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Showing posts from 2010

How Poor Service Ruins Brands – eZone (Pantaloon Retail) and LG in India

eZone claims to be a leading retailer of electronic and white goods in India.  I though so too.  The customer service I have received is consistently poor and prompted me to think how brands are ruined by poor service.  
As a practice I don’t write on a specific experience on my blog – I do not want to be accused of generalizing a specific.  But, I am making an exception.
What is customer service?  I recently conducted a series of workshops and simulations for a services organization and explored this question with the participants using real customer stories.  Over 200 participants (in groups of about 20-25) came to similar conclusions:
Timely and sincere apology can save the dayDon’t promise what you can’t deliverKeep the customer informed and DON’T lieThe only customer you have is the one you are serving right NOW.

eZone failed on every account in my case.  In fact it has been so hopeless that I am forced to include it as an example that I hope no other retailer emulates.  It may not h…

Saving the Baldrige – How to do it, if we have to?

I am a huge Baldrige fan.My last two jobs were built around deploying the Baldrige criteria and I am certain I got my current job based on that experience (primarily).I am convinced that it has done a lot of good not just to the American industry but to several companies across the world.
What is happening and Why? Is withdrawing Government grant a bad thing? Maybe not.World over there is a strong move to remove government aid and subsidy in various forms.Why should the Baldrige program be different?If the program had followed what it preaches maybe it would have become self-reliant by now.I am not being acidic here, just being a little blunt.Don’t get me wrong – all I am saying is that the Baldrige program needs a dose of what it prescribes.
I have been actively using the Baldrige criteria and have some awareness on how it is run – and I am afraid, in all these years I have not yet heard of or seen a strategy document come out of the Baldrige program.Apart from opening up the program to…

Raising the Voice of Quality – the New ASQ and what we can do.

By now many of you would have been hit by the new branding ASQ is pushing – The Global Voice of Quality. Based out of India and being a strong critic of the very American nature of ASQ, I am delighted with this change. I speak for many members from India when I say that this was overdue. Better late than never.

For me, ASQ was already global and only needed to recognize that it had more reach and influence than it thought it had. A part of this change is ASQ reaching out to its global members via a blog hosted by Paul Borwaski, Chief Strategy Officer of ASQ.

In his first post, Paul highlights a universal truth - Quality really does offer answers to what organizations most need. And then he raises a critical question:

What would it take to get the world’s attention to focus on that truth? What would it take to have the world realize the full potential of quality?

First things first – getting the world to sit up and adopt quality much more than it does is going to take time. And it w…

A View from The Q

So, what's new. A lot, if we are talking about ASQ. A major re-branding with a goal for 2015, ASQ is poised to The Global Voice of Quality. The make-over is on and will soon be unveiled to the world.

Part of this makeover is a new blog - A View from The Q. On this blog Paul Borawski, Executive Director and Chief Strategic Officer at ASQ will work with 22 select bloggers to raise the voice of quality. In this unique effort all bloggers on the panel will blog on select topics and invite comments. At the end of the month, Paul will summarize and create and ASQ point of view. Sounds cool!

So why am I excited? I am one of the 22 selected for this experiment. Hopefully, this will push me to write more often. If you are reading this, try coming back in about two weeks. Thanks.

Leadership is Overhyped

Problem with Leadership is - it is overhyped. It is 'sexy' to talk about it. In the guise of being a leader people stop managing or even worse working. I find that a major worry. Good leaders work a lot themselves. And they are good at something...even if it is one thing. Not just making speeches and reviewing plans.

IMHO when leaders are respected for what they know and do and what they stand for, their people can take a lot of nonsense from them. Good behavior based leadership styles are not only fake they are plain ineffective.

Good managing is more a need of the hour than good leadership. If at all there is a difference. Henry Mintzberg has a written a classic on this – Managing. Even Ram Charan and Bossidy’s Execution is a classic leadership work that drives the point that working and finishing off is important.