Monday, November 27, 2017

Death of customer service in India

Death of customer service in India:

Behaviour by brain - 'In recent times, the focus on customer care as a core business strategy seems to have lost its importance'

Chandra has several recent, but unresolved customer-services (CRs) issues with 
  1. #Uber - two drivers cancelled a prior-appointment for an important meeting. Multiple reminders, incl tweets, have not been responded to. No closure even after 10 days! 
  2. #3M car care - they just decided to save water, get environment-friendly with retrospective effect, thus unilaterally nullifying annual maintenance contract (AMC)
  3. #Airtel 4G wifi - connectivity is an issue for over 2 years now - not dependable, when most needed
  4. #HDFC Bank - multiple issues, for they don't see multiple products as one relationship. So much so, he decided to downgrade from 'Imperia' to 'cattle-class'!
  5. #HDFCLife - poor returns, over and above wrong #CrossSell by the bank RM himself :(
  6. #JetAirways - a packet of sweet disappeared from his checked in baggage. 
  7. #CrownePlaza, Chennai - he lost his power-bank
  8. #DTDC - the Diwali gift he had sent to his mother is still missing. DTDC is not responding
Chandra conducts training/visiting faculty engagements for young leaders and BSchools students (aspiring leaders!). He seems to be attracting a lot of case-studies :((
20 yrs or 30 yrs back, when many of us were in the corporate world, at lower/middle level leadership roles, the customer was still important. Customer complaint was not measured scientifically like it is today. But then it was not mere a process management, but managing relationships. What caused this?

- Is it our obsession with top-line and bottom-line, come what may?
- Is it our myopic view of quarterly, monthly or even weekly targets vs achievement?
- Is it the expanding market where it is a deliberate strategy to acquire customers, vs retention?
Would these sustain in the long run? 
Make in India or any variant thereof, including the focus on Services, will have no impact unless we bring back the customer centricity, at its holistic level. 

It is about #leadership. Moving from selfish to at least partly selfless? #I2We2He

Our Leadership has to move to #ServantLeadership #CustomerDelight as primary focus

Glad Biju Dominic wrote about this and Mint carried the article on November 23, 2017 (when I was away on a spiritual retreat, in bliss, and no expectation of customer service - I was 'serving' some 'customers', or guests at the Ashram) 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Ramu is Missing, since Diwali - Cruel Sapiens

PC @Pixabay
Ramu and Brownie were two dogs in our locality. They were neither street dogs, nor fully at home. They moved around freely, seemed to be well-fed. They enjoyed the freedom.

Often, when I took our dog (not so lucky with such unlimited freedom) out in the evenings, both Ramu & Brownie would come over and hang around. Then I started giving them biscuits. Occasionally I surprised them with the branded-treats! Ramu would enjoy the biscuits more than Brownie, who had an air of detachment for biscuits & treats!!

Ramu & Brownie had a very loving presence when we were out. 

Since Diwali, Ramu is missing. I have been looking around for several days. No sign of Ramu. Brownie has been around, but occasionally. At times Brownie would be found barking his heart out in the dead of the night. He was restless. 

Yesterday met a familiar face from the neighborhood and I asked him about Ramu. 

He said, 'Ramu looked very agitated during Diwali. This Diwali-season people burst more crackers in our locality. Ramu would run helter-skelter. He seemed to be under severe stress. A couple of days after Diwali, when most crackers were burst, Ramu looked very agitated. And just disappeared...
Ramu is very old. He has never gone away like this. We have no idea where he is and how he is...'

Ramu is missing, or is in danger... :(

There was a tinge of sorrow in the young man's eyes. A sense of helplessness just like these animals feel when we burst crackers indiscriminately... 

Why are we 'Sapiens' are cruel?  (Currently reading Sapiens by Yuval Harari)

This year we have seen unusual levels of bursting crackers in Bangalore. We continue to burst crackers even till today! It is getting worse by the day... 

For many of us, life may be a celebration! Hence some of us burst crackers. That may not be the case for many others. 
- Children and senior citizens, who can not handle the pollution, esp those who are sensitive to breathing-related problems
- Animals, birds and environment.

Whatever the excuse, should we stop bursting crackers and reserve some pollution for the next year?

Spare a thought for Ramu and all the birds & animals. They need all our loving care... 

'every being, knowingly or unknowingly, is on a spiritual pilgrimage'. 

And that includes Ramu...

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Honey Bee Terminator Sapiens

'If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change 
- #Buddha 

(Courtesy #NarayanRamachandran @livemint) 

We grow colorful flower-plants, all around...
It is like enticing the honey bees and then killling them in large numbers. 
Can we get more cruel? Why do we get pleasure in killing these bees, who are so very critical to the environment?! 

When you start a day with low energy, expect more unpleasant surprises during the day. 

Chandra does not look at the morning news - on tv or on the smart-phone. To keep away the negativity. 
But when the balcony is full of dead honey bees, it can be very depressing. Moreso when a not-so-friendly neighbor, in an apartment 'above', choose to be a terminator. 
The sight of hundreds of honey-bees lie dead on the floor, in the garden of the apartment complex... was most painful...  
All Chandra could do to overcome the sorrow was to try to ignore! 

DYK our great grandchildren may face acute food shortage because we are being so destructive... honey bees to the environment? And that may be the legacy of our generation! 

Why we need bees - TED Talks

Saturday, October 14, 2017

India's leading travel aggregator not on GST?!

- I was unable to add my GST details on my profile section.
- Hence dropped a line to the website
- A representative at the call center kept calling last evening when I was in the flight, had just landed
- He tried to tell me 'they did not have GST', etc. Poor connectivity,
I asked him to reply to email.

Being Customer Centric...

1. Why do employees call & hassle for issues raised on email? Why not just respond to the email?

2. The rep should have known I was traveling, having booked my travel & stay through his portal (else provide the info to them, let them be a bit more customer-centric)

3. the rep said 'we don't have GST'
But the mail says, 'we have escalated'!!!

This is poor customer service. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Chandra love Monday mornings!

Chandra love Monday mornings!

Got up early, as always. There was nothing in the calendar, early in the morning. So did meditation, etc leisurely. 

Son had come over last evening. Saw him off early morning, before Bangalore traffic reaches its notorious peak-hour levels. (Peak hour is only an excuse. Other wise traffic is pretty much a bad experience, 24X7, 365 days) Son had an extra baggage, through the new gadget bought last evening!

Took dog out late, after shower & breakfast. By then multiple school buses have come and gone. Their parents have started rushing off for work too. At 930 AM, slightly warm, dog enjoyed a leisurely stroll too. (Wonder if it was a good idea to have one local, community schools where all kids go to, have to commute minimum and as such lesser vehicles on road! We got to do something for our kids education, to restore childhood...)

Chandra used to have another Monday morning ritual - to wash his car. Not any more since one of the car cleaning boys in the apartment takes care! (though Chandra is not happy with the quality!)

Monday need not be madness?! 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

A stand up comedian with a bunch of B School alumni

Being Alumnus is about giving - not getting not networking. At least just being there! Being available. That is not difficult for me 


A light drizzle... we took out the university umbrella ☔️, rarely used! 

Chandra went back to a campus in his forties. He had taken a semi-sabbatical during the same time and pursued some other certifications and short-term assignments.  

Ever since he has started telling everyone, who would care listen to him, gyaan:
'There are 3 things you should do when you hit the forties.  
  1. Take a sabbatical and do something very different
  2. Go back to campus and learn something that interests you, deep within. Not for ROI or to enhance your career prospects ('career is the worst maya')
  3. It is very unlikely you go back or remain in the same job, industry or place. Follow your dream, live your #LifePurpose

Quickly it was bright & sunny. And clean, after the light showers! What would Bangalore do without this natural jaadu-pocha by Nature, with frequent rains?

Skipped Onam celebrations in the apartment to meet old & some new friends. It was less about the celebration, more about the Onam Sadya he missed!

Uber driver was not moving, on the app. He said, he stepped out for his late lunch and was now waiting for rains to stop, to get back into his car. Liked his 'authenticity' & confidence! He had no qualms about being late, Uber rating et al. He was courteous with me, though responded aggressively to drivers who were even mildly challenging him on the road. On a Saturday evening, going into the city, he got enough opportunities to tap into the 'angry young man' within. Chandra rated him 5/5. 'Wonder if I am at times too lenient when it comes to these taxi ratings. I want them all to get their incentives unless there is a violation or threat'! (The comedian said something similar later...!)

Late Evening.... 

The venue was right inside the stadium. Good place for the campus group! Always playful, in a world, chasing madness. 

Made some new friends, all connected by the common badge and some dream to make a difference. That is common among the middle-aged going back to campus. To re-discover ourselves. 

Introductions were made, with a new twist. There was a new twist to the program too. 

A Stand-up comedian.... 

His assistant came in first, like a proverbial bakra! He struggled to tackle a bunch of professionals, with his jokes and 'presence'! He will learn and get better, surely...

Then the main guy came. He started off asking an 'intelligent' question. 
Now stand-up comedians can be serious and ask intelligent questions too! Let's spare them from stereotyping :) 

Quickly he found what could work for the audience. That is a gift for anyone who takes the stage. Quickly identify what would work with the audience, and make the connect. 

Not sure if it was an intelligent analysis and decision, or just played safe! For the next 20 minutes or so the jokes were all on married men! Everyone in the audience was married (deliberately avoiding the adjective, 'happily'.... as I don't know!)

What transpired is beyong this blog post. Not what you think, but trade-mark, et al. It is his bread and butter afterall. 

Suffice to say some of us would get back and fire from the comedian's shoulders. What we could not handle as part of 'Crucial Conversations' with spouses, the comedian's shoulder would be a convenient artillery :)

Marriages are made in Heaven... Period!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Does (our) democracy encourage criminal politicians? Knowledge@Wharton Podcast

Does (our) democracy encourage criminal politicians?
- A couple of books are coming out on our political leadership! By Indians in US universities. Thankfully their interests are beyond cricket, movies and 'politics'!!
"In India, the world’s largest democracy, 34% of parliamentary members are involved in criminal cases. Does democracy fuel crooked politicians?"
- And the numbers are only going up!!! In spite of 2003 Supreme Court ruling 
- do we want these modern 'Robinhood', taking care of their self-interests or their little 'vote bank'?
- we are a young democracy, but with a rich heritage
- black money, weak judiciary & institutions are the main problems.
The buck stops with us, every Indian, who vote for these leaders. As educated Indians, we got to strengthen these pillars of democracy & institutions