1. How to handle customer feedback on social media

    September 30, 2016 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on The Meeting Room by Ashlee Keown

    If someone posts a complaint on your business’s Facebook page or Twitter feed, how best to respond? Would you a) delete or ignore it b) discuss a possible resolution via comments on their post or c) thank them and make contact privately?

    Here’s how to turn feedback – good or bad – into an opportunity, by Ashlee Keown, Warehouse Stationery’s Digital and Direct Communications Manager and contributor to the company’s business advice site The Meeting Room.

    Complaints, questions or compliments posted on your business’s social media pages offer a chance to make a positive impact on what current and prospective customers think of your business. Quickly resolving a complaint, for example, can build credibility and goodwill amongst your followers.

    1. Plan ahead
    Assign one person to manage social media feedback. Ideally, they will have customer service experience.
    Prepare a plan. This could be a simple decision tree that covers:

    • types of comment
    • how to respond to each type, eg “Thanks so much for your compliment”
    • how quickly to respond to each type, eg within 30 minutes for a complaint
    • when to involve someone more senior or with detailed product knowledge, eg a question that can’t be answered readily
    • how to proceed in certain situations, eg notify X of a complaint about Y and find a solution together.

    To help develop this plan, think about how your business handles customer complaints on email, by phone or in person. Remember, social media is a public forum and conversations remain visible, so extra-special care is required when responding.

    2. Keep across it
    To be able to respond quickly, monitor your social media pages constantly. This doesn’t mean someone watching them 24/7. Your social media person should check work accounts as often as possible, and set up alerts to be notified immediately when someone posts a comment.

    Social media platforms offer this alert function, but only for activity on that platform. Tools such as Hootsuite enable monitoring across different platforms.

    3. Review carefully
    Each comment should be read thoroughly. Some may be inappropriate and should be deleted, eg abusive or racist, or a product promotion. Set out the types of comments that will get deleted in the ‘profile’ or ‘about’ sections of your page.

    Tip: Don’t delete negative comments out of hand. A business page with absolutely no complaints can raise suspicions. A page where customer complaints have clearly been resolved can build trust.

    4. Respond quickly
    Generally, the faster a business responds to comments the better. So if someone puts up a compliment, sincerely thank them for it as soon as you can.

    Similarly, if they make a genuine complaint, respond quickly with thanks, an apology and a promise to make things right. Be open, polite and professional, not cold or defensive. Their complaint is a sign they value your product or service.

    It’s important then to move the conversation onto a private channel – eg Facebook Messenger, email or phone – so you can get to grips with the problem without discussing every detail in public. Then do all you can to solve the problem.

    Once the issue is resolved, go back to the original comment and ask the person publicly if they are satisfied. This shows your customer and others that you made good on your promise, and that you value them.

    5. Learn and improve
    Feedback on social media offers valuable information about your business. It’s also a chance to test and enhance the way you handle complaints and queries.

    Tip: Whether positive or negative, use feedback to improve your customer service and your business as a whole.


  2. 7 mistakes good Managers NEVER make

    September 15, 2016 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on UK Employee Experience Awards by Tamara Luzajic

    Finding good workforce is never easy. On the other hand, you can often hear managers complaining about their best employees leaving. Needless to say, having good people quit is very disruptive and incredibly costly.

    But once the employee has left, managers usually blame some external factors, while the real reason is left unsaid:

    People leave jobs because of bad management.

    There are a few things good managers never do. That is how they keep their best people loyal.

    1. They overwork people

    Nobody loves to feel burned out. Sure, once you realise your employees can do a lot of things, it is tempting to work them hard. But this is a trap!

    The truth is, overworking good employees makes them feel punished for being good at something. But, that can be changed with rewards and recognition. Raises and promotions are acceptable ways to increase workload.

    If you simply increase workload without changing a thing, your best and talented employees will look for another job that will give them what they deserve.

    2. They show no interest in their employees

    There is a reason why successful companies make sure their managers know how to balance being professional with simply being human.

    These managers empathise with the employees going through hard times. They challenge people. They celebrate their success.

    Managers who don’t genuinely care will always have high turnover rates. Good employees don’t like to work for bosses who only care about profit.

    3. They hire wrong people

    There is no way a hard-working employee will want to work with a slacker. Hiring bad people is one of the biggest demotivators because good employees want to work with the like-minded professionals.

    Promoting the wrong people is perhaps even worse. Being passed over for a promotion that is given to a slacker is more than wrong. It is an insult to every good employee.

    4. They don’t support creativity

    One of the best things about good employees is that they always look for new ways to improve everything. If you take that power from them because you like things the way they are now, you will make them hate their job.

    Supporting your best employees’ creativity is always a good idea.

    5. They are not developing people’s skills

    One of the things good managers always do is listening. They are constantly listening, giving feedback and paying attention to their employees’ behaviour.

    There is so much a manager can do with a good employee; from finding areas in which they can approve to directing their skills into the right direction, management truly has no end. But if you don’t do any of this, you will have a bunch of bored employees on your hands and the best ones leaving for something better.

    6. They don’t challenge employees

    Pushing people out of their comfort zones is what makes them succeed eventually.

    Good managers challenge their employees to accomplish goals that seemed impossible at first. Then, they do everything to help them achieve those goals.

    Talented employees can’t stand doing things that are too easy or boring because they know that they only way to develop their skills further is to do new tasks and set higher goals.

    7. They don’t support people pursue their passions

    Talented employees are passionate about things they love. When a good boss provides an opportunity for pursuing that passion, it improves their productivity.

    Unfortunately, so many managers are more likely to disapprove of this. They usually fear that if their employees pursue their passions, their productivity will decline.

    Many studies show that people who are able to pursue their passion at work experience flow, the almost euphoric state of mind that makes a person more productive.


  3. The 3 major ways used to categorize wastes by influential Japanese gurus

    August 5, 2016 by ahmed

    Originally posted on Linkedin by Mohammad Elshahat

    Norman Bodek often called “The Godfather of Lean” couldn’t imagine how simple the instructions of Mr. Ohno which were the basis of Toyota Production System. Norman said (1988): “There’s nothing very complex in the magic of Mr. Ohno’s teachings”, he continues: “In fact, it is often confusing listening to him because he talks so simply, often just saying to look for and eliminate waste. We cannot believe that it is that simple – but it is true.”

    ” Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication .” Leonardo da Vinci

    Learning to see wastes is the first skill that you have to develop with your people, and eliminating those wastes should be on the top of your priorities. Developing small wins of discovering wastes and converting them into value was the heart of Toyota Production System. From the beginning, where your customer places an order to the point when the customer receives what he asked for, there are many processes and activities in the way. Your customer is not willing to pay for you, because you just have the cutting edge technology, or the best experts in a certain field, customers only pay for what solves their problems regardless of what you do to come up with that product or this service. The only one who cares about your product/service is You!

    “All we are doing is looking at the time line, from the moment the customer gives us an order to the point when we collect the cash. And we are reducing that time line by removing the non-value-added wastes.” Taiichi Ohno

    3 waists 1

    So, understanding wastes and how to identify them across your value chain is the lifeblood for your lean implementation. Knowing the types and classifications of wastes will help you to easily discover them. There’re many classifications of wastes, but in this article, I’m going to share with you the major three:

    1. Taiichi Ohno’s classification (7 wastes)
    2. Yasuhiro Monden’s classification (4 wastes)
    3. Hiroyuki Hirano’s classification (5MQS wastes)

    Taiichi Ohno’s Classification

    In my last article, I have briefly discussed the seven wastes which have been introduced by Taiichi Ohno (1988) – one of the inventors of Toyota legendary. It’s very important how you prelude these types of wastes to your people, instead of just informing them with the seven wastes in a bullet format or using this acronym ‘TIMWOOD” – it’s only a good way for remembering, but not for learning. You can open a discussion with your people using questions.

    The Socratic Method to Unlock People’s Capability

    A lean leader should realize the incredible power of questions and how it could shape people’s thoughts and let them learn virtually anything. In fact the entire Socratic Method is based on the teacher is doing nothing but asking questions, directing the student’s focus and getting them to come up with their own answers.

    “He who asks questions cannot avoid the answers” Cameron Proverb

    Michael Ballé and Art Smalley in their article “The Spirit of Lean” shared seven questions that will help in understanding the seven wastes and to stir and develop the “lean mindset” in your team.

    1. Are we producing too much or too soon?
    2. Are operators waiting for parts to arrive or for a machine to finish a cycle?
    3. Are we keeping conveyance to a minimum?
    4. Are we over-processing parts?
    5. Do we keep on the workstation more parts and components than the minimum to get the job done?
    6. Do we keep motion that does not contribute directly to value-added to a minimum?
    7. Do we avoid the need for rework or repairs?

    Many “lean consultant” has started a training session by writing the 7 wastes on a board, and never returned to them again because they were too busy with the tools! Using the Socratic Style in your training will make a big difference with your people and how they perceive the seven wastes, following the above questions with the WHY question will make you discover the real root causes to these wastes and then you’re about to drive them all out.

    Yasuhiro Monden’s Classification

    “Toyota Production System: An integrated approach to just in time” is one the best books that describes TPS from an academic standpoint. Monden introduced four kinds of wastes that can be found in manufacturing operations:

    1. Excessive production resources
    2. Overproduction
    3. Excessive inventory
    4. Unnecessary capital investment

    Excessive production resources could take many shapes; excessive workforce, excessive facilities, excessive inventory, when these elements exist in a amounts more than necessary, whether they are people, equipment, materials or products, they only increase cash outlay (costs) and add no value.

    Excessive production resources create the secondary waste – overproduction. Overproduction is regarded as the worst type of waste at TOYOTA. Over production is to continue working when essential operations should be stopped.

    Overproduction causes the third type of waste – excessive inventories. Extra inventory creates the need for more manpower, equipment, and floor space to transport and stock the inventory. These extra jobs will further make overproduction invisible.

    Given the existence of excessive resources, overproduction and inventory over time, demand for the fourth type of waste would develop. This fourth type, unnecessary capital investment, includes the following:

    • Building a warehouse to store extra inventory
    • Hiring extra workers to transport the inventory to the new warehouse
    • Purchasing a forklift for each transporter
    • Hiring an inventory control clerk to work in the new warehouse
    • Hiring an operator to repair damaged inventory
    • Establishing processes to manage conditions and quantities of different types of inventory
    • Hiring a person to do computerized inventory control

    These four sources of wastes raise administrative cost, direct material costs and direct or indirect labor costs and overhead costs such as depreciation, etc.

    Hiroyuki Hirano’s classification

    Stability is a key element in sustaining the success of Toyota. Sustaining stability in the 5Ms; Man, Machine, Method, Material and Management is the first goal that a lean leader has to focus on, but it would be a little bit harder to reach stability, when the 5Ms are fatty. By maintaining stable 5Ms and freeing them from wastes, you can accomplish your highest targets of Quality and Safety.

    3 waists 2

    The 5MQS scheme identifies seven types of waste, five of which begin with the letter “M”: Man, Material, Machine, Method, and Management. The “Q” in the 5MQS formula stands for Quality and the “S” for Safety.

    This figure shows the seven categories of wastes and how they include many hidden opportunities for improvement if we just stop and take a look. Although the first classification for wastes by Ohno is the most famous one, the other two are very valuable and could be used. In my perspective, Monden’s classification is a re-formulation of what Ohno stated (The 7 wastes) and it gives us an understanding of what the root cause of overproduction – excessive production resources. On the other hand, Hirano’s framework is a good one for organizations that start their lean implementation, as it directly hits the five foundations (5Ms) for any organization looking for stability, quality and safer workplace.

    Begin with the end in mind

    All things are created twice, so having a framework for identifying wastes in mind is a good way to keep your people motivated to waste elimination. Although, it is not a necessity that they’re going to discover wastes just by knowing that, but visualizing the end target in mind and keep moving toward it is better than getting to hunt wastes in a chaotic manner. After that, you can start your Waste Walk individually or with cross-functional team to identify Muda at your workplace.

    Last but not least, eliminate waste purposefully, get the most out of the Waste Walk, and let your team experience the power of lean by unlocking the hidden opportunities for improvement.


  4. Move over product design, UX is the future

    July 1, 2016 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on FastCoDesign blog

    Rick Wise, CEO of Lippincott, says experience innovation is the next design imperative. Here are five things you can do this year to make that happen.

    For decades, the most successful businesses thrived on product innovation as the natural strategy to increase revenues, market share, and loyalty. Fast forward to 2014: today’s product innovations, and the growth they create, are often incremental, narrow, and fleeting. Take TVs or PCs—every competitor quickly matches the latest features, speed, brightness. As a result, companies are finding that returns from product efforts are harder to rely on. Among the Global Innovation 1000, R&D spending rose 5.8% last year, yet revenue for those companies increased less than 1%. Global competition and technological diffusion mean that competitors quickly catch up with most improvements, while the transparency of digital and social media also prompts consumers to quickly switch allegiance with each new alluring offer.

    Today’s enlightened leaders are achieving success by crafting the entire customer experience—shaping, innovating, branding, and measuring it. They are mastering a new discipline we refer to as “experience innovation” by going beyond the discrete product or service to reimagine the customer journey. The result yields new, unexpected, signature moments that delight customers and create significant opportunities for new growth.

    We believe that experience innovation will be a crucial component for companies seeking to remain relevant and retain customer loyalty in 2014. But the process of designing a truly innovative experience cannot simply rest on the process excellence of classic customer experience-improvement efforts or the creative brilliance of the marketing team. Drawing on our recent work, here are a few key principles for success.

    LOOK BEYOND THE PRODUCT
    Experience innovation isn’t driven by specific product features or design, but by reimagining the broader experience of how customers might use the product or service. By looking beyond the product to take a broader view of customer issues and activities around the product, companies can find new ways to address unmet needs, create talk-worthiness, and fuel differentiation.

    Take Uber, the car service. Uber didn’t change the vehicle or retrain drivers, but fundamentally changed how you order, meet, and pay for a car. By taking a broader view of what a car service could be, Uber was able to reimagine the entire experience—offering “relentless reliability,” and a seamless system that addresses many hassles such as long wait time, not having cash, losing recipients, etc. The company is growing like wildfire—adding almost 80,000 new customers a week and is able to charge a lot more than the typical cab. Looking beyond the product to the broader experiences surrounding it also creates new horizons for growth. At Nike, for instance, shifting from sneakers to enabling fitness has spurred clothing sales, the Fuel band, and other integrated digital solutions, and fitness-oriented social media sharing and gamification.

    BE CUSTOMER FOCUSED, BUT NOT CUSTOMER LED

    Experience innovators recognize that consumers can’t tell you about the things they need or want but haven’t yet imagined. Nor can consumers articulate how they will do things differently in the future. For instance, customers will tell an airline they really want quick boarding and on-time departures.

    That’s fairly obvious. But Delta came up with an approach they call “delocation” as a way of taking services out of their typical location and improving the travel experience in unexpected ways. Delta brought the lounge directly to the gate, creating an enhanced experience among travelers who had never thought of the gate past its function as a waiting area and were often too rushed to visit the airline lounge. The Delta concourses at LaGuardia and Minneapolis have banquette seating, embedded iPads, gate side ordering, and specially curated shops and restaurants to create new levels of service and ambiance. The space takes advantage of Delta’s ability to partner and deliver on its essence of “making flying better” in a way consumers might never have articulated in a focus group—and provides an opportunity for a new revenue stream. Delta is an example of a brand that has committed to enhancing the experience on an ongoing basis and Delta’s stock price more than doubled in 2013
    BUILD LONG-TERM VISION

    Great experience innovation isn’t about a series of one-off moments, but a holistic vision for a transformed brand experience that evolves over time. A customer-experience map is, therefore, a bold, integrated vision for the future of your brand experience. Start with a broad and detailed exploration of the customer journey—and how it could be different. Don’t ask customers what they need, but observe how they behave and what makes them happy or sad. Then assess what people could do. Think about what they will notice, and what they will remember. Look for the big moves—can you take entire steps out of the process, change the sequence, add new value in unexpected places? Disney, for example, unexpectedly opens the park gates five minutes in advance fueling the “I’m about to be at Disney world!” thrill. In developing such a map, think in terms of a portfolio approach to execution, by balancing simple changes that build momentum with longer-term investments that require more radical changes and resourcing.

    ENGAGE ALL OF THE SENSES

    Today’s dramatically expanding set of touch points, shorter attention spans, and shrinking lifecycles all heighten the need for an experience that breaks through with increased vitality and dimension. In that vein, a great brand experience often engages all the senses. It considers the environmental, physical, digital, and even behavioral expression of brand—the way employees interact with both customers and each other.

    MAKE IT REAL FROM THE INSIDE FIRST

    Products are usually managed by one person, whereas an experience must be curated by several different owners with separate goals and metrics. Drawing on expertise across functions is essential to push thinking, discover what is possible, and forge connections across operational silos. And, before an experience will come across as real to the outside world, dozens, hundreds or thousands of employees need to be educated and empowered to deliver the vision.

    The concept of innovating the experience isn’t new. Virgin’s airport clubs, Nike’s flagship stores, Starbucks restaurants, and Disney’s Parks set the standard many years ago. These innovators show us that the experience isn’t just about the planes, the shoes, the coffee or the even the rides—it’s about how we feel when we use the product or service. The stakes for getting the experience right, and continually enhancing it, have never been higher.


  5. JIC Wins European Award for best Practices – 2016

    June 26, 2016 by ahmed

    JIC 2016

    Al Jazeera International Catering was awarded the most prestigious European Award for best Practices – 2016. This award was presented as recognition for JIC’s best practices, adherence to the excellence program and the commitment towards sustainability and stakeholder engagement.

    The European Society for Quality Research (ESQR) recognizes and highlights outstanding business results, best practices, quality awareness and achievements by companies in regional and global markets. Through its recognition programs and awards, ESQR makes quality a top priority for the recognized organizations, regardless of their sector, size and location.

    The award was presented at a splendid Ceremony held at Le Plaza Hotel, Brussels (Belgium) on Saturday, June 4, 2016. Around 75 companies from 63 countries participated in this grand event.

    Receiving the award, Mr. Robby Thommy, Managing Director, Al Jazeera International Catering, thanked the organizers for evaluating and recognizing its commitment towards sustainability and stakeholder’s engagement. He also thanked the employees of JIC for their passion and dedication towards excellence and sustainability and said this award is a clear recognition for the commitment and attitude they possess towards the journey of excellence.

    JIC won the International Best Practice Competition 2015 and 2014, and Runner-up of GBN’s Global Benchmarking Award 2015