Friday, November 23, 2007

Am I expecting too much?

Many people have this question - in many situations...

Let me give you few.

Is Mr. Romeo expecting too much if looking for a friendship with Ms. Juliet?
Is Mr. Candidate expecting too much if looking for some positive feedback from Mr. Prospective Employer?
Is Mr. Husband expecting too much if looking for a ... you know what... from Mrs. Wife?
Is Mrs. Wife expecting too much if looking for a better necklace than Mrs. Neighbour?
Is. Mr. Client expecting too much if looking for some more ideas from Mr. Agency?

Enough for now... phew! The list is endless. Life is all about expectations. Every argument here will have counter argument, because at the end of the day we all have something or the other to expect from the people we deal with.

The expectation game is a never ending process! Are you expecting more from me? I also have few expectations.... Let's talk!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Check out whether you are in a right organization or not?

One of my friends told me last evening that finding a right employer is even more important than finding a right husband! She is looking for the 'right' organization to work with. Well, if you are lucky like her and can wait till you find a perfect match, please do that. But if you are working and wondering whether you are in a right organization or not, let me try to help you decide your future with your organization. These are my personal views and may not apply to the organization I am currently working for.

Step 1: "The problem of plenty"

Check what your organization is doing. Is it focused on doing right thing or trying to do things right? Are they exploring many possibilities like a novice or pursuing few like an expert? Does the decision making in your organization requires more than three people's participation?

Focus is the key my dear friend!

Step 2: "The circle of time"

Check how your organization revert to customers' or your requests. The time it takes to attend to the request you made to upgrade your computer. The time it takes to clear suppliers' payments and so on.

In today's business swiftness matter - this doesn't mean that the organizations should decide things in a jiffy but they should have the capabilities and resources to adopt to the changes faster and quicker. They should have the ready knowledge to decide what is best for the organization and make quick decisions.

Step 3: "There is no money for you"

Check how your organization is treating your department. Why there is always a budget crunch when it comes to expanding your business or product line? Why there is always a CFO checking a balance sheet to allocate resources to you? When you are doing work of three people for no fault of yours. Only your department has empty chairs while many other departments in your organization have plenty of people just to warm the chairs?

In today's world if you want to grow, you need to invest in the business, invest in passionate people and never ever your investments should be connected to the income. Your investment should be connected to the market dynamics and business potential of the unit.

Step 4: "Your boss lives in past"

Check what kind of bosses you have. Are they the ones who live in the past and always talk about their glorious past? Are they updating their knowledge and being relevant to the business or just there because of the legacy they have created over a period of 10-15-20 years. Does your boss know the other industry guys and being respected by them? Does he have enough enthusiasm to take you along and courage to stand up for the team?

Darwin's theory of evolution applies to business managers and CEOs more than anybody else. If you see no evolution over a period of one year, its time to call your head hunting agency.

Step 5: "You are stupid"

Check whether you are stupid enough to work with someone who doesn't believe in teamwork. Are you in an organization where few who sits next to boss are intelligent and others are stupid? Are you working in a company, where there is only 'I am' (my client, my business, my product, my service) is the buzzword.

Don't start believing that you are smarter. But at least, believe in you that since you have decided to work in this field it means that you have prepared yourself for it and have some proven abilities/capabilities and that's the reason you have been hired. So, when you start feeling 'stupid', its a time to call your....

I think these five step check is enough to begin with. You are free to add few more steps.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Expanding Influence

I have started contributing to Indian PR Blog and hope to learn and share few good things about the profession I am into. Look forward to your comments on my those posts as well. Here's link of first post

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I love LG!

Well, to be very honest; I don't love LG. I hate LG. My wife hates LG. My six year old son hates LG. Why? Because we are deprived of our right - despite paying price to the company for a product manufactured by them. A product which doesn't work. With a service quality so poor and service managers not responding to us in a proper manner and company not bothered about the consumers - am sure Life is Good for them! and they love their company, because who cares! They are just getting salaries to keep their bosses happy. I surely love to work for LG!

Just imagine... my wife wants to buy a new refrigerator, she liked one model but when she looked at the company, she changed her mind. yes, your guess was right - it was LG. My son wants me to change my mini hi-fi system to Sony from LG, so at least he can watch his movies or enjoy music. Is he going to buy LG? No... Imagine my friends - if they are going to ask me to suggest a good brand to buy electronics? Am i going to suggest LG? No. Imagine my wife doing the same. Imagine my son carrying forward this feeling throughout his life...

I am not saying that because one family stops buying product from LG, the company would run out of business. Just imagine... this is just a beginning - there will be more families... Life is Good. Hunh!

God Bless!

Friday, September 28, 2007

The difference between a mediocre and a great company…


This is what I fear the most...

I have come across companies. Just like humans, they come in many shapes, many sizes and at various stages of their lives. But surprisingly, I find one thing common amongst them. When it comes to investing in PR they all have a shoestring budget. And honestly, I don’t get surprised anymore; I always fail to understand. All of them want to reach the moon with investing in just one litre of petrol! {It is possible, but for that you have to go to any Indian auto (tuk-tuk for my friends from overseas) driver and he’ll make sure that you see stars and moons during the day time!}

It’s dangerous. My request to such companies is to change the habit or get out of the business and do something else. How can you run a company or market your product if you do not have money to communicate with your customers! Wake up!

PR is the most amazing marketing tool and it is extremely important for the Indian companies to realize the importance of doing ‘right’ PR. By paying peanuts you’ll get only monkeys to jump around your office in the name of PR. I know lot of them. Original PR doesn’t begin and end with getting couple of news stories published about your company. It is much more than that. It is about communicating with your consumers and assist them to establish a dialogue between you and them. It requires more than few newspaper reports and TV interviews.

But, they don’t have money to invest in good brains or they don’t have good brains to invest the money in the right people. They are happy with monkeys and I wish them all the best! I am sure not many of them would be around in next 10 years. Sorry monkeys!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Reliable Miscommunication

Finally, someone called me to help me solve my problem regarding broadband Internet connection. Well, when I spoke with the gentleman on the other side it turned out that the problem created for me was nothing but a communication failure at every stage in the company! I discovered many new things as I spoke with him and thought how a simple training or communication between the departments or people would have saved me from all the troubles.

I see many companies investing millions of dollars in communicating to their customers or outside world about their services or products and ignore the internal communication. They fail to communicate to their very own people who are responsible for the image of the company at every stage. I strongly feel that if you want to know the professionalism of the company, analyse the person on the reception. How she behaves with visitors, who can be anybody from a courier boy to a visiting client CEO should give you a complete understanding of the company's behavior with their customers/people. If she is been communicated management's vision and what is expected from her to represent her company, she would behave in a manner which is expected and if it is not - you will see the results in few minutes.
This is not just about receptionists but true to any other person in the organization. Learn to share and communicate. Communicate with your people first, then talk to outside world. After all charity should begin at home...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Customer care - who cares?

Frustrated Call Center employees do not make good Customer Care Executives. They are not empowered enough to help the customer - forget caring about them! In my opinion, the Customer Care Executive should be an in-house and responsible professional, who can take instant decisions and demonstrate that the company cares for its customer.

But is it happening? No.

Am I asking for too much? I don't think so.

Is it possible? Yes, it is - if our companies start trusting the customer. The moment I call up so called customer care center they feel that I am calling them with some malign intention - their approach is more of an investigative officer, who behaves exactly the same as Bollywood police than of a person trying to assist you! Sometimes they come up with unique solution - put the blame on the customer for her refrigerator not working properly or last but not the least on the weather! "Mam' your CD player may not work because there is a high humidity in the weather and there could be moisture on your CDs"... C'mon guys! give me a break! Your customer is not a fool - she is calling you only after she has tried doing everything possible in her power to solve the issue herself. Start trusting or soon you are going to RIP. Do you think she is going to buy your product again?

Did you feel that you have read enough? Wait for this...
Impossible it may sound, but it is possible. I have taken a Broadband connection (from a private company, which invested very heavily in re-branding its identity to make it more customer friendly or owner friendly who proudly puts his name at the bottom - whatever!) at home and have been using it for over a month. When I got some issue with the billing and not delivering on the promises made by company while applying for a connection, I called the customer care center; I was told that in their data my name (or the user ID) is not there as registered customer!

When asked about if I don't exist as a customer, how am I using your services and being billed, there was no proper response. On inquiring further; I was told that I should call them back with proper information. What is proper information, I inquired. User ID - pat come the reply. But when I repeated my user ID, they said I am not their customer!

Confused? Don't be... I am yet to solve the mystery but don't you feel that this is like going to a doctor with a photo ID and he asks you to get a certificate that you are alive and the same person in a photo!

I am alive. Bhai - are you listening?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Why I am not writing?

Sometimes I wonder, why do I have to write a blog. But then, I feel that one learns so many things and have some or the other views on the subject to share with people (though nobody reads my blog - except me! ;)) and hence I write.

But - then why am I not writing regularly?

Well, to say that I don't have enough time is wrong and I don't want to say that either.

So, what next?

I promise myself to write at least once a week. And that week begins now!