How May I Help You?

How frustrated do you feel when you give a call to the Customer Care and you end up with worst experience and I am sure you must have felt few things in a fraction of seconds, like:

  1. Why the hell did I called the Customer Care number.
  2. Why Companies don’t recruit agents who can speak well and have proper knowledge.
  3. And finally, most important point, why the hell I opted for this product from xyz company.

And we all have experienced this pain and are experiencing on daily basis, so what is the solution, should we stop buying the products where we end up calling their service desk for the support and help or should we go for products where we get support at our doorstep.

Main reason for companies to lose their business in today’s competitive hush and rush is because of their Product which is not put through various quality checks (as we know example of Samsung) before launching in the market and secondly, their customer care department.

Let us focus on Customer Care Support or Service Desk support people. Why are they so rude or why don’t they have knowledge of the product which they are supporting, why are we loosing focus on this important aspect of the business.

I remember in 2002-03 when there was boom in Call Centre business and culture, employees who used to work there were so passionate and enthusiastic about serving their customers and clients. Training which used to be provided after joining was at least for 2 months including shadowing period. People used to love their job and jump for competitions. I myself was part of such company where I grew from Technical Agent to Team Lead and I am sure most of you would have already lived that life. We were so focused towards customer relationship and providing the best support. Customer’s used to love the support and never wanted to leave the product and the company which owned it, so we used to end up providing Loyal Customers to our Clients.

Where are those days, why customer care now is so pathetic and non-supportive?

So, here are few tips for Service Industry and Product based Companies:

  • Work on your product and make sure it is tested and do go through various quality checks.
  • Hire resources for your support desk with good understanding and communication.
  • Train the Service Desk agents on Product, Policies and escalation matrix.
  • Make them understand what Customer means to them.
  • Most important, give proper training on Communication and Culture.

If we concentrate on above points, we will see change in our Customer Behavior and have loyal Clientele

 

The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary. – Sam Walton

My #BadManager

I am tired of my Manager, always doing micromanagement. I am done with my Boss and am going to talk to HR about the way employees are treated. My Manager is useless, he does not know anything and tries to expect us to do everything on time, does he know about what this work is all about, what process we follow. I am done, and putting down my papers, can’t work with such Manager and management like this.

So, have anyone of you also had such feelings and thoughts about your Manager or your Boss. I am sure yes, there are instances when you feel your boss is not doing justice to you and is expecting too much. We also feel that we are doing everything as expected for our job, but we don’t get full credit of that, or being a good employee have been never appreciated by Manager or management. This is true and honestly, even I have felt the same in my earlier days when I was new to the industry and corporate world. But, have we ever thought are we right in making such remarks or making judgment about our immediate boss. What if you were at their position and how you would have handled the situation which you are in, would you have done something different, well I doubt and depends on the situation.

We all sulk, crib and judge the other person who is managing you or you are reporting to, I can say 85% of employees are not happy with their management and there are various factors responsible for that which I will discuss in another article. But we have never tried to be in our Managers shoes and see things from his/her perspective, why because they are also answerable to someone and they do have their limitations.

So, here are few areas where we need to really work on and have focus to have good relationship with your Manager:

Communication:   Very fundamental principle in any relationship, is communication. Do we talk and discuss where we need to work on? If your Manager is not happy with your work or performance, did you ever spoke about it, did you tried to setup a One-on-One meeting with your Manager and discuss why he/she has this perception or what triggered this, your Manager is observing you, there may be instances where you may need to focus ON. So, start communicating about your performance once a month, get feedback how you are doing etc. and vice versa.

Visible: You are doing wonderful job, your peers are so happy with your work as you help them and share your expertise, the best thing, your Client appreciates your contribution, and you observe your Manager is not bothered about all this and when it comes to performance review you don’t get what was expected by you. Why, reason is you and only you, because you never highlighted your good work. When you are doing good work make it visible, show your Manager your initiatives what you do for team or when you get client appreciation share with your Manager, if its verbal appreciation, request for same on mail and forward that to your 1st Line and 2nd line Manager. This is called being in limelight, if I am doing good work why won’t I talk about that, you should.

Feedback:  Always ask for feedback from your peers, your stakeholders for you work who are involved in day to day business, Client, Management etc. who deal with you and know that you are contributing the best of knowledge and you are fit for your work. Make sure this feedback is in black&white and then share the same with your Manager.

Work/Data: We work so hard every day and make sure that we meet our deadlines and deliver on time. We make sure not or never to miss SLA’s and be the best of breed. But, do we keep track of our work, do we have our data points ready when appraisal time will come, and I can prove my work. I remember few years back when I was working for Dell, we had points system for all employees and at the end of the month top 50 employees were announced and among them top 10 were the best breed of that month. This one time I knew coming month I will be the No.1 and was waiting for the list to come out and flash on the board, I had my data points measured and had met all the points in metrics to have top spot, however when list was uploaded to my shock I was No.10, you can say wow still you made top 10. Na, wrong as I already said I had all my data points ready and I should be at Top of the list. You know I straight met with my Senior Delivery Manager and discussed about my rating for the month, he was so happy to see me and my passion, he made reporting team to re-look in whole list of 800 people and see where error has happened. And you know when new list was out, I was No.1 for that month.

So, how all this happened, I made sure I do the best of best. Worked in such a way so that no one questions my capability be it anyone. Always made point that my work speaks for me and most important my data points are ready with me.

Finally, we came to an end and what we learnt is, always note what you do and keep record of that. Most important always ask for feedback. When you set clear communication and expectations, make your work visible, like this we will never complain, or say my Manager is bad or he/she does not understand me, or is having undue expectations, or never appreciates my efforts. Remember, always your Manager is not wrong, you can be at fault too. You may be the best at your work but say you missed the SLA or you missed the timeline for presentation. Tomorrow you will be also Manager and managing employees, so imbibe above points and share the same with your direct employees.

Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners. …”

Busy, Busy and Busy…!

People say they are choked with work and don’t have time, always busy like crazy. Is this true?

I don’t think so, because if one knows how to manage their time and how to prioritize the work then no one can be busy . One should always know their priorities, everything one does may not have urgent priority as we think so. It’s human tendency to get stressed to see lot in plate and sometimes ending up doing nothing which turns in total chaos. So, always remember to :

  1. Have a list of things to do on daily basis written on notepad etc.
  2. Arrange the items in order of urgency or priority.
  3. Never jump from one item to another, always finish one and go to another.
  4. If you are good at multitasking, then do smaller items with least priority.
  5. Review your work which you have completed and move to another.
  6. Always read all your emails in your mailbox and keep to clean and tidy.
  7. Have sticky posts on your board and set them as visual board to have the idea of how much work is done and how is left, be Agile.
  8. Always have smile on face and be positive whether at work or doing other stuff apart from work, if you will work under stress it will get stuck.

These are few tips from my day to day life and the way I like to work. Hope you will start same way and see the change in your style of working.