Alexa The Spark - Shampa's Blog

the enemy of innovation

When you think of ‘innovation’ what comes to mind? Do you think innovation is inventing something totally new that changes the world? Do you think inventiveness is only limited to scientists and engineers? Does it only apply to creating new products?

In today’s world ‘innovation’ is ‘doing or building something different that creates or adds more value’.

Inventiveness is not limited to scientists and engineers.

It is not limited to achieving big breakthroughs.

Nor is it limited to creating new world-changing products.

It could be a small everyday improvement …
that makes a difficult task easier …
that makes the complicated simpler …
or the expensive more affordable …

So, if everyone can innovate, why is it not more common?

There are many reasons why innovation is so hard to achieve.

There are many barriers to innovation …

But the biggest barrier to innovation is also the one that is least obvious and least talked about.

Inertia.

Organizational Inertia.

Businesses are built to deliver predictable results.

Consistency.

Certainty.

Reliability.

These are the traits that make a business successful today.

But these are also traits that stifle innovation that will make the business successful tomorrow.

And that is the challenge that organizations face.

Rewarding the status quo will not trigger meaningful innovation.

Original ideas are not predictable.

Fear of failure does not generate bold ideas.

So, the first step to break this Inertia is to deliberately commit to innovation.

Start small.

But reward bold innovative behaviors.

And don’t back off when bold ideas fall flat.

Because that is where innovations begin.

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you drive innovation by making complex time consuming processes simpler through automation and intelligence, talk to us.

Or, if you would like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

January 5, 2023

CX Failures … and how to avoid them

How often have you heard about CX failures?

Do you hear about ambitious ‘Customer Centric’ initiatives that aimed to overhaul everything and put customers at the center of everything… but really achieved nothing?

Probably not.

Mainly because companies tend not to boast about them.

But they happen all the time.

Businesses decide to become ‘Customer-centric’ … they tear down their existing operational models … rush to choose the biggest CRM name in the market … spend hundreds of thousands of dollars implementing it … and then …

Nothing.

No benefits.

Neither the business nor their customers see any tangible improvements.

Such incidents are then quietly swept under the rug, and everyone goes back to business as usual.

But what is the reason behind these implementation failures?

Often it boils down to 3 main reasons:

  • It costs too much
  • It takes too long
  • It disrupts Business as Usual

So, as 2023 approaches and organizations start planning for new ways to boost Customer Engagement, especially in the current market scenario, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Opt for incremental improvement of business operations
  2. Choose technology that can be implemented quickly (lower cost)
  3. Focus on what is important to the customer and will deliver the most results

Adopting this practical, implementable, and cost-effective approach instead of over-complicated strategies will help you deliver value to your customers without failed promises and major disruptions.

And that is critical for these uncertain times.

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you drive practical and cost-effective CX improvements by providing one platform that automates tasks and provides insights for marketing, sales and service departments, talk to us.

Or, if you would like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

December 8, 2022

Doing More with Less

The mood is gloomy … The predictions are dire …

Newsrooms as well as water cooler discussions are filled with talk about slowing growth, budget cuts, layoffs, …

Trimming the fat …

Tightening the belt …

Faced with an economic recession just around the corner, businesses are bracing for a long hard winter.

What do you do?

How do you respond?

This is the time to do more with less.

Efficiency is now the name of the game.

Are you facing this challenge too?

Are things slowing down in your organization too?

Are you having to do more with less?

If that is the case, here are 3 strategies that will help you drive growth in your organization during these challenging times:

  1. Narrow down your focus to the high-potential and high-revenue customers and markets. Prioritize what works. Create a plan to target your best customers and the best markets for new sales opportunities. Leverage a tool that includes real time data to track progress of leads and accounts, and does it across marketing, sales, and service departments.
  2. Use automation to increase efficiency. A tool that automates tedious manual tasks and takes care of day-to-day communications and notifications is important during normal times of course, but is absolutely critical during these times when you may find yourself short-staffed but with the same long list of deliverables.
  3. Simplify your technology by reducing the number of apps and tools. In most organizations, sales and service reps spend less time selling and attending to customers and more time doing tedious tasks like data entry on multiple apps and outdated tools. This would be a good time to take inventory of all the tools that are used by your organization or department and remove any that don’t add significant value or take the business process forward.

What strategies are you using in your organization to drive efficiency and do more with less?

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you drive efficiency by providing one platform that automates tasks and provides insights for marketing, sales and service departments, talk to us.

Or, if you would like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

December 1, 2022

Unscripted

Does the customer service in your organization have a heart?
For a very long time … for decades really … predictability, consistency and efficiency have been the main mantra of customer service in all businesses, especially large enterprises. And companies have tried to achieve this with rigorous training of their customer service reps and asking them to follow a rigid script for every customer interaction. The more complex and emotionally charged the customer interactions are, the more companies used technology to double down on this rigid approach by automating the interactions.

But as technology is evolving, a more human approach to customer service is taking hold. We can call it ‘human-centric customer service’. This is the model where human agents work in tandem with high-tech platforms and yet use their human skills of complex problem-solving, communication, and emotional engagement to provide the best experience to their customers.

When you ask agents to follow scripts that have a decision-tree, you train them to behave more like machines that follow a certain algorithm. Although this approach is easier to automate, agents end up losing their human skills like creativity and empathy.

Even if this rigid approach results in improving metrics like reduced call times, it ultimately results in poor customer experience and dissatisfied customers.

So it’s important that instead of looking at customer interactions as isolated events or ‘transactions’, we look at them as important steps along the customer journey.

Great service requires authentic human connection … and human connection can never be scripted.

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you create a human connection with your customers by helping you stay in close touch with them, talk to us.

Or, if you would like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

November 17, 2022

Why don’t people buy

If your almost-closed deals are not closing at the last minute and your prospective buyers are consistently backing out and your revenue targets are not being met, it’s time to dig deeper and look for the reason why this is happening.

Here are the 5 main reasons why people don’t buy:

  1. No need – Pretty straightforward – the person doesn’t need your product or service.
  2. No hurry – This is the classic ‘Let me think about it’ response.
  3. No trust – If the prospect does not trust you, there is no way you can close the sale.
  4. No time – Sometimes the prospect is busy and has a lot on her plate, and you are not the priority right now. Other times, this is just procrastination and initial inertia of committing to your product or service.
  5. No money – Sometimes ‘no money’ really means that they don’t have the money to purchase. Often, it means they don’t have budget for it at this time. Or, it could be that they don’t think that buying your product is money well spent.

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub lets you overcome these objections and help you close more deals, talk to us.

Or, if you would like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

ConvergeHub is an enterprise-grade customer relationship management software that helps businesses build long-term relationships with their customers and prospects. It is easy to implement, can be quickly customized to suit any business, needs very little training, and will quickly get your business on the path to 10X growth.

November 3, 2022

The B4B Mindset

If your company sells to other businesses, you probably refer to your company as ‘B2B’ or ‘Business-to-Business’. But it has been found that reframing the business as ‘B4B’ or ‘Business-FOR-Business’ can increase revenues, customer retention, and employee morale.

Why would such a small change drive these results?

Because thinking of your business as B4B forces a shift in mindset.

Identifying as Business-FOR-Business provides an organization with a sense of purpose.

And that drives innovation and creativity.

When a business identifies itself as a business that sells to other businesses, it leads to a competitive mindset.

Pushing commodity products becomes the sales strategy.

Success is measured in volume.

Price becomes the primary criteria for offering value.

Volume discounts become the name of the game.

Which makes the business vulnerable to bigger manufacturers offering lower prices.

B4B thinking forces a complete mindset reboot.

It forces businesses to switch from a competitive mindset to a collaborative mindset.

When an organization thinks of itself as a business that works for other businesses, it deepens the relationship they have with their customers.

Its primary measure of success becomes how it helped its customers grow.

The business aligns its own success with the success of its customers.

Even if that means investing in customer training.

And providing value-added services.

At no cost or minimal cost for some time.

Why does this make business sense?

Because revenue growth of a business depends on two main factors:

  1. The volume of the cash flow – how much cash is flowing in during a given period
  2. The longevity of the cash flow – for how long that cash flow will continue

Companies with a ‘Business-for-Business’ mindset that organizes their activities around the success of their customers generate a long and dependable cash flow that helps them grow sustainably.

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you switch to a B4B mindset by helping you stay in close touch with your customers, talk to us.

Or, if you would like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

October 25, 2022

Designing Customer Experience

What would you say is the most important factor to transform the customer experience in your organization?

If you were asked to redesign the customer experience in your company, where would you start?

I think the most important factor is the ability to see the business from a customer’s perspective … viewing the business from outside, looking inwards … seeing what the customer sees … feeling what the customer feels.

That would be the first step to creating a compelling customer experience.

More and more, customer experience is becoming the ultimate battleground for companies and their competitors.

And this is a trend that will continue into the future.

Digital transformation wars will be won or lost on this battleground.

There is a good reason for this.

Compelling customer experiences are very hard to design.

And even harder to deliver.

Because it requires empathy before technology.

It requires a willingness to understand human behaviors.

To carefully observe the customer journey.

To really listen.

And only then use technology to digitally reengineer customer experiences.

To create an uninterrupted experience through each step in the customer journey by integrating the front end customer facing technologies with back-end processes.

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you reengineer the customer experience in your company by helping you stay in close touch with your customers, talk to us.

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

October 13, 2022

An offbeat way to grow sales

When your rep calls a customer to ask for more business, how much does he know about that customer?

Would he know that this is an unhappy customer with multiple unresolved support tickets?
Would he know that this customer has threatened to move to a competitor?
How about the fact this customer has been with your organization for 10+ years and expects special treatment?
Or that they have specific needs and have purchased custom products or services in the past?

You see, the level of information that the rep has access to will determine how that call will go.

According to a recent study, 62% of customers said that a representative’s knowledge or resourcefulness was key to their positive service experiences.

Regardless of how you put it, even in this age of bots and artificial intelligence, there is no substitute for knowledgeable human service.

And study after study show that customers overwhelmingly show appreciation for great service with their wallets.

Not just their own wallets, but also that of their family and friends, in the form of referrals.

So, one of the most important ways to grow sales, even if it does seem a little unexpected, is to empower your reps with knowledge. The more they know about a customer, the more repeat business they will be able to close.

If you would like to know more on how ConvergeHub can help empower your sales reps and customer service reps to close more repeat business, sign up for a free trial here.

Or get a free one-on-one consultation with one of our experts.

September 29, 2022

The Correlation Trap

How much does your organization know about your customers? … and what does your organization do with that information?

Businesses today know more about their customers than they have at any time in history… they know where their customers live, where they work, every last phone number or email address they use, social media handles, birthday, cars they drive, … maybe even their shoe size.

And yet … their innovation process … building products or services that their customers will actually use … remains as uncertain as ever.

Why?

The more you know about your customers, the easier it should be to satisfy them … isn’t it?

So, why isn’t that happening?

Because the data that is being gathered is not necessarily relevant … it does not necessarily cause the behavior/action that we think it does.

Take the case of Marc Jones.

He is 62 years old.

Lives with his wife in the suburbs of California.

He drives a Toyota minivan.

His birthday is 12 October.

His shoe size is 13.

But none of these are the reason why he chose to buy a burger from McDonalds today.

Maybe he was tired of eating healthy all week and wanted a change in taste.

Maybe he was in a hurry and McDonald’s was on the way home.

Maybe he just wanted to chill in front of the TV and he picked the easiest dinner option he could think of.

Point is, companies who collect demographic or psychographic information about him are not going to be able to capture those reasons from the data points they collect.

Knowing more and more about customers … collecting volumes and volumes of data about them … and trying to force a correlation between the collected data points and customer behavior … can take companies in the wrong direction … and can even hamper innovation.

What organizations really need to know when a customer takes a specific action, is what that customer is trying to accomplish in that specific situation.

And that kind of insight can come only when organizations have deep conversations with real customers.

Think about it 😊

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you drive Digital Transformation in your company by helping you stay in close touch with your customers, talk to us.

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

September 22, 2022

Becoming Unstoppable

This is a story about how a blind man escaped from the World Trade Center during the terrorist attack of Sep 11, 2001.. and what it takes to develop an unstoppable mindset like that. Click here to read it on my LinkedIn post.

On September 11, 2001, a blind man escaped the World Trade Center by walking down 78 flights of stairs with his guide dog Roselle.

That man is Michael Hingson.

Michael Hingson is one of the most inspiring and fascinating persons I had the good fortune to meet.

He is a New York times best selling author and an international hero honored and awarded by top organizations worldwide.

Blind since birth, Michael is inspiring thousands, giving readers a transformative look into the life and boundless capabilities of the blind.

Recently I sat down for a chat with Michael. We spoke about life, technology and what makes a person unstoppable.

Click here to listen: https://lnkd.in/d5S6jbHe

What do you think? I’d love to hear your feedback.. go ahead and leave a comment on the LinkedIn post.

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help your organization becoming unstoppable by helping you execute better at the speed that is right for your business, talk to us..

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

September 15, 2022