30 April 2006


TXM is about managing touchpoint experience.

To recap, a touchpoint is every point of interaction, internal and external, seen and unseen. An experience is a subjective feeling about the interactions of one individual with the event and with other individual.

Touchpoint eXperience is "the result of interaction of one person with other person, information, and deliverable through feeling (see, hear, touch, taste, smell), thinking, and hiring."

Internal touchpoint refers to every point of interaction within an enterprise. External refers to every touchpoint between the enterprise and the market. Right things get right when Touchpoint eXperience Excellence (TXE) is achieved both internally and externally.

Touchpoint eXperience (TX) can be positive, indifferent, or negative, depending on expecation fulfillment. Positive TX arises when beyond expectations. Indifferent when meet expectations. Negative when below expectations. This is the BMB Index.

In 2003 Special Edition McKinsey Quarterly, Jonathan D Day says "strategy is about deciding what to do, execution about getting it done. Today, in a business world marked by rapid change, continuing but erratic globalization, and the complex objectives of shareholder value, social responsibility, and corporate stability, the task of getting organization right is more important than ever." What Day suggests is internal Touchpoint eXperience Management.

[i = e]PID is about People [produce = hire] Deliverables based on Information available, where P / I / D are the key factors affecting touchpoint experience.

The optimal communication model should include sender, message, receiver and feedback. In PID, receiver and feedback seem to be missing. Is it true?

Not really.

When i and e interacts, this completes the communication loop. eP is the receiver, and iP is the sender.

29 April 2006

Leonardo Da Vinci on Simplicity

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo Da Vinci

KISS is an acronym for "Keep It Short and Simple."

Why simplicity is good? When things are simple, they facilitate understanding, and further enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

How is simplicity achieved? E=MC2 is a very simple formula by Albert Einstein but deep in meaning. Simplicity is achieved by not complicating things, consciously and unconsciously.

TXM advocates simplicity, especially in communication. People get annoyed when the message is complicated and keeps repeating. When people get BAD (bored, annoyed, and doubt), productivity drops. In order to achieve Touchpoint eXperience Excellence (TXE), it is necessary to ensure that information being conveyed follows the 4S rule, or Simple, Sufficient, Straightforward and Sync.

Leonardo Da Vinci on Theory

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast." Leonardo Da Vinci

Which is more important? Theory? Practice?

In a place like Hong Kong, people seldom care about theory, they just care about results. If the action produces profits, then implementation immediately begins. Theory? Who cares? Instead of spending time trying to understand it, they just do it. Time waits for no man. If it fails, then they take it as a lesson, as long as it is calculated risk. If it succeeds, then they gain. Theory? Why waste time on things that have no direct relationships with results?

Then why still theory? It is for record purpose. When something is labeled as a theory, people will at least pay attention to it. If they find it interesting and applicable to their practical world, they will remember it.

A theory is developed when a topic has gone through enough trial and error and eventually proved to be working.


Moments of Truth

Moments of Truth is a book on leadership by Jan Carlzon in 1987, almost 20 years ago.

The term, however, was first used in English in Ernest Hemingway's story Death in the Afternoon (1932). It is a translation of the Spanish el momento de la verdad, signifies the point in a bullfight when the matador makes the kill.

Jan Carlzon defines the moment of truth in business as "anytime a customer comes into contact with any aspect of a business, however remote, is an opportunity to form an impression."

How is Touchpoint eXperience different from Moments of Truth?

Discussion on Work Attitude

Q> In my company, the salesmen always complain about poor company support such as usual running out of stocks on hot items, inflexible delivery schedule, no call centre or administration support on daily operations.

WB> Every company encounters more or less the same problem. This reinforces the concept of “all changes come from the same origin.” The root problem is related to a simple economics concept - scarcity. Resources are scarce while wants are unlimited, so choice has to be made, and every choice involves an opportunity cost. Negative experience arises when there is a feeling of loss of something, or when expectations are not met.

Q> For me, just like the concept of QBQ, I would ask myself how I can use the restricted resources to do the best. However, salesmen don't seem to understand. It is hard to change their ATTITUDE.

WB> QBQ is actually about positive thinking. Instead of asking why which promotes victim thinking, QBQ encourages to ask how. However, sometimes people don’t need to ask why but will still have negative thinking. It is difficult to change attitude.

Q> It does affect sales performance and the working atmosphere because I think they can preform much better if they can change their negative attitude to positve. Please advise methods for me to train them up.

WB> Life events change attitude, but they are all personal experiences which are difficult to develop. To change attitude, psychologists have identified 3 major approaches - 01) behavioral, 02) cognitive, and 03) social. Behavioral approaches rely on reinforcements and punishments. Cognitive approaches rely upon changing the way people think about an attitude object by persuasion. Social approaches rely on people's tendency to copy the beliefs and behaviors of other people they admire. For more information, please visit http://www.principalspartnership.com/AttitudeHandbookforUPWebs.htm

Leonardo Da Vinci on Experience

"Experience does not err. Only your judgments err by expecting from her what is not in her power." Leonardo Da Vinci

Experience is a subjective feeling, and there is no right or wrong, only positive or negative. Expectation sets experience, and experience determines satisfaction level. For example, if high expectation is set for a movie, but the movie quality is inferior, then negative experience arises, and so is satisfaction level.

In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz introduces the idea of experienced utility, expected utility, and remembered utility. Experienced utility is defined as how one feels in the moment when the deliverable is hired. Before having the experience, one has to choose it, and the choice is based upon how one expects the experiences to be. This is the expected utility. Once one has had the experience with the deliverable, future choices will be based upon what one remembers about these past experiences, and this is the remembered utility.

27 April 2006

S = (EQ)2 x C

In order to achieve success, any enterprise needs to have efficiency, effectiveness, quantity and quality consistently. This can be expressed in a simple formula.

S = (EQ)2 x C

EQ in the formula also stands for Emotional Quotient. It is believed that EQ is more important than IQ for work success because EQ gets you through life, but IQ gets you through school only.
If an enterprise can consistently deliver quality quantity effectively and efficiently, then it has got all the competitive advantages necessary to deliver compelling touchpoint experience.
Efficiency is about doing things right, effectiveness is about doing right things, and positive touchpoint experience is about doing right things right.


"Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity." Thor Heyerdahl

There are 2 versions of Graffiti.

The older version requires the user to write the letter in one stroke, and the newer version allows the user to write in more than one stroke.

I learned Graffiti many years ago, when I owned an HP OmniGo 100 palmtop computer. Palm was not even in the market yet. Recently, I started to use a smartphone running Palm OS, and it uses the newer version of Graffiti.

I am not sure if it is my resistance to change or not, but I have great difficulties picking up the newer version. Writing in one stroke is more convenient than two in terms of speed and letter recognition. For example, when I write "i" in the older version, I just need to draw a vertical line, but in the newer version, I have to dot the i's. Same applies to "t". I have to cross the t's.

I don't want to write accurately when using Graffiti. It is supposed to be a recognition system, providing shortcut for the user to write the letter. I am looking for speed but not accuracy. The system should recognize what I write as long as I use the correct shortcut provided.

A positive deliverables touchpoint experience in the past is now a negative one due to the ability to complicate simplicity.

PID on 4S

PID are the key factors affecting touchpoint experience, which in turn long-run profitability and thus the ability to survive in the real world.
People produce Deliverables based on Information available in iTX, and People hire Deliverables based on Information available in eTX.
In order to achieve Touchpoint eXperience Excellence (TXE), an enterprise needs the right people with the right information produce the right deliverables.
But what is the meaning of right?
Right People
Positive Attitude - Just Do It and No Questions Asked
Right Information (4S)
Simple - to maximize communication efficiency and minimize confusion and errors
Specific - to maximize understanding and minimize mind reading
Sufficient - to maximize communication effectiveness and minimize junk
Sync - to maximize relevancy and minimize waste
Right Deliverables
Value-added in addition to basic needs fulfilling - Value for money
PID is result-oriented yet process-focused.

25 April 2006

A Revisit of PID

PID is an acronym for People, Information and Deliverables.
In earlier blog, it is said that "People use Information to produce Deliverables." It is valid as far as iTX is concerned. When dealing with eTX, however, the statement may seem unreasonable.
People - Senior Management, Middle Management, Frontline Staff
Information - Instructions, Guidelines
Deliverables - Reports, Systems
People use Information to produce Deliverables. Frontline staff produce deliverables based on the information available to them. Without information, no staff can deliver results. Information includes instructions and guidelines given by task assigner.
People - Suppliers, Customers, Consumers
Information - Marketing Communications, Public Relations
Deliverables - Products, Services
People use Information to produce Deliverables. Customers do not use information to produce deliverables. Instead, customers hire* deliverables based on the information provided to them by iPeople, or internal people. Of course, they will fire deliverables should the information provided to them is irrelevant.
PID are the critical success factors of an enterprise.
i / e TX - People produce / hire Deliverables based on available Information.
* Hire is a term used by Professor Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School. For more information, please refer to the article "Marketing Malpractice" published in Harvard Business Review December 2005.

24 April 2006


"Better a broken promise than none at all." Mark Twain
Isn't that "a promise made is a debt unpaid"? If the promise is broken, then who is going to settle the debt. The debt will then be unpaid forever. If the task cannot be done on time, then why promise to complete by the suggested deadline?
Microsoft is a good example for always missing the deadline. Microsoft seldom keeps promises, but still almost everyone with a PC uses the Windows system. Failing to keep promises does not seem to have any impact on the software giant. Microsoft simply ignores the negative touchpoint experience it imposes on the market. Action is only taken when the market starts to purchase pirated software. Pirated software actually is a good thing for Mr Gates. It promotes popularity.
Broken promise? It is very ironic. A broken promise means a false hope. False hope can ruin everything because when expectations aren't met, then nothing matters. No satisfaction, no future touchpoint, no relationship. It's done.
However, Microsoft seems to be an exception. But why this exception for Microsoft? Even when Microsoft constantly and repeatedly fails the market, almost every PC user, be it business or home, still uses Microsoft products.
It is the effect of critical mass. Microsoft enjoys monopoly power in the market. Of course, the market can always opt for Apple or Linux, but without critical mass, there is no motivation for the market to be part of the minor community.
Does Microsoft have the right iPID?
Mr Gates is the Mr Right for everything. How about information? Visit http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/execmail/ and read those executive emails from the top executives. Communication is sharp and clear. Transparency is the key. Right deliverables? Mr Gates promoted the idea of digital economy back in March 1999, or about 7 years ago, in At the Speed of Thought. Microsoft definitely has an efficient and effective information flow which helps ensure the right deliverables to be produced.
How about ePID? Peter Drucker said "the aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous." Being the monopoly in the market, Microsoft doesn't really need the right ePeople, similar to Coca Cola. Right information? Definitely. "Your Potential. Our passion." Isn't that touching? (For opposing views, please visit http://www.thirdwayblog.com/?p=1) Right Deliverables? If software bug is already an accepted norm, then productivity software such as Microsoft Office is definitely the right deliverable.
Microsoft has optimized both iTX and eTX which reinforce its leading position in the market.

23 April 2006

Internal Execution

I joined PCCW Limited on 06 February 2006 as a Training Consultant, and on 20 April 2006, I was assigned to act on behalf of the Training and Development Manager since he would be away for a business meeting in the United States for about 2 weeks.

How long have I been with PCCW? We can get the number of days by writing a simple formula in Excel.


The answer is 73 days.

However, the number above includes Saturdays and Sundays. In order to calculate only the weekdays, or my actual give-and-take, we need to install the Analysis ToolPak add-in and apply this formula =networkdays(2006/02/06, 2006/04/20) to get a more accurate result, which is then 54 days.

54 days of on-the-job training, and then I was the Acting Training and Development Manager for 2 weeks. "Wow" was my immediate reaction when I was told to take up the role temporarily. This wow is different from the Wow! by Tom Peters. My "Wow" was an astonishment. Peters' "Wow" is an exceptionally enjoyable adventure.

The first project, and I hope this would be the only project, was to prepare a presentation on staff appraisal for a business unit of PCCW. I knew nothing about staff appraisal, though I did that for my staff in the past. The process was mostly enjoyable but not necessarily serious, because I always have a tendency to make everything formal informal. Formal is tense, and tense implies pressure. How could positive touchpoint experience be delivered if both parties are in a state of mental or nervous tension?

The big boss returned from his vacation, and I needed to brief him on the process, and also the presentation materials already prepared by the manager. After all, he would do the presentation.

People use Information to produce Deliverables. I was the one who needed to use the already provided Information to work out the presentation for my big boss.

Since I was just playing an acting role, and all the materials were already prepared by the manager, I didn't really pay heed to the deliverables, or what the big boss really needed. I just passed the presentation materials for his review and comments.

The result? Disastrous! The big boss basically rejected everything, and I had to redo from scratch. I was so upset because I just delivered negative touchpoint experience during the execution process.

I repented of my "sins", and it was all my problem. It's the ATTITUDE issue.

I wasn't serious about the task, because I ain't interested in it. Besides, the manager has already prepared everything, and I didn't spend enough time understanding the expectations of the deliverables.

Negative touchpoint experience in this case is caused by my inappropriate attitude - lack of eagerness to obtain a thorough understanding of the task.

22 April 2006

QBQ versus 5 Whys

QBQ! is an acronym for The Question Behind The Question, a concept developed by John G Miller.

Miller believes that pointing fingers and blaming others cannot solve the troubles that plague organizations. Rather, the real solutions are found when each of us recognizes the power of personal accountability. Miller explains how negative, inappropriate questions like "Why do we have to go through all this change?" and "Who dropped the ball?" represent a lack of personal accountability. Conversely, when we ask better questions-QBQs-such as "What can I do to contribute?" or "How can I help solve the problem?" our lives and our organizations are transformed.

QBQ! encourages to ask "How" and "What" questions instead of "Why" and "Who" questions.

But how about the 5 Whys problem-solving technique?

By repeatedly asking the question "Why", the root cause of a problem will be identified easily.

Here is a real world example from a kitchen range manufacturer:

Symptom: There is too much work in process inventory, yet we never seem to have the right parts.


Symptom: The enameling process is unpredictable, and the press room does not respond quickly enough.


Symptom: It takes them too long to make a changeover between parts, so the lot sizes are too big, and often the wrong parts.


Symptom: Many of the stamping dies make several different parts, and must be reconfigured in the tool room between runs, which takes as long as eight hours.


Symptom: The original project management team had cost overruns on the building site work, so they skimped on the number of dies - they traded dedicated dies and small lot sizes for high work-in-process (which was not measured by their project budget).


Root Cause: Company management did not understand lean manufacturing, and did not set appropriate project targets when the plant was launched.

It is almost universally true that by the time you ask why five times, it is clear that the problem had is origins in management.

So which is right? Should we ask "Why" when encountering problems?

Why should be used when the problems are related to deliverables (D), because asking why repeatedly will help seek the truth.

Why should NOT be used when the problems are related to people (P), because this will easily lead to victim thinking.

21 April 2006

Task Relevant Maturity

Andy Grove, co-founder of Intel, mentioned the idea of task relevant maturity (TRM) in his book High Output Management.

Hersey and Blanchard describe TRM as an individual's capacity to get the job done in a high quality manner, with a minimum amount of direction or control, while contributing to keeping the group together. TRM consists of two things: job maturity and psychological maturity.

Job maturity is the individual's and group's ability to get the job done. This includes the knowledge and skills required. Psychological maturity is the individual's self-confidence, self-esteem, and maturity.

The group's "job readiness" is therefore governed by their:
- attitude: the willingness to work with mimium supervision and guidance toward the group goals
- skills: technical ability
- knowledge: their task-related experience

Is it necessary that somebody has to has relatively low task relevent maturity if that person is just moved into a new position? Somebody who is competent at one position does not mean that person will have lower TRM when promoted to a new position. Bringing that person to the micro-management style would affect the productivity. In fact, micromanagement is a hinderance to growth, the team's integrity, and moral. It should not be conducted once a person proves the ability to perform tasks and gets promoted as a result.

Training is not necessary for a person who switches job. On-the-job training is more important. Sales reps need to master the skills of handling objections. For the first month, sales reps should keep meeting with customers and doing presentation. Accept objections as a part of life. It's all about attitude. Never give up. If encounter objections, don't just give up. Ask why the objection is handled bad. Try to improve the next time. As time goes by, the skills will definitely improve.

Authority and autonomy must not necessarily be earned by demonstrating skills and achieving solid past performance relative to specific tasks.

Effective delegation is about authority, autonomy, responsibility and accountability.

This is about iTX, or internal touchpoint experience.

20 April 2006

Justin Lo

Justin Lo is a pop singer in Hong Kong. He had his first concert after his first album was released within a year, and about 20,000 tickets were sold out in 10 minutes. With this achievement, his company was thinking to sign his name up for Guinness Book of Records.

But wait a minute! More than 20,000 tickets were sold out in 10 minutes? How could that be possible? This means 1,000 tickets were sold in each minute... about 15 tickets in each second? Even if there is such a strong demand, the ticket seller won't have the efficiency to sell 15 tickets per second.

So why?

That's because of the existence of scalper, who engages in the reselling of tickets at a price higher than the established value. A ticket originally worths of HK$200 will be resold at HK$350. This is illegal in Hong Kong, but there are always people who are willing to take the risk in order to make small quick profits.
No venture, no gain.

19 April 2006

Sales Rep Evaluation

"What gets measured, gets done." Peter Drucker

How should an enterprise judge the performance of a sales rep? By sales volume? By the number of customers visited each day? By what exactly?

The survival of every enterprise basically depends on profit. Without profit, the enterprise will find breathing almost impossible. Profit is the result of hard work, and is equal to revenue minus cost.

If an enterprise evaluates the performance of the sales rep based on results, or sales volume, the sales rep will put all efforts into achieveing the required results. There are pros and cons with this evaluation method. When the sales rep is too hungry for results, he or she may use whatever approach to make sure things get done. This ensures efficiency. However, if the approach being adopted goes against business ethics, this will only lead to ineffectiveness. Without integrity, short-term win ultimately will turn into long-term lose.

In order to achieve honesty results, an entperprise should not focus only on results but also on processes. The enterprise should evaluate the performance of sales rep by IPAK and external touchpoint step.

This link http://www.surveyz.com/TakeSurvey?id=483&showLibrary=true provides an example on collecting feedback from the market.

Free to Choose

Milton Friedman wrote this book in 1980. Although I obtained an economics degree more than 10 years ago, I am nothing compared to the Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedman. For more on Free to Choose, please visit http://www.freetochoose.com

It is always believed that "the more the better." Why is that? Because people are greedy. They won't get satisfied easily. They always want to get the most out of everything. They won't stop until they make sure that nothing more can be gained by further sucking.

So, more is better? How about less is better?

People like to choose when dealing with serious issues, but they don't like to be bothered with minor tasks such as whether to eat at night. Why is that? Time is the reason. Everyone has the same 24-hour, which makes time the only fair resource available. Smart people spend time on important issues but not necessary urgent. Dumb people spend time doing nothing and mostly on unimportant and non-urgent tasks which generate no value at all. This is in fact the urgent / important time management matrix.

An optimal time management has below guideline.
- non-urgent, unimportant tasks: IGNORE
- urgent, unimportant tasks: DISCOURAGE
- important, non-urgent tasks: DEVELOP ACTION PLANS
- urgent, important tasks: TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION

This is an important point to note, because this is about meeting expectations, and expectations are directly related to satisfaction. Satisfaction equals Experience minus Expectations. Experience includes reality, outcome, performance.

As a general rule, more is better when people encounter urgent and important tasks, and less is better when people deal with non-urgent and unimportant tasks.

In Chinese, there is the idea of "enough is enough." People should be content with enough, or just right.

In order to deliver compelling touchpoint experience, it is important to know what and when is just right.

CRM Failure

Sales reps don't like to share information. It is the problem of freedom of invisibility. They don't like to be managed and monitored. They are trained to be result-oriented. They only have one simple yet clear objective in their sales career - to close a deal. In TXM, that's "commit" step, or 4.1. Why is closing the deal so important to the sales reps? It is because their survival depends on the number of deals being closed. Almost all sales-related jobs are on commission basis.

Relationship is nothing new. Everyone knows the importance of relationship, not only sales reps. It's really funny that CRM was such a big hit a few years ago. Again, this is the power to talk of the West. If relationship is nothing new, then so is CRM. In Chinese, this is known as "GuanXi", and it has been in existence for more than 5,000 years. Without CRM back in the old days, businesses still survived. Now the business world has a new toy named CRM, is there any major significant difference when compared with the past?

What is CRM? Simply put, it is only about managing customer relationship. The next question is how to manage? Sales reps won't rely on software to manage relationship, because they know better than anyone that this is not going to work. Software is emotionless. Software is used to enhance efficiency and effectiveness, but software itself won't be able to generate any actionable solutions. It also helps record the number of touchpoints between the sales reps and the customers, if necessary. The number of touchpoints will increase when the number of IPAK increases. Human memory is beset by severe limitations of capacity. It is not rational to memorize everything, but things of value now and future. One major role of software is to help free up human memory, but definitely not to make decisions on behalf of people. In order to manage relationship, sales reps will put on a mask and speak the customers' language. Sales reps manage touchpoints.

The structure of software operation is simple: input, data mining, output. Without input, the power of software is zero. Even with input, the power of software is still zero if there is no data integrity.

If CRM is treated as a software, then it has to have data input, and the data has to be supplied by sales reps. Given the nature of sales reps, will there be data integrity?

How can CRM be a success if the sales reps provide irrelevant feedback, if any?

Smart Sales Reps

Work hard or smart? Play hard or smart?

Good sales reps don't usualy work hard, but smart.

Let's imagine. Staff A works from 0800 to 2200 every day from Monday to Saturday but produces no results. Staff B works from 0900 to 1800 every day from Monday to Friday but produces impressive results. Which one will an enterprise pick? Needless to say, any rational and profit-making enterprise seeking for long-term growth will pick Staff B. But why? Because Staff A has lower ROI, or "return on investment". Simply put, "less is more" for Staff B.

There are basically 3 levels of selling techniques.*
Level One (L1) - Selling for the sake of Selling
Most sales reps fall into this category. They do not really enjoy selling, and work to live every day.
Level Two (L2) - Selling based on Buyer's Needs
Sales reps at Level Two are willing to spend time identifying the buyer's needs before selling begins. This requires listening skills, which is important during the selling process.

Level Three (L3) - Selling based on Creating Needs
Level Three sales reps are the most aggressive, but this does not necessarily ensure a high probability of sales success. Buyers do not like to be sold, but want to buy what they truly want in order to fulfill their real personal needs.
* I got this idea from Miss Phoebe Tong, my colleague at Training and Development Branch, PCCW Limited.


I once wrote a quote... and it is about puzzle.

"You either solve the puzzle, or you'll be puzzled by the puzzle forever."

I am a strong advocate of "all changes come from the same origin." The origin is the puzzle.

The first version of TXM was actually named BOM, or Business Optimization Management. The core concept at that time was the simple IPAK. After a meeting with two partners one night in 2001, they said that IPAK was just a sales tool, and sales management is only a function within an organization. They concluded that IPAK could not optimize business. My heart immediately stopped the beat. I did a lot of research on IPAK, and I even switched more than 5 jobs in a year just to test the concept. I had high expectations for IPAK, but in the end, it was not even what I thought it should be. I thought of giving up, but my good friend Carson Cheng encouraged me. He is a very intelligent guy, and is an expert in Excel. He can be reached at http://www.excelhelp.net. I then asked myself what IPAK was all about.

IPAK was very complicated in the earlier versions, with 8 sub-code for each segment. In total, there were 32 codes, which I'll share later. I asked myself if IPAK was not BOM, then what was it? I then came up with the idea of touchpoint. Of course I didn't invent the term, but each sub-code in IPAK was about touchpoint.

I continued to develop the IPAK concept with touchpoint in mind, but the longer I worked on it, the sooner I realized that touchpoint also wasn't the origin. My friend was right. IPAK was after all only a sales and marketing tool. BOM is more than that. CRM isn't the solution, nor is ERP. The alphabet soup is just something developed by the West to make money.

Touchpoint is the root of relationship, and it forms communication. It is the moment of truth. Touchpoint alone won't deliver results. What's missing? After more research and presentation, it's experience.

Touchpoint eXperience is then the origin, as both elements are the basics of winning. Touchpoint is the root of relationship, and experience is the root of decision. Whether to fulfill a personal need greatly depends on the experience.

17 April 2006


The slogan of NIKE is "Just Do It." What is the impression of this slogan? That you just go ahead to do what you want to do. It's bold. It makes you feel different. I recently bought a NIKE backpack at around HK$200. I was initially thinking to get one from Agnes B, but it costs more than HK$1,500. Agnes B is a brand in Hong Kong, but HK$1,500 for a bag? That's too much, and it is not justified. I did browse other brands, such as Adidas, Prada, FX Creation and the like. But why NIKE? Because owning a NIKE bag gives me the status I want. I am that kind of person who just goes ahead to do what I deem right without second thought. It fits my style.

Apple... "Think Different." If you own an Apple's product, you feel different. Although the Mac OS is difficult to use if you've been a Windows user for a long time, once you make the switch (I did), you are addicted to Mac. When you tell your friends that you use Mac, they are going to have that amazing look on you. I told my colleagues that I use Mac, and they think I'm different instantly, that I am somewhat smarter. My old good friend also has the same impression, that I have to be smart in order to handle 2 different operating systems, day time Windows and night time Mac.

Then we have "Made in United States" and "Made in China". It is always perceived that products made in China are of inferior quality when compared with that of United States. Why is that? Is that a true fact? The IBM notebook and the Apple PowerBook that I both own are made in China, and so far both machines are doing fine. If products made in China are bad in quality, then why the manufacturers from all over the world still build plants in China? You pay peanuts you get moneys. That's the law. What's wrong with that?

WisdomBoom... "Every Touchpoint Counts." Does that mean anything to anyone?

Rule 313

eTX has 8 processes.

1.1) Enquiry (EQ)
2.1) Consideration (CN)
3.1) Negotiation (NN)

4.1) Commit / Repurchase (CM)

5.1) Payment (PM)
6.1) Delivery (DY)
7.1) Post-Purchase Service Request (SR)

8.1) Objection - Soft (OS)
8.2) Objection - Hard (OH)
0.1) Complaint (CT)
0.2) Unavailable - Short Term / Long Term (UA)
0.3) Referral (RL)

This 8-step is composed of 3 phases for the sake of simplicity, or Rule 313.

There are 3 steps in Pre-Purchase, 1 Purchase, then 3 again in Post-Purchase.

There is a deeper meaning of 313. For every 3 prospects (P1) approached, 1 may eventually turn into first-time purchaser (A0). If the enterprise delivers compelling touchpoint experience for that one A0 consistently, then that A0 may share with other P1, and this word-of-mouth marketing may bring the enterprise another 3 P1s. The cycle goes on.

16 April 2006

Decision Making Unit Members


Initiator - Machine breaks down, the operator reports it, thus initiating the process

Influencer - User may influence, may also involve supervisor, R&D staff, accountant, sales reps

Gatekeeper - Secretarial and reception staff preventing influencers reaching decision makers

Decider - May be senior management taking an active or passive role

Buyer / Purchaser - Buyer handles search for and negotiations with supplies

User - Operator

TXM Acronym

TXM - Touchpoint eXperience Management
iTX - internal Touchpoint eXperience
eTx - external Touchpoint eXperience

TXE - Touchpoint eXperience Excellence

STS - Standard Touchpoint Step
PID - People / Information / Deliverables

IPAK - Inactive / Potential / Active / Key
Rule 313 - EQ / CN / NN ; CM ; PM / DY / SR

Buying Cycle versus Sales Cycle

In TXM, there are 8 steps for external.

1.1) Enquiry / RFI
2.1) Consideration
3.1) Negotiation
4.1) Commit / Repurchase
5.1) Payment
6.1) Delivery
7.1) Post-Purchase Service Request
8.1) Objection - Soft
8.2) Objection - Hard
0.1) Complaint
0.2) Unavailable - Short Term / Long Term
0.3) Referral

Each step is a signal sent from the buyer to the enterprise. Communication is two-way, and requires feedback to complete the loop. Without feedback, it is like self talk, and no action will be put in place. Without action, there would be no results. Without results, there would not be any measurable improvement.

Although 8 steps may seem too complicated, it is an attempt to manage all relevant touchpoints from the buyer's perspective. Why it has to be from the buyer's perspective? It is because buyer is king. As Peter Drucker says, "there is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer."

In order to complete the communication process, and more importantly to create a customer, each step in the buying cycle should be matched with a value-added sales strategy. Below is a brief matching.

Enquiry should be met with fact-finding.
Consideration should be met with probing / demonstration / proposal writing / USP selling.
Negotiation should be met with win-win strategy.

Commit / Repurchase should be met with cross-sell / up-sell / follow-up strategy.

Payment should be met with convenience.
Delivery should be met with ontime delivery and ECR.
Post-Purchase Service Request should be met with prompt follow-up.

Objection should be met with patience.
Complaint should be met with empathy and prompt resolution.
Unavailable should be met with follow-up strategy.
Referral should be met with appreciation and prompt follow-up strategy.

However, there should be a standard touchpoint step (STS) for both external and internal.

15 April 2006

WisdomBoom Logo

"智衍" 是一間顧問公司,英文名為 "WisdomBoom",其標誌設計主要由四個圖案形成。

"lll" - 代表 "Wisdom" 中的 "W" 字,即 "智慧"
"三" - 代表 "Boom" 中的 "B" 字,即 "衍生"

其形狀 "lll三" 有中國彥語 "三三不盡,六六無窮" 的意思。

"O" - 代表 "觸點",或 "touchpoint"、也代表 "對"
"X" - 代表 "體驗",或 "eXperience"、也代表 "錯"

觸點體驗,是 WisdomBoom 開發的商務管理概念。有云 "滿招損,謙受益"。故 "X" 在上方、"O" 在下方。


整個標誌的意思是:以謙虛 "智慧" 去建立正面 "體驗";從以 "衍生" 無盡 "觸點" 來強化關係,最終達致內外恆久全贏局面。


TXM is about managing touchpoint experience. Why is touchpoint experience important? Touchpoint forms relationships, and relationships rule in the world of information rich and time poor. Experience is affected by PID. Positive experience is achieved when the right people use the right information to produce the right deliverables. How about touchpoint? Touchpoint is about each single step from start to completion of a task.

In Alice's Adventure in Wonderland, the king says to Alice "Begin at the beginning, and then go 'til you come to the end; then stop". Those words can describe the touchpoint steps in a task.

The simplest form of process is "plan for contingency, execution for result, evaluation for improvement."

The number of steps from start to completion can be very complicated, as in PRINCE2.

PRINCE2 is a project management methodology broken down into 8 processes.
- Starting up a project (SP)
- Initiating a project (IP)
- Directing a project (DP)
- Controlling a stage (CS)
- Managing product delivery (MP)
- Managing stage boundaries (SB)
- Closing a project (CP)
- Planning (PL)

PID is a concept that can be applied to both internal and external.

For internal, an enterprise will achieve operational excellence when the right people having the right information deliver results which benefit the market. For external, an enterprise will attain win-win-win situation when the right representative present the right information and deliverables to the right IPAK for optimal results.

Examples will be given in subsequent blogs.

In TXM, is then there a touchpoint step that can also be applied to both internal and external?

In earlier version of TXM, there is a touchpoint step for external but not yet one defined for internal.
1.1) Enquiry / RFI
2.1) Consideration
3.1) Negotiation
4.1) Commit / Purchase
5.1) Payment
6.1) Delivery
7.1) Post-Purchase Service Request
8.1) Objection - Soft
8.2) Objection - Hard
0.1) Complaint
0.2) Unavailable - Short Term / Long Term
0.3) Referral

The external touchpoint step is actually the buying cycle expressed in a systematic way. From 1.1 to 3.1, it is the pre-purchase stage. 4.1 is the purchase stage. From 6.1 to 7.1, it is the post-purchase stage. 8-type and 0-type exist throughout the purchase cycle. 0.1 is a result of negative touchpoint experience. 0.3 is a result of positive word-of-mouth marketing.

14 April 2006

Best Practices?

Since all business is the same inside, the touchpoint process should also be the same, both internally and externally. However, there are many different versions.

Blue Ocean Strategy (External)
- Purchase
- Delivery
- Use
- Supplements
- Maintenance
- Disposal

Priceless (External)
- Discover
- Evaluate
- Acquire
- Integrate
- Extend

On a macro level, Michael Porter says "value activities can be divided into two broad types, primary and support activities."

There are 5 categories of primary activities.
- Inbound Logistics
- Operations
- Outbound Logistics
- Marketing and Sales
- Service

And in Marketing and Sales, Porter gives a list of below activities.
- Marketing Management
- Advertising
- Sales Force Automation
- Sales Force Operations
- Technical Literature
- Promotion

For support activities, there are 4 activities.
- Procurement
- Technology Development
- Human Resources Management
- Firm Infrastructure

Within each category of primary and support activities, there are three activity types that play a different role in competitive advantage:
- Direct
- Indirect
- Quality Assurance

Isn't what Porter suggests too complicated? In order to achieve competitive advantage, an enterprise has to excel in primary activities, support activities, and the requirement goes on. Isn't simple the best? What is the point of being sophisticated? Is there a simpler way to get right things right? Running a business is already no easy task, is it possible to come up with a simple practical idea?

There are then SIPOC model and DMAIC process in Six Sigma.

- Supplier
- Input
- Process
- Output
- Customer

- Define
- Measure
- Analyze
- Improve
- Control

Which one is the best practice? Is there a standard version?

13 April 2006

Logistics Management System at Swire Coca-Cola Hong Kong

B2B versus B2C
Swire Coca Cola Hong Kong (SCCHK) has a business unit which provides door-to-door delivery to home and office segments. The delivery is always very complicated because it involves B2C consumers. B2C consumers always have higher expectations than B2B customers. They are very impatient, and that's why we have the concept of ECR, or Efficient Consumer Response.
Before 2003, the performance of delivery services was not based on the number of successful delivered orders. In fact, there was no measurement of success, no Key Performance Indicators (KPI), and no Critical Success Factors (CSF) to help run the operations. Nobody had any concerns on the delivery performance. It was attributable to the strong sales performance.
Business Cycle?
It is always like this. When the business looks good, and there are no major business problems, then everything seems alright and nobody, not even the big boss, would have any question about anything. Life is easy, and everyone in the company is living to work instead of working to live. Peace!
However, when the upward trend reverses, everyone gets nervous, and every day everyone fights to survive in the war. The big boss gets in, and asks questions that have never been asked before. Even a very minor problem can suddenly become a very serious and major problem.
We call this "business cycle".
War and Peace
The delivery function of this business unit had been a problem for a long time, but since it's peace time, nobody really cared about it. Although the problem was pretty transparent, it's invisible.
Good things won't last. In 2003, when the market slowed down, the attention turned to this delivery function. I was then the newly recruited Sales Manager of that department. Alas! I joined SCCHK on 06 January 2003.
I developed a simple system with the help of my right-hand man, Calvin Chow, to manage something which I had no prior knowledge. I'd been engaging in sales and marketing activities for 8 years before I re-joined SCCHK. Logistics? What's that?
"When there is a will, there is a way."
The whole exercise was exciting. Several managers from different teams were being invited to join the project team. As quoted by Peter Drucker, "results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not solving problems." All discussions were focused on identifying ways to encourage both the outsourced logistics partners and in-house delivery teams to perform better, instead of punishing them when things would go wrong, which was then the usual practice.
I am a strong advocate of "what gets measured gets managed", and always believe in numbers. Coding system was used to identify problem areas. Three areas could go wrong in the case of unsuccessful delivery - outsourced delivery agents (XD), consumers (XC), and Swire itself (XS). From these 3 major codes, we further developed the sub-coding system to make sure that the reaons of failure were included in the system.
Before the introduction of the Logistics Management System (LMS), the successful delivery rate was low, the morale was poor, and the working atmosphere was about who to blame when things had gone wrong.
In less than 3 months, the successful delivery rate has improved from 93% to 97%, not to mention the morale and working atmoshphere.
To Be or Not To Be
I quit SCCHK on 06 December 2005. This blog is written on 13 April 2006. Four months later, SCCHK is still using the system.
I've always wanted to be a 100% sales and marketing professional... but since my graduation in 1995, I never really had the opportunity to work as a sales and marketing person. And now... I'm in training and development field.
Sales? Marketing? Logistics? Training? Human Resources?
Where should my final destination be...?

11 April 2006

The Invisible

Being invisible is a powerful strategy. Invisible is actually a grey area strategy.
We think we see through but actually the obstacle is invisible. - Invisible
We see through because there is no actual obstable ahead. - Transparency
Invisible does not necessarily mean transparency, as invisible is false transparency.
看不到,所以看得見。- Invisible
看得透,因為看得穿。- Transparency

10 April 2006

TXM in Brief

TXM has 2 levels: internal and external.
In order to achieve Touchpoint Experience Excellence (TXE), an enterprise should optimize "PID" both internally and externally, with focus on internal as happy employees make happy customers.
PID is an acronym for People, Information and Deliverables.
People use Information to produce Deliverables.
On the external side, an enterprise should adopt a CARE strategy for IPAK.
CARE stands for Cultivation, Acquisition, Retention and Expansion, where IPAK is short for Inactive, Potential, Active and Key. IPAK is a customer segmentation strategy.

09 April 2006


PID is an acronym for People, Information and Deliverable. These are the factors which will affect touchpoint experience, internally and externally.

People use Information to produce Deliverables.

Internally, people are staff from all levels. Information is communication. Deliverables are reports and action plans.

Externally, people are customers and suppliers. Information includes communication process such as advertising, marketing and even branding. Deliverables include product, service and policy.

In order to achieve touchpoint experience excellence, or TXE, an enterprise needs the right people to use the right information in order to develop right deliverables for the receiver.

In "The Brand Gap", Marty Neumeier describes 2 communication models: old and new.

The old model has three components: sender, message, and receiver. The sender doesn't know how the receiver actually responded.

In the new model, feedback enhances communication by turning communication into a dialog.








十年後的自己,也少穿了西服上班。原因有二:一,人老了,失去了悅己者容的動力。 二,為善最樂,支持便服日是也。










05 April 2006

Customer Centric Culture


- "Objective Alignment" to Enhance Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
- "Management by Walking" to Strengthen Leadership and Establish Role Model
- "Employee Comes First" to Ensure Happy Employees make Happy Customers


- Objectives Development and Identification
- Communication Transparency to Develop Employee Ownership
- Customer Satisfaction Benchmarking to Measure Performance
- Practice Makes Perfect Under Evaluation


- Definition and Benefits of Customer-Centric Culture
- Customer-Centric versus Customer Satisfaction
- Roadmap to Customer-Centric Culture
- Personal Accountablility
- Customer-Centric "ARM"
- Empowerment Pyramid Approach

Speeding Penalty

I was once a car owner, and liked to drive to different places to explore the new world. While driving, I listened to my favorite songs. Although I ain't a good driver, It's hard to imagine that I was caught speeding one day.

When you commit a crime, you better acknowledge it and accept the responsibility quickly in order to avoid any further trouble and unnecessary harassment. I am a lazy person and it's my natural tendency to proscratinate on things I deem unimportant. It's not surprising when I was asked to pay an additional penalty. I've totally forgotten to pay the fixed penalty on the payment due date.

In order not to suffer from extra financial hardship, I immediately set myself off to settle the "debt", but the payment channels are limited, which is an inconvenience.

01) By cash or by cheque.
- Payment may be made personally or by an agent at any of the magistrates' courts. The Magistrates' Courts receive payments during the hours of: Monday to Friday 0900 to 1300 and 1400 to 1700; Saturday 0900 to 1200
- If payment is made by cheque by post, please mail directly to the issuing Magistrates' Courts.
- Please note that payment cannot be made at post offices.

First of all, the locations are not easy to reach, and the hours available match exactly the office working hours. The option is simply not feasbile.

02) By HSBC / Hang Seng Bank ATM
- You may pay at any of the HSBC / Hang Seng Bank ATMs with the "Bill Payment Service" signage.
- You can also settle your payment through HSBC automated Phonebanking / HSBC online banking / Hang Seng VRS Phone Banking / Hang Seng e-banking services.

If one wants to settle the payment via bank, it is only available at 2 banks in Hong Kong: HSBC and Hang Seng Bank. Is this an discriminatory practice? Is that fair trade? There are more than 10 banks in Hong Kong, but the Government of the Hong Kong Special Adminstration Region (HKSAR) only forms relationship with these 2 banks. I don't have accounts at both banks. This option is ruled out.

"When there is a will, there is a way."

I finally settled the payment, given the tremendous difficulties the HKSAR kindly offers.

This is not just a speeding penalty, but also a negative deliverable touchpoint experience. The HKSAR should provide convenience but definitely not difficulties to citizens trying to use public services, especially when it is about money! If tax can be paid at almost all channels, why not penalty???

01 April 2006

TXM Contents

PART I: What is TXM?
- Background – Alphabet Soup and Quest for Origin
- Definition and Types of Touchpoint
- Relationship among Touchpoint Types
- Definition and Types of Experience
- Relationship between Touchpoint and Experience
- Relationship with Alphabet Soup, in particular, CRM

PART II: What does TXM do?
- Objectives of TXM – Touchpoint eXperience Excellence (TXE)
- Why Firms Exist – Business Objectives
- TXM Objectives versus Business Objectives
- Internal and External – Who Comes First?
- Critical eXperience Factors – PID
- Roadmap to TXE

PART III: iTXM (Case Studies)

PART IV: eTXM (Case Studies)

- Introduction of IPAK
- Comparison of IPAK with Traditional Customer Pyramid
- IPAK Pipeline with eXperience
- IPAK Matrix – IPAK and IPAK Pipeline
- Segmentation – Prioritization – Allocation - Deliver
- Segmentation versus Database Marketing: RFM
- Prioritization versus Planning
- Allocation versus Execution
- Deliver versus Execution
- Purchase Cycle versus Sales Cycle

PART VI: Why does TXM matter?
- Background Recap
- Benefits of TXM in terms of Internal and External

PART X: Back to Basics
- Get Right Things Right
- Quantify the Unquantifiable
- What gets measured gets managed


Communication is about relevance.

In order to make sure that the message is well received by the recipient, the message being delivered should be of interest to him or her. Nobody is interested in things that are not of relevance to him or her in any way.


In order to ensure that the message is of relevance, it is necessary to understand the needs of recipient, and what interests him or her.

Don Schultz, the founder of IMC, suggests 4Rs when dealing with communications.
- Relevance
- Response
- Relationships
- Returns


IPAK is an acronym for Inactive, Potential, Active and Key.

IPAK is used to segment different types of customers in order to achieve optimal resources of allocation. It is similar to the concept of "Customer Pyramid", but IPAK is more systematic.

IPAK is further divided into 2 sub-segment 0 and 1, with 1 possesses higher value than 0.


I0 - Lost Customer: One who was once a customer but has not bought in at least one normal purchase cycle. I0 represents more than the loss of the next sale; the enterprise loses the future profit on that customer's life-time purchases, referrals and word-of-mouth advertising.

I1 - At-Risk User: One who is considered to be at-risk due to decreased activity and high probability of defection, and is more likely to switch to competitor and discontinue the relationship.


P0 - Suspect: One who is a target for business, regardless of whether the target has a current need or is ready to act. The goal of the enterprise is to engage P0 for further qualification.

P1 - Prospect: One who has a need, pays attention to the enterprise, and has a propensity to purchase within a specific time frame. The more immediate the need, the shorter the time frame.


A0 - First-Time Purchaser: One who purchases for the first-time, and is of varying profitability. Repeat purchase is strongly related to the initial and subsequent experience at each touchpoint.

A1 - Occasional Buyer: One who purchases on an occasional basis, and can be a customer of the enterprise and a customer of competitor.


K0 - Regular Customer: One who buys regularly due to consistent touchpoint experience and high level of satisfaction, which leads to increased cross-selling and up-selling success.

K1 - Advocate: One who is loyal and immune to the pull of competition, sells on the enterprise's behalf and brings customers. The strategy is to grow customer share and enhance customer lifetime value.

In Customer Loyalty, Jill Griffin identifies 6 stages of off-line customers.
(1) Suspect
(2) Prospect
(3) First time customer
(4) Repeat customer
(5) Client
(6) Advocate

For on-line customers, there are 7 stages as follows.
(1) Surfer
(2) First time site visitor
(3) Repeat visitor
(4) First time buyer
(5) Repeat buyer
(6) Client
(7) Advocate

It is not necessary to differentiate between on-line and off-line, but rather B2B (customer) and B2C (consumer). B2B and B2C have different expectations on the purchase cycle. Regardless of expectations, both groups go through the same stage - IPAK.