September 17, 2016

Research @ Customer

Research , Quantitative or Qualitative is crucial to understanding the ever dynamic needs of the customer and partners (read stakeholders) . The theme or objective of research in today’s world is to know the shifts in their brand assessment or the lifecycle across  its association with firm /people / brand /presence  as evaluated under the aegis of  “Customer experience and Customer needs ” .  The challenge though lies in not just articulating the Objective or purpose but also the methodology adopted to gauge the opinion  not only as quick as possible but also without losing the merits or authenticity . Notwithstanding the customer access be it mobile , web, phone or portal  or even third party neutral feedback forums or blogs and digital or social media, does Power of VOICE prevail?

The nature of surveys or research stands out for  its  efficacy , applicability , existential , experiential  purpose and the complexity of  responses ( raw data)collected and its analysis to derive instruments of expression thereby an OUTCOME . The bigger question though is how much of it is advisable on PHONE CATI

Business Risks







The big debate though remains (if administered on Phone) :

  1. Does Customer really want to express through surveys any more ,given that feedbacks  are now  promptly captured  via two ways ?
  2. Does research need to challenge established notions which are proven from time to time ?
  3. Does Customer offer feedback  which are un aided ?
  4. Does Customer offer quite measured feedback , I mean prefers to take a safe view ?
  5. Does Customer really thank Brand to offer them an option which is they find really very convenient to  execute?
  6. Does Customer find it comfortable to express without being in person ?
  7. Does Customer use this as a means to voice out ?
  8. Does Customer who are reticent freely express ?
  9. Does Customer who are time pressed can schedule their interviews ?
  10. Does Customer get an opportunity to clarify the doubts on the questionnaire thereby giving credible and proper answers ?
  11. Does Customer comprehend the questions ?

Surprising though is the fact that  mode of administering Surveys may have evolved from F2F to tech savy tools  using Tablets , the Power of  VOICE  prevails as that is the biggest  connector  and communicator medium, let this debate continue as we raise this topic called “ Research using Phone CATI ” and do share your views and thoughts .

Happy reading and hope to see VOICE  prevailing ( without prejudice)……

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July 9, 2016

Communications Landscape @ Customer

Communications is becoming a vital tool to engage with the customers in our pursuit of connecting and sharing experiences in their ownership journey. The essence of touch point ,mode, media and its periodicity defines the purpose of existence and its related developments with the Brand . The measurable outcome for Goodwill or long term Value creation due to sustained Communications is a good tool to assess Ownership experience .

Communications , are offline , online , digital , blended and has its own set of challenges given the boundary drawn by virtue of privacy , compliances ( DND), internal set norms of communications guidelines , time period , nuisance factor and significance of reaching out . The ever changing contours of communication media elements and its grasping power wrt consumers / customers and the efficacy of understanding the content / theme / message is very crucial before we establish any business paradigm.

By creating a Landscape of oasis for set of defined modes/ content/ media / theme / periodicity , we may tend to script a structured response to manage Customer’ s expectations vis a vis Inter Alia Communications . This seems way forward.

The big debate though remains :

  1. Does a structured form of communications under the aegis of “Landscape ”works ?
  2. Does an ever evolving element called Communication can be bucketed or confined to a defined contour ?
  3. Are we really ready with an integrated communications arrangement under One roof ?
  4. How would this new arrangement cover all expectations ?
  5. Do we really need to have a defined Agenda as an Annual Strategy directions for Communications ?
  6. How far this will boost business without being repetitive and nuisance free?
  7. Do we really need this to build trust and accountability ?
  8. Does it in any way, bring transparency in working ?
  9. Does it bring all stakeholders closer ?
  10. Does it build a sustainable organization or for that matter Loyal customer ?
  11. Are we not intruding into their convenience zone of how and where to connect and not vice a versa ?

No matter how we wish to handle communications in its entirety / subtlety , it remains to be seen if we can really create a Landscape around an open item called Communications for digital age consume and do share your views and thoughts .

Happy reading and hope to see debate around completeness of communication at its related impact there of …… ( each customer being different in the manner in which it views communications.

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June 17, 2016

CRM @ Customer

Customer  relationship management (CRM) is the most sought after  strategic tool which everyone is wanting to explore / put to use for either bettering customer experience  or  deriving best value for  customer over the life cycle  (Return on capital employed to each customer acquired ) or Value derived ( Goodwill + overall business / Efforts made ).

Customers in true sense are either consumers or influencers, active / passive business promoters ,  employees, partners , evangelists, stakeholders  who require proper profiling ( KYC) wrt its distinct needs and expectations and with proper segmentation and targeting , a differentiated positioning with concerted communications is desired to create right impact in the minds of the consumer and also trust is built over the association between them .

The best measure to keep the expectations and measurements thereof  is met through CRM (Customer relationship management) in its manifested form and avatar to be either in B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Consumer)  using Relationship as vital link in the association .

The big debate though remains :

  1. Do we really need to have a separate arrangement called “CRM ” to either actually know them better ?
  2. Do we really need CRM to build trust and accountability ?
  3. Does CRM in any way, bring transparency in working ?
  4. Does CRM bring all stakeholders closer ?
  5. Does CRM by itself can survive any downturn of business ?
  6. Does CRM build a sustainable organization or for that matter Loyal customer ?
  7. Do CRM be the ONLY tool to engage with customers?
  8. Does CRM bring long lasting values beyond social and emotional connect ?
  9. Does CRM bring any material value to business ?
  10. Do we not focus more on product and its constituents rather than forging relationship ?
  11. Do we really need any push for CRM to a customer ?
  12. What can hold a customer , a better product or better service or a better CRM or ALL ?

Much as we wish to either accept or ignore or beat the heat, let this debate continue as we raise this most chased subject called “Customer Relationship management ” and do share your views and thoughts .

Happy reading and hope to see novelty to CRM as consensus ( each customer being privileged )……

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May 24, 2016


Customer loyalty is one of the most happening event in any marketer dictionary  . Customers are finding it high octane  for when they pay less for more shopping or they save higher by sheer volume of purchase or on every incremental purchases .  They stand to gain on every transaction by either per deal , slabs based on volume , or type of purchase , not to mention , even mode of purchase even gets rewarded like App or desktop or web even phone  ….

Customers who have got themselves registered for the purchase as part of an ecosystem as potential prospect are induced to buy as  “Trial” where they are suitably rewarded for the first purchase and there on , every campaign is built around how to  convert “ Trial “ to “Repeat ” and then more frequent purchases or you can safely say “Loyal ” customer has arrived .

The big debate though remains :

  1. Does Customer need any inducement to build loyalty behavior ?
  2. Does Customer awaits inducements to a prompted response to purchase ?
  3. Does Customer need these inducements ONLY or as MUST HAVE ?
  4. Does Customer loyalty need not gets built around superior product and service experience ?
  5. Does Customer prioritize connect over inducements?
  6. Does Data and facts throw deep insights to support building loyalty consciously ?
  7. Does Loyalty not be built purely on being Most admired Brand ?
  8. Does Loyalty not be built by meeting socio- economic connect with customer TG ?
  9. Does marketer not creating aberration and artificiality into this mutually beneficial and symbiotic association ?
  10. Does Customer engagement add upto loyalty ?

Much to our surprise and predicament and hypothesis , let this debate continue as we raise this most chased event called “Customer loyalty ” and do share your views and thoughts .

Happy reading and hope to see no consensus (each customer being unique)……

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May 9, 2016

Customer Centricity

There has always been a raging debate on how much customer centric should be an approach for any firm which has customers and trade partners. The customer centric approach believes that customer is at the center of any and every decisions, influences, actions, commitments, philosophy that shapes the approach adopted by any firm. Many a time’s the business data and its inference contradict and throws adverse recommendation to a consumer centric approach and that may be due to following:

  1. Not every customer is genuine with its problem statement and its intent
  2. Not every problem/opportunity can be verified with factual position
  3. Not every customer has every documentation to support facts
  4. Not every customer is aware about their rights and privileges
  5. Not every customer is actually expecting the approach suggested
  6. Not every customer genuinely care for our intent and philosophy behind
  7. Not every customer thinks rationally about such decisions
  8. Not every customer expresses themselves with clear insights

The challenge for any CRM company or the client is always to decipher the undercurrents which form the foundation of the probity behind the nuances and the scenarios that may exists. Equally a bigger challenge is how representative is a particular scenario/how big is this problem that we are trying to fix to behave like a proper customer centric firm.

Much of these challenges are analysed by data and facts with analytics for a rational approach to diagnose and find trends which can throw pointers and recommendations. While we continue to debate on the efficacy of the samples and its probity, the qualitative aspects of customer’s expectation vis-a-vis firm’s belief and ethos towards customer takes the driving seat.

As it is always said and believed, every human-being must be trusted unless proved otherwise. Hence, there is a larger reason for us to believe customer and build our processes and commitments around this.

Let this debate continue and we look forward to your thoughts on how much of Customer Centricity we need to succeed!

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