All entries for April 2012

April 26, 2012

Customer Service & Knowledge Management

One of the main things that differentiate companies is there customer service. In this regard, how could we link customer service to knowledge management? Well first of all knowledge management provides a better customer service in terms of quality, time and the right information. It is all about the knowledge asset, strategy and the process within a company in which the customer service fits in.

What brought this into my mind is what I have experienced recently with a bank and a telecommunication company, it was completely a waste of time and it really got on my nerves. I don’t want to go into details, but the customer service was trashy from my own perspective as a customer. And this reminds me of what Tom Peters said: “American management is out of touch with its customers, out of touch with its employees, out of touch with its suppliers. Other than that, it is in pretty good shape”. This also might be applicable on some aspects in the UK business concerning customer service.

There can be no doubt that knowledge management could improve the customer service in any organisation as it could provide for an instance :

  • The ability of the customer care agents to solve problems and take initiatives, and by sharing the knowledge and experience within the pool of those involved in the process.
  • A better quality of customer service. Getting the right answer without being put on hold or transferred to another customer support.
  • A good standardisation of the quality and ensure the consistency of service.

One of main important factors is sharing knowledge and experiences, creating a safe learning environment within the company. Shrewdly, this will transform the organisation into a learning organisation and into a knowledge intensive organisation where people can feel safe to share openly and take risks, provide a continuous learning on an individual and group level, and where people master their speciality to satisfy the stakeholders or the internal and external customers.

April 21, 2012

Decision Making Skills

One of the most important skills in business is problem solving and decision making skills at all levels of the organisation especially for managers and leaders. Most of the job announcements require decision making skills; job interviews quite involve behavioural case studies related to decision making and problem solving to test the capability and the competence of the candidate in such situations. The success of the whole business depends on the decision making ability of the upper management. In today’s business the quicker decisions are made the more we will take advantage of opportunities and the more company will achieve its competitive advantage.

One of most important characteristics that differentiate effective leaders and great managers are their decision making skills especially in stressful situations. It’s quite hard to be in such positions where you are stressed out and you need to make a quick but effective decision concerning your business or company. But the good part about this is that there are no perfect decisions and we all make mistakes, but the most important thing that we have to learn from our own mistakes and experiences and act accordingly and follow up to make sure that the decision has been implemented. Without this skill the business will go bankrupt, if the management in the company don’t have these skills or other interrelated skills such as problem solving and analytical thinking skills, If the top management was not aware of the process, the biases that could occur and influence their decision, the mind traps that they might fall in, then definitely the company will be in a deep crisis.

April 17, 2012

The Herd Instinct!

It is funny to see how such phrases are derived from particular stories happened in the past. In this respect, the best way to understand the term is to go back to its origin and see how it evolved. The Bandwagon effect is one of these phrases which first appeared in America in the nineteenth century in political campaigns where the phrase “jump/climb/or get on the bandwagon” means that you or the group become involved in an activity so that you can get the advantage of it yourself or the group.

We sometimes take our cue for decisions we make from our surrounding to some extent, when we see new idea or product or an event and we see other people enjoying it, then this will have a high level of influence on our decision to join that group of people or buy that product to take advantage of it.

But this might go further at some stages particularly in politics where people are blend into the scenery without considering the reasons behind this behaviour and regardless of their own belief or the accepted moral or ethics existed in the society, and I have reckoned this in some cases like what is happening in Syria where there are some people who are still swimming with the tide and still supporting the regime whereas the president and his thugs are still killing people just to keep in power, bear in mind that those people have no interest with the regime so why are they still supporting it! Is it part of the herd instinct or the bandwagon effect? Is it the fear and part of change and moving outside their comfort zone and taking risk for the unknown future in case the regime went away?

April 16, 2012

Leadership & Decision Making

One of the best parts of this module is that it is interconnected with previous modules especially with “Leadership and Excellence” module. Decisions are at the heart of leadership success, and there are critical moments when they can be difficult, however effective leaders can make efficient and effective decisions, and that’s what differentiate them from others. The most important traits that all successful leaders have is being a great decision maker, having a high level of decision making skills, a proper insight and knowledge of the business and the issue at hand which helps them make a robust decision in an efficient manner, and then act accordingly. However taking the action once the decision is made is also one of the most important parts of decision itself which differentiate successful leaders.

Looking back at some examples of successful CEO’s, we could reckon that those leaders have brought their company to the top or made those companies successful or kept them successful overtime, and one of the main aspects behing this is being a robust decision maker which is a common train between those CEO’s.

April 2012

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