Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Co working hubs- The Preferred Workstation Of Future Business Entrepreneurs!

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Get introduced to 21st century workplace! Co-working hubs boasting fun and luxury amenities like cafeteria, fun zones & meeting rooms, even crèche for women entrepreneurs to carry their child with them are becoming the most preferred workstation of tomorrow!

They are a great option for businesses and start-ups who want well-equipped places at lesser costs compared to rents and purchase of a place.

Versatile- Get all your needs nurtured under one roof!
There’s one major striking aspect of these co-working hubs which makes them a perfect workstation! Apart from offering a favorable working environment, it helps startups & businesses greatly to build valuable networks! You get everything from technical help, valuable mentoring sessions, getting investors to meeting new customers & even hiring an essential talent pool all under one roof!

Hear from some of the executives turned successful start-ups with the help of co-working hubs!

Ritu Ghuwalewala is the owner of big-data analysis firm MavenMagnet started in 2009. She, at the age 28, learnt to fire a worker. He was highly qualified & was the only local team member in Mumbai in 2012.

And for Ritu, it was a tough moment as it was a growing phase. "If there had been a concrete office resembling our only company, I would not have been able to do it," says Ritu. Her brother & cofounder worked from United States.
“Luckily, I wasn’t operating from our own office. I had peers around me at Bombay Connect (coworking hub in the upscale Bandra in Mumbai) where large group of skilled entrepreneurs advised me on how to fire an employee who’s not shaping up,” said Rita.

Huddled round a table on the 1st floor of Social Connect in Bangalore are Anjali Batra & Shuchir Suri, the young founders of Food Talk India. They work hard on their phones & notebooks. However, the ambience boasting soft lighting and couches along with EDM music and bar counter only suggests that the duo were living it up all-away from the office!

Searching for lucrative business opportunities? Get in here!

Satish Khanna who’s a former pharmaceutical honcho turned successful entrepreneur says: "Networking is key for a successful business." He works out of Regus which is a multinational co-working hub boasting 5-star feel. 
"Every Monday I remove time to meet corporate and executives of 2 companies which work from here. This helps me greatly to make new contacts & further new connections which lead to newer and lucrative business opportunities."

There are more things you’ll love about co-working hubs. The work tables there gets easily converted into the lunch tables & you can quickly revert back. 
For instance, at 91Springboard in Delhi, the reception area can become a lounge with carom board and so on. This reflects good utilization of space. They’re flexible, nimble and modern which have made startups & businesses go gaga over these evolving workspaces of future!


Know More about Indian Academy of Management’s (IAM) practical and highly informative business seminars and corporate events to take your business and career to a new high!

Corporate Trend Alert- Picturing 21st Century Workplace!

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Co-working hub

Centuries ago, hunter gatherers possessed farms. 20th century manufacturing era reflected the start of factories. And then the services era brought a wave of snazzy corporate offices boasting glass and chrome. Do you have any clues on how the tomorrow’s workplace will look like?
It’s here! Driven by lively startups & scrappy entrepreneurs to passionate freelancers & consultants, it’s going to be the era of virtual world leveraging the power of networking.

The DEN of the future entrepreneurs!
In the past week, I spent time with startups in their lovely den only to find clues of 21st century workplace! They’re none other than what are known as co-working hubs. Increasing number of startup businesses are showing interest in setting up offices in various co-working hubs.

What is a co-working hub?
Co-working hubs are shared office spaces. You can book space on a per seat basis which is much cheaper than the enormous rents or buying a place and even getting a plush ambience!

Start-ups are undoubtedly becoming a hot favorite so much so that young, old & experienced executives are trading their comfy jobs for a rough ride building businesses with these startups. No wonder, co-working hubs are the best place to spot such start-ups.

You’ll find them mushrooming all over. Examples include, 91Springboard, Stirringminds & Social Offline In Delhi. There’s also Bombay Connect and The Playce in Mumbai. All have of expanding to multiple cities & fast. Bangalore also known as India’s Silicon Valley is the startup hub which seems far ahead with such exciting facilities.

What’s special about these co-working hubs which have made them so popular?
There are 5 reasons-
   1)   They offer great flexibility while startups scale up or scale down. Here, one needs to book space on a per seat basis which helps to cut significant costs related to buying or renting a place & it’s very easy!
   2)   Co-working hub reflects a plug-and-play model. It cuts down all administrative hassles which distracts several startups and tends to eat into their precious energy and time.
   3)   Talent hiring & retention is a big issue today where young entrepreneurs prefer a hot-and-happening work place. And for bootstrapped businesses it’s a hard one if gone by renting or buying a place! In such scenarios, co-working hubs act like a boon offering great place to work!

Boringbrands.com’s Aakriti Bhargava says, “To operate out of trendy co-working hubs are major drivers to help her attract & retain talent.”

Know More about Indian Academy of Management’s (IAM) practical and highly informative business seminars and corporate events to take your business and career to a new high!


Monday, September 22, 2014

3 Key Benefits of E-Procurement for Businesses

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Today’s economical frenzy scenario requires businesses to cut down costs. And one of the best ways to do so is through e-procurement. Hence, businesses switch to e-procurement solutions which give myriad of benefits along with improvement in time-to-market mechanisms & reduction in operating costs to enhance profit margins.

The importance of E-procurement lies in helping businesses avoid costly mistakes & maintain their competitive edge.
This insightful piece of article throws light upon the 3 crucial benefits of e-procurement for businesses.

Get rid of high administrative costs

High administrative costs eat into a large chunk of business profits. When you implement local B2B or B2C e-Marketplace, it automates the entire administration process involved in purchasing. Thus, it makes the business administration a truly paperless mechanism. 
Traditionally, procurement has been viewed with criticism for its complexity in terms enormous paper-work. This still chases many organizations. 
E-procurement relieves staff from huge administrative burden which is the first major crucial benefit of e-procurement for businesses. It automates key tasks, saves valuable time & ultimately saves crucial money to be used for productive purposes.
Reduction in purchase costs

This is the 2nd crucial benefit of e-procurement for businesses. E-procurement does not fundamentally reduce purchase costs.  However, it empowers the organization to achieve important goals in the following manner-
·       E-procurement introduces a system which people can easily use. For instance, it ensures that everyone in business adheres to the preferred supplier rules and preferences. This reduces maverick buying which causes 20% more payment due to buying on an ad hoc basis.
·       
     It increases the organization’s buying power with its selected suppliers.
·       Transactions with suppliers electronically increase the chances of getting significant bulk discounts from suppliers. This happens as the administration costs of suppliers also plunge. 
·       
    The reduced ‘maverick buying’ from business employees cause suppliers to become more committed due to assurance of greater share from the respective business organization. Thus a valuable long term relationship is established between B2B or B2C entities.

Reduced Purchase Cycle Time

Certain organizations experience fritter due to their requisition-to-delivery time which may extend for various days or months. This makes even a proper procurement procedure simply unfeasible especially for important and immediate orders and sourcing. This happens because of delays due to paper-based requisitions which require manual authorization for checking budgets & commitments before ordering.

E-procurement offers an efficient e-Marketplace solution. Its inbuilt workflow streamlines business process thus avoiding common bottlenecks by the following ways-
  •   It enables automated check of requisition with the help of pre-configured settings & electronic authorization mechanisms.  
  •  It enables complete analysis of business purchase cycle easily thus speeding up the whole process.
  •  It enables the procurement staff to quickly identify common bottlenecks without delays due to internal or external forces. 
  • Simply, it empowers the staff to get the required job done quickly & without sacrificing control!

Note- E-procurement is one essential part of Purchasing & Materials Management. Indian Academy of Management is conducting a practical and insightful business seminar on Purchasing & Materials Management. The goal of this seminar is to make executives and corporate personnel learn how to make purchasing a constant profit centre!
In includes detailed explanation of the following and how it can be used to enhance business profits-
  •     E-Procurement 
  •        Legal Aspects of Purchasing 
  •      Overseas Buying
  •      Vendor Management
  •      Negotiations in Purchasing
  •      Financial Aspects of Materials Management
  •     Techniques for Control of Inventory
  •     Modern Storage and Warehousing Practices
  •      Logistics & Supply Chain Management Concepts

Importance of Electronic Procurement for Businesses

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Today's highly competitive business world requires the corporations to continuously look for IT solutions. It’s important for businesses to improve their efficiency of business processes & cut cost of operations to enhance their margin ratios. Businesses undergo invariable pressure to advance their bottom lines irrespective of increase in their top line.

In such economical frenzy scenario, businesses switch to e-procurement solutions which give myriad benefits along with improvement in time-to-market mechanisms & reduction in operating costs to enhance profit margins. E-procurement is an essential part of Purchasing & Materials Management for businesses.

In this intuitive piece of article, you’ll learn how e-procurement helps businesses avoid costly mistakes & maintain their competitive edge thus avoiding risk of extinction.

First, a quick brief about electronic procurement or e-procurement-

E-procurement in simple terms assists businesses to enhance efficiency in 3 following aspects-
    1)   Sourcing
    2)   Negotiations with suppliers
    3)   R&D co-ordination

The above 3 are crucial factors for any business. E-procurement helps firms to achieve the respective goals efficiently using internet & electronic market. The respective transactions can occur between business-to-business (B2B), business-to-customer (B2C) and business-to-government scenarios.
E-procurement helps to co-ordinate procurement activities online. Presutti in 2003 defined e-procurement as all the technologies which enable buying online.

Knudsen in 2003 included further elements into e-procurement which are-
  •       E-sourcing 
  •    E-tendering
  •       E-informing
  •    E-reverse
  •       E-MRO
  •    E-Auctions
  •    Web-based enterprise resource planning (ERP)


Thus e-procurement has now become an essential part of the Supply Chain Management contributing to invariable efficiencies through its e-procurement software, B2B & B2C market exchanges & purchasing consortia.
The elements of e-procurement consist of-


RFx refers to the above 3 elements put together & eRFx is the software used to manage RFx projects.

Click to read 3 crucial benefits of e-procurement enabling businesses to enhance their bottom lines.


 Note- E-procurement is one essential part of Purchasing & Materials Management. Indian Academy of Management is conducting a practical and insightful business seminar on Purchasing & Materials Management. The goal of this seminar is to make executives and corporate personnel learn how to make purchasing a constant profit center!
In includes detailed explanation of the following and how it can be used to enhance business profits-
  • E-Procurement
  • Legal Aspects of Purchasing
  • Overseas Buying
  • Vendor Management
  • Negotiations in Purchasing
  • Financial Aspects of Materials Management
  • Techniques for Control of Inventory
  • Modern Storage and Warehousing Practices
  •  Logistics & Supply Chain Management Concepts

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How To Successfully Handle Customer Complaints? Part 3

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Hi Everyone! In 1st part of this comprehensive article, we discussed essential strategies to win over an unsatisfied customer including a vital input from Evernote's CEO. In the 2nd part I revealed vital insights about identifying & categorizing different types of complainers to handle customer complaints successfully.
Now I am here with the 3rd part where I will reveal 6 core strategies to win over your customers. This will include really effective methods to handle dissatisfied customers including one key essential found in Robert Bacal’s book, "If It Wasn’t for the Customers I’d Really Like this Job."

1)  Timing matters to customers!
I’ve seen lot of cases where managers spend considerable time with customers. However, for the complaining customers, getting their complaints resolved quickly is of extreme importance!

A customer won’t bear the fact that it took you 1 day to get back to her! And if she is your valuable customer (premium customers) then you might just lose her as they just hate excuses as discussed in the previous article. Also any unsatisfied customer is likely to spread the bad message to the large audience at her disposal! This can create a serious blemish on your brand!
Remember that unhappy customers want quick resolution, so one needs to respond prioritizing these complaining customers.  Read this article to understand about different categories of customers.

2. Keep the customer assured!
Consider this. You need to fill an online form to get in touch with the customer service. Once you submit the form, there’s no follow-up notification. Wouldn’t you feel dissatisfied and angry? Would you know whether your query has been considered or no?

This is really frustrating! Surprisingly, there are several companies who have such methods.

It’s essential that a customer feels assured that her complaint has been acknowledged with a follow-up notification of resolving it quickly.

3. The customer deserves all the respect!
David Ogilvy had famously quoted, “The customer isn't a moron; She’s your wife!”
Hence, if your treat customers with disrespect they’ll know and won’t tolerate.
Treating customers respectfully and like an acquaintance establishes a pool of trust. This trust is crucial for creating long-lasting valuable relationships. Also research supports the fact that personalized interaction is a powerful tool for effective conversations especially with customers!

4. Don’t Drag
If a customer wishes to cancel her account, do it right away. Remember that it’s not necessary that the customer is lost once she sign outs.
Hence, if the customer has already set her one foot out of the door then let her part in as frictionless manner as possible. Don’t annoy them. Instead remind them politely what they will miss with a sincere note of being grateful & available anytime for future assistance.
Winning the customers back with brilliant service forms an important part of business cycle which one must focus on.

5. Robert Bacal’s CARP Method
Robert Bacal’s CARP method is found to be really effective to handle upset customers. It refers to a path which if followed enables one to win over an unsatisfied customer! It is-
·      
  • Control- Understand carefully the situation from the customer’s point of view. And then control the situation with polite language. This will placate the customer and ensure her that you’re ready to help without any deception.
  • Acknowledge- Acknowledge the customer’s complaint and her concerns without ignoring any of them.
  • Refocus- Now, refocus the customer’s attention to the trouble at hand. Explain her how you’ll solve it.
  • Problem solve- Once the solution has been found, solve the customer’s problem which she initially came for. Assure the customer of the problem been solved to her satisfaction.

6. Respond don’t React!
You and I have issues, even the customers do. Hence, never take any customer complaints personally. Take it in a positive way which will only help to become better. The most important thing to remember is that handle customers by responding correctly and not reacting!

Indian Academy of Management (IAM) is also conducting a practical seminar for corporate personnel who want to master the art of handling customer complaints effectively. This seminar will be delivered by an expert professional who is himself a gold medalist in Mass Communications & holds First Class Masters Degree from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. Know more




Thursday, September 11, 2014

How To Successfully Handle Customer Complaints? Part 2

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Handling customer complaints effectively is the key to increase your bottom line!
Hi Everyone. In the 1st part we discussed about some essential strategies to win over an unsatisfied customer including a vital input from Evernote's CEO. You can read the previous article here.
As discussed I am here with the next part. In this I will reveal vital insights about identifying & categorizing different types of complainers to handle customer complaints effectively.
The latest academic publication about handling customer complaints presents a well-built case. It reveals the impact of categorization of complainers through selection of archetypes which most customers fall in. This helps greatly to understand the underlying concerns of the complaining customers.

The different categories of complainers are-

Modest Customers-
They’re generally reluctant to complaining. However, they do warrant a mention. Hence, you may require delving deep into their thought processes via personal interactions to understand what’s wrong exactly.

Aggressive Customers
They’re outspoken & don’t shy from conveying what’s in their mind. The best “response” is to prevent similar aggressive “reaction”. Instead, be humble like, “What else can I help you with?” This shows you’re willing to hear the person out.

The Premium Customers
These are your enterprise customers who are ready to pay premium amount but demand premium support too! No customer likes excuses. And this one just hates hearing any of them! Hence, be careful or you might perhaps lose a credible client!
Persistent Complainers
These kinds will contact you a lot. However, their issues should be given attention which requires patience. And if you’re able to satisfy these customers, they will sing praises of your product or service to others!
The above types are the extremes which you’ll encounter. As a result you’ll be able to respond correctly to any customer thus enhancing your & your brand’s reputation & stellar performance!

Below are some crucial don’t and don’ts to remember!

#Empathize with the customer don’t annoy her!
Consider the phrase, “We are sorry for you facing this problem.” Don’t you think it’s pretty annoying from customer’s perception?
Even if your intention is to apologize, it may seem as demeaning or dismissive.
Simply utter you’re sorry. Even when the customer seems unreasonable, apologize right away. Ask how you can help resolve her issue. If he or she’s very adamant, just move on!

#Transfer but with good explaination!
Customers don’t like being transferred when on a call. However, your task is to briefly explain the customer as to how the transfer will benefit her. Consider the below 2 options-
You’re getting transferred to another call- This stinks!
You’ll be transferred to our ____ expert. She’ll be able to give you the best advice! - “Great ... okay, then!”

#Be careful while questioning!
There’s a thin line between successfully following up once resolving a complaint & unintentionally inviting more complaints!

Consider the following 2 responses-
“Is there something else wrong?” – Wrong

“What else can I assist you with today?” - Correct

When you ask a negative question to a customer who have just complained, it will lead no good results. Conversely, if you inquire about further assistance, customer feels assured of you being available for any further issues.
In the next part I will reveal 7 further core strategies to win over your customers. This will include really effective methods to handle dissatisfied customers as found in Robert Bacal’s book, "If It Wasn’t for the Customers I’d Really Like this Job." Stay Tuned!

IAM is also conducting a practical seminar for corporate personnel who want to master the art of handling customer complaints effectively. This seminar will be delivered by an expert professional who is himself a gold medalist in Mass Communications & holds First Class Masters Degree from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. Know more
  


























































Monday, September 8, 2014

How To Successfully Handle Customer Complaints? Part 1

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Handling customer complaints in an efficient & effective manner is incredibly important. It’s a crucial part of any firm’s overall service experience by its customers.

If a customer undergoes negative experience, it can be easily taken as an opportunity to win over that customer for life!

However, handling customer complaints & negative feedback in a positive manner takes lot of practice & patience. In fact I suggest a key term to remember to handle customer complaints effectively. It’s “p2” which means “practice and patience.”

Below you’ll learn useful facts and strategies in terms of handling customer complaints effectively. They will help your business to incredibly boost its bottom line.

Why handling customer complaint is crucial to your business?
Poorly managed customer complaints are the quickest ways one can demolish his otherwise stellar brand reputation.

Consider Phil institute’s following statistics-
  •       When you resolve customer’s complaint in its favor, 70% he/she will revert for business with you yet again.
  •        95% of customers prefer giving second chance if you’re able to handle their complaints successfully.

It’s not viable to satisfy every customer. However, if you’re able to covert an initially bad experience into a good one, the returns will be immense!

Further you’ll learn essential strategies to enable you to do just the same!

“Treat each customer like they have more than 10,000 Twitter followers."

The above line quoted by Myers Barnes drives home an overarching point. It’s that every customer should be treated equally with respect.

Remember that each customer has a large audience at its disposal. Hence, if you give her a good buying and service experience, she’ll perhaps spread the good word of mouth to all the audience she knows!

Why Evernote CEO loves his angriest customers?!
Recently, Phil Libin, Evernote’s CEO gave an interesting insight about his love for his angriest customers.

He emphasizes on the need for a balance. This balance must be maintained between internal innovation & customer feedback.

Phil said, “Customer feedback is a great tool to tell you what went wrong. It's terrible at pointing you about what you must do next!”

This point makes one more fact clear. Innovation does need help and feedback from your team. However, in the process customers mustn't be ignored which can show your team the right direction! In fact it’s all about customers, right?

Prioritize
You’ll always encounter a customer who never gets satisfied on the price front. In such cases, you should accept such feedback with a pinch of salt.

Nevertheless, if there are multiple customers who are facing trouble using some Key Feature A then there may be a serious communication problem which needs immediate attention!

Also incorporate an easy-to-use and efficient feedback system which will track all relevant complaints regularly!

Stay tuned for my next article on How To Successfully Handle Customer Complaints? Part 2.  In that I will reveal how to identify and categorize the different types of complainers to handle customer complaints effectively.

IAM is also conducting a practical seminar for corporate personnel who want to master the art of handling customer complaints effectively. This seminar will be delivered by an expert professional who is himself a gold medalist in Mass Communications & holds First Class Masters Degree from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. Know more