By John Igbinosun
“Pass the ball!” Ade calls out while playing football one lovely evening.
But he never gets the ball, as he falls to the floor holding his tummy in excruciating pain.
He had noticed the symptoms a while back but had shoved it aside saying to himself hoping it would resolve on its own – It didn’t.
Ade is a 22-year-old active lad who has just been rushed to the hospital with a ruptured appendix.
Every day, we face various kinds of pain experienced by our body which is indicative of an injury or other adverse body conditions.
This is not such a bad thing – except in some rare occasions.
Allow me to submit that this is a key factor for an organisation. Yes I mean PAIN, but not the physiological one referred to above.
For your business or organisation, here’s what PAIN stands for: People, Adaptability, Innovation, and Novelty.
We must agree that this is the 21st century and there are more than enough modifications in technology to allow for less dependency on the human factor, but not when it comes to service. As much as companies may try to hide under the guise of upgrades and general overhaul to keep up with competition in the market, we must never forget that current market realities still fall back to client’s dire need for trust and confidence especially when it comes to financial transactions.
Now to normal talk: The fact is that no machine can ever manage human quality of emotion as well as humans do (which is why we still have customer care representatives, despite the numerous mechanized voices we also have access to). Yes! Even the movies have come to prove same #iRobot.
But there is a clause right here, does it mean that just any human can be used to fill up the space for service personnel? That I strongly disagree with! As much as I am a strong advocate that people should be allowed the chance to function in full capacity where the human factor is required, I must also warn that not just anyone should be placed at key touch points with customers.
There are quite a number of things to look out for in someone who will naturally take an organization to the next level in service and consumer satisfaction (This will be more thoroughly discussed in future articles).
Yes, most companies these days are annoyingly comfortable with the status quo of things since inception. Are these the ones that would attempt to tell us that they need a technological quick fix for their services to keep up with the market trends? When the very staff under their governance are reeking with lackadaisical attitudes and contempt to their very job functions.
It has been said that change is the only constant thing, and dear brethren if you have an organization that has not changed/grown/ADAPTED to recent market trends, then you and that organisation are wrong!
The proof of a company’s positive developmental changes can be typically measured through its ability to not only grow or change but also how well they have been able to adapt to the changes made and sustain same.
Permit me to quote Jeff Boss, a contributor on Forbes who most delicately stated that “The need for adaptability has never been greater than it is now. The ability for people, teams and organizations to adapt to changes in their environments, stay relevant and avoid obsolescence is the defining characteristic between success and failure, growth and stagnation, business and bankruptcy.”
This has, in today’s business world become synonymous with a prerequisite for employee measurement and part of every Key Performance Indices, yet, we still lack the very look and feel of this in most businesses and employees. This has led to a downward spiral of the 3rd World Countries when it comes to competing with international markets – (They keep creating while we keep copying).
There really is no difference between a local business and an international counterpart in terms of product specifications, the great chasm that has kept local businesses left behind as against international competitors is innovation.
Let us take a brief look at financial products in the country as a case study. We can agree that they all provide technically the same thing(s) over and over, clad with different nomenclature and jingles. But do they offer the same services? Yes they do. But why do some consumers prefer one product over another? It’s quite simple really; wouldn’t you rather bank with a product that constantly informs you of more convenient and trendy ways to ensure your transactions are done easily?
Remember how banking halls used to be riddled with queues for transactions which can now be easily done via varying channels. We have even moved a step further to buying movie tickets, paying bills all from the comfort of any location you may be. These are just a fragment of what innovative companies can access to reach the next level of business.
Michelle Greenwald, also a contributor on Forbes has succinctly said; “Bases for new products and services innovation can be ground-breaking and revolutionary, resulting from major new technologies such as 3D printing or nanotechnology, or small, simple, and seemingly obvious, like turning a ketchup bottle upside down, adding a 4th ball to a tennis ball can, or offering bright colors to items previously only white, black, or monochromatic. Innovations can involve simply taking something that has long been utilized or enjoyed in one market, such as a food, or face cream, and introducing it to a market that has never seen it.”
This, to me really just means being original and fresh! And oh how we lack this quality in so many startup businesses. Most times I walk in the market and see the various merchants display the exact same products on tables and seat there and just look, or maybe gossip the day away. It really beats me real hard on how they keep up with that routine day in and out, probably till there is no more gusto to continue with it and slowly fade away into oblivion.
I remember quite vividly while window shopping for some products some years ago on a very sunny day. I walked across a couple of food vendors all selling the same thing. But one caught my attention! How? She walked out of her “space” came to me and with a very huge and infectious smile said to me “Good afternoon sir, you can come and relax at my shop if you need to rest from the sun”.
I spent 1,500NGN on food and drinks at her store that day! #CoversEyes.
Was she selling the same thing? Yes she was. Was she amidst other competitors? Yes she was. Did I walk past her initially? Yes I did. Was there any factor of Originality/Freshness from her? Obviously. Did I end up patronizing her? I most definitely did #RubsTummy.
Meanwhile, Ade is now fully recovered and back to his football passion. However like him, every thriving, already successful and ‘still-just-a-thought’ company must pay critical attention to PAIN.
It may not be everything in creating a memorable impact in the market, but it sure will keep the organisation afloat and survive the various challenges that abound in the not-so-friendly business world.
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