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.

recomendaciones aerolineas

My top 10 Recommendations to Implement in Airlines

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY MIGUEL SANZ FROM B&P

I would like to share with you some actions that, in my opinion, could be implemented in airline companies and that do not involve great costs, are easy to implement and aim to improve the customer experience:

1. Bereavement fare:

in the event of a family death and given that the tickets bought the day before are really expensive. In this possible contingency, passengers should have the option of a tariff adapted to their situation, not implying a great cost. This would show a great interest in the customers and their circumstances. The company could request written proof, and it would be a tariff similar to the “large family” one.

2. What if you are flying the day of your birthday?

If the company detects that you are flying the day of your birthday, wouldn’t it be a good idea to offer you to travel in business class or to receive an extra drink? The crew could also sing happy birthday to you! (It is not necessary that they look like Friday’s waiters) Airline companies collect a lot of information from us, so they could take advantage of that to offer a greater experience for the user.

3. Bottle of water for loyal clients.

First, considering that Cabify provides a bottle of water to each customer for a few euros, an airline could think about providing the same service to every customer with a loyalty account. In my perspective, this could be a good idea to attract new customers, apart from satisfying the current ones.

4. Eliminate unnecessary procedures.

Does the duty-free make any sense? Almost no one buys there. Additionally, I received a survey to complete each time that I fly, being a frequent flyer. Finally, don’t you find senseless that the business passengers get on the plane before a queue of 150 people? Tell me that I am not the only one.

5. Including new procedures.

For example, on a connecting flight that is delayed, the company could facilitate the plane change picking up the passengers in the runway and taking them to the other plane, although the suitcase arrives the day after (good idea in Lufthansa). The crew assistance is also susceptible to be improved when passengers get out of the plane, we usually see that the contact with the members of the crew is restricted to the flying hours. In KLM I could see two members of the crew getting out of the plane and guiding the passengers on their way to the suitcase collecting area or to the airport’s exit.

6. Improving the food service:

  • The food metal trolleys are usually full of blows, they could have a brand-customized cover to add a classy style to the service.
  • In general, food is delivered in a quick way, the service should be provided more calmly, it usually looks like a marathon. In Qatar Airways the service is excellent, I was really surprised with their food delivery.
  • The coffee is delivered right after the food. A second round of drinks (mainly bottles of water) would be appropriate given that the passengers are normally thirsty afterwards.
  • Wouldn’t it be a good idea to reach an agreement with Nespresso or Costa for the coffee?
  • In long-haul flights, if you are in the last row you get the food that is left.
  • The bread is usually not likely to be eaten.

7. Cleaner toilets:

When I am on a plane, I have the feeling that toilets are not completely cleaned, usually there is toilet paper or liquids on the floor. A more frequent review process should be implemented by the crew, although I feel that this is not their job or that they lack proactivity.

 8. Children reserved zone:

At the end of the plane, children altogether, in seats close to the toilets to avoid disturbing the rest of the passengers. As far as I know, just one company has carried out this strategy.

9. Platform to get to know the crew:

To increase the interest of the passengers for the company before the flight. It can be a reason to get a better connexion with the crew and to facilitate the interaction during the flight.

10. Make communications more attractive and practical:  

We receive emails based on offers, but nothing on experiences or on the best price on the dates to travel. I get offers all the time and I don’t think that everyone is traveling every weekend to Porto, Paris, London…

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

Apple, the best customer experience?

Written by Luis Hergueta for Buljan & Partners Consulting

In my opinion, it is difficult to find a remarkable customer experience in product centric sectors. There are some automotive companies with a genuine interest in customers’ concerns, which want to take the basic standards and processes to the next level, and which really care about customers’ needs and concerns. 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

A seamless Customer Experience between you and your partner

By Buljan & Partners Consulting

The practice of paying for a service after using it (“pay-per-use model”) is becoming increasingly popular in current society. End customers and users are setting the pace of this trend as we can see in the private property sector (for example, housing and transport), which is decreasing in demand. Therefore, companies have to irremediably restructure their activity to meet these changing needs. 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

Radio Interview Silvana Buljan: “The heart of the matter”

By Silvana Buljan for Buljan & Partners consulting

 

What is CCM (Customer Centric Management)? How does it differ from CRM (Customer Relationship Management)?

While CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is closely linked to data, systems, technology, software, etc., CCM (Customer Centric Management) revolves around the customer. Although technology is also important in CCM, it needs to go a step further, given that, besides using technology, CCM requires a customer-oriented definition of processes. CCM also requires trained staff who can provide a good customer experience, since good customer service is always the objective. It is precisely a customer-based model rather than a product-based model what differentiates CCM and CRM.

Read more

Vídeo: What is Customer Centric Management?

By Silvana Buljan for Buljan & Partners Consulting

“Saying that my company is a Customer-Centric organization and really making my customers feel that they are in the center of our business are two different things”. Silvana Buljan explains Customer Centric Management as a way of “ensuring a positive, engaging and memorable Customer Experience”.

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

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

Improving (more than just) Customer Experience with CPQ Technologies

Written by Björn Neumann (@CCMTechnology) for Buljan & Partners Consulting

CPQ (Configure, Price, and Quote) technology is a key success factor to improve customer centric B2C and B2B processes. 

What are the advantages and aspects to keep in mind when implementing CPQ initiatives? Read more

Does My Emotional State Influence My NPS Evaluation whether it is Monday or Saturday?

Written by Miguel Sanz for Buljan & Partners Consulting

If today is Monday, (the beginning of the week!) I have five working days ahead of me. So, do I have more energy? Am I more positive? More receptive? The days of the week have a beginning, an end, and a break, but do they affect our behavior? Read more