Work-life balance as a Business Development Head BD is a term used for the idea that an individual needs time for both work and other aspects of life (personal interests, family and leisure activities).
Our schedules are getting busier than ever before, which often causes our work or our personal lives to suffer. The compounding stress of Business Development Head BD from never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.
Relationship Versus Vendor Management
The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different lives and different priorities. Work-life balance doesn’t mean an equal balance. There is no perfect balance you should be striving for. At the core of work-life balance is meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment.
When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationship with management and tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which in turn increases company productivity and reduces conflicts.
Companies that encourage work-life balance have become very attractive to workers. These companies also tend to enjoy higher employee retention rates and more loyalty. Promoting balance is beneficial to both employees and companies.
The absolute most important aspect of customer retention is culture. Culture is the way things are thought about, talked about, and done. If TRUST is the basis for any long-term relationship, then a culture of trust is essential to customer retention. Two great examples are Kimpton - a boutique hotel chain, and Cisco Systems.
Kimpton has been named the number one place to work in 9 of the 17 cities where it operates. Market Metrix Hospitality Index or MMHI, has awarded top scores to Kimpton over the past few years - their scored have exceeded not only their direct competitors - but also brands such as Ritz Carlton, St Regis, and Four Seasons. Kimpton has achieved this because of their strong customer-centric culture of really knowing their customers, anticipating customers' needs with great precision, and empowering employees to meet customer expectations.
Another good example of customer-centric culture is Cisco Systems. They are proactive about solutions for every stage of the customer's lifecycle, and on their basic product web pages you can readily find contact information for customer service and tech support ... whereas many companies require customers to go through many clicks to get their contact information. Cisco has made a concerted effort to maximize their customer self-service features, so that their agents can focus on more high-value assistance, from the customers' perspective.
Walking the Talk
How many companies walk the talk by assigning an executive sponsor to customer retention? At Symantec, the Vice President of Customer Experience posts the results of their latest feedback from customers, as well as what they're doing to address that feedback. This can be one of the most powerful ways to keep your customers talking to you. Show that you really read and digest their feedback, and show that you have followed their advice in making improvements.
By closing the loop with customers, you can re-set their perceptions, so they don't feel compelled to carry around negative baggage of past experiences. They can re-set their perceptions to better meet your current realities of improved policies, business processes, and customer experiences.
Symantec takes this a step further with a feedback form on their website - enabling anyone anytime to either vent their frustrations or express appreciation for a job well done.
Two-way conversation on Twitter is best illustrated by Comcast - Frank Eliason's is director of digital care at Comcast and his profile includes his personal website and blog - as he sees customer frustrations expressed, he reaches out to them to find solutions, and in the process, many disillusioned customers have migrated to fans not only of Comcast, but to a friendship with Frank.
Going Beyond the Surface
Over-focus on customer acquisition teaches customers to switch brands. For example, the brand switching rate, called customer churn, is 40% for the mobile phone industry, compared to a 7% customer churn rate for the insurance and financial services industries. Some good advice is to quit training your customers to switch - get off the churn bandwagon.
Let's take a look at a mobile phone company that has pursued a customer retention strategy whereas its peers in the industry were focused primarily on customer acquisition. The mobile phone company Orange is owned by France Telecom, and it's a great example of departing from industry norms with a unique experiment on customer service as a brand differentiator - somewhat similar to the Saturn brand of General Motors.
Orange has pursued a strategy of customer-centricity by investing heavily in their agents' knowledge, customer communication and responsiveness. Customer service agents take a 1-month course before interacting with customers, and for their first several weeks interfacing with customers, the work environment has a high ratio of supervisors.
This is accompanied by ongoing formal quality assurance with an emphasis on precision monitoring through speech analytics. The speech analytics tool has enabled Orange to identify at-risk customers, and these customers are reached out to within 24 hours, to turn around their sentiment about the brand, and migrate them from at-risk status toward satisfied status.
80% of the customers identified as at-risk through the speech analytics were not picked up as at-risk through the agents nor other methods. The results are 20% improvement in 1st call resolution, 15% reduction in repeat calls, and 20% increase in satisfaction with customer service.
Trust is the Foundation
The lesson here is that customer retention may be best supported by operational integrity. After all, when you think about your personal relationships as well as your business relationships, you tend to stick with the folks that are really good at showing they sincerely care about you, and doing what they say they're going to do.
It boils down to trust. When you dig down to the reasons why people leave a brand for a competitor's solution, it's not so much about the competitors' offers and brand affinity -- but, rather, the reasons people switch brands is much more about product, service and value disappointments. Companies make huge investments in communicating their value proposition. Logic says a corresponding investment - at least in energy and scrutiny - should be made in making sure their value proposition is lived up to. TRUST is the best way to retain customers.
There are many ways employers can promote work-life balance in office, some of which are: company outings, offering remote working and flexible hours, providing good health coverage, encouraging employee education.
Strategic Supplier Relationships: The Key to Vendor Performance Management
Empowering employees like Business Development Head BD to take control over their work and home lives can have a profound impact on their job satisfaction and performance, enabling companies to achieve success. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. It can be tough to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.
How should the practice of business continuity evolve to manage the threats and opportunities faced by organizations today and in the future?
Business resilience is the ability an organization has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding people. The CulturalManagement provides experts to partner with your organization and develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness and disaster management program.
A vendor management system (VMS) promises freedom from the chaos that can be caused by juggling the vast array of components in a staffing supply chain. It does this by pushing everything through a central processing point. Yet the business side of making these transitions can be complicated and disastrous if not well planned. How do you ensure a successful VMS implementation? After spending months with companies and vendors in developing ContractCentral we've learned some valuable lessons about making the transition to vendor management system.
1. Know why you're buying a VMS
Organizations deploy VMS systems for different reasons. Will your VMS foster competitive bidding to lower staffing costs? Speed requisition broadcasts? Reduce the time it takes to find and manage contract workers? You'll save time and money by building a prioritized list of those reasons, understanding must-haves and trade-offs, and using that list to spec, evaluate, plan and build a VMS solution tailored to your business.
2. Establish success metrics up front
How will you define success or failure in your VMS implementation? Identify at least one measure of success for each of the items on your priority list, and develop metrics that enable you to prove the value of the new system. Establishing metrics early, before the project has started, allows you to create and track baselines. These days CFOs are increasingly concerned with making total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) a central facet of the solution. Establishing a hard dollar value can be tough (be sure to ask prospective vendors for suggestions) but can go a long way toward winning loyal support from senior management.
3. Map VMS against your own business processes
Any major solution implementation can require a few tweaks to your business process as it's deployed. The trick is to prevent tweaks from becoming major process re-engineering (unless, of course, a re-engineering is part of the plan).
Before telecommunications company ADC deployed HotGigs ContractCentral, it studied its existing staffing operations and determined that some re-engineering was necessary. Those changes became an early part of the deployment plan, allowing the team to craft retraining and support strategies to ensure a smooth transition.
4. Understand your costs
The industry rule of thumb says a VMS shouldn't cost more than 1 to 3 percent of your hiring budget, and you can anticipate saving 10 percent to 25 percent of your staffing costs through increased efficiencies and more competitive bidding.However, don't overlook hidden costs. How will your employees manage staffing during the transition? Have you budgeted for retraining your users and participating vendors? Does your contract include post-deployment enhancements? Is there an early penalty for canceling a VMS purchased for a set term?
5. Put yourself in your vendors' shoes
Be realistic about your staffing vendors' costs as well. The higher the cost of integration with your new VMS, or the more deltas there are between their system and yours, the less likely you are to get accurate inputs and prompt responses.
5. Build a training plan
If training is needed, are there online training and support modules available? How much training time will each user need? Are there different views available of the user's desktop in the VMS based on their role and relationship to the system?
6. Plan to scale
One of the greatest success factors of a software application is its rate of adoption with the people who are supposed to use it. If your initial roll out is successful, your users will inevitably begin to use it in new ways, find new reporting requirements...and sooner or later you'll be faced with a need to scale. Make sure your VMS can handle the load without the need for extensive custom-coding, an expensive proposition. In addition, opt for the smartest, most flexible reporting structure possible.
When a Business Development Head BD spends the majority of its days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. Thus, you must learn to draw a clear line between your personal and work time and set clear expectations with your colleagues.