Customer Experience and Operational Excellence

Mankind expectations are every now and then, increasing. When you were a kid, your needs were different! When you were young, your needs changed! When you got a job, your needs increased! When you have a boyfriend/girlfriend, married, children. Your needs are changed! When you are back home, retired your needs are again changed! Life is a full circle and it’s driven by your needs!

The stone age produced some best examples of mankind about fulfilling his needs! He discovered fire, weapons to hunt, protect himself, climb a tree, hills, etc.

We are transformed. From stone age to the present, generations have seen witnessed the transformations. 

As I mentioned earlier, needs drives life. Industry revolution 1.0 brought us some of the useful mechanisms to ease our life using mechanical power. Using rope, pulleys one could lift the water from wells. One could transport things using carts!
Industry 2.0 transformed the life os humans, with light! The power of electricity brought automation to an extent. Humans explored this opportunity to make their life better. Manual transmissions transformed with electronic transmissions to make things faster and efficient. 

With the invention of computers and internet networks, Industry 3.0 focussed on global automation. Not just the systems, but people were connected easily across the globe! One could easily fly in no time to travel 3000+ miles from one place to other. One could easily communicate with someone located in a different country!
We are witnessing Industry 4.0. With the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence playing a greater role, our lives are transformed much better with a lot of predictions. One can search on their phone for a parking place based on the traffic conditions if planning for a trip or an outing! In a way, this automation has us Smart. We will see smart homes, smart cities, smart industries very soon.
If this is real, then what drives the business? Business runs to fulfill the needs. The needs are dynamic and as generation passing, they are transforming. 
I have seen my grandfather using a small diary containing few papers pinned.  He was a priest and farmer by profession. The revenues and expenditures were recorded by him and it was a daily routine. At times, I have seen he had written all his grandchildren horoscopes! 

I am sure, this is similar to others also of my generation! By the way, I belong to Gen Y.  My day used to start with music from an old radio playing it every day at 6 is in the morning. Whenever I visited the city, my grandfather used to buy two batteries as he could replace the old one. I was fascinated to listen to songs, cricket commentary while walk past the fields along with my grandfather or at times with my father! I always wondered how the device was working even when it’s taken out of home!

Days passed, I could see slowly radios were overtaken by Televisions. Initially, it was black and white followed by the colour one! Those who could afford initially, people would gather around it and watch in a group. The information was spreading, the user experience was much better. Compared to radio, one could now not just listen but also see things which would give enjoyment! Isn’t it a better customer experience? Also, compared to radio, one could transmit more information on the television set!  

I grow up, finished my education. Once my father got a credit card! (I was not aware that one day I would work on the system that produces it!). My grandfather wanted his passbook to be updated in the bank. I took him to the bank, got it printed. But the clerk did not sign it and that made worry my grandfather whether the money is really credited or not? Bank officials said, its core banking now and everything online and there is no need for a signature. I realized about transformation, it was better customer experience as the customer could see details online! Also, less crowded at the bank as customers were using machines to withdraw money. The future was becoming bright as the technology was driving people’s life.

Coming back to the television, the transformation has made them slowly disappear with the invention of smartphones! The big sets are replaced by the palms! Everything can be done on a smartphone. Even on the phone, from the keypad to the smartphone journey, it was the need or expectations from the users that led technology to transform things. 

We are heading towards digital disruptions! The days are not so far when the walls of the house will become digital displays where one can use it as a computer, television, entertainment set, etc. 

You are a customer of everything since you have a need. Assume that, you visit an ATM to withdraw cash. There is a queue after waiting for a long time, your turn has come. You insert the card, but not recognized! You will try two-three times then it allows to do the transaction. You are relaxed, but it takes 5 min to dispense the cash! You are again frustrated. Reasons can be anything, but it is a bad customer experience and it took a long time to process the transaction.

Let’s look at another example. Years back, we used dot-matrix printers. The printing quality was ok, sometimes ink used to get spread, tape used to jam and time taken to print was more. Then came inkjet, laser printers which benefited the customer, not just with the quality of printing but also faster printing. Thus resulting in good customer experience and operational excellence.

There is n number of examples that can be stated. What is important is to understand the business objectives and provide quality work to our customers.

So next time when you develop an application or do a job, Do ask what are your priorities towards the customer?

It is evident that mankind needs are driven by the two objectives i.e. Customer Experience and Operational Excellence

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