Posts Tagged ‘capgemini’

I work for IBM, but what value do I bring to my previous employer, Capgemini?

Posted on: March 28th, 2013 by Fransgaard 5 Comments

I went to the Kred London Influencer Summit last night. What a fantastic time. Met a lot of Twitter connections I had not met before.

 

I also ran into an old colleague of mine from Capgemini, Inyk, and we got talking about the connections I retain within Capgemini.

Today Inyk sent me this interesting article on the subject: Coming out: can you bring value to an organisation after having left it? And it got me thinking about what value, if any, I still bring to Capgemini, even now where I work for one of their competitors: IBM?

Examples of my relationship with my previous employer

  • I left Capgemini on good terms.
  • Capgemini in general have a view that people who leave are potential future re-hires with new experiences they can bring back to the company (they don’t display the same sense of betrayal the author of the article Inyk shared has encountered).
  • I am part of their official Yammer Alumni group, which I hardly ever visit.
  • I maintain relationships with ex-colleagues on both Twitter and Facebook.
  • After meeting a talented mobile SME, who recently moved to London, the first people I connected him with was ex-colleagues from Capgemini.
  • Capgemini ex-colleagues remain loyal readers and retweeters of my blog posts.
  • Emmanuel Lochon, Capgemini’s global head of marketing, sent me a Linkedin message about the new Capgemini website going live, which I responded with both direct feedback and tweets.

Does this mean it is the people I am retaining relationships with rather than the company? Ofcourse! But it is the employees who are the company. As such they are the point of contact with the company. What they say and do is the corporate message.

It is vital the employees are up-to-date with any corporate messages as they are the voice of the company.  But it is equally important that the employees are not forced to relay these messages or even rewarded for doing so.

For example Emmanuel’s Linkedin message about the new Capgemini website is relevant to me because I was involved in early stages of the project. Had I not been, his message would not have been relevant to me.

Am I still a Capgemini advocate? Yes, I am. So I do think I still provide a value, but it is driven by a mutual relationship and an understanding we are competitors.

Do I champion all my previous employers?

While I’ve left all my previous employers on good terms, and while I retain personal relationships with ex-colleagues at all places, I don’t actively engage with the brands themselves. I think this is because when I have involved myself with their digital content, I have had no response. A one-way relationship is really not a relationship.

 Do you still represent your ex-employer?

Is your company responsible for the social media behaviour of your partners?

Posted on: July 5th, 2012 by Fransgaard No Comments

The original version of this article can be seen at the award-winning Capgemini – Capping IT Off blog.

A company recently failed to provide the promised service to me as a customer. And to add to that, they didn’t reply to my customer complaints on Twitter, not even after it got amplified by other unhappy customers.

But the story is far from as simple as a company with bad customer service and it got me thinking about how the online behaviour of different companies can affect other related organisations.

Here is what happened…

It all started out fairly simple: I bought an item from a company, which turned out to be faulty and the company was happy to replace it. They arrange for a delivery service to pick it up.

Good customer service so far, but then things went wrong.

Delivery service didn’t show up during the allocated 9-5 timeslot. 30 mins-on-hold music later I was told they actually operated 9-7 and that the job was still “live” and van expected to show before 7.

7pm came and went. I called up again and was told they only delivered from 9-5! I arranged for the parcel to be collected the following day. Without going into details I can reveal that no delivery van showed the following day either.

All through this my tweets to the delivery company got more and more frustrated but while I could see they responded to other customers, I didn’t hear anything back which puzzled me as my disgruntled tweets were being retweeted by other unhappy customers increasing the reach of my complaint.

In the end the company I bought the item from arranged for another courier service to pick up the item successfully on the third day.

Let’s recap the story so far:

  • Company A sold me a faulty item but arranged for delivery Company B to pick up the faulty item.
  • Company B customer phone line provided long waiting times and incorrect and inconsistent information.
  • Company B failed two days in a row to pick up the package.
  • Company B did not reply to any attempts I made to communicate with them on Twitter.
  • Company A hired Company C to successfully pick the package.

 

To me the case was clear: Company B’s bad service had affected my perception of Company A negatively as their bad service was part of my purchase experience with Company A.

But then…

…I tweeted my package had successfully been collected by Company C. I instantly received a message from Company B’s Twitter account telling me they were sorry for my experience but due to the contract they have with Company A they were unable to respond to any of my tweets.

Hang on a second…

In other words, they were defenceless to respond to any of my frustrated tweets (or the associated retweets from other unhappy customers) because their arrangement with Company A meant Company A’s customer service was responsible for replying.

Company A, who I had tweeted as well, never replied leaving Company B taking all the heat with no fire hose to cool things down.

Conclusion

There’s no excuse for Company B failing to collect the return package two days in a row.

But it is interesting that the contract between Company B and Company A prevents Company B’s twitter handlers from responding especially as it is not hard to imagine they could have sorted out the problem long before it got amplified in a public space given how fast they contacted me once Company C had collected the parcel.

A single piece of information was missing throughout this experience: As a customer I never had any clear indication that Company A was my sole point of contact even when Company B was providing a service.

With more and more customer service communication channels available it is vital that customers actually know what is going on, who to contact and what channels are in use and who is responsible for maintaining the communication with the customer at different stages of the customer journey.

What responsive design brings to multi-lingual interfaces

Posted on: June 7th, 2012 by Fransgaard No Comments

The original version of this article can be seen at the award-winning Capgemini – Capping IT Off blog.

As described in my previous article responsive design caters for different screen resolutions by, at the most basic level, resizing and repositioning content.

More sophisticated responsive design solutions can deliver differently optimized content for different screen sizes.

A simple example of a multilingual responsive solution

But what does responsive design bring to an international website? Let’s say we are designing a UK-based website about traffic regulations. The main navigation has traffic related buttons such “Speed limits” all designed to fit neatly at the top of the screen.

English navigation

However, we decide we want to extend the site to cover the rest of Europe in major native languages such as German where “speed limits” is “Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung”. As you have probably guessed it doesn’t fit the navigation bar design. Re-designing the buttons to be wider is the answer although it is at the expense of a few of the main navigation items… but moving “Contact” to the footer is ok, right?

German navigation

Following on from the success of the Europe launch, we decide to go global. “Speed Limits” in Japanese is “速度制限” and we now have a main navigation bar with buttons wide enough to fit 36+ letter long words, but with only 4 letters in them!

Japanese navigation

It doesn’t look great, but it is the best we can do if we want the navigation bar to fit different languages… or rather it was. With responsive design we can deliver different buttons (and different number of buttons) to different regions using different languages.

Region-specific responsive content

Different nationalities react differently to content. Red, a warning sign in the western world is a colour of luck in Asia.

Likewise online, people in some countries prefer minimalistic web interfaces with simple task-oriented user experiences, while other nationalities feel more at home in busy interface with lots of options and content. Of course regional broadband speeds play a role in this as well.

screenshots

Thanks to Twitter friend Jenny Liu for screenshots.

Again, responsive design can help deliver a complex mixture of device specific, language specific and region specific content creating a unique and tailored user experience to the individual.

Looking to the future

While responsive design is a new concept it has already taken a firm hold on the Internet, so what do the future hold?

  • Weather-responsive interfaces. If the webcam of the device identifies bright sunlight it makes the screen brighter to deliver a legible interface.
  • Velocity responsive design: On the move or is your device being shaken? Bigger letters makes for better reading.
  • Network connectivity. Is the 4G not what they promised it would be? Deliver a simpler less image heavy interface.
  • Touch sensitive design. Interface detecting clumsy fingers results in bigger buttons.
  • Altitude responsive design… not quite sure what this would do, but connected with a 3D printer maybe it could present an emergency parachute?

What do you think the future of responsive design will bring to real user-centered design?