Why does customer experience matter?

Most recently there have been more and more news about traditional companies, software companies and consulting companies doing more in customer experience. It’s an important topic, but actually nothing new to me. This has been time to time on my lips when I’ve been seeing bad service management and participated in an event with poor guidance to people in front of customers. As I work with telecoms at the moment, I have clear insights to how network quality can affect to CAPEX and OPEX as well. You may waste your money to wrong areas or do changes with may look good in a plan, but will not affect to overall performance.

The classic example for good, better and best services is airlines. The basic product is really, really same: changing customers from location A to location B. The product itself have many layers and components that can fail, most likely not even visible to customers when everything goes well. What customers see are often the poor food quality, long queues, delays, bad entertainment selection on board, rude flight attendants, etc. It’s more often a case of your own mood when experience some of the bad behaviors or qualities. It can actually be a surprise when some local airlines are offering local specialties for meal service (Vietnam airlines) or have a habit to takeoff before scheduled time (Lion air). For sure premium airlines like Cathay pacific, Emirates and Singapore airlines will make less often failures in their core service and even surprise you very often. For example I have been often upgraded by Cathay pacific to business, and when I lived in Finland Finnair upgraded me only once even I had at least once a month flight in Europe and three to four times a year to Asia. This is part of the company culture.

More recently I’ve been happily surprised about fast food restaurants; especially McDonald’s who started a table service in Taiwan. They already had delivery service when I moved here (not in Finland available), but now they even compete with traditional more expensive restaurants with service. This is such a nice thing to do, you can use order-in kiosk, make changes to your order (like adding extra sauce, patties, etc.) and it will arrive to your table. Personally I prefer this convenience and also select them more often due to this. Only problem is finding a table; many Taiwanese like to hangout in McDonald’s, study or even have business meetings between small owners.

What you learn from these experiences and take them part of your own habits? I suggest you think about these three things:

  1. Originality: if you can’t be better than competitors, be more local and personal, have proud of your origins
  2. Surprise: there are many ways to satisfy customers by surprising them, something small which happens unexpected or more convenient way to manage failure certainly adds extra
  3. Radical change: just like McDonald’s has change the way they do their business (table service) they can acquire more profits and actually to cost is minimal for them.

I have an opinion also about service providers or companies offering products to manage customer experience. The way you treat your own customers, tells a lot about your product. This is actually very simply to do by building company culture which respects both employees and customers and later will show that good things start to happen to good companies. We very often only think about core product, maybe something intangible or even the hard part (visual product). We may not think about all products have also very visible part, people, who will sell it and deliver it. If your company hasn’t adapted same way to manage and respect employees as superstars, it’s time to start it now.  Make a short survey for each and every team; listen to what’s good and what’s the overall feeling. Ask for advice from each employee and listen to their experiences and mood. This is the only way you can achieve the target and become a superstar.

Vietnamese style and project management

I have had a pleasure to run several projects in Vietnam. I’m going to share in this article some experiences. In general when I moved to Asia, I did my first project in Vietnam and have ever since been there time to time for work.


I learned quite quickly in Vietnam

  1. It’s important to make sure all team members understand common target, goals and scope
  2. People need routines, project structure and an organized way to deal with all levels
  3. Most of the time living is easy, but you can still pay attention to tell your expectations to hotel staff to get clear from the beginning.


Until I continued my first project to acceptance, it wasn’t that hard. As soon as we were in this phase, I noticed some parts of the contract weren’t clear for me. It wasn’t so good thing to note, because Vietnamese way is to follow completely contract. Even some part should be already changed in the papers. As my previous projects in Europe had shown, scope would have been more flexible than schedule. But in Vietnam schedule was changed and scope was kept. This is very usual way there.


My tips for successful projects in Vietnam are

  1. Have good documentation: this is also important part of communication
  2. Know who you’re working with: people are okay to talk about all matters including personal life and if you don’t know all the things, it’s not easy to get to know and take into account people’s personal needs
  3. Follow same principles, don’t change time to time; otherwise your behavior is difficult to predict, it will confuse others
  4. Give time when it’s needed: this means people are learning during the project and they will need some time to absorb all new information and
  5. Decide finishing time and main milestones: if these are not decided, you may end up much longer project duration than was planned.


As of international project manager having experience from many countries, I feel there aren’t so many differences between the countries. You can rely on previous experience, tools and methodologies but communication and daily project life is different. This will be an advantage as well, you will not get bored.


If you’re interested more about Vietnam or plan to work there, you can find my course Manage and run projects in Vietnam helpful.

Launching new course for Thailand


As many of my friends and previous colleagues know, I have in the past spend a lot of time in Thailand. I even learned how to speak Thai and went to country-side, stayed there longer and enjoyed that time.


Since it gave me an opportunity to get to know more in this country, people and culture, I thought it might be a nice thing to put it into one new course: Manage and run projects in Thailand. I will share my knowledge and give further tips.


Thais are typically easy to work with or talk with, but there may exist some parts of the thinking that you can only learn with more time. I give also some examples what has happened to me and how did I manage those things. Please check out and enroll with discounted price through this link.

New video about successful decision making


I have published new YouTube video about successful, efficient decision making. For myself I always conclude a good decision by following these principals:

1. follow a process

2. select a structure

3. gather information

4. choose from options and

5. finalize by follow ups.


If you have any comments, don't hesitate to share and discuss more. You can also join my course Decision making masterclass to learn much more and get some tips with tools. By using this link you will get discount price.


YouTube: How to decide efficient, successful