Your Perception is My Reality

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The Experiment
In olden times there was a noble King who was keen to improve the life of people in his kingdom. One day he decided to check what people think about him and his welfare work. He went around the kingdom in disguise and interacted with people as a common man with a view to understand what the subject thinks of him and his policies. The kind of feedback he received came as a shocker to the king. It seems, people did not have a very good perception of the king. The image that he thought people held of him, was shattered. On further engagement with the people, he could figure out that the problem was implementation and not his schemes.

The Awakening
This was an eye opener for the king. The king concluded that people feedback is extremely critical to effectively manage his welfare work. Also the perception of King among its subject will be good if and only if they are happy and satisfied. Hence he decided to evaluate his ministers’ performances basis what the subject perceives instead of notion of excellence carried by the king and his ministers.

The Action
Next, the King called for a session of his court and asked his ministers to present ideas on how to evaluate if the subject is really happy in his reign.

The wise royal sage to the king said,” O King! I suggest you set up a way to gather direct feedback of your subject. You should set up a two big Bells outside your palace connected to a rope hanging from the terrace and name them as SHUKRIYA and FARIYAD. SHIUKRIA will sound happy and melodious when rung while FARIYAD will sound harsh and unpleasant. Encourage the subject to approach your palace and ring those bells as per their wish. The number of such rings will tell you if your subject is happy or sad.”

King was extremely excited with the idea. He added that each and every FARIYAD will be listened to by himself while all SHUKRIYA bells will be rewarded. The ministers became alert. They knew that if they do a good work this will come back in the form of a SHUKRIYA

The Efforts and the Results
Such a thing was unheard of in those days. The people of the kingdom were very happy with this arrangement. Whenever they were happy / unhappy about any service they would go to the palace and register their SHUKRIYA / FARIYAD with the king himself. This ensured that the ministers were on their toes. They started ensuring that the subject was really happy and getting the benefits of the various welfare schemes launched by the King. This was to enhance the sound of melodies as against the cacophony of FARIYAD bells.

This resulted into more and more SHUKRIYAs as it became imperative to the system to perform and deliver.

The number of Happy Bells soon became 5X that of the Unhappy Bells.


Lessons Learned

  1. Customer Perception is Organization’s reality
  2. Customers experience a product or a service but attribute it to the organisation as a whole. Good, Bad or Ugly.
  3. Work backwards, always listen to the customer’s voice first and identify what is causing that dissent in his/her voice leading to the bad image
  4. Good service always comes back in the form of accolades or more business
  5. Customer testimonial is the best appraisal
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