Saturday, 10 February 2018

The Art of Ageing

Here I am going to summarize the topic on "Art of ageing" written by Dr Rahul Padmanabhan in which he highlights about 7 types of dimensions and it's importance along with the dependence of each dimension on to the other. As we are aware ageing is a natural and the advancement in the medical field has ensured that people live longer even though they are affected with more diseases. But this alone doesn't supports people during their days of ageing, something important than this has been lost today is the support of the family members due to the adoption of nuclear family structure. It has brought about a drastic change in the family and societal structure of the Indian community. So elderly people of today's society are in need of a health care delivery system that can that satisfy their unique needs which has always been a challenge. I can share a case study from my experience is that today many youngster's feels that they can lead a comfortable life abroad living behind their aged parents in an old age home thinking that they get the best care over there but that is something not expected by them (parents). Only thing they expect is the affection of their children during their course of ageing as that gives the needed energy which no medicine can give them.  
Here the author has highlighted that Coimbatore is a better destination for the elderly people in terms of climate and cost of living even though the medical sector isn't geared up to meet the increased health demand. They have started a specialized elder care clinic Grand world elder care  which has shown some positive momentum since it's operation at Coimbatore.  Author highlights that the preparation for the lifestyle which will be lead during the course of ageing should begin earlier and it will be smooth only when we adopt a holistic approach to health, wellness and life. Aim should be on balancing the highlighted dimension together which might get disturbed by ageing process itself. Efforts needs to be made in order to optimize the compromised function and enhance the functions which can contribute to over well-being.
Let us see in brief about each dimension suggested by the author Dr. Rahul Padmanabhan

Physical Dimension

1. Keep an eye on your health - Visit physician regularly and  have a regular health checkup done against blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol, body weight under control. Don't compromise on health monitoring.
2. Keep moving - Walk 45 minutes daily at the speed comfortable to you. It need not be continuous 45 minutes at a stretch. Take rest in between when you are tired, breathless or have pain.
3. Strengthen your muscles - Perform certain exercises like yoga, chair exercise, Tai Chi for 20 minutes in order to strengthen the muscles which can prevent you from falling. Also physiotherapist exercises which are best for you.
4. Sleep well - 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep is required to reboot your brain. Avoid taking sleeping pills which can be replaced with a glass of warn milk. If you get up in the night for urine, fluid intake can be reduced after 4 in the evening along with avoid caffeinated drinks like Tea or coffee. Doctor can be consulted against the pills which you intake that might cause excess urination.


1. Talk & Listen - Talking to your friends about the emotions is one good way of venting. Likewise other approaches like counseling services, support group and group therapies are effective channels to support your emotions. A good counselor can assist in overcoming the difficult time and be a good friend.
2. Stay Social - Involve in social group, resident associations, self-help group, and bhajans and prayer groups
3. Volunteer and help - Volunteering oneself by assisting other sick friends at hospital instead of being idle at home and brood over unnecessary things. Helping other person brings gratification which is effective in building positive energy around you.

Let me give an example, let us take people from villages & town where after the completion of their daily routine they get involved in speaking with their friends on the sit out place in Tamil we call vasha tinnai which was there is every houses of our brahmin community where they speak about their difficulties for which they get a resolution which gives them a little people of mind where no counselors like today existed. They do some volunteer services for temples festival or temple administrations which keeps them active in those activities. Benefit reaped out of it is keeping their mind away from personal activities or difficulties for certain time frame.


Memory impairment, confusion, slowness of thoughts and actions are common impairment that happens as you age. In which all the memory impairments are not related to age like Dementia which needs to be carefully evaluated by an elder care specialist. Effective intervention in early stages along with behavioral and lifestyle adaption can help makes things much easier for you and your family.
1. Keep your updated - read newspapers and books, involves in discussion about current events among your friends, write or pen down your thoughts
2. Play - You can play games like chess, bridge card games and Chinese checkers. Make playing such games part of daily routines
3. Do something new - Activities like learning new languages, explore new places, visit your children staying away (Keep the visit short and sweet), watch movies and try appreciating new types of musics which keeps the brain stimulated

A generation back I have seen many elders engaged in the above activities which passes away certain time and also keep them updated. Let us take Kalam Sir for this as he was not only scientist but also engaged most his time in teaching, mentoring children to dream big for the country and talented in veena made him to spend his usefully without giving thoughts on unwanted politics which made him to keep his memory active until his last breath which ended while starting his speech. Likewise there were many elderly people who have been an example for the next generation which today has been lost because they are been kept away and not much engaged in the activities of their own family which are been telecast over internet which has personal sentiments. I have seen my grandfather being happy staying with us had applied the above points always until his last breath.


Normally elderly people generally wants to retire and forget work. Physical inactivity along with mental inertial is a serious cocktail for diseases.
1. You needn't stop working - You can still continue doing the same job you were doing or explore things which always wanted to do which includes the hobbies like painting, music, gardening or playing an instrument.
2. Teach a skill which you possess to someone who doesn't
3. Learn computers or start using newer technologies like smart phone

When he/she is good in teaching or art oriented always try to engage themselves in taking classes at their home itself which themselves and their skill active for that limited time frame. When the knowledge is shared it gives the immense pleasure that our skill sets are now passed on to the next generation and also gives the additional happiness when they achieve through that. Let us take an example of Musician DK Pattammal there is a real time story of how she thought  music to people even at that old age like Sai Madhana Mohan Kumar who showed interest towards music. What she got in return is different from the satisfaction she got in teaching those student who showed real interest in learning that skill from her. Many elderly people keep exploring in their skill or passion which keep themselves away from thinking of tough times of old age.


As we become aged certain ailments like joint problems, falls, immobility and confusion accompanies which can cause harm at home and outside while using public utility facilities and the space which is normally designed for younger people. How can this customized these threatening environment as per our comfort and safety in order to avoid the risk of getting injured.

1. Keep your room clutter free. Tape down carpets and mats.
2. Ensure adequate lighting in your room, stairs and pathways, especially the pathway to the toilet.
3. Skid free tiles are a good options if you have the budget to change the tiles
4. Most accidents happens in the toilet or on the way to toilet. Have side bars and hand bars installed at appropriate spaces . A toilet seat raiser should be used for people for having trouble getting up from western commode. Hand shower is the preferred way of taking shower
5. For elderly people having high chances of fall, keep the toilet door unlatched or use a 2 way latch lock.
6. Wear proper footwear while going out.

Olden days, elderly people were cared by everyone in their house and villagers which is now no more exist. All these are getting replaced with old age homes and remodeling houses in such a way that keeps their aged parent safe. When a man stays in the same house until his death is comfortable with every section of the house and additionally when people are around he/she is confident or else looses the confidence level which is bringing in the above points in places. Of course today we needs to accept these above points as the lifestyle is moving towards nuclear family which is excluding the parents who have give the sophisticated life for their children. 


1. Involve in community activities-neighborhood self help groups, volunteer services and NGO's.
2. Be part of clubs or form a club.
3. Take time to visit bed bound or house bound friends
4. For women, especially these groups and club act as buffer against loneliness and monotony.
5. Being social is a good channel to guide your thoughts and improve your overall well being.
6. Connect through technology with friends staying away or family staying abroad.

Today the old age homes are built in this concepts but it will be completely a new environment when they are moved away from their native place. Anyone will be comfortable in the place he/she has lived for more years will not be able to adapt to the new environment. The above points can be seen in the native places where everyone is known, aware of each and everyone's issues which they can't share easily in old age homes as they are not close as they are with someone who is known from childhood days. I have seen many people saying that when they are in their hometown they are energetic with the routine activities except that they miss their children. Always when wife or husband passes away it is like loosing a support stick as a reliable source for sharing ones difficulty is no more exist which needs to be overcome by above points which is difficult but have to use our skill set which can assist us in doing above thing like someone would be good in teaching, painting, engineering works they will share that knowledge in the group, volunteer service keeps them engaged in those thoughts.


Spiritual needs vary from person to person like some use religion as a means to satisfy their spiritual needs, some find volunteering or help others as their means. Spirituality has great healing powers and can be an effective tool in guiding you through the ageing process. Meditation is a good way to relax and calm down.

Let me give an example from a real time experience, I stayed in CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai. Near my house there was a Ram Temple where everyday many elderly people from old age home "Narmadaben Charitable Foundation (NCF) - Home" which was just operating opposite to the temple used to take part in daily arthi to the lord, spend time cutting coconuts for prasad, listen to the discourses of Ramayana which was delivered by the temple priest. Likewise we can see in Gurudwara's many people irrespective of age group carry out volunteer services which engages in them in the thought of almighty forgetting their tough times. Lot of spiritual discourses and musical seasons are conducted in Tamil Nadu which not gives the knowledge but also takes them close to God if it is rendered by someone like Sringeri Bharathi Theertha Mahaswamigal, Balaji Bhagavathar who is an experts in abhangs which is delivered in local language in such a fashion that we can experience the presence of Lord Vittala and Rukmani. Likewise we have many such experts in spiritual teaching. A generation back many people engage themselves in many spiritual activities to keep them mentally active even though they have a lot of personal problems.
Ageing is all about balancing the dimensions. Seek timely help and never ignore any signs attributing it to ageing body.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Importance of People Management

As we all know, people management plays an important role in the success of any assignment and growth of an organization/country. Countries like US, UK, Japan etc give higher weightage for People Management and at the same time people also adhere to the rules and regulation set by the organization/country. The same adherence is also followed in Public that is major difference between our country and other developed countries. But why this is not followed in our country has been a very challenging task & mission not accomplished. People both in public and in organization don't adhere much to rules and regulation. They should understand the benefit that following by rules and regulation it is going to make their task easy rather they think it is an unwanted thing to be given importance. Let us a take an example of a Government Bus which has got a set of rules like total number of passengers can travel, Passenger should not stand on foot board, should not smoke inside bus, separate reservation of Ladies seats. In these none of them are followed by any of the passenger and above which many don't take tickets. Sometimes when they are caught by a Ticket Checking squad, a fine is imposed but this has never brought a change in percentage of people not taking tickets. These are some qualities people show in their work environment which eventually cause failure for many projects. People Management requires the following parameters into consideration
1. Training on importance of people management for all staff irrespective of cadre along with assessment based on scenario
2. Usage of rules and regulation along with their benefits
3. Resource and Time Management
4. Workshops showcasing the benefits of people management.
5. For successful People management, leader or government need to take enormous efforts for which best approaches should be adopted and tried in our environment or country. Output valuation is important on daily and weekly as initial phase of implementation.
People management is an art for which people at top management requires adequate leadership qualities along with motivation which combines together to make or accomplish a goal or task successfully. Let us take an example of a leader who comes to his people and appreciates for their work which not keeps the people united but also the surrounding in a disciplined manner. As we all know every qualities possessed and followed in our daily life turns into professional management skill. The way a leader guides a depressed or an affected employee back to a successful employee shows his leadership quality and the management of his people/resource of his organization. This quality we get from our elders or tutor or friends or relatives but using it on the right occasion makes him a successful leader of his employees. When we have some volunteers guiding the passengers on the safety measures in travel it will bring only a minor change but to bring major change the bus conductor should not allow the passengers to board after the limit and ensure a smooth journey for the boarded passenger. To accomplish this the Government has to initially make people understand the danger involved in standing on foot board, traveling without ticket but to get this change it will take many years in country as many have followed shortcuts in their life both in travel and in official life. At present many sign boards are put but almost everyone ignores it for which fine alone doesn't changes a person but have to make them understand, that is major challenge in people management. Points to be noted in challenges are
1. Making a person understand the positive and negative of a situation or task.
2. Approach to handle each person.
3. Monitoring techniques
4. Benefits by working in team or unity as country.
5. Involvement of people.
A good example for the above points was current campaign on Swatch Bharath (Clean India). This need not be a campaign. A basic cleanness at home makes people to keep the environment clean. When people within house are united then to locality then to country. When this is accomplished automatically everything will be successful in the growth of a nation/organization. But this should have a time frame like how we have for a project. When we do for US we adhere why not the same enthusiasm when it is done for our country is something has to be achievement in near future if the same strictness is imposed on our people & for our assignments. Hope to accomplish 100% on this in near future is to be the goal of today's organization or Government ranging from Agriculture to environment & health campaign to technology.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Trend of Organization’s strategic approach

The strategic approach of an organization always gets aligned to meet various set targets but currently they fail in many when compared with traditional approach. In traditional approach organizations cared about in providing value to its old customer along with getting new customers.  As we all know that this doesn’t happens in almost all organizations as today organizations are interested in capturing new market and focus on adding additional features to their current technologies. Let me give this with a known example Phone was invented to assist people to speak with their friends and relatives in distant location along with that came another technology Pager which transmits only messages then finally mobile which is currently dominating the current trend. Today companies provide a concept of attractive EMI/credit card which makes it easy for the customer to pay for any gadget. A decade back our parents used to think many times before they take EMI but today’s trend swipe the Credit card / apply for EMI in no time.  At the same time have the organization cared about the environment as the gadgets like mobile phones which are causing death of many birds like sparrows? In every house people have atleast 3 vehicles and a luxurious life without much concern on tomorrow’s situation of environment and living being around them. Today the concepts of independent houses are slowly vanishing which are replaced by apartment like colony with all facilities within the compound. Have anyone of us throught about the life in an independent house with a garden which many people use to produce organic vegetables and fruits for their daily needs. Today we can't dream about those cherishing days as today many of us are having unhealthy food with medicines as supplements. The strategy of today’s companies is “marketing” and in turn “makes profits”. This remains constant with any product ranging from a house to infrastructure. I remember about my schooling way back in 90’s. There the importance was to give the best education at affordable cost but many schools today charges in lakhs for providing a decent education. But still today we have school which we had in 90’s with some of the dedicated teacher providing support to the less privileged children.

Here there are few points in strategy

1.       Retain the Old customer
2.       Develop product that is required for a customer
3.       Limited feature and longer life
4.       Provide the product i.e. object or knowledge at affordable cost
5.       Have concern on nature & it creations
6.       Customer should value limitation
7.       Value of money

      Points that we should consider for our country
1.       Development of agriculture using the Concept of organic manure
2.       Increase the land under forest
3.       Companies and other facilities spread evenly across country
4.       Care for nature which includes flora, fauna, water and air
5.       Have all latest technologies with limitation on usage

We should always welcome innovation that doesn’t affect us, environment and living being around us. Today we have invited many companies like automobiles who are making use of our previous land and water for the advancement of their product, country in the name of providing work for the people of our country. As we know for manufacturing of car, gallons of waters are used which we would have used for our agriculture. In this scenario none of the above concerns are taken into consideration as we should understand where these wastage's of industries do gets discharged. In our older period temples were built with a lot of civil engineering art which today’s engineer can ever dream. They built temples with Tank to ensure the ground water is stable likewise the concept of ponds. These provided the required water for the people and for agriculture when there is less rainfall. So let me put all the above points as a simple statement

“Create a product that is having the necessary feature as per customer’s need and cost effective thereby lasting for a longer duration. This in turn should not disturb nature and also should educate the customer on limitation on usage/purchase thereby giving a healthy environment for the people around the globe”.

Wish you all  a belated environmental Day and start of my blogging after almost 2 Years.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Patience in Service Management

As we all know that the requirement of service management has grown enormously in this decade due to growth of every sector in line with the technology. Every process of the sector has gone technology based thereby ensuring that the customer is availing the service within no time. If a customer wants to add the option of paperless account statement, it is a single click on the desired option in his/her account portal. But if the same doesn’t works for a customer after repeated try, they will call the customer support with a lot of anger and sometimes they will be harsh which completely depends on their situation. Some customers will agree with the status provided by the customer support agent. But how to handle customers of those situations requires a lot of Patience and also ensure that his/her concern is properly addressed before the end of call. Patience is not a soft skill that can’t be thought, it should be developed by an individual when we work in any Job Role. Patience is something that will give us the clarity in taking any decision. When we take any Decision Making, patience plays a vital role as we have to listen to many opinions and then make the right move.
When we have the patience, we can make customer understand the root cause of an issue due to which there is issue in restoration and what is the proper alternate solution in order to resolve that issue. We should never panic or get angry in those situations thereby losing a valuable customer. In the scenario of Service Management the information that is delivered to the customer should be apt and it should be justifiable. Patience is directly proportional to Analyzing the opinions or issues & Time Taken to response. Analyzing is the key for deriving the solution for any issues and time calculation is must in getting the solution. Let me provide a real time example from Information Security. When we come across an alert from Antivirus Vendor that there is vulnerability that can affect applications that are with Java 1.6 and along with they will provide a work around and precautionary measures. Here the security analyst has to be proactive in fetching the details of the systems of PC's with Java 1.6 and execute the solution with proper approvals & pilot testing to check if his/her application doesn't stops working with the provided solution. Here the following are the steps that should be kept in mind
1. Understand the issue highlighted by the Antivirus Vendor.
2. Check the solution in your Test Environment having all applications used by the organization.
3. Document the test results along with supporting document for getting approval.
4. Execute the solution after getting approval from management
In the above decision making process patience is very much required to get successful output. Analyzing gives you the clarity on the said vulnerability accordingly make the move to deploy the patch or roll out precautionary measure notification to the users. Time Management is highly important as even a delay of 1-2 Days the vulnerability might affects some systems in the organization.
In Service Management "patience" has got it's own importance in ensuring that the deliverable meet the target. If each and every agent makes sure that his/her customer are addressed with at most patience the growth rate of the organization will be on the positive side of the Graph. Patience along with Decision Making, Analyzing and time management put together adds "Value to Service Management". Patience is one of the parameter in any profession where the HR during the interview try to see the candidates patience level and how he handles each scenario. Patience can also calculated on the scale of 1-5 and give a feedback on the candidate patience level which will boost his/her confidence level in handling any scenario or customer at every situation in his career. Every organization should make sure to keep a survey to test customer handling skill set by putting forward a common scenario based questionnaire and see how they answer those scenario which gives a fair idea on their patience character. Based on which we can derive a graph to know the patience level of an employee which should taken quite seriously and accordingly give required seminars to them in order to understand the importance of "Patience". Some times we map Politeness is Patience which is not 100% compatible as politeness is a component of patience. Kindly provide your suggestions or comments on this article. Any queries kindly let me know I shall be more than happy to reply you the solution.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Importance of Training for employees in an Industry

In this blog we are going to see the "Importance of training for employees in an industry & how it accelerates the growth of an industry". We all know that in the current trend industries have got lot of technologies and they are updated regularly in order to keep themselves in line with the market requirement. So it also makes the employees to be updated with their respective technologies & along with that they have the required documents available readily Online. So why we have to emphasize more on In house trainings on a regular basis and in what way is it going to add value to an employee? How is the current trend of Training in today's industries? Are companies making a financial budget  for Training? Do HR work with the respective teams of their organization to know their team requirement? How a system should be made for such in house training? Do training have to be made compulsorily as part of KRA metrics? Let me provide an explanation below for these questions.
An employee may be well versed in his technical skill set but will be moderate or poor in his professional skill sets likewise vice versa with some employees. In this scenario it is important for a team leader  to make a note of these weakness of an employee and try to check with HR if there can arrange some programs for Soft Skills or respective technical training which can eventually benefit the employee. Employee should consider this training in positive approach. Team Leaders should have a meeting with the employee not only for the progress of the project but also should motivate his team member to share their requirement which will help up the ladder of their career. We have got portals for Project Management System likewise there should be portal for team requirement which HR should check and provide their support to the respective team. 
In the current trend of industries HR try to give the initial training or directly make the employee to work as trainee under the guidance of senior staff before assigning their respective job responsibilities or project. So the scope of getting them updated with the latest technologies becomes limited & they are forced to check with the training institutes to get them updated with the technologies This initiatives if it is taken by HR would actually benefit even many employees as they work as well as attend the training without making the employee to go in search of institute. Training has not been made compulsory as many industries try to focus more on projects and client rapports thereby generating revenue to showcase it in their year end financial reports. Unless an employee get the required training he/ she will not be able to grow up the professional ladder of the organization. If a company supports an employee in getting technical and professional training they would really be trustworthy for that Organization. HR should be make training as a metrics in the employees KRA and it is the duty of an employee to highlight their requirement on regular basis. HR has to review this requirement with the respective team leader and project manager in order to arrange for those respective training. A schedule has to be made for those training on a monthly basis along with that they should check if they sufficient budget for that financial year. A report has to be made on the feedback of the training which need to be checked with the success of each project & in what way it has added value to the customer satisfaction.
HR in many companies today doesn't make proper financial budget for training. Training and development should compulsorily be there in an organization with some well versed in house trainers. Financial Budget should be made based on the project they have and soft skill is something essential for every young professionals. HR should constantly work with every team and get their inputs on regular basis on the training requirements. This has be highlighted to the management to get the necessary approvals. HR should not work for getting the right resource but should also work towards employee satisfaction by providing trainings and other professional benefits. In many small industries concepts of training lacks thereby putting an individual into trouble as he has completely depends on Online resources and external trainings to get himself inline with the current technology in the market.
HR works comparatively less with their internal team thereby give less importance for training. In the present trend an employee focus on the completion of the task and also make sure that they get the require financial growth if not quit the organization. This is something similar to function of a machine which takes the required input and stops after providing the required output. Their life time based on the quality, brand and the cost. That is How is today's involvement of HR in training. They make re-reimbursement for the trainings attended by an employee by not seeing how that training going to add value to their organization or assignments. This is important reason why HR has be emphasize more on in house training system thereby benefiting both employee and organization. If I am SAP employee he/she has to be updated regularly in order keep themselves updated with the technology & the market. This is what is going to boost "Employee Satisfaction"
System as know is a life cycle of a process or a target. HR should have a system that they would have a team for training who constantly works on the Employee Training Portal & check what is the current months requirement. Then arrange for a meeting with middle management staff to see the requirement of those training. Accordingly work for external training institutes or freelance consultant. Get the required quote and put forward the proposal for the approval of senior management. Schedule the training and email the employees on their slot. Once after the completion of training they should be compulsory assessment and feedback on the trainer. This is something can be termed as "Trainer Management System" which is going to maintain the information on the respective trainers thereby simplifying their need for trainers.
Training should be compulsorily be part of KRA and it should based on their project or required soft skill training. Training attended by employee with his own interest which is directly or indirectly helping the industry should also be considered. There should always be an appreciation if an employee takes an initiative to learn new technologies or improve their soft skill. To the maximum extent a company needs to motivate an employee to grow within the industry and ensure he stays with the organization for long with a lot of satisfaction both professionally and financially based on merit.
So HR should make it a point that Training should be made compulsory in every organization which will not helps in the growth of an organization but in getting employee satisfaction. HR should always have a budget and system before commencing with Training. Training is an art and it has to be framed properly.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Behavioral Aspect in Customer Relationship Management

In the last blog we have seen the role played by a "Leader" and the quantities that determines an individual as a "leader". Now we are going to see "how to understand and handle a customer based on his or her Behavioral aspect". The core concept of Customer relationship management remains the same in all industries but the approach varies from industry to industry. Let us see how it varies along with behavioral aspect of a customer. Before proceeding let us understand what is the behavioral aspect of a customer? A customer's behavior varies from person to person based on certain parameters like expectations which includes quality of service, time taken for providing a resolution, clarity in providing the information, return on investment etc.., family situation like his personal & official life status, financial status, work pressure, availability of time to understand the information or product etc.., domain  or technical knowledge. The agent has to understand the customer based on some of these parameters and then address his query or problem. But this has been lacking in today's customer support industry as the agents blindly follow the flow of  product information scripts to address the query which has been very well provided in FAQ's & product manual's & it is not much appreciated by a customer. Agent has to initially understand a customer behavior based on his tone, the way he put forwards his query, the pace as which he expects a resolution, his previous experience with their product which can be got only if an organization maintains a structured customer relationship management system in place. Accordingly the agent has to align his flow of conversation with the customer. Let us see examples based on industries
In Luxury hotels we have Front Office Professionals at the reception who has to address various queries on the services provided by their hotel like availability of rooms, laundry services, complimentary services which includes usage of hotel facilities, Breakfasts, transportation services etc to the customers. In this industry these professionals have to address customer's queries spontaneously and make the customer delighted as in hostel industry the growth of the business is based on the percentage of delightful customers. Here also hey have SLA's for corporate customer so expectation of service & professionalism are seem more in today's market trend. Here the customers put forwards his or her queries in varies behavioral aspect but the way Front office professionals handles the query decides the growth of that hotel but also highlights his smartness in handling a customer that add credits to his career growth.
In an IT industry, customer & technical support varies in terms of approach. When a agent provides a technical support he or she should understand the severity of the issues then have to check immediately if there is any work around for that incident. If not should proactively escalate the issues to the backend team along with that should simultaneously address the issue. This requires clarity in understanding the issues, understanding customer's behavior, domain knowledge, SLA (Service Level Agreement), escalation matrix etc. Agent should then document the issues clearly for future references. But the same industry has got Customer support which takes cares of Annual Maintenance contract, modification of Service Level agreement, clarifications on the support services, marketing management to up-sell new product or version etc. So in both support verticals understanding the customer's behavior is important and the approach to support varies as the time management & clarity in addressing a query or issue are important parameters in today's industry.
In the above two industries the concept of customer relationship management remains same but the approach to handle customers of various behavioral aspect has to be clearly understood by the support vertical of an organization. In both technical and customer support there will be variation in the approach of support workflow as each query or issue in both verticals are different. There is no book or research article says a standard approach has to adopted for various customer behavior. They only provide us guidance on how to handle a customer based on their experience. There comes logical approach of handling a customer which tells understand the customer's situation, value their time, think smart rather putting forward unwanted probing questions, proactive way of addressing an issue, clarity in providing information. These doesn't comes just by attending a training or certification but it comes through logical viewing of an issue or query.A same query will be put forwarded by customer in different ways based on experience with your product or service of an industry. If a person recommend a product to his friend and relative are purely based on his experience which is customer relationship management of that company. This customer relationship is continuous as it begin from the meeting the sales team to customer or technical support team. Understand a customer is must before the organization thinks of rolling out their product or service in the market.
Things to be kept in mind
1. Welcome the customer
2. Allow him or her to put their query or issue (No personal questions even if they are a well known customer as we can't judge a customer to be same at every visit)
3. Don't put much of sympathy questions. Customer won't encourage these statement if they are in bad mood.
4. Not to sell a product by making false promise or wrong information. If he or she not clear on the information check and provide the customer.
5. Don't say later versions you might/will get this requested feature. Marketing is a domain to analysis the customer's needs based on the market trend. But today marketing is calling customers again and again to sell their product after which they are left alone in the dense forest when it comes to support.
6.  Customer behavior varies most only after getting the product or service as he or she might not get their requirement but would have been told by marketing executive that you have this feature.
7. Customers today are most proficient in varies domain so try to understand a customer based on his or her situation and provide a appropriate resolution for his problem.

So understanding customer behavior is most important in every move of an organization. Aligning the support vertical is a must in every organization and periodic reviews will assist the organization in having a good relationship with the customer. A organization should have a team who keeps in touch with the customers mainly for corporate customer to give them updates on the value added services but also understand their situation in the market. If a customer is having a downfall and a company tries to up-sell his new product will land the company into problem as they will negative feedback on this team. This is important aspect in every industry. Agents or support professionals should remember the following

1. Personal review which tell about your experience with the customers on day to day basis. 
2. Have a mind set support is nothing but making a customer delighted even if he in bad mood.
3.Think twice before putting forward an information for even a simple query.
4. Request the customer if you them on hold or make them wait while you check for the information.
5. Clarity in speech is must in any industry as it doesn't forms a part of technical or non technical aspect of query.
6. Value customer's time while addressing their issue or query.

If these are brought into practice then handling a customer of any behavioral aspect becomes easy in any industry. Only the information changes within industries but the approach to support remains the same. We would understand the main difference between a customer and technical support along with the support provided by contact centers. Accordingly the alignment of support matrix has to made by the organization. Above all organization should compulsorily maintain customer feedback for their future reference accordingly to understanding a customer would be better. In the forthcoming we will also see some of models of customer behavior handling. I value your comments and suggestions regarding this blog.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Importance of Leadership in Customer Relationship Management

In the last blog we have seen the negative influence of Commercialization of a Business which directly or indirectly affects the relationship with customer. Here we are now going to see what is meant by leadership? How a leader plays a vital role in building an effective relationship with customer or supplier? What are the key skills that transforms an individual as a leader? How to identify a leader? These are some questions which are going to explained in brief in this blog.
As we all know Leadership is a quality of an individual that drives the entire team towards the same goal. Unless target is not focused at the initial stage itself the end result will go negative or against the organization. The person who aligns the target of an assignment is known as a Leader. Leader is a person who guides or mentor the team on a project or assignment based on his previous experiences and reference to many research articles. Lets takes an example of a Team Lead of Marketing Department. He would have definitely come across various people, attitudes, sectors etc which are his past experience. Here he should have taken failures as his learning areas and would have made many analysis on to handle customer of those attitude or sector. This is something that has been practiced for years and today it has become a part of Management Curriculum. Based on these analysis a leader mentors or guides the team and learning continues with different projects. Unless the leader is potential enough the success rate of any project or assignment will be less than the expectation. Leader should not only be well versed in domain knowledge but also should have effective management skill set like time management, documentation, communication, presentation, attitude, follow ups, project management, metrics design, clarity in clarifying the queries, escalation matrix management, work break structure, team building and management etc.. are some of the important skill sets.
Time Management, Communication and Documentation plays an important role as every assignment has got a project plan which comes has to be prepared based on the team skill set and availability of the resource. Accordingly the project has to be divided among the team along with the time limit or number of days to complete that part of the project which is termed as Work Break Down structure. Then comes communication unless there is no proper communication on the progress of the assignment there won't be other phases of a project in line like Software testing which is handed over to a different team. Documentation is very important as a team lead he should ensure that the complete documentation of the project is properly maintained to provide report on the project to the management before handing over to the customer. In order to achieve this a leader has to be an effective team builder as he should know the resource he requires with the following skill set along with have to set the metrics for his  team. In customer relationship we have metrics like time to resolve the issue, customer feedback, number of calls addressed are some of the metrics followed in Business Process Organization and many customer support providing organization.Escalation matrix should normally be designed based on the capability of an individual like for support there are L1-L3 support. Team Lead should have the capability to analyze the team domain knowledge and build the escalation matrix. Then the pilot batch should be initiated to see how they support the customer or client with their expertise in that domain. Based on this Team Lead should analyze on the domain they require training. That is what we term as employee satisfaction areas as the employee is provided the training and made sure that he provide better support along with getting additional knowledge.
A detailed report should be made at regular intervals on the team performance and have regular meetings to inform the team member on the areas of their weakness and how to address those areas. That makes the team to have a got relation with the team lead thereby completing the task on time, within expected metrics & quality and above all getting a satisfied customer into their credit. So Team Lead with some of these parameters plays a vital role in building the team and also growing the business of an organization in turn also building a list of satisfied customers.
Team Lead should be identified based on the above discussed potentials. He will be normally evaluated based on the success of the project and his ability to manage the team. Hard work alone doesn't  makes an individual as a Team Lead but how he delivers an assignment in an efficient way. When a assignment is provided to a Team Lead he should have the ability to understand the customer need which in turns should compare with his resource skill set. Accordingly he has to prepare a documentation to HR on resource requirement. Those knowledge are based on his past experiences and proper logical thinking caliber of an individual. It is known to all of us that the "Success of an organization is based on Team work not by individual's effort". Team Lead should have the efficiently to have a good relationship with his team member by having some fun by taking them for a outing, giving them the opportunity to do some MDP or certification programs. Giving them some assignments from research articles to make get them involved in knowing other domains also. Team Lead should be a friend, mentor and not to dominate the team. These are some important aspects about the Leadership quality in an organization that assists in the building the client or customer relationships.