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Getting back to the roots

September 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Well, I just commit myself to start learning how to code and deploy in Ruby. It will be hard but, I will commit myself to study a lot and research a lot to be able to build by the end of this year.

Wish me luck! and all the Rubys people out there let me know if you can mentor me.

Have a great weekend!

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Categories: Uncategorized

Trust as a market strategy

April 12, 2011 Leave a comment

TRUST

TRUST has been used as a strategy to gain customer trust and to retain customers to continue buying from our brand. Companies create policies to encourage customers to trust the brand, they train employees to follow those policies and trust starts to get build. But, what about the other side of the coin. Does companies and company employees trust their clients?

The other day I went to a bank branch to pay my credit card directly with a teller. This was the conversation I had:
Teller: Hi, how are you today?

Me: Very good thank you for asking.

Teller: What can I do for you today?

Me: I want to pay this amount (as I hand cash to the teller). It is $800 dollars.

Teller: As he started to enter the info in the computer

Me: Can I pay with a check under my name. The check was payable for me.

Teller: Yes, you can. You just need to sign it on the back.

Me: Ok. I will go to the car to get the check.

Teller: (Here his mood change completely) Hey, you can not go and let this money here. I can not be responsible for this.

Me: Sorry. I was just going to pickup the check from my car. (At this moment I felt embarrassed as other customer were watching the scene)

Teller: If you want to go you have to take the money with you. (Second time she mentioned it)

Me: Ok, give me the money please.

Of course, after this I did not come back and went to another branch to do all at once.

I was not expecting that reaction from him. And besides being rude with me I was expecting some respect to me. You can argue that yes he must finish the current transaction and after that I could go to my car, but the point is not about the process, but about his reaction about a need from a client (me).

There are some companies that actually trust the customer as much as they ask the customer to trust the brand. Zappos do it through their two-way free shipping (link). Target (link) do it with their refund without question you did not like it, we exchange it or give your money back.

How are you trust your customers as much as you ask them to trust your brand? Any comments.

Satisfaction is key to success

March 27, 2011 Leave a comment

There is always more satisfaction when you accomplish something that took extreme effort than something with average effort or not effort at all. It may be just me or the way I was educated but it seems that you appreciate yourself and others more when after seeing somebody take his soul and blood they accomplish a goal.

Even if you do not accomplish your goal, like end in a first place in a race, effort is always a satisfying. A way of recognizing that you are doing the right thing.

Having said that. Satisfaction is proportional to the amount of effort invested in your project.

Satisfaction is key to success. You can not be or feel successful, if you are not satisfied with what you are doing. In the end, no effort, no satisfaction, no success.

Categories: Inspiration, Motivation

Re-setting expectations to win

January 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Happy new year! This is my first post of 2011. And I have the goal to be consistent this year. Let’s start.

Background

After the industrial age, the information age become popular and it seems that we are entering on the customer service age.

Given that production of goods is now serialized, product quality is comparable between brands. And quality is an already expected component on every product you buy. Bottom line we are in a commoditized world.

Some examples.  Do you want a pizza? There are more than 60,000 different pizza restaurants in the US alone. Do you want to buy a pair of shoes?  Zappos manage 500 brands with more than 60,000 styles. Do you want to buy a car? There are plenty models to choose from. The list goes on.

Companies are looking to differentiate from the competition to get more market share and they are doing it thru customer service.  Who have not heard about Comcast turn around using twitter? or Continental story to become one of the best airlines some years ago?,  Zappos (powered by service) or Netflix and  how they did that? You got it. Through customer service!

There are many books and blogs about theories and methodologies on how to create customer service. But I want to get to one technique that is key: Re-setting you customer expectation. This is specially true when you company is selling intangible, but also apply to products.

First, how customer expectations are built?

Customer expectations are built based on your brand, a comparable market product/service and your customer previous experience with similar product/services.

On your brand is based on what you say you offer. It is included in your company mission, your marketing message, your company logo and the way your employees behave. Everything your brand projects creates an expectation. Just think about Apple. As soon as you heard the word Apple, you are expecting great design, cool environment and great service on Apple stores.

On a comparable market product/service. Your competitors promises/message create an expectation on your potential customer mind. And then they create a standard expectation for the type of product they are going to buy. If you like coffee you probably compare Starbucks with Peets and define what you expect on each based on similar service/product.

On previous experience. Based on their previous experiences customers tend to get down or up their expectations. What car do you drive? A BMW or an old Malibu. As soon as you jump on a Mercedes, you will compare it with your previous car and will move your expectations up or down.

Time to, re-set your customer expectations.

Your customer comes to you with a preconceived idea about what he/she is going to receive from the product/service he/she is buying. Knowing what they are expecting is very important to know to be able to perform to at least meet customer expectations.

Start always with questions. When you customer comes to you with a request, counter with a question about the specifics and then set the expectation. Example: A customer calls asking to review some code and wants you to call as soon as you finish. As soon as they finish talking, ask when they are expecting you to finish. What percentage of coverage they need and perhaps what they are looking for on that review as an output.

Never assume. One common mistake is to assume that your customer already knows what your abilities are and the complexity of what they are asking for or buying is and never clarify about it.

Better underpromise. When your customer comes with big expectations, smoothly under-promise. There is a risk or disappointment at the beginning but it will be worth the effort when you over deliver and end up with a satisfied customer.

When creating customer expectations make sure that your capability to deliver what you promise is enough and beyond your message. There is an adage. “It is better to be than not to appear, than it is to appear and not to be”.

Take every interaction with your customers to measure their expectations and to deliver beyond that and you will have satisfied customers all year long.

Categories: Uncategorized

Need to create opportunities… help!

December 27, 2010 Leave a comment

As I mentioned in my last post. I had the intention of bringing some good faith to some families in need. I just wanted to create a different day for them in Christmas eve, hoping that instead of a normal, ordinary day, they will have a special day.  So, some of my colleagues at work decided to find 11 families and bring them dinner for Christmas, some toys and other goods to them.

Before we began our route I was really excited about helping these several families. We began the day delivering goods (food and toys) to the first family. To them it was really good, they were really thankful that someone came out of the blue and help them to have a different day. For me it was not enough, I saw lots of immediate needs and some more long term needs. My excitement turn on preoccupation about how to help this people other than just food and toys.
On duty

There are families that can do better than themselves with just a doses of education. There are other that have too many things against them, like one with three members a 72 year old woman that sustain his 45 year old son that can not walk and his grandson (8 year old).

One day help can change your day and make it better, but what about changing life’s. I want to share some of myself to make a difference with these families. Please give me ideas other to make my goal more effective in the following year.

I wish you a following year full of happiness!

Categories: Charity, Helping, Inspiration

Do not feel guilty…

December 24, 2010 Leave a comment

 

When moving to a more balanced life it is always an experience to feel guilty about dedicating some of your time to other not so “important” things at the time. If you feel guilty just right after you finish your activity, do not take it too deep. It is normal to feel that way, the first time.  If you continue feeling that way, then take your time to analyze and evaluate if that is really something you enjoy or not.

It is always important to dedicate your self to something that will fill your self physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Good luck on your path to happiness.

Categories: Uncategorized

Sharing some of you..

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment

When I look back in time and see how I have growth personally and professionally and the people that have been in my life to make that happen, it remind myself to share that wisdom and energy with others.

Tomorrow I will finally do something that I have been wanting to do for years. To share part of myself to those less fortunate. That have been values that I grew up with, but for some reason or another it did not trigger the action.  I will let you know how it feels to give yourself to people you do not know and to share part of what you have been harvesting in life.

Good day to everyone!

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized