Work-life balance as a IT General Manager CBP 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 IT General Manager CBP from never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.
Roadmap to a Customer - Centric Strategy
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.
4 Customer Centric Culture Building Blocks
Empowering employees like IT General Manager CBP 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.
Even though the traditional mom and pop retail shops have been getting a lot of attention in recent times, it is the trend of Specialty Stores [Modern Trade Retail Chains] that is really taking off. The Specialty Stores promise big business to the FMCG companies, all thanks to the ever changing attitude of majority of consumers who prefer to shop from specialized stores like Wal-Mart, Spencers, Reliance Retail, Big Bazaar and many more when compared to the stand-alone stores.
Attesting to the fact that consumers have changed their buying perspectives does not make things easier for the FMCG companies. This focus shift has also made the consumer behavior more volatile. An attractive TVC, schemes that work on a buy some get some free model, discounts offered, or a fall in price is enough for the consumer to choose a brand. In a situation as fragile and fickle as this, tracking the sales till the consumption level is very critical for strategic decision making.
Why Specialty Stores are capturing all the Attention of FMCG Industry?
Specialty Stores are the bulk buyers of fast moving & over-the-counter (OTC) products. With thousands of prospective consumers visiting these stores daily, and the evident fact that such products are better exposed and have higher probability of getting sold in small time-frame due to very competitive cost, Specialty Stores have emerged as the hub of attention by sales and marketing strategists of FMCG companies.
Leveraging IT is not an alien concept to majority of the FMCG players, but that often stops till the National Distributors, Stock Keeping Units, or at maximum, the distributor / micro distributor level. To track the ever-changing consumer buying behavior, it is essential to traverse down till the Tertiary level or till a level when the product reaches the hands of the consumers.
In a hypothetical example where the manufacturer of a healthcare product like a disinfectant has a robust method in place, may be a top-notch ERP, to track its Primary product movement and product sale from manufacturer to C & F agent and distributor simultaneously. Some companies also track the secondary level sales from distributor to the sub-distributors; but the last and the most crucial level loses its significance due to multiple challenges in data collection and touch-points. With little knowledge on how consumers are behaving to this disinfectant, the continuous production of the product can come out as a major loss to the manufacturer.
Tracking Sales at Tertiary Level hence becomes one of the key criterions in analyzing:
- Consumer buying behavior
- Production Planning
- Strategies in the distribution channels & route plan
- Limitations in consumer knowledge that influence decisions
- Product Packaging plan
- How consumer motivation and product development decision strategies co-relate
- How manufacturers can adapt and improve their marketing campaigns and strategies to reach the consumer more effectively
Tracking the sales manually at any given level is not possible. Unlike the sale of home appliances or electronic items that is relatively slow, the FMCG products sell quickly and in great numbers. They also have varied product categories & SKUs which make it impossible for the FMCG manufacturer to tap the data. Automating the process becomes a mandate; with companies like CalvinKare, Britannia, India Pistons, etc. already cashing on this IT advancement.
Tertiary Sales is a great criteria for knowing the consumer buying behavior, which inadvertently also acts as product testimonial. Drawing inference from the same example of a disinfectant, a sudden drop in its sale at the tertiary level will help you analyze the reasons- and when you know the "reasons", there is nothing stopping you from improving your sales.
When a IT General Manager CBP 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.