Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Emerging Technologies

A study highlighted most relevant emerging technologies that will drive digital transformation are artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), next generation computing experiences, quantum computing and wearable technologies. Is Pasti Nyala ready? Are you ready?

We have been developing traditional information systems but these days due to the face paced digital transformation, there are disruptive systems being rolled out every day.

Digital transformation is actually about what kind of problems you are going to solve, how effective are your manufacturing lines or whether automation will be a better option for production or how to you capitalize your data not only for historical analysis but also for predictive analysis.

Organisations that do not evolve fast enough will be less competitive or even obsolete as they face disruptions in every industry. Among the barriers that are hindering digital transformation are the lack of digitally skilled workers and for the case of Pasti Nyala, having a workforce with the right talents. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How to deal with a potential customer

There are no fast rules or slow rules when dealing with a potential customer. Sometimes, experience and situation played some parts as well.

First, I would like to share a few expectations:
1.  The first meet-up is the hardest, awkward and a total mystery. Sometimes you just don't know what to expect. Just be prepared and expect the unexpected.

2. Not all potential customers are going to convert into paying customer.  They could be not ready to buy or you are not convincing enough.

3. Don't get starstruck. A big corporation would be nice to have as a marquee client, but don't lose perspective. Those kinds of prospects often demand extensive proposals, they have high expectation, take longer to make decisions and expect highly competitive bids. 

Here some guides when dealing with a potential customer. Fine tuned them as you get more involved.

1.  Don’t Come on Too Strong – Respect Your Prospect

It’s very important to be respectful of a customer’s mood when trying to propose your products or services.  Keeping your patience is key to giving your prospect the time to air out their preferences or requirements.  The more comfortable the customer is the more likely they’ll share valuable feedback or info that can help you in a preparing a solid proposal.

2. Always Listen – Hear What Your Prospects are Saying

At a time when it’s easy to have a two-way dialogue with your prospects, it’s important to truly listen. Some people are reluctant to share or reveal their problem to a stranger. So whenever the prospects brought up his problem, do take note. It will be easier to come out with the solution if you know the problem.  

3. Continue to Satisfy – Offer Follow-up and Support  

The #1 reason for customer attrition is dissatisfaction with customer service. Do everything in your power to provide excellent service to your customers or prospects on an ongoing basis.  

There’s never any reason to slow down on satisfying your audience, especially when they’re chatting with you live over the phone or gave your their valuable time for a meeting. It’s important to note that 81% of companies with strong capabilities and competencies for delivering customer experience excellence are outperforming their competition. Take note, customer satisfaction is a key differentiator in a sea of other companies.

4. Treat a Prospect Like a Valued Partner – Communication is Two Way

As previously mentioned, take your prospect’s feedback seriously even though they are no yet your customer and act upon reasonable requests. What’s the point of listening if you’re not going to act on that feedback or request? Make sure it’s clear that you want your customer’s feedback and that your business truly values them as a partner.

If you’re looking for an example of how to show your customer that their opinion matters, look at what the Buffer app team is doing. Buffer app is a social media management tool that helps businesses and individuals schedule their content for the best times to share and get engagement. The Buffer blog features a variety of quality content focused on marketing, achieving happiness, and a monthly series known as the Happiness Report.

5. Follow Through on Your Word – Follow Up on Promises

Your word is your bond. Following up on your promises helps show the transparency of your business while helping to build a feeling of trust and dependability with your audience.

Manage the expectations of your customers to ensure realistic goals are set and can be met. By remaining consistent in your messaging, your customers will learn what they should expect from you in the future.
F.W. Nichol said it best, “When you get right down to the root of the meaning of the word “succeed,” you find that it simply means to follow through.” Or locally, there is a term called "Jangan cakap tak serupa bikin".

6. Impress when possible

Some prospects are very particular with your capabilities. They want to know if you know your stuff before they part with their money.  If they asked for an opinion, share with them your experience and track record and how do you solve a similar problem before. And when it comes to technology, let them know that we are also constantly learning and improving to catch up with technology advancement. That should give them some comfort that we want to maintain our competency.

7. Always Say “Thank You” – Kindness and Gratitude will Take You Far

Last, but certainly not least, always say “Thank you.” As many as 3 out of 4 customers say they have spent more with a company because of a history of positive experiences. Kindness and gratitude for a customer’s business is an undeniable way to further enchant them for the long term.

Thanks them for their time even if there are not buying your product.

8. Lastly, keep calm and be ohsome

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Keep Calm and Be Ohsome

Every now and then, I get a message that my staff has an outburst with the client, supervisor and fellow colleagues. Yeah, sometimes I feel that I'm the Head Of Complaint Department in Pasti Nyala.

If you were at the receiving end, did you insist or demand? Are you being pushy in the first place? Being aggressive can create friction and trigger the other party outburst. Or you were reminded of certain tasks and you gave excuses of not delivering it on time or with the expected result. Did you know that every time you slack out, your supervisor get increasingly frustrated with your performance?

If you were the one that blows up, my advice is to recall what happened and how it could have been avoided, only if you were patience then. There's no point being stress out and blurted out bad words, cause human tend to remember negative things. It gives a bad impression. And from my past experience, NO PRESSURE NO DIAMOND.  Google that by the way. It wouldn't be work if there is no pressure. Pressure keep you on your toes and that's the best way to learn quickly.

I have been in so many stressful fire fighting (resolving crisis after crisis) situations. Have rescued a few bad projects. All due to people issue (like management issues, planning issue, incompetent team mates, etc). Don't let the pressure consume you, just deal the issues one at a time.

Below is an article that suggests some excellent ways to keep your composure at work.

Leaders need to show more composure than ever before in the workplace.   With the change management requirements, increased marketplace demands and intensifying competitive factors that surround us, leaders must have greater poise, agility and patience to minimize the impact of uncertainty.   How leaders respond to these and other growing pressures is an indicator of their leadership preparedness, maturity and acumen.

The composure of a leader is reflected in their attitude, body language and overall presence. In today’s evolving business environment, it is clear that leadership is not only about elevating the performance, aptitude and development of people – but more so about the ability to make people feel safe and secure. Employees have grown tired of working in survival mode and thus want to be part of a workplace culture where they can get back to doing their best work without the fear of losing their jobs.

I worked with a colleague that lacked composure and was always in a panic. Though he had tremendous credentials, he lacked the ability to remain calm and thus often made his employees feel uneasy. His leadership role was just too big for what he was capable of handling. He was often too dramatic and the smallest of problems launched him into crisis management mode.

Needless to say, his wasn’t an effective leadership that could deal with real crisis and change. Because he was unable to reinvent himself and adapt to the unexpected, his tenure was short-lived.

The 21st century leader sees adversity through the lens of opportunity.

Rather than panic, a leader with composure takes a step back and begins to connect the dots of opportunity within adverse circumstances. These types of leaders quickly detect the causes of adversity and solve for them immediately.

They then enable the opportunities previously unseen that could have avoided the adversity, to begin with. Many times crisis results when composure is missing.

The next time a problem arises, ask yourself if you or your leader could have shown a greater sense of composure and avoided the problem from surfacing.

When leading – especially during times of uncertainty and adversity, crisis and change – you must avoid showing any signs of leadership immaturity or lack of preparedness that will make your employees feel unsafe and insecure. Here are seven ways to maintain leadership composure during the most pressure-packed moments:

1.  Don’t Allow Your Emotions to Get in the Way

Seasoned leaders know not to wear their emotions on their sleeves. They don’t yell or get overly animated when times get tough.  These types of leaders have such emotional self-control that even their body language does not give them away.

When you allow your emotions to get in the way, employees interpret this as a sign you are not being objective enough and too passionate about the situation at hand.  Strong-willed leaders can maintain their composure and still express concern and care, but not to the point that their emotions become a distraction – or that they can’t responsibly handle the issues at hand.

2.  Don’t Take Things Personally

Leaders shouldn’t take things personally when things don’t go their way.   Business decisions and circumstances don’t always play out logically because office politics and other dynamics factor into the process.    As a leader, remain calm and don’t get defensive or think that you always must justify your thinking and actions.

When you begin to take things personally, it’s difficult to maintain your composure and make those around you believe that you have things under control.  In fact, when leaders take issues too close to heart, they allow the noise and politics around them to suffocate their thinking and decision-making capabilities.

3.  Keep a Positive Mental Attitude

Employees are always watching their leader’s actions, behavior, relationships and overall demeanor.   During the most difficult of times, leaders must maintain a positive mental attitude and manage a narrative that keeps their employees inspired and hopeful.  This is where your leadership experience and resolve  can really shine – by staying strong, smiling often and authentically exhibiting a sense of compassion.

Leaders set the tone for the organization they serve.   A positive attitude can neutralize chaos and allow a leader to course correct through any negativity.

Employees feed off the attitude of these leaders during times of uncertainty.   Keep a positive mental attitude and never stop moving forward.  Stay focused on building positive momentum for the betterment of the healthier whole.

4.  Remain Fearless

When leaders project confidence, they instill it in others.  During uncertain times, leaders must remain fearless and project a cool persona that communicates composure to those they lead.

I’ve been through ups and downs in my career and have learned that when you begin to fear adverse circumstances, you not only put yourself in a position of vulnerability, but it becomes extremely difficult to act rationally and objectively. When you panic, you mentally freeze and your mind loses focus.

When you begin to get fearful, ask yourself:  What is the worst possible thing that can happen?  If you are objective about it and have the will and confidence to face it, you will eventually realize that the situation is manageable and can be resolved.  Faced with adversity several times over, your fears will eventually vanish and uncertainty will become your best friend.

5.  Respond Decisively

Leaders who maintain their composure will never show any signs of doubt.  They speak with conviction, confidence and authority – whether they know the answer or not!  With their delivery alone,  they give their employees a sense that everything is under control.

Recently, Mack Brown, the former coach of the University of Texas (UT) football team, was put under a lot of pressure to resign as a result of his team underperforming in 2013.  Though the University handled his forced resignation poorly  – considering Mr. Brown had coached the team successfully for the past 16 years – his decisiveness the day he announced his resignation made you feel that his transition out of the job was a positive thing for the university.  Human nature will tell you that he must have been hurting inside, but his decisiveness and presence of mind made those that were watching him speak believe that the future looked bright for UT football.

6.  Take Accountability

Leaders are most composed during times of crisis and change when they are fully committed to resolving the issue at hand.   When you are accountable, this means that you have made the decision to assume responsibility and take the required steps to problem solve before the situation gets out of hand.

When leaders assume accountability, they begin to neutralize the problem and place the environment from which it sprung on pause – much like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie did when he announced that he did not have any prior knowledge of the decision his aides made to close down access lanes to the George Washington Bridge.  Though there may be legal woes to come, the manner in which he handled the initial news conference (temporarily) neutralized the crisis – as he answered all of the reporters’ questions and took full responsibility and accountability to punish the perpetrators and keep something like this from happening again.

7.  Act Like You Have Been There Before

Great leaders know that one of the most effective ways to maintain composure during difficult times is to act like you have been there before.   Leaders that act to show they have been through the problem solving process numerous times before are those with strong executive presence who approach the matter at hand with a sense of elegance and grace. They are patient, they are active listeners, and they will genuinely take a compassionate approach to ease the hardships that anyone else is experiencing.

Just ask any technical support representative.  When you are on the phone with them, their job is to make you feel that even your most difficult challenges can be easily resolved. They are there to calm you down and give you hope that your problem will soon be solved. Pay attention to their demeanor and how they are masters at soothing your frustrations.  They always act to show that they have been there before; their composure puts your mind at ease.

It’s easy to lose composure during times of crisis and change if you let concern turn into worry and worry turn into fear.  By maintaining composure, the best leaders remain calm, cool and in control – enabling them to step back, critically evaluate the cards that they have been dealt and face problems head-on.  A show of composure also puts those you lead at ease and creates a safe and secure workplace culture where no one need panic in the face of adversity.

As the saying goes, “Keep Calm and Be Ohsome!"

Source: Forbes

Recommend reading
- How MAS Steward’s Responses To Annoying Passengers -  a reminder for us all to reflect on ourselves, so we won’t become one of those annoying individuals. He also got admiration for his positive working attitude.