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Category Archive: Branding

Free Ebook – Download now – Limited Period Offer

The Bread is Moving. The book is free for a limited period.

Praise for the book:

“Customer Experience to Counter VUCA and Disruptive Times:

Retail is changing at a Fast Pace. Consumers are changing faster, thanks to Disruptive Technology and Multiple Screens. And yes, the On Line disruption is Impacting Operating Models of all businesses. How should businesses counter the VUCA situation all around ??

There is No Magic Formulae, Nor any Rocket Science to combat these challenges.

The Author Passionately brings to us , his proposition about Customer Experience (CX).

If Retail is Theatre that consumers need to enjoy- Designing and Delivering CX is the Key.

He explains in detail, with lots of Live Examples, what CX means and how Organisation, whether Retail or Non Retail should go about Defining to Designing and Delivering CX on the ground..

His analysis of various companies reveals that, Customer Centricity is at the heart of Successful Companies. I am sure that, each one of you would have encountered many WOW moments and many more Horrible let downs by Airlines, Telecom and other Companies.

Customer Centric Companies are obsessed with Customers Delight right from their Vision, Mission to their Product ,  Service & CX. The author proposes that every organisation should have a Chief Customer Experience Officer (CCXO ) to delight the customer.

The book is written in a simple to read and ready to execute format. I am sure, you will enjoy reading this book. And without wasting any time, you will start designing your organisations CX….”

  • Govind Shrikhande | Customer Care Associate & Managing Director | Shoppers Stop Ltd.

“This book is very apt and timely for Indian market. Especially for hospitals, customer experience is critical and the book tells almost A to Z of it.”

  • Joy Chakraborty, COO, Hinduja Hospital

I have read a lot of management books, however this book stands apart especially for Indian businessmen. I am impressed with how simply Sunil Gandhi has explained one of the most important aspects of Customer Experience (CX). Citing Indian examples he drives home the point very clearly and I am sure readers will be able to embark on a CX improvement journey right way.

  • Maman Choksi, Director, RE/MAX Gujarat, Director.

Readers Reviews:

By Manoj Papisetty on 28 September 2015

In this book, he collates some of the most useful ways to look at new age businesses and lists down neat, powerful processes with workable frameworks for any business. I am particularly excited about this book in India because of the new startup era we are seeing in the country. It will certainly help the new age startups grow quick, efficient and sustainable.

By Anish Desai on 5 December 2015

Customer Experience Champion Sunil Gandhi, yet again takes the readers of his books through some amazing insights in delivering the value of your product/service. It’s a must read for all who believe customer is at the core of the business and the key to turning around business is by focusing on the value chain and the customer. A thorough joy ride!!!!

By Surendra Arora on 2 October 2015

You must have read many such books written on US companies or situations, I admire Sunil for giving a Indian perspective to it. Interesting read for all corporate executives and business person.

By Amazon Customer on 28 September 2015

An excellent and very pertinent viewpoint that has been explained very logically and persistently.

By Gopinath Narayanan – Published on Amazon.com on 8th June 2016

A must read for anyone in the customer experience role. This is a well researched book, with several examples and case studies. Very contemporary, and includes the impact of social media.

The Bread is moving

 

Download now on your Kindle. Click here.

In fact it is not free, it comes with two conditions

  • Share this post
  • & share your review on Amazon, that’s it.

Welcome to download , its free till 23rd July 2016

 

Sunil Gandhi

Are jewellers protesting against 1% Central Excise or Bad Citizen Experience?

Jewellers in India were on strike for nearly six weeks. They are asking the Govt. Of India to remove 1% Excise Duty levied in the budget this year.

Today in the Parliament Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant recommended the Govt. to consider their requests and remove the duty. He went on to say that Jewellers do not mind 1 or 2% levy but they do not want this by an additional Govt. department. They have a bad experience about this department.

This is what indicates what Govts. must do to enhance the citizen experience. This is a lesson in customer experience.

What is true for jewellers is true for every customer. Customers do not mind paying extra money if they are offered a better experience or if they can avoid and do not have to undergo a bad experience.

The customer experience is so important that one of the 4 conditions Jeff Bezos have laid to enter any new business is;

…and that we have the capabilities needed to bring strong customer-facing differentiation to the marketplace.

Customer facing differentiation is about better customer experience.

Now if companies find there is a gap in the space of customer facing differentiation, they will invest in that business and therefore, competition will increase. This competition will be fought on the basis of this differentiation. Bad customer experience creating companies will find new entrants and therefore severe competition. They will experience quick erosion of the market share because the customer will quickly notice the difference in experience and they will get attracted to a better experience.

New entrants will not only get the quick market share but also command a premium because of a better experience. We have seen the success of multiplex theatres. People are paying a premium for online grocers and convenient charges to bookmyshow.com. Our jewellers are also indicating the same by foregoing the business to avoid negative experiences of one more Govt. department.

Jewellers strike is a loud and clear message to the Govt. about where they need to focus, to win hearts and minds of the people. This should trigger Govt’s better Citizen Experience drive. The UK Govt. had long back involved language experts to make the Govt. Citizen Communication/Drafting of Laws simple and easy to understand. Netherland Govt. involved service design agency to improve passport and visa services experience of the immigrants and citizen. Govts. everywhere is focussing all its energy on better citizen experience. Indian Govt’s ease of doing business and single window schemes are nothing but better citizen experience initiatives.

The Govt. is all about citizen service. Govt. must apply service design tools and principles to work on better citizen experience. Govt. should take up the projects for citizen experience on priority where it can have a maximum and far-reaching impact.

Imagine all Govt. – Citizen interactions are the incidences of happy citizen experiences.

2019 (Next General Election) is far, but this Govt or for that matter any Govt that gets re-elected that happens only on the basis of Govt’s citizen experience improving track record or hope of improving citizen experience. Achchhe Din propagated by the Prime Minister is all about better Citizen Experience. Earlier the Govt understand this the better it is not only for them but also for the citizen of India.

Jewellers are ready to pay, but why do they not want an involvement of an additional Govt. department and for that can close the business for so many days is not only food for thought for all the Govts. and bureaucrats but also for CXOs.

Our PM,  Narendra Modi is known for converting problems into opportunities, this strike is another problem waiting to be converted into an opportunity.  This will also help him in his mission (Our dream) of Achchhe Din.

More on Citizen and customer experience – The Bread is Moving.

Sunil Gandhi

Free Ebooks – Welcome to download

Welcome to commence the new financial year with the brand new thinking. Let customer experience index and employee happiness index become the part of the Annual Report and see the transformation of business performance.

I am happy to invite readers to download two of my ebooks from Amazon. It can be downloaded on Kindle App or Kindle device. Free download ends on 4th April 2016.

The Fifth Idiot:

This is a story about a women CEO and her passion for workplace happiness. The book has received praise from readers and industry practitioners.

 The Fifth Idiot

The book is praised by;

“A great read that can be finished in one sitting..”
Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO, OYO Rooms

“…What a wonderful read, I couldn’t stop! So inspiring…”
Richa Anirudh, TV, Radio Journalist, Host – Zindagi Live

“…An interesting and remarkable story….”
Prof. Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals Group

“…It is contemporary, insightful and makes you think…“
Ninad Karpe, Managing Director & CEO, Aptech Limited

The Bread is Moving

Social Media is ruling our world. The spread of social media is so fast and widespread that customer experience NOW is not only necessary to flourish the business but even for the survival of the business.

 bread cover-01

The book is praised by;

“The book is written in a simple to read and ready to execute format. I am sure, you will enjoy reading this book. And without wasting any time, you will start designing your organisations CX.”

Govind Shrikhande, Customer Care Associate & Managing Director, Shoppers Stop Limited

“This book is very apt and timely for Indian market. Especially for hospitals, customer experience is critical and the book tells almost A to Z of it.”

Joy Chakraborty, COO, Hinduja Hospital

“I am impressed with how simply Sunil Gandhi has explained one of the most important aspects of Customer Experience (CX). Citing Indian examples he drives home the point very clearly and I am sure readers will be able to embark on a CX improvement journey right way.”

Manan Choksi, Director, RE/MAX Gujarat, Director

Welcome to download, share this post so your friends and colleagues can also download the same. & Yes do post your reviews on Amazon. This will help other readers in their buying decisions. Customer (readers in this case) experience rules even the literary world.

The free offer will start from 12 noon on 1st and will continue till 12  noon on 5th April 2016.

Sunil Gandhi

Aren’t we all waiting for our over No. 18th and 19th ?

All of us are pursuing our dreams since the day we commence our career. For most of us its daily routine and slogging and many times we feel it’s not happening in spite of our hard efforts. Sometimes we fail and some time we think our bosses or circumstances fail us. The bottom line remains same – We are pursuing, but nowhere near our final destination.

On Sunday, in the World T 20 cricket tournament, in the match between India and Australia, India, while batting 2nd was chasing the target of 161 runs but things were not moving as per expectations. Indian needed 39 runs from the last 18 balls.

In over number 18th and 19th Virat Kohli scored 35 runs & with the first ball of the 20th over India won. Over number 18th and 19th changed the fate of the match which looked slipping from the hands of the Indian team.

When the average was climbing, players did not panic, but kept their patience and kept pursuing the target.

“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.” John Quincy Adams

Finally, Virak Kohli’s courageous act in the 18th and 19th over did the wonder. This indicates that after patience and perseverance, it is the courageous act that does the wonder. Many  times we keep patience and perseverance, but it is the courageous act where we fail and assumes mere patience and perseverance will do the act.

Australian bowlers didn’t ball badly during 18th and 19th over, but the only difference was a courageous act by the Indian batsman. Perhaps we all need our courageous act, circumstance will remain the same, but results will be different.

Courage

We all are in need of our 18th and 19th over and the wait will end with our courageous acts.

Sunil Gandhi

The journey of – The Fifth Idiot

Husband of our neighbour, a young lady CA age 24 , died within one year of their marriage. He was working with a bank and the  job was demanding. Ranjan Das, 42 years young CEO of SAP India died of cardiac arrest. Sarvshreshth Gupta, an analyst with Goldman Sachs died due to long hours of working and high stress at workplace. He once told his father that his job is too much work and too little time. After months of working close to 100-hour weeks, the young banker fell to his death at his apartment parking lot at the tender age of just 22.

Ryan Henry Crane, a Harvard graduate, who is survived by his wife, son and parents at the very young age of 37. He was working with J P Morgan chase. Earlier Ravi Mohan of Reliance, Ex OTC exchange/ CRISIL died of a massive heart attack at the age of 52. Devang Mehta, a very dynamic NASSCOM, CEO, died of a massive heart attack at the age of 38.

A study by ASSOCHEM found that demanding schedules, high-stress levels and performance linked perquisites in private sectors; nearly 42.50% of employees in private sectors are afflicted from depression or general anxiety disorder.

Another study by the Government of India shows that one out of every five Indians is suffering from a mental disorder. In fact, that places every family at severe risk of multiple issues such as chronic depression, suicidal tendencies and work related stress. 50 percent of corporate India is under chronic stress with 30 per cent having problems such as addiction and marital discord, and 20 percent suffering from depression. That effectively means that a rise in depression is a very real threat that could affect the country’s denizens and economy over a period of time.

We are surviving, but most of the working population is suffering from stress related disease? – diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. Long working hours coupled with no time for exercise, junk and erratic food habits, smoking and drinking are adding jet fuel to the fire.

We needed Three Idiots to make ourselves aware about school & college study related stress and studying what we love rather than following the herd mentality.

But madness for marks and social pressure for performance does not stop at colleges & universities. It becomes severe after we moved on to our work life. Here IRR, Market share, EBIDTA, ROCE, Topline & Net worth are some of the subjects.

The major change at this stage is, now the situation is ruthless.

Life @ Child stage:

Stress (Study and Expectation) Plus Love & Care of parents Plus time for sports/games.

Life @ Working Adult stage:

Stress (Work, Career, and Financial Goals) Minus Love & Care of parents Plus Expectation of Love and Care by family members Minus time for sports/games.

Here comes – The Fifth Idiot.

Originally I wrote The 5th Idiot as a movie script. I approached quite a few producers/corporate movie producers and even characters, who can play a lead character, but found many gatekeepers and perhaps failed to reach the right eyes. But the arrival of Kindle and Amazon self-publishing is quite liberating. We don’t need any rejection either from – film producers or from book publishing companies.

I wrote the story again in a novel format.  As book marketing experts recommend, I also approached many beta readers. I am thankful to all those who agreed to read the book even before it was edited and final, in some case. They offered me valuable feedback. I approached many well-known personalities to write a blurb for the book. I was successful in convincing a few (Most well-known people are extremely busy.)  I sincerely thank for their time and their names they have lent to the book by writing a blurb.

Praise for the book:

“A great read that can be finished in one sitting. I could relate to several instances/mentions in the book; especially the madness around Diwali – even our business takes a different curve during this holiday season amongst others. Employees are the biggest assets for any organization, and every organization should put in place mechanisms to ensure their happiness – some of the inputs from this book can prove to be valuable.”

  • Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO, OYO Rooms

“In my busy schedule, I was wondering whether I made a mistake by accepting to write a blurb. But when I started reading, I realised that this has come to me for a reason. What a wonderful read, I couldn’t stop. ! So inspiring.  ……., this book is a MUST read…..” 

  • Richa Anirudh, TV,Radio Journalist, Editor in chief, School LIVE

“I would like to congratulate Sunil, for taking up such an important topic and weaving an interesting and remarkable story around.

A must read.”

  • Anupam Sibal , Senior Paediatric Gastroenterologist and Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals Group & Author of “Is Your Child Ready to face the World?”

“If you have to pick up a book to read, pick up “The Fifth Idiot”. It is contemporary, insightful and makes you think. Read it and you will enjoy it.”

  • Ninad Karpe, Managing Director & CEO Aptech Limited

 Here is a book – The Fifth Idiot.

This is a story about a woman CEO, the book was formally released on 8th March 2016, International Women’s Day.

As usual on 8th also I read a daily blog of Seth Godin & coincidently he wrote in his interim blog;

“Change making happens when people fall in love with a different version of the future.”

The quote was quite apt for the theme of the book. So I wrote a mail to him asking for a permission to use the quote on the cover of the book. & he readily agreed. The cover of the was changed on 8th night and the book was ready for the readers with the new cover.

Welcome to read – The Fifth Idiot.

The Fifth Idiot

I am sure you would enjoy the journey. My target is to sell 1000 books within 100 days. Your support will help me achieve the goal. Please share the link with all your social media groups – LinkedIn, FB, Twitter, Whatsapp, and all other. You can also help by writing a review on Amazon.in and even write a blog about the book if you are also a blogger.

One of the early readers of the book sent me a message; “I hereby enrol myself as The Fifth Idiot.” I am sure you also would like to be a part of The Fifth Idiot movement.

Sunil Gandhi

‘Not For Profit’ ways are the NEW Marketing

I was early for the meeting the other day so I opted to spend time at Starbucks Store. With the Kindle app installed in my mobile, I read the ebook for an hour. Neither anyone asked me what I would buy to justify my occupying their chair there, nor there was any compulsion to buy anything. Like me, I was not alone, there were a few more like me completely engrossed in their mobile phones.

Michael Sterner of Social Media Examiner in his book ‘Launch’ writes;

“Don’t think people are targets for the sale….. rather than focus on people who are buying your products and services, shift your attention to people you want to help… If you are only focused on the sale, you are missing a mega opportunity.”

This is the future. ‘For Profit’ enterprises have to change their ways of doing business. They will have to employ ‘Not for Profit’ way of doing the business.  Rather than having only sells focus, enterprises of today are focused on helping their customers. Non Profit route is the route to earn the profit.

“Companies with higher sense of purpose outperform by 400%.’’

From Zappos.com website.

Free selfless help will bring more customers to the business. Hospitals need to focus on preventive healthcare awareness program for the benefit of people at large. Real Estate companies need to educate people about precautions while buying a home or precaution while selecting the developer for the redevelopment project. Restaurants and hotels need to offer free culinary classes to the people in the nearby vicinity. LinkedIn is a free service. Even without their premium services, LinkedIn is extremely useful service for the professionals.

When I launched my previous two eBooks, it was free for an initial 3 to 5 days. Not only me but most ebooks are available for free as a part of Amazon’s book promo package.

What is this free economics?

Educate, allow free entry, allow free usage, help them with your knowledge and relax. Free service users and customers would get converted to paid customers and paid to premium customers. This is applicable to LinkedIn as well as to the Starbucks and may be to every business. But most are not used to help customers and therefore no free business.  But it is a good business. Free ebook means more downloads, more downloads means more reader reviews and more reviews means more buyers even when the book is not available for free.

There is a whole book titled ‘The Starbucks Experience’ which is about how Starbucks is doing business and how many of their customers are managing their work life from Starbucks stores. The book is also talking about how Starbucks store is engaging with surrounding communities. All these have nothing to do with their CSR activities, but it is their way of doing FOR PROFIT business.

Every business has to help their potential customers for free in order to earn profit. Yes, we are in a strange economy. Yes, this is a strange sharing economy where companies focus on helping customers and customers help fellow customers in deciding to choose their service providers with their user reviews.

The author of the book ‘Looptail’, Bruce Poon Tip, aptly puts this;

“…. Social enterprise to me is about solving standard business problems with solutions that address social issues like environmental sustainability and economic inequality. That idea started a non-profit world, but more and more, you see it creeping into the for-profit world because the consumer is demanding it.

The customer doesn’t want to purchase something randomly; they want to know where that product is coming from and to identify with that brand. They want to know why they should purchase it and why they should purchase it from you. They want to understand what that brand and the people behind it stand for.”

Though the bottom – line remains the same, approach and route of doing the business has changed. We now don’t need a separate CSR team or activities or funds, it has to go hand in hand with the business objectives. Helping customers genuinely in solving their problem by charging for some solutions and not charging for others is the real CSR and new marketing.

People don’t trust enterprise communication and monologue, but they believe in fellow customers. Therefore, talk less and focus on helping and serving customers.

Remember:

“If you are only focused on the sale, you are missing a mega opportunity.”

Sunil Gandhi

Product & Service is dead

If an enterprise wants to fulfil the customers need with ease and delight, enterprises should know what the need is, what will add to ease while fulfilling the need and what will be icing on the cake i.e. delight.

Customers take a journey to fulfil his need. For example, if we look at the journey of a home buyer;

1) First, he will look for the project, either in the newspaper or on the website.

2) Then he will call the company or call center,

3) Thereafter he will book his visit appointment,

4) Then he actually visits the site,

5) He meets a sales person there,

6) He will see show flat,

7) Asks about the surrounding area and location,

8) Inquire about price and possession schedule and leaves.

This was a journey of a potential buyer. Now when the potential buyer becomes a buyer his journey would be;

1) Family visits to the site

2) Paying booking advance at the builder’s office

3) Stamp duty, registration payment

4) Home Loan application

5) During the construction period, a few site visits

6) Reminders from builders for instalment payments

7) Final possession

8) Go online on social media sites to share the experience

Broadly, this is the journey home buyers undertake while buying a home.

Now if a company wants to improve customer experience, breaking down of this entire customer journey is very important. For every industry knowing customer journey are very critical aspects to better customer experience.

Customer Journey maps – Example – Patient ExperiencePatient Journey Map

(Source – Bridgeable)

Starbucks measure their in-store customer journey in about twenty steps. They measure store location and appearance to store toilet cleanliness and everything in between like queue at cash counter to welcome by staff to a decor of the store.

When the company is working on to better their customer experience, the weakest link can not only spoils the entire experience but even can negate the sales altogether or repeat purchase. Imagine a shabby toilet in an otherwise good restaurant. Though we do not go to restaurant for toilet experience, but that experience matters. Imagine a builder site with a signboard and potential buyers could find it with great difficulty. His buying interest will almost die by the time he is in front of sales executive.

Similarly, in an online world which is the omni-channel world, customers seldom travel in a straight line. He visits a website then he will move to call center for an inquiry, then he will move to social media for customer reviews and then he may call someone for a home visit. Every customer not only will take a different a journey but entry and exit points are also not certain.

Why to map customer journeys?

The simple answer, in order to improve the customer experience, knows how customer not only moves on a buying map but what he feels along with it.

Journey mapping will make the enterprises aware that there is a form to be filled before the emergency patient is admitted to the hospital. This will bring to the light how doctor talks with the patients impact customer experience, this will even enlighten the enterprise that patient discharge procedure is too lengthy and there is a need to engage the patient and their relatives during that time. This will make the hospitals and banks and for that matter every enterprise knows how irritating or emotionally draining experience they are providing to their customers.

Customer Journey Mapping can help the companies in;

1) Knowing existing touch points and experience in each of the touch points.

2) It can give end to end view of the customer movement which can help in,

3) Improve the experience by reducing the pain points and enhancing the need fulfillment mechanism with ease and possible delight

4) Most important the entire organisation which is usually divided into silos, becomes aware about the customer journey and experience how their action or inaction impact the experience.

Journey maps can even help an enterprise in knowing people, process, channel, operation, technology involved at each step of the journey.

Focusing only on features of an insurance policy is not enough. How it is sold, agent sales training – soft skills and product knowledge, claim settlement procedures, call center experience, clarity of policy documents everything counts.

How to map a customer experience journey

1) Decide the major journeys

2) Apply existing knowledge and get additional info/research to map the journeys

3) Map the existing journey. Moments of truth, pain points, customers thinking and feeling at each touch point. REMEMBER: Emotional experience is very important to map to improve the wholesome customer experience.

4) Map it with what the journey/touch points is expected to achieve

5) Identify area of improvements

6) Define future ideal journey maps from the existing journey insights

7) Develop a plan (short-term, medium term and long term) to execute the ideal journey maps.

Customer Experience is a competitive advantage, today, winning brands owes their success not just for the quality and value of what they sell, but by the superiority of the journeys they create.

Yes, customer journey in its entirety is the product. Entrepreneurs have to expand their view of the products and services in the experience and sharing world we are in. Product and service design entails designing of customer experience and customer journey designs are core to customer experience design.

Imagine, chef and cook are making excellent food, but the restaurant where it is served, location where it is located, approach road, the soft skills of waiters, interior design, menu, home delivery service everything is pathetic and not designed keeping customers need, ease and delight in mind. Mere food quality will fail to make the enterprise successful.

Do you have your customer journey maps in front of you?

More about customer experience in the book The Bread is moving.   

Sunil Gandhi

People to Profit Roadmap

Customer Reviews are a new currency which is solely dependent on customer experience an enterprise is creating. But customer experience depends on what? Well, first and foremost it is the job of CEO and then it is taken over by the people. People working for the organisation  are the brand ambassadors.

Every employee over and above their JD, does the brand building for the enterprise she is working for. The Brand building includes brand destroying. People are the only living being working for the organisation. Rest all are created by the people as it can’t happen automatically.

Therefore, the route to better customer experience is better employee experience. Unless employees are taken very good care of customer experience efforts fail. Profit is a function of better employee experience.

Following quote by former CEO of Xerox states the same thing.

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” – Anne M. Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox

There are plenty of such quotes by experienced entrepreneurs and CXOs. But mostly it remains in paper when it comes to ground reality. As per the Gallup report as many as 63% of employees are not engaged in their work meaning they are unhappy with their work.

Another such study by economists at the University of Warwick has found that;

“Happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.”

People

Long and short of the story and research is employee happiness is indirectly directly linked to better profitability. Beyond Philosophy, UK has found that there are none leakage points when it comes to creating a better experience.

These are;

  • Leadership & Culture
  • Strategy
  • Marketing & Branding
  • Channel
  • People
  • Process
  • System
  • Expectation
  • Measurement

Out of the nine two are the major leakage points and if these two are plugged remaining will be taken care by these two. Without the support and involvement of these two others can’t sustain. These two are;

  • Leadership
  • People

People are the most important resource an enterprise can bank upon. However they are not given the due importance. When companies like Google are concerned with employee satisfaction and are leading the best place to work chart for years, one can understand the role of the people in leading companies of the world. This also is a hint where they are focussing to remain successful.

Unfortunately, company annual reports are missing on two of the most important data which they must focus on and care to improve on a sustainable basis. These two data are influencing the shape of the Profit & Loss Accounts and Balance Sheets.

  • Employee Happiness Index
  • Customer Experience Index

We have all kinds of irrelevant data consuming pages in annual reports but no mention of these two critical data which majorly influence the sustainability of the company. Shouldn’t companies report something more than what is statutorily required?

The problem is most of the companies are not even measuring these Index.

There are many versions available online. Start with anyone and then improve and customise. Measurement will bring improvement perspectives.

If we believe Steve Jobs;

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Now to do great work if the employees have to love their job, then isn’t it a good business sense and strategy to create an atmosphere where employees are happy and love what they do?

When the authors of the book ‘The Customer Comes Second’ writes this, what they mean is employee comes first in order to create a better customer experience.

When companies like Google and Apple leads the employee experience and customer experience charts respectively, there is learning from them for every entrepreneur.

Employee Experience > Customer Experience > Customer reviews > More Customers > Brand Building > Brand Premium > Higher Profit

This common sense needs an enormous amount of research to make employer believe and act. Even today in this red ocean world, this is hardly practiced.

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.”  – Doug Conant, CEO of Campbell’s Soup.

“Highly engaged employees make the customer experience. Disengaged employees break it.” – Timothy R. Clark, executive coach and organizational consultant.

HR is not only an HR function and Customer Experience (CX) is not a marketing or IT function. HR & CX both are strategic functions. Business leaders need to realise this, earlier the better.

Sunil Gandhi

The new currency & the new gold reserve in the Sharing Economy

A new survey reveals:

Customer experience will overtake the product and pricing as a key brand differentiator. ( I am not saying so to promote my book on Customer Experience in times of social media “The Bread is moving”. Check the source of the survey here.)

Many enterprises are either not yet aware about the customer experience or they have other priorities than working on to create a customer experience focused organisation.

But a few statistics will awake the decision makers and people responsible for P & L A/C.

  1. Brands in the U.K. are currently losing nearly £15 billion annually due to poor customer service. ~Harris/ClickSoftware Survey
  1. U.S. brands are losing approximately $41 billion each year due to poor customer service. ~NewVoiceMedia Study
  1. 65% of 1,000 consumers surveyed said they’ve cut ties with a brand over a single poor customer service experience.~ 2014 Parature State of Multichannel Customer Service Survey
  1. Only 14% of respondents in a 2014 CMO survey rated the customer-centricity of their organization as high; and only 11% believe their customers would say the same. ~2014 CMO Council Mastering Adaptive Customer Engagements Report
  1. More than two-thirds of 2,000 consumers who encountered a customer service/customer experience issue on a brand’s website left the site or visited a competitor. ~ 2014 IBM Digital Customer Experience Report
  1. 71% of those who experience positivesocial careexperience are likely to recommend that brand to others, compared to just 19 percent of customers that do not receive a response ~ NM Incite Social Care Survey
  1. Companies delivering customer support through social media achieve superior gains – 7.5% vs. 2.9%.~Aberdeen Group Social Customer Care Report
  1. The revenue impact from a 10 percentage point improvement in a company’s customer experience score can translate into more than $1 billion.~ Forrester Business Impact of Customer Experience
  1. 58% of companies say they are just now developing a strategy for delivering an integrated customer experience; and only 8% of companies surveyed said they currently provide a ‘very integrated’ customer experience. ~Econsultancy/CACI Integrated Customer Experience Report.

 10. Customer Experience leaders outperformed the broader market, generating a total        return that was 35 points higher than the S&P 500 Index. Laggards trailed far                behind, posting a total return that was 45 points lower than that of the broader            market offering a better customer experience ~ Watermark Consulting

What is considered premium today will become a basic norm by 2020. Yes, smartphone-enabled social media will compel every enterprise to focus more on more on customer and experience the firm is creating for its customers.

Competition is just a click away. Good and bad review writing is just a click away. Why online reviews matter is made amply clear by the following survey.  

According to the survey conducted by Dimensional Research, an overwhelming 90 percent of respondents who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions, while 86 percent said buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews.   

Gold

Welcome to the new economy, The Sharing Economy in which Customer Reviews are the new currency. & When customer reviews are the new currency one can imagine the importance of better Customer Experience.  Yes, the new currency will be printed on the basis of customer experience. Customer Experience is the gold reserve based on which new currency will derive its strength.

Sunil Gandhi

Brand, Real Estate Developers and NASSCOM

What a real estate developer wants?

  1. Deals – Land, Redevelopment, Joint Venture, Joint Development
  2. Money – Institutional/Bank Debt, Public Equity, Private Debt, Private Equity
  3. Customers – Buy, Leases

What is the single most important thing which will bring all the three to a developer?

BRAND

Brand

Advantage:

  • Better bargaining power with suppliers – land owners, societies or contractors
  • Better bargaining power for cost of funding and ROI to investors
  • Higher pricing capability

Buy cheap and sell costly is possible when a BRAND does business. This is why a brand commands a premium. Be it real estate or any other business.

Even a brand can attract the best of talents.

But branding is not what it is usually believed it to be.

Brand means:

Fair & transparent dealing, a commitment backed by trust, following financial prudence, delivery as committed, no hidden shocks or cost and help when needed even after sales is complete. Employees going out of the way to solve customer problems.

The brand is not a company logo and stationery, it has nothing to do with brand ambassador, posh office the company operates from, uniform company employee wears or event the company sponsors.

Any activity done by a company merely to sale will not create the brand, but every activity the company does to help existing and potential customers will create the brand.

“Don’t think people are targets for the sale….. rather than focus on people who are buying your products and services, shift your attention to people you want to help… If you are only focused on the sale, you are missing a mega opportunity.”

(Source book: ‘Launch’ by Michael Stelzner)

Brand means company culture reflected from every aspect of the enterprise. Branding does not need an advertising agency, it needs a customer passionate CEO.

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com is the living example of what a passionate CEO can and should do. He is now on a life mission to spread happiness across the globe. He believes that,

“Companies with higher sense of purpose outperform by 400%.’’

Real Estate developers observed one day strike in protest of suicide by one of the prominent developers in Thane. They blame and perhaps rightly so the delay by Govt. in building permissions and existence of huge corruption.

Agreed.

However, as a representative body what is the role of industry association? I have never seen MCHI doing any good work to either build the good image of the industry or coming out with a best business practice policy for their members. They have a grievance cell, but no public information on how many complaints and against whom the complaints have been received and what action have been taken.

Builders today are known for delay in project delivery, unethical & corrupt business practices, no transparency in square feet, they sell to the buyers, not offering conveyance as per statutory requirements, selling the project before all approvals are in place, lack of customer focus or sensitivity, over borrowing, lack of financial prudence, increase in NPAs and many more brand destroying practices.

Members conduct destroy the brand of the industry that too when no action is taken against the errant members.

Isn’t it the duty of the industry association to;

  • Build good perception about the industry,
  • Help & educate members in adopting best practice,
  • Educate home/office buyers about how to deal with their members to safeguard own interest (SEBI’s investor education programs is the clue)

All the above initiatives will greatly enhance the image not of the MCHI but of the entire industry.

However, we see MCHI active Only and only during property exhibitions as if their only focus is helping their members to sell.

Building brand is the joint responsibility of the both – an enterprise for the self and its industry association for the industry it represents.

Indian IT Industry is US $ 14 bn in 2015 while Indian real Estate Industry was at US $ 93 bn in 2014 and is expected to reach US $ 180 by by 2020.

The size of both these industries is significant. But look at the website of MCHI and NASSCOM. Though MCHi is not representing all India real estate developers, but when MCHI is at this level what we can expect from other cities and housing associations in the country?

Web sites are the indications of roles both industry associations are playing in promoting and creating an image for the industry.

“ Nasscom played a significant role in establishing a brand image for India in global software services market.”  Prof  Subhash Bhatnagar of IIM-A writes in his paper India’s Software Industry.

Regular seminars, conferences, knowledge repositories, magazine, setting up of business standards and practices, disciplinary action, etc etc many things an industry association can do and should do in promoting the industry and parallelly uplifting the members to the best business practice standards.

Real Estate entrepreneurs and industry associations should introspect what ails their industry. What should have been done and not done? Reimagine your business practices, reimagine your brand building exercises, reimagine the role of industry associations.

NASSCOM is the perfect example to follow if this significant industry wants to grow with dignity.

At the cost of repetition, member and industry associations both must read and act on the following wisdom.

“Don’t think people are targets for the sale….. rather than focus on people who are buying your products and services, shift your attention to people you want to help… If you are only focused on the sale, you are missing a mega opportunity.”

(Source book: ‘Launch’ by Michael Stelzner)

Sunil Gandhi