Archive for May, 2009

Making Social Networking Work

While I am not an avid fan of social networking, its a fact that even businesses use it for their advantage – hiring people, getting potential business contacts, marketing, etc. Many people just use it for fun while others are reaping the benefits of maximizing their use. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to name a few of these social networking sites have become popular due to increased usage. In fact, even Pizza Hut hired a “Twintern” to promote their brand to their Twitter followers. While it has become a hype, making it work for you requires a lot of work. An article in NetworkWorld highlights 10 keys for making social networking work for your advantage. One thing I learned thoughout my experience with people is that whatever works with them works in just about any media. Think about it. Do you remember your classmates from decades ago unless you’ve initiated contact with them on a regular basis? What about the very first job you had? Do the people still remember who you are? How did you know about your current job? It’s all about others – not you. If you jump into the social networking bandwagon thinking you want to be connected to others, first, think about what’s in it for them. I see a lot of posts on these sites promoting products and services without even reading the code of conduct on the usage of the service. A lot of people find this pretty annoying and, hence, simply ignore them. But when people find out that you are there to help them out, they bring down their barriers and are more open to what you have to offer or your need.

Bottom line – if you want social networking to work for you, remember that it is not about you


The Customer is King vs Doing the Right Thing

Most of the service-oriented businesses these days know that the customer is always the king. This means doing everything they can at their disposal to make sure that their customers would be more than satisfied with their goods and services even to the extent of simply yielding to the customers’ irrational requests. Having worked for service-oriented organizations where customers pay by man-hours or man-days (even man-minutes), I’ve heard of customers’ requests to cut corners just to save time on projects and implementations which, of course, saves on consulting fees. Anybody who’d like to keep the customer happy would simply yield to such requests without thinking of the repercussions in the long run. As service providers, customers expect us to provide a high level of service and trusts us to make decisions for them. While saving the customer a few thousand dollars might make them happy for now, imagine what could happen down the road. For example, imagine you’re a security consultant that charges on a per-man-day rate and that the customer saw the breakdown of your quote. Since they want to cut down on cost, they figured they can simply drop some of the services you are offering and just go with the “least” acceptable proposal. Now, as a security consultant, you know the risks of not implementing your entire suite of solutions but wouldn’t want the customer to simply walk away without signing the contract. What would you do?

Categories: customer service

Compassionate Capitalism as some may call it

In a world where capitalism focuses more on profits and revenues, others may think making a difference is totally out of the picture. I was reading about TOMS Shoes and how the company started out as Blake Mycoskie, Chief Shoe Giver, wanted to help children from developing countries by providing them shoes to wear. Their motto: “One for one.” His company would match every pair of shoes sold with a pair given to a child in need. Talk about real and authentic corporate social responsibility. I was reading more about TOMS Shoes and how it garnered a lot of media coverage, one being the AT&T ad featuring TOMS Shoes while they do their shoe drop activity.

What’s really amazing is the fact that the business model is built on the concept of compassionate capitalism where their vision is primarily what sustains the business. His explanation on the CGI U meeting with President Bill Clinton highlights that even during this time of economic crisis, they have sold three times as much in the same month as compared to last year.

TOMS story is a testimony of compassionate capitalism at work and how organizations should think about their impact in society. More than just the leader’s vision of growing the organization to greater heights, couple that with being socially responsible is how we can create a sustainable environment and make this world a better place to live in.