) - Change is inevitable. The status quo is untenable. Yet, few people and businesses are able to identify the real problem.
"Many people pride themselves on being able to think outside the box," says Jim Feldman, a renowned keynote speaker, entrepreneur, consultant and author of numerous books. "To effectively answer the question, you must first start inside the box, where the true problem exists."
According to innovation expert Feldman, making the simple complicated is easy, but making the complex simple often requires thinking "inside the box."
Referring to "inside the box," Feldman describes the process as "3D thinking." He says it's important to break the problem into smaller pieces. What is the "depth" of your knowledge? What is the "distance" to market? Do you have the "determination" to succeed?
Feldman points to an unsettling trend in customer service innovation. The shift has been to out-source services, automate billing and reduce personal attention. As a result, errors have increased.
In his blog
, Feldman points out, recent experiences with AT&T and CitiMortgage.
"AT&T sent out their monthly statement, which contained several billing errors," notes Feldman. "I called their customer service line to be placed on hold. 'Your call is important. We are servicing other customers, please stay on the line.' Important? No technology. No automated callback. No options that so many other companies utilize when the lines are busy. The largest communication company in the world could not communicate."
Similarly, CitiMortgage uses representatives in the Philippines and India who do not have the ability to return calls or make decisions, and lack customer-solution commitment. To Feldman, it appears that big banks have lost interest in their customers.
"From an outside viewpoint, I am able to identify the problem from an unbiased perspective. Maybe they should engage my services," he quips. Feldman is an expert in mastering these changes and shifts. He has assisted companies like Apple, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Wynn Las Vegas, HP, Toyota and the U.S. Department of Defense.
"To make 'shift happen' you have to manage the change process itself," he says. "The secret is not to brace yourself for change, but relax and create a better customer experience." Performance improvements cannot become an exercise in frustration and failure, for either consumers or employees.
If you or your company need help managing change, set up a free consultation with Feldman by calling 312-527-9111. You can also visit his website at www.shifthappens.com