we are the secret agent revolution

The Power of mobile devices to drive change
Mobile phone imagery captured and shared with the world is the new weapon of terrorism. It strikes terror in the minds, wallets and powers of oppressors. From regimes
to products and services. All of these "brands" are being exposed for the gaps that they have. The gaps between reality and claimed experience !!!

Negative service experiences will come back to bite you
Sometimes service and product experience is soooooooo awful that consumers are shaken to their core. Desired repeat custom becomes a crusade for the consumer. Rather than be encouraged to become a "brand evangelist", they become a "brand anarchist" !!!! Don't cut corners, unless you want to awaken to bad service when it is spilled all over the internet. Don't let it become one of your customer's personal Jihad. It can become funny in an extrem way. Here's two of my favorite and my own experience saved for last.

137,654 views: A bad apple may not rot the brand, but are you apple?
iPod Customer Service - the Dirty secret video on Youtube was done so well that it feels like a video by some funky new band or art project. Click image below to see on YouTube.

15,730 views: Don't P@#! off professional presenters: yours is a very bad hotel! This is a presentation of two professional pressenters who had an awful experience in a hotel.

My own hotel mis-adventure
How could hotels in this day and age give revolting service given the power of peer testimonials on various opinion websites? - it's almost like science fiction - in a time machine - going back a century!
What can you pick up as a community organisation delivering service? - have you got the basics right? I went on work tour to Sheffield. The experience was unforgetable, I can almost puke now.

Sheffield Slum Dog Hotel - take flip-flops, desinfectant and train your stomach!!!
I never new that Sheffield had "Slum Dog" Hotel(s)!!! -It was The Harley Hotel in Sheffiled's bustling city centre - near the university of sheffiled tram stop. These guys should go into merchandizing! - for sure. The T-shirt that would sell most would be "I survived the Harley shower cubicle !!!" The transition from the main room (which wasn't that good either) - was like opening a "star gate" from a developed country to some Nth-world country (way beyond 3rd !!!). Not even developing countries have hotels with shower rooms like that. I have been to Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and Guatemala, and never saw anything like this. See photos below. The carpet looked like if it hadn't been vacuumed for years! - really! - and the tea & coffee facilities, well, I didn't believe in flying sourcers until I tried to make myself a drink. Enjoy the picutres & video via flickr.

Oh, it's under creative commons, so if you know any producers who want to use it for a "filthy song" - they can use it ;-)

I raised my concerns to a member of staff - and they looked like they couldn't give a(n) FCUK - pair of jeans, to say the least.

Breakfast after all that?
I had paid for my breakfast, but had second thoughts - after the tour of filth. Imagine, if they don't give a damn with what you can see for yourself as a customer! - with what you can verify with your very own eyes, do you think they will be more cautious or caring in the kitchen? If you can't see Jack what do you think you will get on your bap?...Shhhhhhh - shhhhh..shameful crud on a plate purporting to be edible for human beings. ;-)

No-brainer Service solutions (that we all know in our minds & hearts):
  • Respect those you serve. Humanity is a good start - what type of service would you give when you want to make a good impression?
  • Care about what you do. The lack of care on the hotel I stayed at reflected in staff's poor customer service.
  • Training & Morale may go hand in hand! - so train your staff properly. I guess the staff at the hotel were not trained with customer services in an adequate manner.
  • Basic Hygiene - minimum baseline! oh come on, staff with strong body odour? If that was the smell of some of the staff on the front-line what would the cooks smell like? (why do you think I skipped breakfast ?)
  • Perception is reality-king. Seeing is believing. Imagination does not need much stimulation to join the dots and make conclusions. When things are bad in your face, we think that bad practices lurk everywhere!

What is your experience?


Customers' Revenge (Commentary for HBR Case Study)

discussion about "yours is a very bad hotel" - presentation

What type of Question is that? - well Zappos.com has focused on delivering happiness to customers, suppliers and employees alike to grow from $ 0 to over $ 1 Billion dollars plus in sales - in a period of less than 10 years !

zappo.scom delivering happiness book, written by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh , charts the journey of Zappos and it's adoption of "actionable and emotional based core values".

Deploying emotional intelligence within a business context by engineering and weaving "Wow-ness" into every customer, employee and supplier touch point. With this approach zappos.com have been able to create such phenomenal growth. They have charted new waters and navigated through these, over the years, thanks to their core emotional values that energize and enthuse their tribe of stakeholders. This has allowed Zappos to continue to further develop and improve every aspect of their business that guarantees the delivery of further happiness, and an ever increasing phenomenal impact on the bottom line too.

The core themes that I took away from this book:
1. Construct, capture & share actionable key core values that build WOW!
2. Recruit people who are passionate about what you do
3. Build mechanisms to test if new recruits are in for the money
4. Improve processes that benefit stakeholders in line with wow factors
5. Build mechanisms of work development & progression giving employee choices
6. Care for your employees! work environment and outside activities, investment?
7. Remember you are building a "movement" - how different will you make yourself?
8. ID your emotional, functional, transactional value add, do you know it?
9. keep your employees biz thinking sharp: zappos has library of popular books
10 Your stakeholders count too - build a win-win for all concerned.

"going the extra-mile to build a smile" - with everyone your organisation comes in contact with appears to be the bottom line of this book.

The scientific evidence behind the happiness strategy!
Rewards, Happiness, Motivation and Company Culture? You have to get down to the conscious and sub-conscious. Luckily there is a whole field of scientific discovery through psychology focused specifically on the area of happiness. Check out the video below. Enjoy ;-)

Book Bonus Bits...

website for book...

book resources...

Insights on zappos culture...

Zappos culture book (free)...

Other Related books I have read tha corroborates what this book says and enhances the field and approach to delivering and building happiness into what you do.