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This blog is published byVinod Satyanarayana
“A mindful company is the one that offers the individuals, an environment to live in the moment and perform with a purpose; its customer, a trustworthy partnership that understands priorities and concerns; and the community, contributions as an empathetic corporate citizen.” – Ashok Soota
Mindfulness has moved from eastern spirituality or philosophy into an organizational setting. Mindfulness is associated with people’s increased ability to focus their attention in a dynamic, task-focused way which results in higher level functioning. Every IT organization strives to have a long list of clients- big or small and long term relationships which are often termed as partnerships. Over the years, for a company, IT which was support function has evolved itself into IT as a core strategy. Big companies spend almost 20-30% on IT and in return, demand products and services best in class and exceeding the expectation which is a differentiator in the industry. Last two decades has been an evolution of IT from mere information system into the customer experience. Products are evolved into business suites and pay-per-use instead from traditional pay and own with the popularization of cloud based solutions (PAAS, SAAS and IAAS). Companies understood that upgrades and maintenance are not its core activities and migrate to cloud based wherever they can. Outsourcing was considered a way to go as it provided cost advantage with quality, however, all vendors now have same quality standards and at almost same price. So IT services have become a commodity. Generally, Companies hire 3rd party agencies to do vendor analysis and selection. Open source technologies are extremely popular and customers are open and in favor of it. Hence with so much evolution in technology, IT standards, customer assessment, it is kind of impossible for service companies to ignore customer needs/wants but what they perceive that they need. How can we make an IT organization mindful of customer needs both tangible and intangible and have employees perform work with a purpose to cater to the needs and wants of a customer?
Who is a customer? Is it the CTO of a company or IT Manager or people who are using IT? How is ROI calculated on the investment on IT? Is it financial efficiency, operational efficiency and/or effectiveness? ROI should be calculated based on the evaluation of end-user. Customers are people who are ultimate beneficiaries of IT systems. The real differentiator is how every employee from top executives to lowest competency employee is mindful towards a customer.
The Mindful organization has multiple dimensions. This includes, but not limited to
Values and Vision:
We all know that a company exists to provide value to customers through its products or services. However, research suggests that there is “no common definition of customer centricity” and though value statement should be straight forward, sometimes it fail to make every individual connect to it as company culture and leadership might not be aligned to the visions and values. Customer centric values and mindful environment are beliefs that guide employees’ preference during courses of action in a variety of situations. Values should be crystal clear and should always communicate the message of organization and customer centric all the time and especially during adversity. Values also should indicate employees are internal customers for an organization and organization should clearly communicate employees are equally important as to customers in an organization. Every employee brings in his or her own flavor of values, attitudes and beliefs to an organization and would expect the organization to mold it so that it shapes their future. The vision statement should inspire, motivate, and align employees towards a common goal.
Customer Centric and Mindful Culture:
Here is the list of attributes that a Client centric organization should have
Organizational Mindfulness must be created by top leaders, synchronized across by middle managers, and translated into action on the front line. Leadership competency drive people towards excellent customer focus and with personality and integrity competency, an organization as a whole will look at the leader and emulate the behavior displayed. Leadership also is a commitment to each customer individually, to listen them with a clear focus on how we as an organization can solve their problem. A leader is a person who knows every customer’s pain points and puts focus on building a right team to solve their problems. Leaders help align policies, processes and standards with customer and employee’s expectation and mutual benefits. A true leader also understands that building a customer centric organization is impossible without employee engagement.
Employee motivation and Behavior:
As per definition, an “engaged employee” is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests. Though pay package is important for employee motivation but there are other factors which are equally important like perception of current job, clarity of job expectation, career advancement, and quality of working relationship with peers, subordinates, clients and regular dialogue with superiors. Employee engagement is crucial in creating a customer centric culture and engaged employees create better experiences for the customer.
A Mindful customer centric organization is pretty hard to achieve unless it is built with a primary focus of providing value to customers rather than to shareholders of the company. Customer satisfaction is not measured on loyalty but on net promoter score. Voice of the customer needs to be taken seriously to transform any business. Employees requires to be engaged and committed and company should believe in an employee first policy. Leaders have to provide an inspiring vision and environment to co-create a customer centric culture for employees. After all, I am proud to be a part of an organization, Happiest Minds, which preaches and practices Mindfulness in every approach to our people, our customers and the community.
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Vinod is a former Happiest Mind and this content was created and published during his tenure.
Vinod Satyanarayana Vinod is a former Happiest Mind and this content was created and published during his tenure.
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Happiest Minds enables Digital Transformation for enterprises and technology providers by delivering seamless customer experience, business efficiency and actionable insights through an integrated set of disruptive technologies: big data analytics, internet of things, mobility, cloud, security, unified communications, etc...