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What is the fear of other people’s opinions costing you?

I was talking to Sally (not her real name) when she told me she didn’t want to start doing what she loves because she is scared of what other people would think of her.

I relate because I’ve been thinking like this for a long time. In fact, sometimes, I do.

But then, when we think about the implications of that fear, we see how much we leave at the table.

I asked, “so what if someone thinks something bad about you?”

She said, “ I don’t want to hear or read a negative comment about what I create. I only want appreciation.”

I get it. Who doesn’t want appreciation? We all do. Don’t we?

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Why I bought 3 leather jackets from Turkey in the summer

I went to Turkey this summer, it was my very first time visiting Istanbul, and so everyone told me to take my big suitcase. I was skeptical and wanted to take my smaller case. I mean, what would I buy? After all, I am traveling mainly for sightseeing and a change of scenery. Plus, I live in Dubai, and shopping here is not too bad. 

After a small debate with myself, I took my big suitcase and wondered whether it would even be worth it… And it is! 

Turkey is one of the most beautiful places I visited. Amazing weather, good food, and great people. And… well, lots of great shopping too! 

I love authenticity, so I told myself that if I bought, I might as well buy Turkish brands. Part of me was curious, what was the fuss all about? Why does everyone come to Turkey for shopping? What is so special? 

Three things: Style, Quality, and Price! 

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How to make the “right” decision using Holographic Thinking

I recently went to a leadership training and came across an interesting take on decision-making called Holographic Thinking, which opened my mind to a new perspective I wanted to share with you. 

If you know me a tiny bit, you know that I am a huge fan of the pros and cons list when making a decision. I even take it to a whole different level, with levels of satisfaction for each item on the list, and assign a percentage of how important that item is to me. I make a scientific formula out of it. Yup, that’s me. I am a nerd. 

So… if you are a bit like me and like to be objective and rational when making a decision, you know that sometimes your heart is not into that logical decision even if it makes perfect sense. But then again, I like to inject logic into it so that I can justify it to myself again and again, for days to come and sometimes months and years to come. 

Knowing a thing or two about human psychology, I know that we make decisions by our hearts (emotions) and then justify them by logic. And if you’ve made purely emotional decisions in the past, you know as well as I do that they could lead to very interesting outcomes of their own. Some might refer to them as disastrous. 

And so I try to find the balance between logic and emotion. Which one should win? 

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How Saudi Airlines Crew Turned a Bad Customer Experience into a Positive One

You can spend a lot of time designing a perfectly curated customer experience for your customers, but sometimes, things don’t go as planned.

At some point, you will screw up, and your customers will be mad at you. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when.

The question is: Are you prepared for when that happens?

One time I was flying back from Riyadh to Dubai on Saudi Airlines, and the lady sitting next to me ordered coffee. I guess that’s a pretty common request to have on the plane.

What was not common, though, was her finding a fly in her coffee.

Ughh.

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How Zara’s Refund Policy Gets More Customers to Buy

My favorite clothing brand is Zara. I guess many people share the same love. I love their products, the style, quality, and that it’s not too expensive. It’s so easy to look trendy with outfits you buy from Zara when you have a good stylist or have a sense of fashion.

But those are not the only reasons many people or I love to buy from Zara and continue to buy even when we are unsure if we really want to buy that one shirt.

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This will help you set the right systems and automation

Sometimes we put things off because we need the right systems in place, the right tools, the right systems, the right automation, and having things be just “right.”

As a fellow perfectionist, it’s not something that I am proud of, it’s just part of me for now. I think I have to get those “right” things first and out out of the way.

I think: I will do this when …, and I will… when.

And so happens when creating a new product, service, or even setting up a new structure in your team.

The best way for the systems to properly work is when the base is right.

The base is never right from the first time.

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How bad customer experience increases customer service calls

If your customers have a bad experience with your brand, they will call customer service. And if your customer service can’t help, say goodbye to having repeat customers. 

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you applied for a specific service.

There is a waiting period for you to get it approved and processed.

They come back to you via your preferred method of communication, email, to let you know that there are some missing documents or information to process your application.

You proactively update all the information and send it back.

Then you wait.

Nothing happens.

You start wondering, Did they see my update? What happens now?

You exercise your patience.

Until one day, you have had it.

And so you recheck your email to see any sign to communicate back with them.

The email they sent you is a “No-Reply” email so when you try to reply and ask about the progress, the email delivery fails.

You notice that there is a note that tells you, “If you require assistance, please contact X.”

Then you find no mention to X’s email or any contact information.

You get frustrated.

Then, you pick up the phone and call customer service.

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What does customer experience mean?

I was chatting with my friend’s mom when she asked me, “what do you do?”

And then I was, hmmm… That would take some time to explain.

“I am a management consultant. I work in customer experience,” I said.

She looked at me with a perplexed look that tells me what does that even mean.

I guess so many people don’t know what does customer experience really means. Is it customer service? Marketing? Sales? Strategy? Operations? Wait… Designer?

And no, it’s none of the above, and yet we do touch upon all of the above.

Wait, what?

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Is Customer Experience the same as Customer Service?

I am often asked if Customer Experience is the same as Customer Service when I tell people what I do. 

The short answer is: No. They are not the same. 

Customer service is only one aspect of the customer experience. It’s one interaction with the customer. Customer experience, however, is everything the customer goes through when interacting with a brand. 

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Resistance: The secret that stops you from doing what you really want to do

If you are a creative person, chances are you have read “The Art of War” by Steven Pressfield. And if you didn’t, you might want to give it a read.

Art and war? How would these two come together?

The reason Steven Pressfield associated art with war, is that internal struggle. Yes, there is a war, but not with the external world. It’s from within. It’s from within us.

Steven Pressfield explains how resistance keeps us from doing the things that will elevate our souls.

“There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t know. And the secret is this: it’s not the writing that’s hard. It’s the sitting down to write—and what keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.”
-Steven Pressfield.

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