An intern´s thoughts on Buljan & Partners´ culture

By Maite Eraña Salmeron

We could call it a stroke of luck, really. The placement process was rather ambiguous, which is why I still can´t believe how well this position suits me. I am a recent graduate from Boston University School of Hospitality Administration and I came to Madrid to complete a study abroad program that includes an internship and coursework components. You can already tell I have had a positive experience, but the real question I hope to answer with this blog post is the following:

How is the commitment to customer experience expressed within the walls of this leading consulting firm?

I should start by explaining more thoroughly why I find my position here so valuable. In my opinion, to be an intern means you learn to actively develop any company´s most valued competitive advantage: employee commitment. As an intern you often ask yourself nervously, “Will I be doing something meaningful? Do I have enough experience to be here?” And while it´s absolutely true that you want to quickly get adjusted to doing your job effectively, I would not underestimate the opportunity to embrace the ambiguity and take in how the company makes a difference in the lives of its employees. This time is crucial because the newness can help you be objective and honest about your expectations and your employer´s expectations. In this competitive business environment, employee commitment is not only the result of the appropriate strategies and support systems, but that of each employee internalizing how he/she can encourage intentional care of all stakeholders. As I reflect on my internship experience, I keep in mind a question I like to share with my employer:

How will you help me be a better version of myself today?

As an intern the most crucial thing I can do is to make a habit to always be learning, because this is how I challenge my employer to think differently, to embrace change, and to want to invest in me as much as I want to invest in them so that we may both be successful.

So how does Buljan & Partners respond to this? I think the most impressive way they address customer experience is through their commitment to empower others. The Madrid team has a culture dedicated to raising the standards within the individuals who work here so that the firm can be innovative and adept to the opportunities that come with change and diversity. Their expertise in customer experience recommendations is in fact an initiative they first live by example within the office. We could talk about all the details that help them be so successful, but I would like to focus on a few ways in which they have impacted me the most, and through which they have addressed my previous perspective on being an intern.

Since the minute I got here, I have been considered a valuable team member. My main responsibility is to support the team of consultants with their projects, which involves a variety of tasks including developing offers, creating presentations, translating documents, etc. They have made me feel proud of the experience I have, and they have given me an opportunity to apply such knowledge. There´s a great balance where I am encouraged to share my insights, as well as to receive guidance to apply them to the established frameworks.

The team wants to collaborate with me and they express that often. This is not just encouraging, but it allows me to connect with each team member more personally. As a result when it comes to networking, the relationships I am learning to build here take on a whole new level of depth. The relationship is valued for more than what each party can provide; it is based on bringing the best out of people and seeking through collaboration to make a difference that is tangible and influential in our businesses.

There is also an emphasis to communicate honestly and often.

More than one person a day will check in with me to ask how I am handling the workload, to offer me an opportunity to collaborate, as well as to get to know me. I find such awareness for a team member the first of many intentional ways to foster trust and loyalty. Buljan & Partners also offers great flexibility to express our ideas, which promotes our personal responsibility to lead and keep each other accountable. These efforts may seem simple, but their effects are lasting and is what I will remember most as I continue to develop professionally.

In conclusion, my experience at Buljan & Partners has been one of profound impact.

I can confidently say that what they do every day for their clients only scratches the surface in comparison to the dedication to customer experience they foster at the core. They take seriously how to invest in their own employees so that they may grow as people. Customer experience is an attitude; one of servant leadership that must be lived fully in order to make a difference, and one that I am grateful to experience so passionately while working abroad.

THE VULNERABLE CUSTOMER

Written by Lisa Rottmann for Buljan & Partners Consulting

In this blog you’ll find ideas, support and references for exceeding your client’s expectations and consistently improving their experience. But what happens when customer experience theories fail? when the customer does not choose you? does not buy your products or services or simply doesn’t take them seriously? How can we exceed their expectations if they have a negative predisposition towards us and, due the pressure, they’re just not themselves? Read more

Managing emotions in stressful situation for clients

Written by Miguel Sanz for Buljan & Partners Consulting

The words “managing customers’ emotions” are tremendously attractive to companies and there is no doubt that they are key to establishing an emotional bond with customers. Read more

A human look at a digital future

Written by Elisabete Zubiarrain for Buljan & Partners Consulting

At the start of July, I attended the 20:20_CX Summit in London, an event dedicated to Customer Experience, participating in which were a range of very interesting speakers who looked at CX from numerous different angles. Events kicked off with a look at companies’ customer focus, moving on to how to effectively manage a company obsessed with the customer or go about laying solid foundations for a company to execute a CX strategy. All of this was done keeping in mind employees’ commitment to their company and that of their company’s toward them, with a major focus on obtaining and measuring the ROI of the initiative or investment in question, as well as the implementation and consolidation of a CX culture within a company.

Read more

Visit to a touchpoint organization

Written by Raquel Calleja for Buljan & Partners Consulting

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Buljan & Partners Consulting and as part of the commemorative events we’ve arranged visits to some companies of reference in CX like Loewe and Inditex. But we also wanted to pay a visit to the company we’ve always dreamed of being: the one that abandons the traditional silo structure and evolves for the good of its customers into a company organized around Customer Journey. Read more

The tower of babel in the Customer Experience

Written by Silvana Buljan for Buljan & Partners consulting

A desperate customer in search of help and solutions often finds himself confronted with complex procedures, incomprehensible sales pitches and decisions made unilaterally in the corporate world. Further still, rather than be lessened, he finds his frustration increases because he fails to receive an acceptable solution. This is an ongoing trend in many companies, even while claiming that the customer experience is the focus of their strategic priority – in today’s world it doesn’t look good if you don’t have a Customer Experience department. Read more

Customer Effort taken to SME level

Written by Monique Jansen for Buljan & Partners Consulting

Just before Easter, I engaged in an interesting LinkedIn conversation in the “CRM&CEM professionals” group, triggered by an excellent article written by Sampson Lee, in which he questions the purpose of reducing customer effort.

In the article, the focus of companies on reducing customer effort is challenged. Sampson claims that by making customers ‘sweat’ – allowing Good Pains – resources can be channeled to their Branded Pleasures. That is why IKEA, Starbucks, Louis Vuitton, Southwest Airlines, Sukiyabashi Jiro and other great brands are able to deliver a highly memorable and branded experience.

Read more

The key to success is not in processes nor technology, but rather in people

Written by Elisabete Zubiarrain for Buljan & Partners Consulting

A few weeks ago, I traveled with my family to three different cities in the United States, a leader in customer service. Although I realized that we still have a long way to go, I confirmed that the key element is people. Read more

Are brands and employees manipulating NPS® results?

Written by Miguel Sanz for Buljan & Partners Consulting

We all know that the NPS® metric (Net Promoter Score) is commonly used by companies as a reference to measure customer experience with a single question: Would you recommend the product or service to a relative or friend? We are not going to discuss whether NPS® is the best metric to measure customer experience or the best time to use it, but rather if NPS® results may be manipulated.
Read more

A New Year´s present for Aramon

Written by Monique Jansen for Buljan & Partners Consulting

 Aramon_Formigal_CX Journey Mapping

Customers often give free advice to the companies that supply them. So do I, especially when I really care and really believe in the company I am writing about. Or because the product or service is of extremely high importance to me.

This is one of those occasions. Aramon, the company that manages 2 ski stations in the Aragonese Pyrenees (Cerler and Formigal-Panticosa) and 2 in Teruel province (Javalambre and Valdelinares), with a total of 283 kms of slopes is the subject of this post. 

Read more

Patient experience officer, an emerging profession?

Written by Carlos Bezos Daleske, as guest blogger, for Buljan and Partners Consulting

An article published by Erick Wicklund at mHealthNews describes the rising position of the patient experience officer in the U.S. The author identifies two drivers for this trend. First the growing trend towards consumerism in American healthcare and second the new laws linking reimbursement with patient satisfaction. He also links the growth of the profession to the trend to restore humanity in healthcare.

Read more

Customer Experience sucks?

By Buljan & Partners Consulting

Do you really believe that the experience of your customer is of no importance? Do you fulfill the expectations you promissed? Do you really believe what you are saying? It is time to exceed your customers’s expectations. At Buljan & Partners Consulting we help you to be what you wanted to be, we make companies a better place for customers and employees.

Read more

Employee Experience Management

Written by Raquel Calleja for Buljan & Partners Consulting

Can the employee’s experience lead that of the client?

The commitment of employees and clients is highly and positively interrelated, as was highlighted in the analysis report David McLeod published in 2009 under the title “Engaging for Success”. Read more

Internship experience in our consulting firm

Written by Monika Meier, Roberto Hernández and Mona Mueller for Buljan & Partners Consulting

talent

Hello, good morning… My name is Monika, I am 20 years old and I am studying International Business in Madrid. The dual training programme I am carrying out allows me to work both the theoretical and practical aspects. I am experiencing the latter at Buljan & Partners Consulting. So, what do you think an intern at our office does? That they just make photocopies and coffee? No, not at all. The work is very diverse and stimulating, believe me, you never get bored. As an intern over the last six months, I have worked in human resources, marketing and back office, as well as taking part in and learning from customer centric projects. Read more

2 examples of “putting yourself in your customer’s shoes”

By Ricardo Silva and Juan Sánchez for Buljan & Partners Consulting

 we understand your needs

Becoming a customer-centric organisation is a complex process, as it involves all the company levels and entails changing the way the people involved think. However, there are quick wins that, if applied correctly, can make the process easier. Find two examples illustrating these ideas below. Read more

“What I talk about when I talk about CRM”

The title of this article is inspired by Haruki Murakami´s book title “what I talk about when I talk about running”. I am not pretending to be a CRM all-terrain expert. When I talk about CRM I prefer to focus on “fit to process”, the “user experience” and the “effect this has on the end-customer experience”. I leave the technical evaluations over to the experts! Read more