Roy's Blog: December 2012

December 31, 2012

What is the best way to measure the quality of your service?

What gets measured gets done. And it’s exceedingly important to measure how well you are serving your loyal customers.

Decide what metric you need to monitor your progress to your goals. Measure regularly. Take action on what you learn from measuring your results.

And never be put off by the argument that you can’t measure what you want to — anything can be measured.

I have seen some measurement systems rely on a formula to derive the service result; it’s not a good idea. I have rarely seen this approach work. A service objective like X (overall customer satisfaction) = 2Y (where Y could represent how long it takes for a call center rep to answer an incoming call) + 9Z (where Z could represent how long the rep was on the customer call to deal with their request) won’t motivate people to achieve X. They won’t understand it — how do they know the formula is right? — and won’t have much control over producing the result.

You don’t need a complicated algorithm to drive measurement.


Keep measurement simple. It needn’t require heavy lifting systems technology and records processing. In fact the simpler the better.

Use customer perception surveys as the basis to measure the quality of your customer service.

Declare 3 service elements that are critical to you and ask a customer on a regular basis how you’re doing. Ask them if their service experience with you was memorable — were they DAZZLED?

And act on what they say.

Some organizations use internal statistics as the basis of service measurement. For example, the length of time to fulfill an order as determined by the statistics produced by their internal systems. Although this measure has value, the real question to ask is “How did the customer enjoy the experience of placing their order and receiving the product?”
The order fulfillment time may very well be a good diagnostic tool for unsatisfactory answers to the question.

Be cautious of relying on internal measures as your measurement focus.

Use the customer perception measure — an expression from the market is worth listening to.


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  • Posted 12.31.12 at 10:23 am by Roy Osing
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December 13, 2012

Why is Mumbai’s Baboo an absolutely amazing people server?

Mumbai, India.

It never ceases to amaze me how critical frontline people are in terms of creating lasting impressions on the people they touch.

We have Baboo as our driver for the day. We easily negotiate a fare for the day. We ask him to show us the main points of interest and hit some of the better shopping areas. Off we go.

Mumbai is certainly a city of contrasts. Baboo doesn’t hide the poverty from us. He doesn’t make excuses for it. It simply is, and he factually reports on it. In fact, he actively embraces this side of his city to explain who is living in such conditions, and what they do to survive.

Like it or not, he puts the reality in our faces for us to understand.


He takes us to The Crawford Market where “Papa” (no doubt a colleague he has used many times before) guides us through a mosaic of businesses offering everything from fruits and vegetables to live animals.

Goats and birds occupy the premises. Men sleep above their cubicle stores. Not the pristine conditions of a modern supermarket, but Papa proudly delivers to us the amazing olfactory stimuli of the wonderful spices offered by his market friends. Sellers are friendly. Not pushy. Remarkable in a very caring way.

Baboo asks questions. Many questions. And he listens intently. You know he wants to create the right experience for us. Shopping? What are we looking for? “No problem, I know a place.” is his consistent reply. And he delivers.

His excitement over what he discovers his own city is contagious.

We stumble on the Tiffin-Wallahs,  locals who pick up and deliver lunches to workers throughout the city. Mumbai is the only place in the world with this pick up and delivery system he tells us — another delightful harmless story. They are loading the lunches on their bicycles for delivery. At Baboo’s shouts of encouragement, we jump from the car and snap pictures of this scarce opportunity.

You would think we’ve stumbled on an ancient treasure.

Maybe we have.

Baboo tells us what Gandhi allegedly said “Someone is always right.” And he adds his own spin: “The customer is always right.” Then goes on to explain to us how important it is to make sure tourists see the many faces of his City in a way that makes them comfortable.

Maybe they will talk about his City. Maybe they will return. He hopes.

After more shopping stops, lunch (and shopping) at The Taj Mahal Hotel, and a visit to the Outdoor Laundry area we are safely delivered back to our ship. Baboo asks more questions. “Were we happy with him today?”; “Did he do what we wanted of him?”.

We assure him that he was amazing and we stumble out of his chariot, exhausted.

Again, like Nasr in Petra, Jordan and Mohamed in Safaga, Egypt, I have discovered someone who passionately “gets it”.

A simple philosophy. Challenging and volatile environments. Executed brilliantly.

Leaving memories to cherish forever.

Thanks Baboo.


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  • Posted 12.13.12 at 10:43 am by Roy Osing
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December 10, 2012

This happens when you want to be a daring fast follower

Some organizations declare a fast follower strategy and claim that it is less risky than being a first mover.

The first mover is first-in the market with a new idea, original technology or revolutionary product.

Risk level can be high as customer response is uncertain while investments can be material.

The fast follower hopes to be in fast with a me-too response to the first mover and capture some of the market success of the innovation.

Fast follower

Risk is believed to be lower as the market response to the first mover can be observed and market entry strategy adjusted based on what is seen.

The fast follower is a copycat. Sure, they may tweak what the first mover does, but essentially they are going to market with the same proposition.

The fast follower is another version of emulating best-in-class or best-of-breed. Except in this case, the strategy is to be a fasr copycat.

They strive to be the same as the first mover as soon as possible!

Rather than slowly inching themselves further into the competitive herd, they RUN into it.

Copying, disguised in any way, is risky as it prevents you from achieving a unique and special — vis-a-vis the competition — position in the market.

There can be no more risky position than that.


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  • Posted 12.10.12 at 10:41 am by Roy Osing
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December 6, 2012

Should people keep what they really cherish?

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Looking back to honor tradition; looking forward to compete and succeed in a high tech, fast paced world.

Dubai, is a remarkable place.

On the one hand, it offers a distinctive traditional culture: full body cover wardrobe for Arab women, conservative dress for tourists, no swearing, no public display of affection and Souks, where active barter is expected when buying anything.

On the other hand, Dubai is an ultra modern city sparing no expense to have infrastructure, architecture and services that are second to none in the world.

A city created out of a desert.

An opportunity to both create what you need for the future, and retain what you value from the past.


Dubai is truly different; it wants to surprise people, Dazzle them, shock them with such character as:

— Modern infrastructure in every fabric of the city from the highway system to environmental balance.

— Bus stops with air conditioning.

— Free WiFi in every bus stop.

— Shopping malls (Dubai Mall and Emirates Mall) offering everything imaginable.

— A ski hill in The Emirates Mall with rentals for both skiers and boarders. Amazing!

— A shopping bonanza in the Gold Souks where you can get unsurpassed bargains on the gold price if the day.

— Humanity. People here are quiet, respectful and wanting to provide a great experience for the visitor.

Ali was our taxi escort for the day.

Like Nasr in Jordan, he wanted nothing more than to make us happy and have us return. Ali truly understood that “creating memories” resulted in more visitors and better business.

Keep the old. Create the new.

Keep what you cherish. Build what you need to be successful.

And in both scenarios, NEVER forsake your humanity.

Dubai has done it well.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 12.6.12 at 10:02 am by Roy Osing
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