Sunday, March 4, 2012

Shopping for Services

He has not received a list of services his wife and children would like to buy  as usual, but he didn't feel Stuck anyway. He decided he can just start with the promotion area and use this as a good initial reminder of what they may need and work the rest between the display panels.
His children don't like to accompany him for this trip, they simply don't belong to this old way of exchanging things. They normally do it on the internet and without having to use these things called credit card. They just feel so ancient doing any of that stuff. Having to go to a hypermarket to buy their services is just beyond traditional for them.
He finally walked in the hypermarket and headed to the promotion area. There he found new offers from some schooling businesses for this week. It included discount on the history course for his daughter packaged with 3 trips to Asia. For him, he found it more relevant than this coolness-boosting and reflection-encouraging transformations he first saw as he stepped in. "Yes, at least here I can see the large size of everything and feel some materials. This internet thing really give me issues", he thought.
He passed by the food section and went through all the placed offers "one nation a day", "office-meals", "It's not about taste, it's about match", "just like mom's", "On the go", "Sandwich that calls before arrival" he went through the various offered food packages. He wanted to get something for the week. "OK! that's new!" he stood by a screen that said "Daily crowd-sourced selection" he flipped through the menu and saw how some menus are being formed right now. He liked the idea of being able to eat something related to his media consumption during yesterday. For him, it felt nice to see a dish, plate, celebrity, or nutritional fact and get food served accordingly. He punched his card through to order food for the entire week.
He went to the automotive section and ordered a nice "Jaguar" for his outing with his wife in the weekend night and a harley-davidson for seeing his friends. He headed for the pets section where he ordered a one week of 2 meters marine aquarium. He then noticed it's about time to check the clothing section to decide on what he would like to rent for this week. He's glad he can decide everyday on what fits not only his mood but also his shrinking dieted body.

Moral of the Ser Fi.

  1. From products to services
  2. From ownership to access

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Graduating Customer

"Pheww" He said as he walked in the room. "This last module on Provider Research was something else", he walked as he flicked through his tablet. "I don't really understand, what's it you're doing" his father said. "I'm studying customership studies foundation. Well, my objective is to become a certified customer. I'm going to specialize in well-being" his father just continued to look in his archaic iPhone as he shook his head thinking what he heard was nonsense.

Moral of the Ser Fi:
Customership Studies is a branch of science that may develop one day as a result of the customers feeling highly empowered, integrated and expected to deeply contribute to service design, production .. etc. The studies will include best practices and knowledge on how to be the most effective and contributing to services you get involved in.  This may be another way of creating the match between the needs and the offering. The gap doesn't always have to be closed from the provider's side.
The common customer knowledge have been there for 1000s of years but more on the usage side, What we're addressing here is on contribution to the strategy, design and delivery.
At that point operations, strategy .. etc could be topics for study for customers but with a different lens.

A Lamp in The Room, A Smile on The Wall

This is her third day of trying to get that lamp she always wanted in her room. Doesn't look like any of the customers is helping her get there. Every customer, would lalk-in(1), see her wish, get served, and lalk out.
"Something must be wrong!" She thought. "How come everyone is getting their wishes fulfilled but not me".

She saw one of the colleagues that has been around for 2 days and seems to be doing fine. Her cafe is all working, people lalking in and out and her cafe is prospering. She touched the screen and the colleague turned to her with a smile. She asked her "As you see, I've been wanting a lamp here in this room for how long, no one is bothering to give me a rating that would help my recruiter think about giving it to me or even giving me few stars so I feel I'm half way through, Is anything wrong with me?", "Sorry, I've not been following, let's ask our group" the colleague suggested.
As the colleague got the concern announced, suggestions and remarks started to come through and land on her desk. They started to turn in color as voting on suggestions went on and she immediately knew the problem. "Your suggestions are not related to the customer's mood, you need to review the customer's activity for the last hour before you jump to a suggestion. What they tell you is not enough" The colleague concluded.

She wasn't that convinced, but thought to try. As the next customer lalked in, she reviewed his activity history as it showed next to his request as he spoke. He wanted to renew his in-house diagnosis service. She saw that he started to recently follow tougher exercising plans and offered him a sports package for trial. He was happy for the offer and for her recognizing him as a professional sports player. He immediately accepted, looked at her wish list, wished he could offer her the lamp but all he could do was to give her the 5 stars and then lalked out.

She immediately saw a half of her lamp in the room and saw her recruiter's picture on the wall smiling. The colleague smiled and her desk turned green with all her peers' votes. "mmmmm what a small lamp! I'm sure I can get the car I wanted in farm-ville when I was young. I think they have it here as well in "myUniverse", She enthusiastically thought as she received her next customer.

(1) lalk: new term used in the future which represent the mix of walk and log.

Moral of the Ser Fi:
Gaming is a big part of our life today. The new generation is even more into it. Utilizing games in the workplace could play a major role in evaluation and employee performance management.  It can make tasks more compelling, thrilling and enjoyable. The technology development will surely change the formula as we know it today.

The story is so futuristic that it envisions the employee herself living in the game, and is able to communicate with peers and boss through some interfaces. We have something here like our nowadays "farm-ville" implemented, but the employee is actually living the game not playing it. Customers are able to help or reward employees and do feed directly in the performance management system. Colleagues and communities are also helping in this type of evaluation. The story lightly refers to the fact that employee doesn't work in a specific organization but rather gets recruited on-demand and moves between organizations very frequently.