The reason why you will not become Customer-Centric

Business failures are all around us, nothing new there then. If we go back a decade or so we saw the demise of Nokia, we’ve seen companies like Blockbuster crash and burn, and other companies in the High Street whether it’s in Europe or in the US disappear and never to be seen again.

Why is this so when if you look at the investment those companies were making there was no lack of intent to spend in understanding how the customer was changing. In the year that Apple introduced the iPhone Nokia were investing very heavily in the voice of the customer surveys, customer satisfaction and NPS.

But this misses the point. Progressive Outside-In companies (think Amazon, Zara, Zappos, Emirates) are not about retrospective subjective analysis of performance. It isn’t about overlaying processes with a new language when fundamentally the very systems and processes were never designed to deliver experiences. They were designed with a factory mindset centred around production line thinking, throughput and waste. Hence the challenge is more fundamental as it’s not about rejigging what you’re doing – it is about a complete rethink to move outside in the way that you do business.

Remarkably as we approach the third decade of the 21st century there are still those companies that think they can just tweak and change the language inside their organisations. As if doing better advertising and marketing to customers and talking about ‘new’ services on top of their existing infrastructures and IT systems hacks it. The actual reality is somewhat different.

Senior Executive commentary

Top teams and senior executives need to grasp this challenge. Roland Naidoo, a senior executive at African based entertainments company Multichoice puts the choice starkly:

“Would you measure how fast a 1600cc car performed around an F1 circuit. No? Then why would you try to measure customer experience AND improve it on processes and products there were never designed with experience in mind. Go on enter your 1600 into the next F1. Wonder how it would perform?”

Roland Naidoo, Multichoice Africa

Lipstick on a Pig? Surely not…

Those companies who understand that ‘outside-in’ thinking calls for a complete realignment and new appraisal of what the customer experience consists of. Rather than, to coin a phrase, putting lipstick on a pig. You have actually got to think about what is it you’re trying to achieve; what does success look like for our customer? And then align across all functions, all systems and ways of working towards successful customer outcomes. Disney refers to this alignment as getting everybody to understand where true north is and not to do anything unless it contributes to that alignment. Imagine all new initiatives being assessed by a similar approach?

Are you working in a Rubik cube?

Another aspect which comes into play is this idea that traditional measurement* is predominantly subjective and retrospective. Progressive outside in companies are not reactive – they get scientific about the customer experience. Measuring each interaction as it happens and if necessary course-correcting in real-time. They develop the ability to see around corners to understand what’s coming next. They don’t have to wait for analysis 2 weeks after an event to decide that some remedial action is required. This knowledge in the instance of what is happening requires us to create this idea of ‘action in the moment’ for all our employees. Zappos**, for instance, give their employees the tools and the capability to be able to make decisions in the moment (without the need to escalate to supervisors).

Industrial Age thinking will kill you

And there is another challenge companies face if they are still organised around functional specialist silos. If you’ve recruited low paid people and given them a script to follow, manage them to average handle times and throughputs you’re going to fail. Once more the outside-in companies have an edge here as they understand that to give your most precious resource (the customer) to the employees then you need the right people in the right place able to do the right things at that moment of truth.

So what is your organization doing? is it trying to put lipstick on the pig? is it just trying to overlay the existing process is an infrastructure with this new customer-centric way of talking and doing?

It is very simple. You need to get down to brass tacks of rethinking what customer experience is all about its implication for the organisation going forward. Those organisations that are taking this outside-in approach find the world becomes simpler, faster and much more directly oriented towards delivering successful customer outcomes and winning for the bottom line.


* Why does traditional measurement fail?
from the CX Rockstar aka James Dodkins at https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6566333517070954496/

** Zappos – Wow customer service: https://www.forbes.com/sites/micahsolomon/2018/09/15/the-secret-of-wow-customer-service-is-breathing-space-just-ask-zappos/#7da91ff01b2c

Roland Naidoo can be reached at:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/roland-d-naidoo-b403a029/

CX POWER Hour webinar

In just 60 minutes we will evaluate the 4 elements of a Customer Experience Management Ecosystem and how they can provide your organization with a company-wide ecosystem of CX management that focuses all of your team’s efforts and resources on delivering amazing customer experiences.

We are doing a CX POWER Hour this coming Wednesday 1 PM EDT/ 10 AM PDT Expert hosts include James Dodkins aka CX Rockstar, Doug Bell, Mitch Belsley (The Experience Manager) and Steve Towers BP Group.

Register here: CX_POWERUP_2019

Why you should attend

In just 60 minutes we will evaluate the 4 elements of a Customer Experience Management Ecosystem. We will review how the 4 elements can provide your organization with a company-wide ecosystem of CX management. This then focuses all of your team’s efforts and resources on delivering amazing customer experiences.

What we will cover

1. Operationalizing Experience Designs

(How do you create and socialize simple experience designs that everyone in the organization will be able to understand?)

2. Measuring successful customer outcomes instead of business outputs

(Are you still relying on subjective NPS and VOC data to drive your CX analytics program?)

3. Focus every employee in the company every single day on CX innovation and improvement

(Are you harnessing the power of feedback and ideation from your employees?)

4. Evolve and improve your experiences in days not months.

(How long is it taking you to go from idea to implementation?)

Register Now: The CX Power Hour 2019

James Dodkins, one of the hosts, has keynoted in the USA, Argentina, Mexico, UK, Australia and Germany in the last six months.

You will Win the Triple Crown

When you align your business around an understanding of your customer, you can increase your ability to grow revenue, significantly reduce cost, radically boost customer loyalty and engagement, tighten controls – and increase your competitive strength.

The Panel of Global Experts

Meet and discuss with our world-renowned team of Customer Experience Management innovators including… Doug Bell, James Dodkins, Mitch Belsley and Steve Towers will share proven strategies, tactics and tips to help position your customer ‘front and center’ – while addressing your real-world challenges of limited resources and competing priorities.

I very much hope you can join me and my colleagues!
Here is the registration link

All the Very Best!
Steve


Your team in Colorado

  • Doug Bell, CEO The Experience Manager
  • Steve Towers, Chief Evangelist, BPG
  • Mitch Belsley, CEO The Experience Manager

P.S. I suggest you follow The Experience Manager on LinkedIn and stay up-to-date on how to radically improve your customer and employee experiences. We focus the ‘next practices’ of the world’s leading CX companies that will help your organization do a better job designing, developing and delivering great customer and employee experiences.

What are Moments of Truth?

Since the days of Richard Normann, the guy who invented the business term ‘Moments of Truth’ and Jan Carlzon’s book in 1989, the business world has interpreted Moments of Truth in several ways.

Jan Carlzon’s 1989 book ‘Moments of Truth’ socialised Richard Normann’s concept.

I have also published many articles and conference keynotes (see the MOT primer below) reviewing the continued evolution of this interesting concept.

Definitions

My interpretation and application of Moments of Truth revolve around three themes:

a. What is a Moment of Truth?

A Moment of Truth is any interaction with the customer within the Customer Experience – first discussed in my 1994 book ‘Business Process Reengineering – A Senior Executives Guide’

b. Moments of Truth are the cause of all work.

First discussed back in 2009 the idea that all work an organization undertakes is, at a fundamental level, caused by Moments of Truth. In principle, everything a company does can and should be linked to a Moment of Truth.

We harness and make real this design principle using the Customer Performance Landscape. Connecting the dots from everything to the Cause of all work – The Moment of Truth.

c. The Moment of Truth for any organization is…

At a practical level organizations need to chunk down their approach to fixing and innovating Moments of Truth. CEO of Denver based ‘The Experience Manager’

Doug Bell, CEO The Experience Manager

Doug Bell says “A Moment of Truth is an interaction that contributes to the production of a successful customer outcome. It either does or it doesn’t. To ensure outside in, you need to look through the Successful Customer Outcome lens.”

Managing Moments of Truth

Enlightened ‘Outside-In’ organizations actively embrace Moment of Truth Management as an essential strategic and operational necessity to deliver engineered Customer Experiences. How so?

a. Designing for Moments of Truth – The Design-Implementation Gap

Early efforts were geared around designing optimal Moments of Truth, however, simply mapping customer journeys has never been enough. It is one thing agreeing on what a future state customer journey should be, it is entirely another implementing it. This Design-Implementation gap is precisely what kills the majority of Customer Experience initiatives.

b. Implementing optimized Moments of Truth

Successful deployment of innovated Moments of Truth is key to delivering optimal Customer Experiences. The most practical immediate results are focused on rapid roll out across a key experience and using the success of that to validate rolling out smoothly across the organization. Establishing ownership, accountability, metrics, controls and improvement paths are part of this discipline.

c. Operationalizing Moments of Truth

Once Moments of Truth have been designed, innovated and implemented into recrafted customer experiences they need to be actively managed ‘in the moment’ and shared. Every Moment of Truth should feed to a corporate dashboard, with real-time data showing the performance of that MOT and its associated experiences. If things go wrong the owner should be able to ‘course correct’ and real-time monitor the customer experience delivery.

Imagine a world without customer satisfaction surveys, no need for Net Promoter Scores, no focus groups, and no mystery shopping because you will know how 100% of interactions are performing 100% of the time.

Control and Action combined

The C suite and leaders will now have a clear line of sight into every corner of the organization and across the enterprise landscape REAL TIME. One version of the data truth (and not all those departmental/divisional versions of reality).

The need for retrospective action evaporates. Immediate and laser-focused control can be maintained delivering simultaneously enhanced service, lower costs, higher revenues, improved compliance and uber motivated employees.

What’s next?

In my next piece I will demonstrate how this can be done immediately. If you can’t wait for that ping me and let’s talk the how, now



MOT primer…

Steve Towers
https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetowers/

Richard Normann – creator of the Moments of Truth concept:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Normann

Jan Carlzon – author ‘Moments of Truth’
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Carlzon

Doug Bell – CEO of The Experience Manager
‘The Moments of Truth Management System’
https://www.linkedin.com/in/dhbell/

Moments of Truth 2009
https://www.slideshare.net/stowers/moments-of-truth-perth2009

That Kodak Moment of Truth
https://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/innovation/columns/4-lessons-from-the-kodak-moment-of-truth

** Just published **
Mitch Belsley 2019 – Get Scientific about Managing Moments of Truth
http://customerthink.com/get-scientific-about-managing-moments-of-truth/

6 Ways to Transform Process and the Customer Experience (at the Same Time)

Steve Towers Keynotes

Where do I start?

I was keynoting a conference in Europe recently, and senior executives in the room were getting the rationale behind moving Outside-In. However, there seemed to be two perplexed groups in the place.

One was what a refer to as the ‘traditional process guys’, and the other ‘the customer is first people’, and interestingly they both asked the same question “Where do we start?”

My honest and most direct answer is “You do not have a choice. You have got to start where you are and go from there!” OK, I get what you’re thinking, how could they take that away and begin to transform their organizations?

So, I walked them through TWO distinctly different ways to navigate to Outside-In working and practice, depending on your mindset, enterprise history and maturity. For the two categories of customer in the room, the NEEDS are the same, just the way they navigate to achieving them is different.

What are the Results?

From a results perspective, both approaches focus on winning the triple crown, that is Improving Service, Growing Revenues and Reducing Complexity (and hence lowering costs).

ApproachProcess EngineeringCustomer First
FocusProcess is the starting pointStarts with Customer Needs
ScopeReengineering the ProcessesAligning everything to Customer Needs
IntentionBuild out from Process to Department to Division to EnterpriseArticulate Successful Customer Outcomes and Remove the complexity of things that do not contribute to it
BenefitsLocal wins building to business-wide transformationImmediate delivery against Triple Crown benefits
Executive Buy-inSlow burn, however when they see the benefits and ‘get it’ the support is significantStarts at the strategic level so influences everything the organization does
RecommendationIf your remit is just ‘improving processes’ this approach will get you their steadily, however, the challenges facing traditional business are seismic so is there time? So, make immediate gains but push hard for more quickly.By demonstrating the value of ‘customer first’ in terms of the triple crown the enterprise can align quickly and effectively. Importantly avoid the ‘soft and fluffy’ sentiments expressed by many in the customer experience world.

How can I Implement?

Back in 2006 the BPG launched the CEMMethod™ and built out an approach, using the 50+ techniques based on global next practice from companies like Virgin, Zara, BMW, Zappos, Apple and Emirates. Since then more than 3,000 companies in 116 countries have become accredited and certified to transform their processes and organizations.

Now in version 11, the choice you make in deployment is based on your ambition and remit within the enterprise.
If you are a leader needing to embrace the digital customer ‘Customer First’ leaps out as the main option. Alternatively, if you are in a traditional process-based business (lean, six sigma, BPM etc.) the more conservative ‘process engineering’ approach may be preferred.

You can access the following resources that will help you make an informed choice:

CEMMethod™ – review its potency and pedigree:
www.cemmethod.com

Outside-In The Secret of 21st century companies (free access): http://bit.ly/StevesOIBook

The Accredited Customer Experience Program 2018-19: https://www.bpgroup.org/acxp1819.html

The Certified Process Professional Program: https://www.bpgroup.org/certifiedprocessprofessional.html

I look forward to guiding you to transformation when you are ready!

Three fundamental building blocks for CX Excellence – Employee Experience

Three excellent mini videos from best selling author and Rockstar.cx founder James Dodkins that really frame current thinking around #CX and its key component the Employee Experience #EX.

With insights from Shep Hyken, Disney and Zappos go grab a coffee and enjoy a 10-minute break and look through the lens of Customer Experience Excellence.

Customer Trust = Employee Pride

 

Disney EVP, Lee Cockerell

 We are all Leaders

CX Guru, Shep Hyken

No Call Centres at Zappos

Zappos CX Leader, John Wolske

Further resources:

Turning the advice into action: BPG training page
More videos/podcasts on this theme: Rockstar.cx
CX Excellence Coaches: link to coaches

You can see this and more over at www.cxobsession.com

 

 

 

Stop trying to fix the Customer Experience!!

What significantly differentiates the top dogs in terms of business results? How can Amazon, Zara, Zappos and Emirates consistently outperform their competitors? 

Connecting better

You and I as consumers connect better with those companies who have a focus on delivering Successful Customer Outcomes, however, that doesn’t immediately come about through wishful thinking, re-engineering processes or investing in the latest bright shiny technologies. No, these successful organizations have a different strategy…. And that strategy understands a fundamental truth across every part of the enterprise. Without the employee ‘getting it’ you waste your time banging the drum about improving the Customer Experience and at best you will achieve a Hawthorne effect[1], where results are fleetingly better then reverting back to sometimes even worse than before.

And so, enter stage left the Employee Experience.

Great, got it! We invest in employee’s emotional well-being and we can then deliver great CX. Wrong again. Emotions are an effect created by the circumstances the employee finds themselves in. Imagine a draconian boss, poor lighting and awful colleagues.

Not too much of a surprise that employees will then have low morale, high absence rates, and short tenures before finding something better. Making them feel better by changing the boss, improving work conditions and encouraging teaminess may produce a short-term fleeting benefit however we are soon back to square one. Why is this?

Elegant simplicity

Amazingly the answer to this catch 22 has been there all along. It is so obvious calling it common sense way understates its importance. The elegant simplicity confuses those who believe we should just improve what we already do, or invest heavily in digital, or run team building motivational workshops.

And this isn’t a secret sauce – three simple steps will get you there…

  1. Understand what success looks like for the customer
  2. Create measures of those Needs and Expectations
  3. Align and Reward employees to deliver those Needs and Expectations – without exception

And as if by magic, morale improves, employees become adept at dealing with any situation (without the need to go ‘upstairs’), customers are delighted and results, measured through costs, service and revenue dramatically improve. Sure, you can go measure the emotional employee impact (we are all happier!) but also remember that is a consequence of doing the right things first. And if you have to measure the employee emotions to tell you things aren’t working you are not understanding your customers well enough.

>> Watch Richard Branson, CEO Virgin Group discuss this topic here.

>> Watch Zappos and Disney SVP’s discuss Employee Experience with James Dodkins. Also, access his new book “Put your customers second” – he is offering three free chapters!

>> Join us at an upcoming training to understand and make your own the approaches that work immediately.

 

[1] The Hawthorne Effect: Wikipedia

What does Google know about you?

Here’s a quick how-to guide to finding out exactly what Google knows.

Protect your data

Half the battle in protecting your information is knowing where it is, how much is out there, who can get access to it, and then take the necessary measures to protect sensitive information about you AND your family, friends and work colleagues.

An interesting irony of the Facebook, Google and Amazon success story is the amount of personal data needed to customize their offerings to your unique customer experience #CX. The less you provide, the more generic your experience.

At the end of the day, it is all a choice about how much you wish to disclose, or not.

Acknowledgement to CNBC.
Access the video here also: http://bit.ly/2GUsl9i

 

 

3 reasons why Blockchain will transform every business (need to know!)

I interview the CEO of Blockchain-X and Railz, John Corr on why we need to know about Blockchain and how it is helping to change business forever.

When you talk about disruptive technology THIS is the very definition, and believe me all our lives #business and #customer experience are becoming very different as a consequence.

As the opportunity reveals itself nation states and political groupings are getting in on the act. The UAE government believe 50%+ of all transactions will use blockchain within 2 years. Are gearing up for a similar shift?

You can contact John Corr directly at linkedin.com/in/johncorr and john.corr@closequarter.co.uk

Learn how Blockchain, business and the associated customer experience #CX are changing the world and access the CEMMethod to help you and your organization realise the benefits.

Design Thinking – a new dawn for industry?

Google trends tell the story that Design Thinking (DT) tops many executive’s interests in helping deliver progressive services and products in a volatile 2018.

Consultants, Design studios, and so-called business experts have spawned new revenue streams as other management fads, sorry, approaches have declined in popularity.

Just do the math on google with ‘Design Thinking’ harvesting 15.2 million results in 0.4 seconds and the top ten results including training courses, how-to workshops and top team offsites offered by consulting firms. In fact, Epictions reports typically 10 DT articles a day currently being produced, consumed and naturally circulated around our senior executives.

No doubt you will know of new functions becoming a reality with DT central to their remit, but what exactly does this catchy label represent?

Is Design Thinking a real thing?

Is it different? Can DT be useful in navigating our increasingly volatile world? Are there genuine benefits to adopting DT enterprise-wide?

As an engineer and design thinker (note the lower case) for the best part of the last four decades, this concept is not new. The successful creation of new services and products always relies on the marriage of creative thought processes harnessed to pragmatic objectives to deliver bottom-line success. Sorry if that doesn’t sound as sexy as some of the DT consultants would have you believe.

But wait, there is good news… incorporating DT into industrial age approaches can breathe new life and significant business benefit for not just enterprises and employees, but most importantly customers and shareholders.

So what is this Damn Thing?

A critical element to understanding DT is that, unlike most commonly deployed methods, is not a linear 1-2-3, A-B-C endeavour. It is not a prescription and relies on the ability of organisations and their people to understand, learn, prototype and reinvent simultaneously the processes and customer experiences that deliver success. New services/products must articulate needs of customers (even when potentially the customer doesn’t know them) and move the needle in terms of cost, revenue and service simultaneously (the fabled ‘triple crown’).

So, a significant measure of DT success is winning the triple crown. Anything else that doesn’t convert the creative process into a top and bottom line success is just moving the chairs on the deck of the Titanic. It might look better, give us a different view, but it is still doomed and will ultimately fail to deliver.

To be successful you need to create an organization and individual mindset that understands ever-changing customer needs, expectations and

Is Design Thinking winning the Triple Crown?

fosters an approach of learning, rather than the silo-based, industrial age metrics common to many.

 

I am going to delve deeper in an upcoming article so if you would like to get the pro’s and con’s, the potential pitfalls and the how-to to ensure success join me again soon. If you register your interest here I will ping you the ‘how to’ piece as soon as it is ready.

Ciao for now, Steve.

 

 

The Accredited Customer Experience Master (ACXM ™)

Coming soon to a city near you 🙂
>> UPDATE: Just added DENVER ACXM in September <<
Johannesburg | Orlando Dubai  | Dubai  | Sydney  | New York  Denver | Washington DC |  Washington DC Champs London

Upgrading your skills and delivery for 2018 will determine your success.
Advance beyond functional industrial age thinking to Outside-In customer-centric practices. Tried and tested this program is a direct descendant of the CPP program with now over 90,000 qualified individuals across 116 countries.

So if understanding and applying the techniques and methods deployed in Apple, Amazon, Zappos, Zara, Emirates and BMW compels you to adopt the ‘next practice’ approaches come and join us in a city near you through 2018:

Johannesburg ACXM

Orlando ACXM

13-15 March 2018

26-29 March 2018

Dubai Masters ACXM 8-11 April 2018
Dubai UAE ACX Champion 15-17 April 2018
Sydney ACXM 28-31 May 2018
New York ACXM 10-13 Sep 2018
Denver ACXM

Washington DC ACXM

17-20 Sep 2018

9-12 Oct 2-18

Washington DC ACX Champs 15-17 Oct 2018
London ACXM 10-13 Dec 2018

Here’s someone who enjoyed the session:

The BPGroup Accredited Customer Experience Masters® (ACXM) Program takes BPM & CEM Training to an entirely new level.

Become an Accredited Customer Experience Master (ACX Master®) through learning and experiencing the most practical, successful and proven toolkit for customer-centric change

For 2018…

> New Case Studies > 60+ takeaway techniques > 90+ help videos > Fully revised CEMMethod (version 11) > CX Rating (4E’s) integration > All material provided > Dedicated Professional User Group > Ongoing webinars

The Accredited Customer Experience Professional/Master difference

This premier series is designed for those seeking advanced professional skills in customer experience and process management, CX improvement, CX alignment, customer centricity, and innovation.
These are the Outside-In Customer Experience Management, BPM Methods, and Techniques that Deliver!

  • Uncover CX/Process Improvement opportunities in just hours
  • Identify Actions that will improve customer experience and associated processes by 15% to 40% within 20 days of deployment
  • Integrate and Evolve methods such as BPM, Lean, Six Sigma and Operational Excellence to Outside-In thinking and practice
  • Delight your Customers (making them your greatest advocates) through Successful Customer Outcomes and Customer Experience Management
  • Innovate to compete, set the market trend and even dominate your industry
  • Advance Net Promoter Score and Customer Satisfaction to the next level
  • Release significant costs, improve revenues and enhance service (win the Triple Crown) immediately

See more information here, or book directly to a city of your choice:
Johannesburg | Orlando Dubai  | Dubai  | Sydney  | New York  Denver | Washington DC |  Washington DC Champs London

 

Hopefully, we will see you soon!