PEX Sydney a very good customer experience

My annual visit to present, judge and deliver the PEX CPP Program at this splendid event on Darling Harbour did not disappoint.
See below for my presentation on the theme of raising the bar to win customer gold.

This year an eclectic mix of speakers and subjects kept us enthralled throughout. Chair this year was evergreen Morgan Jones (BOC) who lifted energy levels, provided great entertainment (I noted a few of his cheesy jokes) and most of connected everyone with a mix of insight, professionalism and skill.

Morgan can be rightfully pleased with himself as this year he was the recipient of the Best Improvement Manager of the year Award, and recipient of a very well deserved Most Valuable Contribution to BI in Australasia Award.

Morgan Jones, BOC received not one but two Awards!

It isn’t often we see Morgan speechless however that evening was one of those occasions!

A feature of the event is the cocktail evening which provides opportunities to network and exchange those new war stories. Lisa Ao and Ross Clayton of IQPC did a splendid job as hosts to keep proceedings moving and ensure we all had a great time.

The winner of the Best BI Award was Sven Verbreek Wolthuys – D.E Coffee and Tea. His work across Sara Lee is an inspiration to all.

The presentation I was asked to deliver addressed the theme of new customer expectations. How can we get in front of the song and make sure we control our processes to deliver Successful Customer Outcomes? Enjoy!

The customer can’t be king at the expense of your business, says Steve Towers

Steve Towers  Interviewed by NASSCOM’s Goutam Das
Steve Towers
Steve Towers

Steve Towers is a business process and customer satisfaction expert and the author of “Outside In – The Secret of the 21st Century Leading Companies”.

In India, he advises the Tata group, Wipro and other BPOs on ways to organise their processes and people better to deliver customer outcomes successfully. Towers, a speaker at the Nasscom India Leadership Forum , took time off for a conversation with Goutam Das. Edited excerpts:

Q. Have organisations started to worry more about customer centricity these days?
. It is top of the pile in terms of themes. Customer centricity, however, is not always understood. We tend to talk about it from a technology-centric point of view – we tend to think of information technology and front-end systems. We talk about CRM (customer relationship management) systems and things like that. Organisations need to move beyond what we refer to as ‘inside out’ thinking. One of the reasons to move forward is that customers themselves has changed. They have become promiscuous – they are not as loyal as they used to be. They have also become very rebellious – highly choosy in terms of who they want a product from. This causes them to move very quickly versus the longer-term relationships of the past. All our organisations are collections of customers and their expectations have risen with the availability of technology, which gives them access to a lot more information. Those organisations that understand that have been able to look at customer centricity in a different way. We refer to that way as “outside in”.

Q. Explain your philosophy of ‘outside in’ and how companies have benefited from this.
It means identifying what customer needs are and then working backwards to organise the company accordingly. Those organisations that are struggling – the Kodaks, the Nokias, RIM – they are still looking at the world inside out. Those who have been successful have seen the world outside in. They are aligning their business to deliver against customer needs, which can be created. Emirates Airlines creates that need by talking about the experience that they are going to give you once you arrive at the destination. Disney tells a very good story on the difference between wants and needs. They often say the customer does not know what they want. When you arrive at a Disney park, the first question a customer may ask is: “Where’s the toilet?”

The second most asked question is “What time is the Three O’clock Parade?” Customers are articulating a need within that question and the answer is in the context of that question. A woman with two small kids is not asking what time the parade is – she already knows the time – what she really needs to know is a place where she can go and stand with the kids, where there is a water fountain, an ice-cream vendor. She wants to be away from the hot sun. She hasn’t articulated that but the organization understands that need. Disney works on the basis of needs, not wants. Similarly, Nokia was very successful 10 years back and went on building devices that customers wanted. Other organizations thought differently. Apple made an observation on how many interactions one needs to pull up a telephone number. In an inside out phone, that will be seven-eight key presses. Everyone of those key presses is a moment of truth. And you have to build functionality to support that moment of truth. More functionality means a more complex system. Apple redesigned the interface and there are three moments of truth instead of seven-eight. It is less expensive to do that and offers a better customer experience. That is a principle Nokia has missed.

Q. Do Indian companies have an outside in perspective?
There are two kinds of organisations. One: those who are carrying on building efficiencies and effectiveness and use things like Lean (a methodology of eliminating waste in a company) and Six Sigma to remove waste. Eventually, you get to a point where you optimise processes and can’t go any further. Other organisations say Lean and Six Sigma are fine but we want to challenge if a process actually deserves to exist. In India, there is a clear distinction between those organisations that are getting it and those that don’t.

Q. How do you measure who is getting it right?
It is winning the triple crown, which is simultaneously growing revenues, reducing costs and enhancing service. The triple crown can be directly linked to customer success. Instead of starting with resources a company has, then going to market strategy and then finding customers, you start with customers and their needs and then align everything in the organisation to deliver that. In India, IndiGo (Airlines) is a prime example of looking at the world in a different way. Contrast IndiGo with Kingfisher – they talk about the customer being the king but the customer can’t be king at the expense of your business. The reason customer is king is that we can grow shareholder value, can create profits and deliver service. Other examples of companies looking outside in are Tata Motors and the transformation of Jaguar. 

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The BPM Summit is coming to San Francisco (great case studies, speakers and diverse agenda)

The BPM community are chatting about the upcoming San Francisco Summit:

Here’s a snapshot of the discussion:

Don’t let your existing capabilities and processes hold your business back.

Market volatility. Globalization. Data proliferation. All of this coupled with unprecedented operational, regulatory and economic pressures in a heightened risk management environment. The most effective way of dealing with these global threats?  Remaining focused on what matters: your customers. And that means enhancing enterprise performance to improve customer responsiveness and the delivery of business value.

PEX Network’s Business Process Management Summit offers you the opportunity to drive real customer-centric business transformation while ensuring you are prepared for the challenges – and the opportunities – ahead.

Taking place September 17th – 20th in San Francisco, the conference includes over 20 international experts that will help you visualize, integrate and optimize your business operations landscape.

Atul Bhatt

Vice President, Business Architecture
Wells Fargo
Carol Guedez

Global Head, Quality & Efficiency
Orange Business Services

Mallikarjun Angalakudati

Head of Operational Performance
National Grid
Seth Marrs

GM Sales Force Enablement
GE Healthcare
Paul Harmon
Executive Editor, Business Process Trends
Chief Methodologist, BPTrends Associates
John B. Bertolet
Director, Global Process Management
Schneider Electric

Recently qualified Open session Certified Process Professional Masters (CPP-Masters)

9 countries – 32 CPP Masters® – 15 companies – Congratulations to all!
Aditya Godbole, Adrian Leith, Alejandro Rodriquez, Amit Kualagekar, Amjad Shaikh, Anneke Fourie, Ashish Sakharkar, Clare Soper, Darren Bryant, Ebey Philip, Elize Lessing, Ernst Kriek, Girivasan TC, Ibrahim Echu, Janine Claasens, Jary Brenes, Jatine Dhaya, Jummai Hassan, Keenan Malinich, Kim Elliott, Luis Benavides, Nilesh Bhawsar, Nirja Sonawane, Parthasaradhy Vuppalapaty, Rahul Jain, Saakshi Sapre, Saroj Shendey, Sinead Goldman, Stuart Soper, Sumeet Khedkar, Uthman Tijjani, Vikas Atri

Since 2006 we have helped qualify more than 25,000 Certified Process Professionals® through the BPGroup open programs – Review the latest

Australia this week – Fantastic PEX event

The PEX roadshow continues this week in Sydney. 

Monday we have the PEX CPP Levels 1&2 (sorry sold out) and Tuesday and Wednesday the Annual Conference at Dockside. Some terrific case-studies and the Awards programme Tuesday evening.

We will be reporting via #cppmaster and if you can make the trip come on down to:

We have got to get scientific about the Customer Experience (CX)

Customers have become sophisticated, promiscuous, rebellious, choosey and have access to more information than ever before. In fact they know more about your products and services than you do!

Make real the mantra “the customer experience is the process” and let’s get scientific about CX. Join with us as we explore this virgin territory on the way to gaining a true and real understanding of CX across all walks of life. Beyond process and performance we will seek collaboration and turn thoughts into leadership, dreams into action and learning into experience.

To join our tribe and follow us as we launch CX scientifically 🙂 <Enter your email on the left>

The process is over only when the customer says it is.


Are your processes bounded by the myopia of the organization? 
For instance Procure to Pay,   Order to Cash, Prospect to Customer and so on? 
If so you are in danger of fixing things and doing things right, rather than identifying what you should be doing and doing the Right things.

  The customer experience is the process. Does that work in your organization?

Technology is the means to the end, not the end in itself. It is just the same with pen and paper.

We are all citizens of the Information Age. Fifty years ago the first mainframes were being

deployed and provided us with a fantastic way to automate processes. Unfortunately the industrial age mindset prevailed and we now often have the tail wagging the dog. The technology dictating how we do business rather than the real needs of the customer.

Break out of the left to right, top down, linear straightjacket and create solutions that deliver customer success. After all technology is just todays pen and paper.
Is technology constraining your ability to change?
Does technology slow innovation in your company?
Return to the basics and figure out if it is really contributing, if not scrap it.

If things are changing faster outside than in, you will fail.

Sound obvious but is it really. How do you set about improving your business? Continually improving what you are doing, analyzing, leaning and removing variance? Oops. They say the road to hell is paved with good intention and so it with organizations working hard at the wrong things.

You need to go out and figure what the Successful Customer Outcomes (SCO’s) look like, then come back into your business and ensure everything you are doing aligns with that SCO.

Otherwise you can end up like RIM, Nokia, Kodak and so many other once famous brands now in terminal decline.

What is the balance in your organization. Have SCO’s been clearly articulated and do you know how your work explicitly contributes to them?