Handling Perception

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					                                     Handling Perception
                                        March 15, 2012

Let us go few days back, in the pre historic era of human living. Human and Animals tried to interpret
their own images in the form of a shadow. Of course, not for a debate or an argument, in our
opinion, Shadow was the first duplicate image of an entity. Since the time human wanted to look
something, importantly it started with the Eyes and got registered in the brain and did something
with the Heart. Do we need to agree on this?

Is the Eye, rather what we see, does have any impact/ consequences/ meanings?

We can see a small example!!!! Look at these two arrows. Which horizontal line is the longest?

They are exactly the same in size. However the top one looks longer than the bottom one. It is on
optical illusion tricking us. So to say, it starts with Eye, gets registered in the brain and it is being
perceived by the Heart. (Of course, Heart as such cannot think, but the other side of the brain that
has the Perceptive nature).

But in other terms, the actual thing what we see does not differ. Vision or what we see does not
differ from Eye to Eye or person to person. But, what we take it in, the analysis or the interpretation
what we do, differ from people.

Different people perceive different things about the same situation. On top of everything, we assign
different meanings to what we perceive and it may vary from one to another. One might easily
change another’s perspective or simply make things mean even something else.

In IT Industry, during project execution in offshore / onsite model, the client can have a perception
that the invisible offshore team is less productive.

                            Perceive the Perception of the Customer                           Page 1
                                   Handling Perception
                                      March 15, 2012
Perception can be very deceiving. We all have times that we have looked at someone and thought,
“How do they have it all?” or “Wow, they seem so successful/happy/perfect.” The truth is, everyone
has their moments. They may have their moments of perfection or they may have their moments of

While perceiving this prologue, perception to certain extent, relates to the position from which we
perceive. If Tom has Number “6” on his sheet, it read Number “9” by Harry from the opposite. Both
are right, but the positions differ. Is it not?

Just to have a quick check within ourselves: The grass is not always greener on the other side. And
while the grass may seem dry with lots of holes, don’t worry about the neighbors; we need to use
our energy to help it grow.

                                                               The Evolution of Perception
   1. It can be from the way we have been raised, our likes and dislikes and the experience within
      our lives.
   2. It can be from the interpretation of things in how they think, feel, act, see, perceive,
      communicate and relate or compare with others.
   3. It can be from the Perceptions and Cognitions being developed in sequential stages
      throughout Childhood, Adolescence and on to Adulthood.

                           Perceive the Perception of the Customer                       Page 2
                                    Handling Perception
                                        March 15, 2012

                                                              Customer Perception – Insight.
Customer Perception is an important component of our relationship with our customers. As stated in
the prologue, the position of the Customer is different. Customer’s use different dimensions to make
judgments of overall quality Service. They are Reliability, Responsiveness and Assurance for better
understanding and tangible results. Given these view points, we can have 3 different view points for
better understanding.
Expected quality & Service Vs Perceived quality & Service Vs Actual quality & Service.
Benefits of meaningful conversations
•       It shows that we care for them
•       We have an opportunity to relook the existing process
•       We get factual information to use
•       We get a good idea about what your customers tell other people
•       We get the chance to strengthen your connection

As a general thumb rule, offshore team shall properly communicate by reiterating with facts and
figures to the Client team. A repeat stuff is also appreciated. It's not fair to leave out anything even
though it may seem to be an obvious detail. We need to understand that things that are obvious to
the client team may not be as apparent as to the offshore team.

Make customers feel like Royal but not royally annoyed!!!

It is obvious. We need to make things easy for the customers, for them to feel comfortable.
Many ways that we can help improve on customer relations are:
To share the picture & a short bio on each individual who works in the team in a 1 slider. Individual
contacts for easy reach, sharing vacation plans, properly built out of office messages and so on. May
be smaller things can make very big difference in perception.

How to make an impression with Clients to enhance the perception?
Customers expect the offshore team to exhibit passion and care that they have for their business
consultants. Though offshore team works remotely, they can start and end the conversation with a
positive greetings and keeping a smile in their voice and tone.

Customer likes us to say “I deliver it on time”. We need to honor the date we actually committed and
it does not matter if that date is a national holiday. This enhances the trust factor and customer feels
that their business is in safe hands.

                            Perceive the Perception of the Customer                           Page 3
                                    Handling Perception
                                        March 15, 2012
At the same time, customers like us to wear a Blue Hat always i.e. be open and transparent in our
dealing with them. It gives out not to hide things when something goes critical like Scope creep,
Resignation of critical resource, Potential delivery slippages etc are known to them in advance. This
can enhance our credibility in terms of honesty factor.

                                                                                  The Orientation

Perception is a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensorial organs, in order to
give a fruitful meaning to their environment. However, what one perceives can be substantially
different from objective reality. There need not be, but there is often, disagreement.

For example, it’s possible that all employees in an IT firm may view it as great place to work,
favorable working conditions, interesting job alignments, good pay, excellent benefits, an
understanding and responsible management. But, as most of us know, it’s very unusual to find such

It is all about how an individual selects, organizes, and interprets information inputs to create a
meaningful picture of the world. Perception depends not only on the physical stimuli, but also on the
stimuli’s relation and reaction to the surrounding field and on conditions within the individual.

The key point is that perception can vary widely among individuals exposed to the same reality. One
person might perceive a salesperson as fast-talking, aggressive. Another may perceive as intelligent
and helpful. Both will respond differently to the salesperson.

How do we explain that individuals may look at the same thing, yet perceive it differently?
A number of factors operate to shape and sometimes distort perception. These factors can reside in
the perceiver, in the object and in the target that are being perceived, or in the context of the
situation on which the perception is made.

                            Perceive the Perception of the Customer                          Page 4
                                     Handling Perception
                                        March 15, 2012

                                                                                     The Influences

                                             The Perceiver

                                             The Situation
                                             Work setting
                                             Social setting
                                            Social Gathering

                                              The Targets

When an individual looks at a target and attempts to interpret what he or she observes and looks at
it, the interpretation is heavily influenced by the personal characteristics of the individual perceiver.
Personal characteristics that affect perception include a person’s attitude, personality, motives,
interest, past experiences and expectations. For instance, if you expect police officers to be
authoritative, young people to be lazy, or individuals holding office to be unscrupulous, you may
peeve them as such, regardless of their cultural traits.

                            Perceive the Perception of the Customer                           Page 5
                                     Handling Perception
                                        March 15, 2012
Characteristics of the target that is being observed will affect what is being perceived. Loud people
are more likely to be noticed in a group than quiet ones. Both are extremely attractive or
unattractive individuals. Because targets are not looked at in isolation, the relationship of a target to
its background also influences perception, as does our tendency to group close things and similar
things together. For instance, women members of any other group that has clearly distinguishable
characteristics in terms of features or color are often perceived as alike in other, unrelated
characteristics as well.

A shrill voice is never perceived to be one of authority. People will perceive, as nervous and unsure if
we talk too fast. Sometimes the perception leaves the doubt behind that the opposite need to finish
the talk or phrase if it is too slow.

The context in which we see objects or events is also important. The time at which an object or event
is seen can influence attention, location, light, heat, or any number of situational factors.

                                                                                          The Action
Firstly, we should be aware of all the perceptions that the opposite or the partner or the customer,
has about for our company, our culture, our work etc. We need to differentiate them in terms of
Positive or Negative perceptions.

The ones what we have in the positive edge needs to be sustained with respect to our work, culture
and ethics. We should depict commendable results to prove our positive perceptions that are correct
and sustainable.

The other side needs to be focused more and we should walk extra miles to change the mindset of
the people/ firm or any entity, with respect to the key areas and moments that we have
encountered. We should constantly work on changing negatives into positives, which paves the way
for the further growth.

                            Perceive the Perception of the Customer                           Page 6
                                     Handling Perception
                                        March 15, 2012

Having seen how do we perceive?

Let’s make this more process dependent and less people dependant.

The Flags……

To bridge the gap between the Expected, Perceived and Actual, do we need to
        - Come up with a perception Rating
        - Change overnight
        - Look deep into the situations
        - Control the situations that Happens

Yes. In spite of the above, we need to “Perceive the Perception of the Customer”

Having said, most of the time close to 90%, the interaction by the customer is electronic or wired. It is
essential that we need to effectively handle the virtual interactions. The process how we handle the
virtual interactions are essential to create a perception with our customer that aligns with the
organization’s goal/objective/mission of Quality Service.

                                                                              Mint after the Meal
Adherence to Time – Time Commitment to the customer
Adherence to the Speed and the Duration
Strong Customer Relationship
Develop Trust
Read / understand the customer
Collaborate with the customer
Right First Time - attitude

End…                                                                                 GBS DE India Team

                            Perceive the Perception of the Customer                            Page 7

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