Hilarious Indian call center experience

March 30, 2010

All of us have heard stories about how upset Americans become when forced to deal with overseas customer service call centers.  I’m not one of them.  I live in a part of the world that looks like the United Nations–there are people from all over the world.

Recently, I needed to speak to Dell Financial Services about a computer lease.

When a human finally comes on the phone, he says in his finest, thickest Indian accent:

“Hello, thank you for calling Dell Financial Services, this is Bob.”

Bob? I was taken aback.  Indian men have names like Sanjeev, Kumar, Satinder, but, “Bob?”

Did “Bob” think I would miss the fact that he was in India?  It the trend for people working in call centers for American companies to use more “Americanized” names?  It was hilarious.

I’m happy to report that “Bob” did a fine job of handling my call.  Thanks, “Bob” or whatever your real name is.

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

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Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 29MAR10

March 29, 2010

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: business execution

I once knew of a product development senior executive who used an expression that sticks with me to this day:

“Sometimes when something is a little bit broken, it has to become a little bit more broken before it can get fixed.”

It doesn’t have to be this way. Companies that thrive are intolerant of things that are broken and rapidly take action to correct the situation.

Thought for the week:

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” Aldous Huxley (1894-1963); English novelist, critic and poet.
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2010 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

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Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 22MAR10

March 22, 2010

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: business execution

While keeping your head down focused on your core business is critically important, leaders must raise their heads up occasionally to see how the world is changing and evolving to ensure continued marketplace viability for the owners, employees and customers.

Companies that thrive lead and dominate during market transitions, e.g., Cisco Systems, Amazon.

Companies in a death spiral, e.g., Blockbuster, Palm, et. al., watch market transitions occur before their very eyes and later wonder how they could have missed the transition.

Thought for the week:

“If you fear rejection, you are running from something. If you fear failure, you are running from something. If you fear ridicule, you are running from something. In this flight, you will never try anything new, risk anything innovative, attempt to reach a new level. Run TOWARD something, not away.” Alan Weiss, Ph.D., Summit Consulting

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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2010 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 15MAR10

March 15, 2010

This week’s focus: leadership

Implementing organizational and system change is (more often than not) fraught with peril. From the book Social Change 2.0: A Blueprint for Reinventing Our World by David Gershon comes this invaluable insight:

People are willing to change if they have a compelling vision and are provided tools to help them bring it into being.

Have you articulated a compelling vision for change initiatives you are involved with? Have you provided the tools (budget, resources, bandwidth, encouragement) to bring change into being?

Thought for the week:

“We create systems for the stakeholders, not for ourselves. As change agents, we have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the interests of the stakeholders.” Dave Gardner

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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2010 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your Monday, please subscribe here.


Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 08MAR10

March 8, 2010

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: leadership

I caught an interesting television episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” this week featuring Chef Ramsey, the Simon Cowell of the restaurant business. He was brought in to save a failing restaurant.

The owner made the mistake of thinking that the restaurant she had purchased 5 years earlier was a turn-key business that would require no additional thought, innovation, training, systems, quality control, etc. She demonstrated no passion for “making the business work”—she merely expected it to work as it had for the seventeen years prior to her acquiring it.

Merely showing up and going through the motions won’t make any business thrive.

Thought for the week:

“Life is a grindstone. Whether it grinds you down or polishes you up depends on what you’re made of.” Booker T. Washington

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com


Business Execution Lessons–Chef Ramsey

March 5, 2010

Last night, I watched a TV show called “Kitchen Nightmares” about Chef Ramsey, a world-class chef and restaurateur, trying to work with a young Italian restaurant owner to turn around her failing business she had owned for 5 years. It is important to note that this business had existed for 17 years prior to her taking it over. What did we see?

–          The owner was a vegetarian—she had never tried any non-vegetarian dishes in her own restaurant.

–          Thinking that the vegetarian items would at least be quite good, Chef Ramsey ordered 3 items from the menu and could not stomach any of them.  They weren’t marginal—they were inedible.  This is what the kitchen staff prepared for a world-class chef and restaurateur.

–          A business owner relying on her USC business degree to validate why she belonged in business–people don’t care about degrees, they care about execution.

–          A business owner who knew little about the roles and responsibilities of the members of her team—she had never walked in the shoes of any of her employees

–          A business that had remained unchanged for 5 years—same dishes, same menu, etc.

–          A restaurant that had a filthy kitchen representing a health risk for its customers.

–          A kitchen team that had been there forever but really did little more than go through the motions.

–          A kitchen team that, for premium food pricing, would cook food in a microwave, was incapable of staging tables of food together in a coherent fashion

–          A computer system that was terribly unreliable, both in terms of entering information and reliably getting information to the kitchen

–          A wait staff team that seemed to genuinely care.

How can we summarize the current situation?  Entitlement, laziness, complacency, and people just showing up and going through the motions (including the owner).

This business needed a major transformation to thrive. What did Chef Ramsey do?

–          Engaged the owner in the kitchen so she could understand first-hand what was going right and wrong—this was critically important.

–          Remodeled the dining room; replaced the aging tableware

–          Replaced the aging computer system with a state-of-the-art system

–          Set a new standard for kitchen cleanliness and food freshness

–          Created a new menu and more of a wine bar atmosphere

–          Brought in a chef to train the existing team how to operate a world-class kitchen and get dinners out in an organized, orchestrated fashion

The restaurant owner made the mistake of thinking that she had purchased a turn-key business that would require no additional thought, innovation, training, systems, quality control, etc.  She demonstrated no passion for “making the business work”—she merely expected it to work as it had for years prior to her owning it.

Are there business execution lessons here for all of us?  Absolutely!

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com


Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 01MAR10

March 2, 2010

This week’s focus: customer choice

Back in 1961, Hertz ran a very powerful and memorable ad campaign built around a compelling theme: “Let Hertz put you in the driver’s seat.”

Not only did this ad campaign create the image of a customer ending up in one of Hertz’s rental cars, it suggested that Hertz puts the customer in control of each transaction and the relationship. What could be better than a customer driving the relationship? This simple ad set the stage for Hertz being the world’s largest car rental company.

How is your company putting customers in the driver’s seat enabling your company to thrive?

Thought for the week:

“It’s not your customer’s job to remember you. It is your obligation and responsibility to make sure they don’t have the chance to forget you.” Patricia Fripp

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com