Home > Ideas > Standards make life easy!

Standards make life easy!

I left home this morning and traveled to a town 250 kilometers away. Having used my HP laptop on the train to prepare a few official messages I wasn’t surprised to see it running out of charge soon after I switched it on again at an associate’s office. Promptly, I put my hand into the portfolio bag and fished around … Drat! I had missed packing the A/c adapter. I cursed audibly and admonished myself for the lapse.

But, just when I thought that work has come to a standstill till I get home the next day my associate turned up with the adapter  used with his laptop. He has a Compaq and since the two companies have a common owner a lot of features had been standardized across models made by the two brands. My day was saved thanks to the efforts made by these international brands to improve Customer Experience.

All leading organisations in the world spend millions in developing and maintaining standards for Production, Sales, Service and even internal work processes to make work more efficient and to give the customers a feel of continuity and convenience wherever they go.

Sales Teams can standardize the Prospecting, Proposal Submission, Order Acceptance and Product/Service Delivery Processes – even the Customer Service, Complaint Management and Relationship Management processes would improve hugely when standardized. Such efforts payback through improved sales, reduced errors and complaints, better revenue and greater customer satisfaction.

It becomes easier to train people to deliver quality and people can be moved across locations without need for retraining. Sharing and interpreting information also becomes easier when everyone follows the same format.

Getting stuck with one set of standards has it’s pitfalls too – after getting used to one set, switching over to another can be difficult and sometimes it even leads to errors and loss of efficiency.

– After driving in India for many years it took me some time to get used to the reversed controls in the cars I drove in Oman, where they drive on the other side. I would invariably switch on the wiper when the need was to use the indicator lights.

– Driving the Bullet motor-cycles used to be a big challenge for riders in India because the levers for gear shift and brake were reversed. All the other bikes on Indian roads had the levers placed the other way round and the Bullet eventually had to toe-the-line to improve sales because people who liked this classic bike were not comfortable buying it on account of the need to adapt. They did not want to take the risk.

Hence, while the development of standards is important it can become counter-productive if poorly designed, particularly without understanding the environment in which organisations operate. While establishing standards in practices it’s best to ensure ease of use and wide acceptance.

Standards go a long way in helping you win and retain customers.

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  1. Jamy
    February 14, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    You got that right pal!! Bang on!!

    • JayadevM
      February 15, 2012 at 3:12 am

      Thank you, Jamy!

  2. Kailash
    February 15, 2012 at 6:47 am

    good one J…..if you keep on sharing this imp tips you might loose on business mate 😛 just joking…..keep it up.

    • JayadevM
      February 15, 2012 at 7:02 am

      Kailash, there is more .. much, much more. This just the tip of the iceberg.

      Am just whetting people’s appetite … those who want more can contact me offline for further support and inputs.

      Thank you for the appreciation.

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