focus on growth, average age of staff, NPA – issues are plenty but the option is only one – Fanatical Focus on Customer Experience.  In a case study on customer satisfaction at co-operative bank in UK states:

The Co-operative  Bank’s Corporate Banking Division puts much of its success in recent years down to its fanatical focus on customer service.

Yes, this is the level of focus on customer experience banks need to fine-tune in order to meet the challenges stated above. Bottomline is:

Know your customer more than KYC regulation demands, make it easy, give them multichannel options and access & sensitise the organisation – front, middle and back about the importance of customer experience. Technology company reports are more obsessed with digitalisation of banking customer experience but human touch and emotional experience are irreplaceable. Developing holistic customer experience is the way forward.

As Mr. Vermon Hill, Chairman and CEO of Commerce Bancorp said,

“We have shown that you can decommoditize a commodity business. Nobody wants another me-too bank. We have created an unusual, unduplicatable experience for our customers. We are creating emotional attachment with our customers. I have had more people tell me that their kids used to go to Starbucks with them on Saturday morning. Now they want to come to the bank! We have created a cult brand out of a dead business. ”

(Source book:  Mavericks @ Work by William C Taylor & Polly G. Labarre)

PS:

Join readers’ club, download free ebook – Wow ! & Weird & get a regular update from this blog.

Sunil Gandhi

Law of Karma – 1

During the monsoon session, it was a logjam and parliament failed to legislate new GST law. Without this new law, the economy will fail to speed up & blah blah blah… We have plenty of laws which govern our lives. We have a parliament to legislate and have lawyers to guide us about these new laws we are governed by. Important is we are expected to know all these laws and our courts do not accept ignorance as an excuse if we fail to abide by these laws.

Point to ponder is, we human beings are governed by a plethora of men made laws, but all other living beings are not governed at all by these laws legislated by the Parliament. But there is one law which equally applies to us, the human beings and animals. However, we are oblivious of these laws because we are oblivious about who we are. We all are souls living with a body. If you don’t agree, just find out the difference between a dead body and a living body.

The only difference is the presence of the soul in a living body, which a dead body doesn’t have. Every Body is different and every Soul is similar – be it human or animal. The living thing is a soul. Though invisible, but a reality, living body and the dead body example proves this. All laws legislated by the parliament is governing human BODY and not the SOUL. All laws legislated by the parliament are ONLY governing human BODY that too of respective countries and not any other BODIES.

But SOULs are governed by natural laws – be it in human being or animal being, whether in India or in the US or in Ethiopia. With the BODY, SOUL becomes so much engrossed in bodily responsibilities, pain and pleasure that it forgets to realise the true nature of the self and laws governing the true nature  i.e. SOULs.

The law of Karma governs every soul in the universe. It is a science. It has nothing to do with religion. Souls are nature’s creation and so is the law governing the souls. Like the laws of maths or physics or biology are same for every human being irrespective of following any religion and living in any parts of the world, laws of Karma is uniformly applicable to every soul.

The question, therefore is: What are these laws and who knows this right? As per the Jain philosophy, Soul attains Moksha or Salvation or Nirvana after it sheds all the layers of karma. The existence of Karma with the soul is the reason for life and death and soul getting a new body after every death. The existence of different Karmas with the soul is the reason for different body and different lives of every body. The existence of different Karmas with the soul is the reason for bodily pain, pleasure, happiness, sorrow and everything the soul suffers and enjoys.

There are numerous types of Karma which a soul attracts by its body, thoughts and spoken words. Out of these numerous types of Karma, there are eight types of main Karmas. These are:

  1. Gyan-avarniya – which layers knowledge potential of the soul
  2. Darshan-avarniya – which layers capacity of the soul to know the truth, reality
  3. Mohniya – which layers capacity of the soul to know what is right and what is wrong
  4. Antrai – which stops the soul to get its wishes fulfilled
  5. Naam – which decides the type of different body, soul gets
  6. Gotra – which decides the quality of family the soul will get a body
  7. Aayushya – which decides the time the soul spent in a particular body
  8. Vedniya – which makes the soul feel pain and pleasure in different situations

When a soul sheds the first four types of Karma, it attains the omniscient potential of the soul. They are known as Kevalgyani. In this condition, Soul can know everything that is there to know in the universe. Jain Tirthankars had attained this status before their Nirvana i.e. shedding all eight types of Karma. According to Jain philosophy, these are the Gods. They don’t manage the universe or do anything but by shedding the Karmas from the soul, these souls have become liberated from the cycles of life and death.

After shedding first four types of Karma, they deliver sermons, many a times before finally attaining Moksha. When Jain Tirthankaras deliver their sermon after becoming Omniscient (Kevalgyan), they do it in a specially designed place called ‘Samavsharan’. Their speeches are captured by scholars known as ‘Ganadharas’ i.e chief disciples. They are renowned scholars so as to understand the speech of an Omniscient soul. These Ganadharas have to remember the speech and then pass it on to the future generations. After hearing the speech, whatever they could comprehend and remember they write it down. These written documents by Ganadharas are known as ‘Agams’.

Enlightened souls are omniscient, so what they know and experience cannot be fully understood by non-enlightened souls. These Ganadharas though highly scholars also could not comprehend 100% of the sermons of the Tirhankaras. Like Physics students howsoever knowledgeable can’t fully understand what professor, who is PhD in physics, speaks. Therefore, knowledge available in Agams, though mammoth, is not the complete knowledge expressed during sermons by the enlightened Souls.

In these Agamas, the theory of Karma applicable to every soul is given quite in-depth. Every doubt or question of an inquisitive soul is answered. There are various books that are written about the laws of karma after the sermons of Mahavira which he had delivered before attaining Moksha some 2550 years back.

I am referring to the book called ‘Karma Vipak’, a commentary by Mr. Dhirajlal Mehta on ‘Karma Granth – 1’ written during 12th or 13th century by Acharyashri Devendrasuswarji.

What is Karma, its characteristics, types of Karma, how the soul attracts new Karma, how it can be stopped, how it can be discarded – everything is there in the Jain scriptures.

Rather than seeing it narrowly as Jain or some religious things, the ideal way to look at it is as a science. Science and rules of science governing our souls, every soul. We cannot afford to remain ignorant about it, as only the human being has the potential to know this and must know it before the soul gets a new body and human body is lost. Not knowing the self as a soul is the biggest reason for our misplaced priorities. Aren’t we living in the state of The Highest Ignorance? More on the laws of Karma in the post, next weekend.

Sunil Gandhi

Imagine you are a Patient

Pathetic State of customer Experience in the healthcare industry is a cause of major concern not only for patients but also for healthcare entrepreneurs.

Among the all service providers, customers of the healthcare industry are the most vulnerable and deserve the finest of customer experience. They are weak and suffering. They need the human empathy the most as a customer.

But our medical professionals are not trained to deal with the customers. They hardly talk with customers. Even if they talk they lack empathy. In his book Service Fanatics, author James Merlino, MD of Cleveland Clinics writes:

A personal investment in empathy and compassion by all caregivers is the foundation of the future for healthcare. 

The problem is service providers are not educated on the definition of customer experience. Doctors think treating the disease is their job. Entire heatlcare set up is focused on the treatment of the diseases. However, patient experience the health care service providers differently. Jamer Merlino writes;

Everything patients and their families see, do and touch is considered by us as the patient experience.

This customer experience thing is going to spread across the industry. Once experienced better by one industry, expectation of customers from all the products and service providers would increase.

The battle for market and market share of the future will be fought on better customer experience. In times of social media this is not an option but a necessary survival tool.

Why Customer Experience is not finding attention it deserves from CXOs?

Perhaps the economic impact of better customer experience is not established distinctly. There are data which suggests better market return for better customer experiences providing companies, there are data which suggests customer are willing to pay more for a better experience and there are data which suggests the cost of acquiring a new customer is far more than retaining an existing customer.

Recent PWC survey data suggest;

In general, they are willing to pay 19% more for a “no wait time” prescription. Affluent baby boomers and Gen Xers with chronic conditions are willing to pay 52% more. Baby boomers with multiple chronic conditions are willing to pay 21% more for home delivered medications.

These and many such surveys suggest the importance of customer experience for every industry. The question is when and how.

Social media and smart phone spread are making customer experience an urgent priority. People are sharing their better and worse experiences. Therefore, it is a perfect business sense to offer a better customer experience.

Advantages are two:

  • A better brand building by customers through social media
  • Manage negative branding by becoming social media alert

However, the healthcare industry is realising this and responding to this new business reality. In one of the surveys of the Chief Customer Officer Council, Chief Customer Officer Study – 2014, they have found that:

Software, hardware and technology industry is leading in the appointment of CCO, but healthcare and insurance industries are just behind these industries and role of the CCO is growing rapidly.

Companies are now appointing Chief Customer Officer (CCO) to improve customer experience.  However, as per the 2013 data there are 408 active CCOs worldwide. Out of these 84% are in the US. Asia pacific region has less than 5% of the total CCOs.

Here lie the opportunities for the healthcare companies operating in this part of the world. They still have an early mover advantage.

Better Customer Experience Steps:

  • Define the experience

Care must be taken while defining the experience as what James Merlino says is critical;

Medicine is not about treating patients. It’s about taking care of people-people who have lives and loved ones, with unique identities, hobbies, passions, successes and failures – with a history. Patients are not objects, numbers, or diseases. Patients are people we encounter in what is frequently the most challenging and difficult time in their lives.

  • Appoint CCO, adequately empowered and responsible for customer experience metrics
  • Know the rational and emotional expectations of customers
  • Map the journey
  • Know the gaps between – present and proposed experience
  • Redesign the process, retrain the people, redefine the priorities and performance metrics
  • Prototype
  • Roll out

Whether its CEO or CFO, there are plenty of data these days available to transform the organisation to make it customer experienced focused. CEO of Sprint, Dan Hesse had said;

I always put customer experience first, then brand and then cash because is a logical sequence.   

Cleveland Clinics is known for superior customer experience. One of the lead surveyors of the clinic had opined;

You have beautiful buildings, high tech equipment and intensely complex patients, but it’s your people who are the greatest asset. They are engaged, passionate and compassionate. Congratulations.

Economic necessity, social media necessity offers no more excuses, its people who experience better experience delivered by people i.e employees.

Healthcare entrepreneurs MUST know this and make this known to health care professionals as they are not trained to be customer experience sensitive. They are only diseases, medicine and surgery specialists.

Ted talk by Fred Lee, ‘Patient Satisfaction or Patient Experience’  rightly compares Disney Experience and Hospital Experience;

Disney:

Meeting the emotional needs of a family to have fun together.

Hospitals:

Meeting the emotional needs of a family going through fear, pain and even tragedy together.

However, if nothing can convince you about the importance of better patient experience this Video from Clevland Clinic will. This is must watch for all healthcare professionals, entrepreneurs and administrative staff.

Better patient experience is not only a business opportunity, but need of the humanity too.

Download free ebook Wow ! & Weird & join readers club.

Sunil Gandhi

Do you enjoy this HAPPINESS Advantage ?

Happiness is a pursuit. Everyone is running after Happiness. All our activities, even if we dislike is pursuing Happiness for the future. We discount present Happiness for unknown and uncertain future Happiness.

Whether have we understood the Happiness? Usual belief is once we have something or some experience or some possession or some relationship or achieve some goal – we will be happy. This is aptly stated by the author Shawn Achor in his book Happiness Advantage. He says;

If you work hard, you will become successful and once you become successful, then you will be happy. ….. We think If I just get a raise, or hit the next sales target, I will be happy, if I can just get that next good grade, I will be happy. If I lose that five pounds, I will be happy. And so on. Success first, happiness second.       

But this is a myth. We have many achievers, but once they achieve their goal posts, shifts and happiness is pushed over the horizon. The author informs, there is a research which suggests a relationship between happiness and success is in fact reverse. Happiness is the precursor to success. Happiness and optimism actually fuel performance and achievement giving us the competitive edge i.e. Happiness Advantage.

Happiness – Seven Principles

The Happiness Advantage: Because positive brains have a biological advantage over brains that are neutral or negative, this principle teaches us how to retain our brains to capitalise on positivity and improve our productivity and performance.

 The Fulcrum and the Lever: How we experience the world and our ability to succeed within it, constantly changes based on our mindset. This principle teaches us how we can adjust our mindset (Our fulcrum) in a way that gives the power (the lever) to be more fulfilled and successful.

The Tetris Effect: When our brains get stuck in a pattern that focuses on stress, negativity and failure, we set ourselves up to fail. This principle teaches us how to retrain our brains to spot patterns of possibility, so we can see and seize – opportunity wherever we look.  

Falling Up: In the midst of defeat, stress and crisis, our brains map different paths to help us cope. This principle is about finding the mental path that not only leads us up of failure or suffering, but teaches us to be happier and more successful because of it.  

The Zorro Circle: When challenges loom ad we get overwhelmed, our rational brains can get hijacked by emotions. This principle teaches us how to regain control by focussing first on small, manageable goals, and then gradually expanding our circle to achieve bigger and bigger ones.

The 20 Second Rule:  Sustaining lasting change often feels impossible because our willpower is limited. And when willpower fails, we fall back on our old habits and succumb to our path of least resistance. This principle shows how; by making small energy adjustments, we can reroute the path of least resistance and replace bad habits with good ones.

Social Investment: In the midst of challenges and stress some people choose to hunker down and retreat within themselves. But the most successful people invest in their friends, peers and family members to propel themselves forward. This principle teaches us how to invest more in one of the greatest predictors of success and excellence – our social support network.    

The author has surveyed 1600 undergraduate students from Harvard and found how these seven principles helped them to overcome obstacles, reverse bad habits, become more efficient and productive, make the most of opportunities, conquer their most ambitious goal and reach their fullest potential.

This is very important as the author says;

When we are happy, when our mindset and  mood are positive – we are smarter, more motivated, and thus more successful. Happiness is the center, and success resolves around it.   

Out of the seven rules I found Social Investment, the last one, very powerful. Aren’t we happy with friends and family members?  One of the longest surveys which ran for 70 years concludes;

Our relationship with other people matter, and matter more than anything else in the world.    

Happiness is not only important your our individual success, but it has a ripple effect. Happy person can influence 1000 people within three degrees. This was very aptly stated by Danial Goleman;

Like secondhand smoke, the leakage of emotions can make a bystander an innocent casualty of someone else’s toxic state.

This means positive and negative – both emotions can have a ripple effect. This has an instant proof. Why people cry and laugh with the characters’ situations in movies, even if they are illusionary?  

The best thing is, having known Happiness Advantage, applying the same in our daily life situations can give us a  competitive advantage. Remember: Happiness First, Success follows. The book offers excellent examples of real life situations which are worth experiencing.  

Sunil Gandhi

How to better ROI for B2B Companies?

CEO & CPO of a B2B companies are customers of B2C companies at a personal level. They deal with banking, insurance, healthcare and retail companies known as B2C companies. Customer Experience (CX) they are exposed to while dealing with these companies influence their thinking. While dealing with their suppliers they would want to have better customer experience and if they think bilaterally they know their customers also would need better customer experience.

A research by Avande suggests;

Customer experience now tops price as the most important factor in a buying decision by an enterprise decision-maker. Notably, business buyers are willing to pay up to 30 percent more for a product or service that offers an improved customer experience. 

Most readers won’t believe this, as experience of fighting in red ocean blocks our capacity to think beyond competing on price. Retail world examples of CCD, Starbucks and Burger King are proving this right.

CPO while shortlisting their suppliers would shortlist companies offering better customer experience. Price negotiation comes later. First, we need to know whom to deal with then we ask for the price. As a customer, anyone would like to deal with decent and organised companies. Lower pricing does not justify influencing buying decisions. When a company wants a reference from other customers, better-experienced customers will give better reference and not so experienced customers won’t. No need of any research here.

Better customer experience means hassle-free, organised, easy to deal with, less complicated, concerned about customer discomforts and convenience.

However, in spite of this advantage, and companies are accepting the new realities, as per the Accenture report;

B2B Companies Spending More to Improve their Customers’ Experience But Large Majority are Likely Wasting Up to Half of Their Investments.

This report divides companies

in three categories based on their CX efforts:

Masters: Prioritise CX and excels in defining and executing CX. Generate 13% growth. Only 24% of the companies surveyed qualified here.

Strivers: Moderate level of CX activities. Generate 6% growth. 48% companies fall in this category.

Laggards: 28% of companies generate negative growth with their gap in CX strategies and execution capabilities.

This survey was of companies which have stated CX as their priority from 20 industries in 13 countries. This survey also suggested proximity to P & L is one of the predictors of CX performance.

One of the key take always of Forrester report, how B2B companies make the case for customer experience, is;

The need for CX leaders to systematically approach how they manage, collect, and analyze CX data to model customer experience and financial outcomes. B2B CX leaders must integrate data from a broad range of sources, rigorously test and evaluate, and identify the right mix of CX measures for each channel, product, region or business unit. 

As per Clear Action’s 4th Annual Business-to-Business Customer Experience Management Best Practices Study – 2013, companies are achieving the following benefits with better CX;

  • Revenue increase
  • Better growth
  • Better NPS
  • Better profit
  • Higher customer budget
  • Better service recovery

Bottom-line is CX is equally applicable to all companies and business enterprises. The moot question is HOW and what it takes:

First and foremost have executive ownership. Without top man and company culture attuned to defining and execution of better CX it will fail & frustrate people. This is the biggest barrier in bettering CX.

Have matrix with a linkage to better CX. Learn from the data what is working and what is not, create pilot to learn and get employees buy into, have CX centered process audit, have a customer feedback system in place. Knowing customer’s omnichannel journey can give lots of insight.

  • Executive Buy-in
  • Walk the present journey maps
  • Learn from journeys and define CX strategy & statement
  • Realign Journeys – people, process, expectations, communication ++ gaps
  • Regular Customer Feedback
  • Matrix, Monitor, relearn and realign

It is an ongoing process. Continuous improvement, segment wise journeys, real-time feedback.

Here comes Digital Media or Social Media. Yes, CX in times of social media does not only give competitive advantage but also it has become now critical for every business entity.

Social media is a medium which can offer live real-time customer feedback, companies can use social platforms to solve customer issues, help them when in need, create all relevant content to become known for their expertise. Social platforms and activities on these platforms can be a huge CX booster.

Social media for B2B companies is a tool for real-time online marketing. But the danger is, unless CX part is first taken care Social platforms can’t be used effectively for online real-time marketing. Therefore, even for digital, online and real-time marketing CX betterment is a must.

B2B Companies can’t escape better CX efforts under the pretext of B2C arguments. Today, every business is B2C as far as CX is concerned.

When acquiring a new customer is 6 to 7 times costlier than to retain a one there is no need or convincing require for emphasis on better CX.

  • Quick Turnaround
  • Better retention
  • Real time customer service
  • More referrals
  • Social branding
  • Charged up employees

Better ROI is an obvious outcome of better CX. What Mr. Olivier Mourrieras, VP, Customer Experience Center of Competence at Eon says is worth noticing:

Hard and soft benefits of better CX:

Hard:

  • Churn reduction
  • Cost to serve decrease
  • Increase in referrals
  • Quantifiable impact of the above on ROI

Soft:

  • Common language and converging culture
  • Greater staff engagement
  • Vehicle for internal and external communication for better culture
  • Sharing of best practices

The economy is not bad but changing. Better CX offering companies are taking the market share of CX indifferent companies. It is not only a matter of better ROI but also of long term survival.

Sunil Gandhi