17 November 2007

The Death of Relationship

What gets measured gets managed, but why? If something cannot be measured, then it cannot be managed? And if it cannot be managed, then how are results going to be measured? What about things that cannot be measured but still have to be managed, such as relationship?

Relationship is intangible, and therefore cannot be measured. Can it be managed? CRM says it can. But how? By software? Can something intangible be quantified? What exactly is relationship?

Positive relationship is a result of satisfaction, but satisfaction won't guarantee loyalty. Loyalty comes from consistent positive relationship. The major difference between satisfaction and loyalty is "consistency."

But still, knowing the difference between satisfaction and loyalty won't help any firm manage relationship. So again, what is relationship?

This relationship thing has been the talk of the town in the Western world for many years. In China, relationship has always been important, for many thousand years already. The Chinese has a different terminology for relationship, and it is known as Guanxi. But still, how is relationship measured?

Before trying to find out how relationship can possibly be measured, it is important to understand how relationship is developed.

Relationship is made up of touchpoints. The more the touchpoint, the stronger the relationship. Whether the relationship is positive or not depends on each touchpoint experience.

Managing relationship without managing the touchpoint is not managing relationship. Relationship is no longer the critical success factor.

Relationship is then, touchpoint is now.

The article is also available on www.customerthink.com/blog/death_relationship.

12 November 2007

Away... Beta

"Life is all about timing... the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable... attainable. Have the patience, wait it out. It's all about timing." Stacey Charter

What is the best way to write the "out of the office" message?

Sample #01

I am not in the office on November 12, and will not be reading my mail. Your mail will be dealt with when I return. For programme matters, please contact the following colleagues.

Experience: So when will the person return to the office? When will the mail be dealt with? However, it is good that someone will follow up on the matter during the person's absence.

Sample #02

Thank you for your message. Kindly note I will be away from the office today (Nov 9, 2007) and therefore there will be a delay in returning your messages. Thank you.

Experience: Again, when will the person be back? If it is urgent, who should be the contact person?

Sample #03

I will be out of the office starting 11/06/2007 and will not return until 11/10/2007. I will attend to your email on my return on Nov 12.

Experience: It is a clear message. Readers know when the person will be away and return to the office. But again, who will take care of urgent matters when the person is away? Lastly, the date format can pose a problem.

Suggested "out of the office" message

I will be out of the office starting 06 Nov 2007 and will not return until 10 Nov 2007. I will attend to your email upon my return on 12 Nov. If this is an urgent matter, my colleague Maggie can be reached at 8123-8123. Thank you.

Out of the office message is important. It set expectations. People won't expect immediate feedback when the message recipient is away. Setting up the out of the office message takes at max 3 minutes. If this is not set up, the negative information experience it may create will last longer than that.

Every little things count.