Sunday, July 17, 2011

Not knowingly losing customers

Probably retail is the industry which has the highest frequency of repeat business and also the one of the highest level of interaction with consumers. In retail, supermarkets focus on two things, basket value and footfall. You improve which ever the variable and you'll improve top line. Product availability is a key for the success of any supermarket because of it's impact on basket size and customer satisfaction.

Since of late I've come to realize that a supermarket outlet that I frequently use to visit is increasingly running out some of the items that I would shop for on weekly/monthly basis. While these items might not the basic essentials they would fall in to the category of items you would look for in your weekly shopping trips.

Here's the consequence. After lack of various products for the past several months I have started to go for competition outlets which I have not done for a long long time. I would call myself a loyal customer of the previous chain. However loyalty is bound to have limits. Running out of products, let alone essentials occasionally is not an issue. But when you come across situations where product unavailability on regular basis you would look else where.

The other danger is that organizations even will not know the parting customers or the reasons for it. There we two others that I know personally who have moved to other chains from the same chain of supermarkets I am referring to. However they have made no attempt to even leave any kind of feedback. I generally do make it a point to provide feedback. Because I believe in brands that I shop with, be it food, clothes etc. But when you don't see much happening after serveal feedback sessions you give up.

Well my current supermarket has lost it's weekly big basket customer in me, but I will use the place for my top ups. With top ups at roughly 10% of the basket value it's quite obvious the wallet share loss. May be I'm the exception. I only know two other people who have abandon the chain under similar circumstances. Interestingly the initial switch happened not because the competition was significantly better(at least we were not prompted to think that way), but because of the bd 'experience'.

Best part is that no body in the organization knows that they've lost a customer!

Feel free to share your thoughts or feedback on this posting under the comments column

Service Recovery - Traders Maldives Way

In one of my previous posting I wrote about bad service at Traders Hotel Male'.

Upon my return I provided on line feedback on the incident and revved a personalized note from the GM herself assuring me of better service and non recurrence of similar experiences with a request to keep her posted with my next travel plans to Male'.

Couple of months later I did make another trip to Male and I certainly dropped a note to her about my travel.

As expected this time it was different. There were Traders personnel awaiting my arrival at the Male airport. Without any delay I was taken to their speed boat to be transferred to the hotel. At the hotel I was greeted by GM herself, Ester Marcaida who apologized for my precious experiences and assured me of best of service this time around. They gave me a sea view room which was also an upgrade to the usual deluxe rooms we take up. Staff were much more attentive and for all practical purposes they were at my service at the drop of an hat.

At the room there was this personal note from the GM.

All in all it was quite obvious that they've made a successful effort in recvoring from a service mishap. I suppose it was the initiative of the experience GM, Ester Marcaida which assured them over 15 room nights last time and probably a whole lot more as I have advised all my colleagues to stay at the same hotel.

Feel free to share your thoughts or feedback on this posting under the comment

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Making the most of the situational leadership opportunities

Some gain leadership positions by context. While they may not be the appointed leader, given the circumstances and their technical competencies it creates a scenario for them to assume leadership roles.

However these moments could be an acid test for their true mettle as a leader. Those who observe them will watch them closely to evaluate the softer aspect of their leadership style which is so crucial for the longterm assignment of the leadership roles.

Such individuals would do well for themselves if they consciously step out of their obsession on technical competency focus. While technical competency is crucial the leadership in the longer term is really about bringing out the best in others and providing direction, which is much easier said than done.

So if you are assuming a situational leadership role be conscious about the true aspects of leadership as well.