Creating Value and Value Starvation… a Customer Service Mind-Set


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Today costs are going up, prices down, so you have to cut costs while giving satisfaction. Do things that the customers want. The cost of mistakes and annoying the customer is significant. It takes money and your time to correct problems you started for the customer. 

In Star Wars, they mentioned the force is in us. We must use our force for the good of the organisation and its customers. 

What does this mean? It means if we align with our team and the customer, we will be winners. Otherwise we will always have half solutions, band aid solutions and we will struggle. 

This talk is about you and bringing the force together to impact you, your company and your customers and to create value. Do watch this video about selling on value not price: 

Please click the image below otherwise video will not be shown

Did this video change your thinking? You also must change your attitude. You have to keep asking how do I attract the customer, how do I keep him, how do I service him, and what can I start to do differently?

From the video you learnt:

Not to say no,

Do not turn your customer away,

Do not annoy your customer.

Create value for him.

I used the word value again.

What is value? How do you create this and for whom?

Value creation is executing pro-active, conscious, inspired or imaginative and even normal actions that increase the overall good and well-being, and the worth of ideas, goods, services, people or institutions including society, and all stakeholders (like employees, customers, partners, shareholders and society), and value waiting to happen.

Worth is benefits and cost, and cost is not price alone and includes effort, price justification or value proposition.
Value waiting to happen is problems looking for value solutions! 
So ask:
How do I take ownership of solutions?
How do I align to Value?
Don’t follow protocol and process and procedures and work around them.
On right side, you will see the example of the catalyst and shipping over the weekend.
Do not be rigid about your rules, such as I cannot ship on Saturday. It is my catch up day.

Another example happened at Taj President in Mumbai. I left the hotel around 3pm to catch a flight to Delhi. Half way, I realised I had left my laptop charger in the room. In a panic, I called the hotel and spoke to the duty manager. Can you check if my charger is still in room 217?
He said if we find it, we can send it to you by courier and it will cost you. I said fine, but do you have the charger. To cut a long story short, I never found out if they had the charger. I hung up and redialled again, and managed to talk to the General Manager, who put me on hold for a minute and said, yes, we have your charger and I will arrange to get it to your house in Delhi within 4 hours. Which they did and got a loyal customer!
Communications: Does the customer comprehend what you are saying? (If you understand, he may not. So telling someone in Singapore, these are the RBI rules. How is he supposed to know who RBI is?)

You have to develop a mind set to find solutions and create value. You must bond as a team and become a team.

Avoid Value starvation.

Things that irritate and frustrate customers.

Example: One Friday afternoon the senior executives of a large catalyst company had left for an off-site retreat. At 6pm the plant was empty except for the security guard and a shipping clerk, getting ready to go home. Suddenly there was a call from ABC Chemical Company which the guard passed on to the shipping clerk.
The ABC Chemical person stated: We forgot to order a catalyst and we will have to shut down production tomorrow and I will be in deep trouble. Can you ship me a catalyst right away?
The shipping clerk knew the company, and knew the catalyst was in stock. But, he said, I cannot ship without a purchase order, and there is no one I can talk to.
The ABC company person kept pleading. I will probably lose my job. Please help.
So the shipping clerk decides to ship the catalyst and it arrived at ABC Chemical Company on Saturday.
On Monday at 11am the Managing Director of ABC Company called the MD of the Catalyst Company. Thanks so much he said, you were super to us over the weekend. The MD of the catalyst company had no idea but said our pleasure.
After hanging up, he called his Marketing Director who also had no clue, but he promised to find out. And he heard the story of Friday evening.
So they decided to reprimand the shipping clerk and also gave him a bonus of 500 dollars.
What would you have done? Would you have shipped without a purchase order?
For example, I stood in line for breakfast at a fast food restaurant in a mall. When my turn came the girl behind the counter said I cannot serve breakfast, it is past 10.30 am. It was 10.31 am. I said I was in line. She said but it is past 10.30a.m. So I left and went next door, who served me breakfast. 

Isn’t this rigidity of rules, causing us to lose customers. 

Learn not to say no
Learn not to be rigid
Learn to communicate
Learn to work in a team
Learn to find solutions and create value

To do this you must know the 6A’s Awareness, four of which are discussed here: Attitude (Just doing my job), Anticipation, and Agility (the other two are Ability and Ambidextrousness). 

Be Aware of things around you, notice. Be Aware of customers and their needs and well-being. 

Anticipate problems and customer needs
Be Agile, move fast, and be willing to change
Have a positive and great Attitude
Remove obstacles. An example is given below 

A king put some rocks on a road, and people had to go around it. Most people avoided the rocks. One vegetable vendor took his vegetables off his head and put them on the road and started moving the rocks to one side. The king noticed and gave him a prize for removing obstacles. 

Be aware of obstacles, have the attitude to remove them, use a team if you have to, be agile and fast. AVOID VALUE STARVATION. 

Remember you make the difference. You are important. 

People notice something different and notice you are trying to be helpful and useful. 

Will you make a difference today?

The force is in us. Use the force in the organisation for customers AND TO CREATE VALUE.  

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Gautam Mahajan
Gautam Mahajan, President of Customer Value Foundation is the leading global leader in Customer Value Management. Mr Mahajan worked for a Fortune 50 company in the USA for 17 years and had hand-on experience in consulting, training of leaders, professionals, managers and CEOs from numerous MNCs and local conglomerates like Tata, Birla and Godrej groups. He is also the author of widely acclaimed books "Customer Value Investment: Formula for Sustained Business Success" and "Total Customer Value Management: Transforming Business Thinking." He is Founder Editor of the Journal of Creating Value ( and runs the global conference on Creating Value (


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