Thursday, June 18, 2015

Trust should be priority 1 in digital transformation

Many companies are waking up to how far behind they are on the Digital Maturity scale referred to in the recent Copgnizant sponsored paper by Brian Solis.

But it seems to me too few are seeing their efforts toward digital transformation as more than a way in which they get to do more/faster to their customers. In my work on Open Business I have always argued that the single biggest win of digital transformation for organisations comes from the shift in relationship it enables.
Yes there is great efficiency and effectiveness to be had from learning more about your customers' behaviour, their needs and their implicit and explicit desires. But it's unlikely you'll generate a meaningful relationship of trust purely by serving needs (think of the difference between helping to fix and then enjoy a family meal, and rushing in and out of McDonald's to grab a bite on the run).
I don't argue that servicing need (and making it as easy as possible) isn't of extremely high value. I do argue that it is the tip of the iceberg that can be released through the shift in relationship with the consumer; from customer to partner. Trust, sense of ownership, shared purpose - all drive loyalty and increase spend. One regional co-operative I worked with boasted 50% membership among its customers. They accounted for 70% of the spend.
The transparency and free communication digital delivers offers the promise of making all organisations accountable to their customers in the kind of way member organisations have always enjoyed.
Trust accounts for the vast majority of the value of any brand.
It therefore remains a mystery to me that building trust isn't always top of the digital transformation agenda.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A chat with Amazon...

A chat with Amazon....
You're now connected to Govindaraj from
Me:Hi yesterday I had a chat conversation here about a faulty mains adapter which came with the order I placed: ORDER # 205-9738485-2982704. I was told £15 was being refunded to me as the item was out of stock and therefore a replacement couldn't be sourced and I would have to purchase my own replacement or get it repaired. I was told I would get an email confirming the refund. This has not appeared in my inbox and in the mean time I have both purchased a replacement AND noticed that the item concerned IS in stock on amazon
Govindaraj:Thank you for contacting My name is Govindharaj. May I know your name, please?
Am I chatting with David?
Govindaraj:Hello David,
I understand that you have been promised to issue a partial refund of 15.00 GBP for the defective item by yesterday.
Me:that's correct
Govindaraj:Unfortunately our colleague have failed to issue a refund for your order.
In order to help you, I'll issue a refund for your order now.
Me:ok thank you. But cvan you also check if it is possible to simply send out the replacement adapter since the item it is part of is in stock?
Govindaraj:I'm afraid, we are unable to send a adapter as a replacement for your order.
I'll issue a partial refund in the form of Promotional Gift Certificate right now for placing new order straightaway.
Me:Hang on. That's not a refund.
Govindaraj:Yes. This is how we can issue a refund for your order.
Otherwise, we cannot issue a partial refund for your order in other form.
As per our Amazon Standard policy, we cannot issue partial refund for the items which are sold by our sellers.
If you are not happy with the discount, I suggest you to return the item for a refund.
Me:Thanks so much. I will of course bear this in mind in all future transactions with amazon. This was a prime vendor. What is the point of prime if you default on your legal responsibilities as soon as anything goes wrong?
Govindaraj:I understand that you are a prime customer. When the item gets defective which are purchased from our seller, we should ask our customer return the item for a refund. We cannot send a replacement for the seller's fulfill item.
I'll send the return label with additional return details vai email.
Please return the item to us for a refund.
After reviewing our previous correspondence with you, please accept my apologies for any misunderstanding caused. The promise which was made by our colleague by yesterday was an incorrect one.
So, I suggest you to return the item for a refund.
Me:NO it's o late for that I have already purchased a replacement (on amazon) for the mains adapter and it is showing that it has been despatched - so I'd end up with a useless adapter I've paid for (and not out of a gift voucher as I was excpecting a REFUND as told yesterday. So, please issue the refund as promised yesterday. My daughter is now using the item under battery power. Yesterday's promise made me spend MORE money with amazon (ie cash not gift certificates.). Get this osrted between you and tell me what you are going to do to correct both the delivery of a faulty item and poor communications internally.
Govindaraj:I'm sorry, we are unable to issue a refund for your order in the form of Gift Certificate. We can only issue a partial refund in the form of Promotional Gift Certificate.
Me:Then you had better add the cost of the additional item I paid cash for yesterday as a minimum - £8.03p. And this would have to be without prejuidice since I do not know at this stage if this will solve the problem
Govindaraj:Please understand, David. We can issue a refund in the form of promotional Gift certificate you can make use of that for placing your next order.
Me:I do understand. And I'm saying I have already spent money in the expectation of my refund being a refund. So I am asking in respect for that that you make the gift certificate up to £15 + that additional £8.08 ie (£23.08) and this remains without prejudice with the caveat that the replacement I purchase resolves the issue,
Govindaraj:I'm afraid, we are unable to issue a refund of £15 +£8.08 for your order.
Me:So that means you accept no blame for the misinformation I was given yesterday and the subsequent purchase I have made, just so we are both clear?
Govindaraj:Please understand, David. As per our Amazon Standard policy, I can only help you by issue a 15.00 GBP refund in the form of Promotional Gift Certificate.
Me:Govindaraj, please understand how much money I spend with Amazon each year. Do you want to lose that for the sake of a £8.03 in gift certificate. That's where we are headed right now so you may want to check if you can make an exception before we close.
Govindaraj:Alright, I will issue a partial refund of £8.03 for you in the form of credit payment which you have spend for the another product as an exception.
Please note this is against our standard policy, I'll going to do that as an exception.
Me:Thank you. And so I am clear you will do this in addtion to the £15?
Govindaraj:I'm sorry, we cannot issue a refund of 15 GBP as a promotional credit for the purchase.
When you will return the item, we will issue full refund for the purchase.
*return the item in future.
Nazeera:Hello, my name is Nazeera.
Thank you for contacting May I have your name, please?
Me:we just lost connection. I was speaking with Goindaraj and had been for some time
Sorry Govindaraj
Nazeera:Hello David.
May I place the chat on hold for a minute or two while I check this order for you?
Me:Hello can you reconnect me with Govindaraj please?
Nazeera:I’m sorry this is taking longer than expected. Please bear with me while I research your query.
Thanks for waiting.
: I understand that you have been promised to issue a partial refund of 15.00 GBP for the defective item by yesterday.
Nazeera:I'm afraid, we are unable to issue a refund of £15 +£8.08 for your order.
Me:I have spoken at length about this with Govindaraj. For too long. And I have much to do. so what's going on?
Nazeera:As per our Amazon Standard policy, I can only help you by issue a 7.00 GBP refund in the form of Promotional Gift Certificate, else I will issue refund for the order £8.03.
Me:So what are you doing about my defective item, the fact I was misinformed and have made another cash purchase on amazon as a result of that misinformation and now have spent a further half an hour repeating the whole story because you failed to send the refund yesterday.
Nazeera:As per our Amazon Standard policy, we cannot issue partial refund for the items which are sold by our sellers. My colleague has promised with this incorrectly and he has already been coached on this.
Me:Which helps me not one jot. Planet's most customer centric company? I don't think so. This was a prime vendor. Take some responsibilty for that badge.
Any response?
Me:Oh - right anoth4r lost connection huh?
Lavanya:Hello, my name is Lavanya.
Me:And you are the third person I have spoken to on this. Can you resolve in the next 2 minutes?
Lavanya:I'm sorry your previous chat was disconnected. I will try and help you with your query.
Me:YOu know all about it? Because I'm not goign over it all again
Lavanya:May I know the name, e-mail address, and the first line of your billing address on your account, please?
Me:David Cushman, xx xxxxxxxxx xxxx. And I've really had enough of this by now.

Lavanya:Thank you for the details.
In this case, It is not possible to issue a partial refund for the item. I request you to please return the item for full refund.

Me:I have explained a million times. It is workign with bastteries currently. I have bought a replacement mains adapter for it on amazon yesterdasy aft5er I was told I was getting a £15 refund to cover that yesterday.
I have no more time to discuss this. Please check with Govindaraj, Nazeera and crucuially your management before we waste any more of my time. email me your resolution and I will add it to this: full link) thanks


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Trust has greatest value where choice is highest and price sensitivity lowest

Trust - the output of the 10 Principles of Open Business - is essential for success in today's open economy.
But we should note that its value varies across market segments. Trust will attract the right staff, keep the organisation honest and true to its beliefs and inspire people to perform at their best. But its impact on consumer action varies depending on choice/ease of switching and price sensitivity.
This may explain why even when we lose trust in something we don't always stop using it.
The graph included here illustrates my plotting of some market segments and institutions which shows us which should put the greatest efforts into building trust for the purpose of impacting consumer behaviour.

Where it's very difficult to switch (ie your daily commute by train) trust has some value but building it won't encourage more commuters to use a rail company. They just may feel a little better about the next price hike, a little safer while on board.
While there is no option when it comes to your police service you could argue there is little requirement to build trust to change user behaviour (though trusting the service does of course encourage people to be more open with it, even if we can't go and share our intel with an alternative organisation).
The key area for trust as an investment in behavioural change seems to be where both the cost of both switching and the price sensitivity is low (the top right quadrant).
Here we find the banks, the media, transport. Most retail vendors would fall here. Topically - politically parties appear a standout. Trust should be everything to them.
My positioning of supermarkets on this grid may explain why - despite the repeated crises of trust in our supermarket giants (even Open Business advocates Tesco) - there hasn't been a mass exodus of customers. Tesco's market share is down less than 2% year on year according to Kantar (Oct 2014). But that's based on spend, not numbers of customers. Customers are less likely to have left Tesco for Aldi or Lidl over issues of trust than they are over issues of price. They have added an Aldi run to their routine Tesco buys, not abandoned it completely.
These positions aren't fixed. IF through Open Business or other investment in building trust (and blockchain is being advocated as one such tool by The 10 Principles Co-author Jamie Burke) organisations can make trust a competitive advantage they can become more resistant to start-ups and new-comers who do not have a trust bank already established.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Open Access research journal launches today

The publisher of The 10 Principles of Open Business,  Palgrave-Macmillan, has launched its open access, online-only research journal today. I'm pleased to say I'm among those on the Editorial Board,

Here's the official blurb and links:

Open Access journal Palgrave Communications publishes first papers.

High quality, multidisciplinary journal across the humanities and social sciences launches today.

Palgrave Communications, the new high quality open access (OA) online-only,
multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary journal will publish its first articles today.
The papers, which are all free to access, span a wide range of disciplines including international studies, political science, theatre and performance studies, and operational research.
The first edition of the journal includes a commentary by Dr W. James Jacob, Institute for International Studies in Education, University of Pittsburgh, on interdisciplinary research trends in higher education. This is the first of several articles that will discuss interdisciplinary research, which is much needed to help tackle global challenges such as migration and water scarcity but can be
difficult within the traditional culture of academia.
Iain Hrynaszkiewicz, Head of Data and HSS Publishing, Open Research at Nature Publishing Group/Palgrave Macmillan said: “Palgrave Communications was launched in response to demand from academics in the humanities and social sciences and business for a high quality journal that operates a fully open access publishing model, and which promotes interdisciplinary research.
We believe that this first batch of papers reflects these goals excellently.”
Palgrave Communications was launched after a global survey of academics in the humanities and social sciences, where 82% said that they would publish OA if the best or most appropriate journal were OA. 68% thought that their specific area of interest would benefit from journals that publish peer-reviewed OA.
Dr Michele Acuto, Senior Lecturer in Global Networks & Diplomacy, Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at University College London said: “As well as being a multi-disciplinary journal, Palgrave Communications is seeking to offer a space for more in-depth and professionalized interdisciplinarity to flourish. The journal offers a venue for different scholarly arenas to connect.
“Developing truly collaborative research takes time and dialogue, but is something we hope Palgrave Communications can help with.”
Palgrave Communications offers immediate, free online dissemination of all published articles via a CC BY license1 and is committed to speedy peer review and publication.
The journal is led by a large international, cross-disciplinary Editorial Board of leading researchers.
The full list of editorial board members can be found here. The in-house Managing Editor, who oversees the editorial process, is Gino D’Oca.
Palgrave Communications offers authors an enhanced digital publishing experience with industryleading features such as article-level metrics, including data from Altmetric, and enhanced article layout and navigation. Palgrave Communications is the first Palgrave Macmillan title to launch on a new publishing platform created by Palgrave Macmillan’s sister company Nature Publishing Group. There are no restrictions on word limits: all articles that conform to the required editorial standards of the journal will be published regardless of length.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Enterprise Collaboration: Where the answers find you

My good buddy Jack Crawford talks about enterprise collaboration - as a tool of improving both customer experience and business process.
"In email and voice you have to know who you want to talk to, in enterprise collaboration who you need to talk to becomes made aware to you."
Nicely put.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?