Wednesday, March 28, 2012

just another number...


Of course, I was nervous enough.This was my first interview for a post pertaining to my latest qualification, MBA in Customer Relationship Management.
I scanned my eyes through the Business section of the news paper "blah blah corporation announces 10 % growth".
I thought about a possible question for my interview,'Why Customer Relationship Management?', It has been a week since I got the interview call and got it scheduled for this very day, and I have been thinking for an apt answer for this question since then.Since then?No sorry, since the day I started this course.

'Customer Relationship Management',I said aloud in my mind and thought,'It sounds good.Atleast I can say I have a Relationship, in the name of my degree!'.'No no...I need some other reason.'You should never fall in a relationship with your customer, So you have to manage that well.This course helps in that'.I laughed aloud thinking of the lame reasons I was coming with.

A lady walked to me and stared at me wondering why I was sitting alone and laughing.

'Sorry', I said and looked with the expression,'You have to say something?'

'You have been called to the meeting room 5 for the interview',she said

'Oh! is it',man, I haven't got the answer yet,'Okay thanks for the info, I am coming.', before standing up from the sofa, I looked 1 last time at the news paper,''Welcome Chain of supermarket reported to have 8% loss compared to last year."  
''Every news comes in numbers now a days? I wondered.Well, I love numbers.'

I folded the  newspaper and placed it on the desk beside and walked towards meeting room 5, again pondering over,'Customer Relationship Manager-manage if the customer has multiple relationships? ha ha', I was tension-free as I walked in to the room.


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An advertisement character-like face tried to study my skill set by just by looking at me.Bald head, french beard, 'typical manager', I thought.
'Hi Good Morning, How are you?', he asked me as he pointed to the chair asking me to be seated.

I sat down and as usual, he introduced himself, and then asked the same from me. I, with all my experience of introducing myself in the past in the various interviews I had attended, started with my name, place, years of experience, previous organization, and finally education, including the latest entry of degree to my resume,'MBA in Customer Relationship management'.
'Customer Relationship Management....  CRM', he said slowly.I knew he was going to ask me, 'Why CRM?'

"Why CRM?", I smiled as he asked.I smiled just because I expected the question.But he thought that I smiled because I knew the answer !

'Hmm..how do I start...',I kept thinking as I said this.I remembered the news that I read couple of minutes back.'Welcome Chain of supermarket reported 8% Loss'
"Okay let me start with an article in today's news paper.Welcome Chain of supermarket reported 8% Loss.Why did that happen?Well I would say if they had a customer relationship manager at one of their top positions this wouldn't have happened.As all of us know Customer is king, we have basically 2 things to do.Get new customers, Retain existing customers.In simple words, create a relationship with them such they are bonded to us and that we never lose them.Having studied CRM, I am the right person to do it", okay, now I got it.words flowed from my mouth and it built my confidence to another level.Now, I was ready to answer any question of his.I continued telling 'Why CRM'
"Building relationship with a customer is a delicate job.It has to be left to the specialized people.If you lose a person for once.It's lifetime loss"

"Why do you say, lifetime loss?", he asked

"73% of customers never come back to any service provider once they leave them due to bad or not-up-to-the mark service. And in the remaining, if at all a small number of people come back, it is either because the other options are worse, or they have no option."

"How you got to these numbers?"

"Sir, numbers are my strength and weakness.I try to analyze each situation using  numbers.That helps me in my job as well."

"How is that?"

"Let me explain.86% of the time the listener becomes impressed when data is conveyed to him or her in terms of numbers."

"Impressive"

I smiled as I felt I did a good job in starting the interview.'Well began, 50% done', as they say...
He followed up with several other questions and I answered most of them with numbers.This included random stats like why 23% of employed youth doesn't have breakfast, how many percentage of employees went to the office cafeteria when Sachin hit his 100th ton, and many more.

"You seem to have a good memory"

I thanked him & he continued his question,"What are your other strengths?"

Again, an expected question
"My biggest strength is that I know what my weaknesses are!", that was an answer which just came from somewhere, unplanned.

"That's good", luckily he did not ask me what my weakness was or else I would have had to reply something like,'My greatest weakness is that i don't know what my strengths are!!', I couldn't control my laughter at the thought of this, but some how I suppressed my laughter.

After asking some more random questions he decided to wind up the discussion.

"Well, I am done with my interview, The HR will let you know the results.Had a great time talking to you"

"Thanks", I said as i walked away from the room.

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"Great job buddy..you got into a job as Customer Relationship manager..Do you even know what you are going to do?"
"Ha ha, you know what, most of the people don't know what they are working on..They just work..", I replied to my friends with whom I was sharing the interview experience.
"How many percent?",one of my friends asked,"... but dude,  we never knew your love for numbers..You never told any number stuff to us any time.How did you get these many stats from?"

"You know what, 87% of the time you tell some random number to any person confidently, that person just believes you and wouldn't even bother to verify it.", I winked as I replied.

"Oh, so the interviewer belonged to that 87%.You are a lucky chap", replied one of them.

"Not only he.You too", I said as I hi-fi-ed one of my friends present there and continued chatting about things in this world other than numbers...


7 comments:

  1. Like all ur other posts, ,this one was a great read too. Keep writing :)

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  2. Super like Nithesh :) That was hundred percent of positive thinking and taking life as it comes ...Keep writing :)

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  3. U r aspiring me to write a blog.... awsmmmm nithesh bhaiii.. keepit up

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  4. 90% of the readers do not read a post completely. I belong to the other 10%. Good one!

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