SEVEN STEPS TO ENSURE YOUR PROCESSES AND CX ARE TIP-TOP FOR 2020

INTRODUCING… the much requested (and anticipated) now available ONLINE Outside-In training.

To compliment our globally successful classroom program (now 118 countries with 100,000+ certified professionals) I am running SIX online live sessions over SIX weeks.

If you are already qualified it is 80% NEW STUFF. If you are not then COME ON DOWN. Early Bird registration now Open.

Download the one-pager here
Early Bird registration now Open.

Customer Centricity Awards North America

I am proud to officially announce my participation as one of the judges at the “North American Customer Centricity Awards” organised by Arcet Global.

Hosted in Dallas, Texas, this event showcases the best in customer experience and leadership across North America. Sharing ‘next’ practice, case studies and learning from each other’s success across a wide range of sectors.

I will be joining several senior judges and very much excited and looking forward to assessing the submissions from some of the worlds leading customer-centric companies.
https://customercentricityawards.com/awards/

#judge #awards #innovation #customerexperience #ARCETGlobal #customercentricity #dallas #texas

Time to Upgrade your skills

It seems that the only consistent thing today is change. With that in mind, how are you keeping up with the seismic shifts in doing business?

We upgrade our homes, our cars and our lifestyles as a matter of course. When was the last time you upgraded YOU? No, I don’t mean a fancy new pair of shoes or those nice looking jeans what I am talking about is the way you think and do. At a fundamental level, we need to be able to lead change and enable those around us to embrace and welcome all aspects of this volatile world, which as I have already suggested isn’t going away anytime soon.

All things considered, that is what our coaching, mentoring and training programs are all about. Not only incorporating the latest innovations in business change but reframing the way you think.

The Experience Manager

In this last twelve months, the approaches we use have upgraded to include a new platform that redefines process and customer experience deployment and includes the capture, analysis, ideation and implementation of experiences from the front-line to the board room.

Now some may think they have done all the growth they need to do and rely on those traditional tools for the daily work. That is, however, the way of the dinosaur, almost waiting for the asteroid to strike and wishing they would survive its impact. We know what happened there.

So is time to refresh and retool?

If so there’s a series of courses from one-dayers to a week across the planet led by been there and done it mentors who spend the majority of their time helping organisations embrace this brave new world. Come and get the benefits of their latest learnings as we codify together, hands-on, the means for you to upgrade and retool.

Case studies are great, but…

I will be blunt (nothing new there then) I abhor the talking heads know it all theoretical claptrap courses where learning is stifled and it is a listen and do as I say dirge. Hence anyone who has experienced our programs will tell you how exciting, invigorating and enabling the hands-on learning is. Even to the extent of using your own challenges and working them through the sessions in association with teammates and colleagues. Yes, case studies help but how much better is fixing your own stuff and learning how to integrate the tools and techniques directly?

That underpins our programs, learning by doing.

Interactive workshops solving your challenges

In fact, the relationships you forge in the fires of embracing the CEMMethod will become a part of the new you on your return to the office.

Find out more…

We are running open courses across the planet in 116 countries with over 100,000 professionals now qualified. Our inhouse courses, where we customise the material to your industry and current dramas, are also popular and we are proud to talk of the thousands of companies who have embraced the learnings. Either way, open or inhouse, you will have a fantastic time so have a look, delve a bit, and sign-up soon.
Your upgrade is waiting!

CPP MasterJohannesburgOctober 7 – 10
ACX SpecialistManchesterOctober 14 – 16
CPP Master DetroitNovember 4 – 7
ACX Master JohannesburgNovember 11 – 14
ACX/CPP ChampionJohannesburgNovember 25 – 28
CPP MasterCape TownDecember 2 – 5
CPP ChampionWashington DCDecember 16 – 18
INHOUSE By RequestYour choice

Is your Customer Experience initiative working for you?
CX Obsessed or just playing at it?
Upskill you or your team find out more to learn how others have become successful with a Customer Obsession strategy


Steve Towers
www.stevetowers.com

LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetowers/

BP Group
www.bpgroup.org

LATEST FREE WebClass:
https://tiptopinfluencers.com/europeus_reg

Customer Obsession v. Customer Focused

Jeff Bezos encourages us to become Customer Obsessed (see video snippet) however Netflix’s journey to CX Obsession is less well known.

Here is an extract from a great article (link below):

From Gibson Biddle, former VP at Netflix and CPO at Chegg
In 2005, as I joined Netflix as VP of Product, I asked Reed Hastings, the CEO, what he hoped his legacy would be. His answer: “Consumer science.” He explained, “Leaders like Steve Jobs have a sense of style and what customers seek, but I don’t. We need consumer science to get there.”

Gibson Biddle, Former VP at Netflix

Reed’s aspiration was that the Netflix team would discover what delights customers through the scientific process. Forming hypotheses through existing data, qualitative, and surveys, and then A/B testing these ideas to see what works. His vision was that product leaders at Netflix would develop remarkable consumer insight, fueled by results and learning from thousands of experiments.

During my time at Netflix, and later at my next startup, Chegg, I learned to move from customer focus to customer obsession. In doing so embraced Reed’s notion of consumer science. Here’s how I think about the transition:


The full article here is great testimony to moving away from the soft and fluffy version of Customer Experience.
Let’s get more scientific about Customer Experience.

Contact Gibson here.

Is your Customer Experience initiative working for you?
CX Obsessed or just playing at it?
Upskill you or your team find out more to learn how others have become successful with a Customer Obsession strategy


Steve Towers
www.stevetowers.com

LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetowers/

BP Group
www.bpgroup.org

LATEST FREE WebClass:
https://tiptopinfluencers.com/europeus_reg

Steve Towers Masterclass comes to Denver

Online pre and post Masterclass meets

I will be in the room for you every step of the way. Whether you signup for the one or two day option there is a preliminary video and optional signup Zoom meeting. Post-session we schedule an online meet to review progress and answer questions.  

How learning by doing with real case studies is central to the Masterclass

With genuine case studies you will apply your own challenges in the session to actually take away not just the HOW but the WHAT you do.

Click the image or jump straight to more details and the registration options.

Steve Towers
www.stevetowers.com

LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetowers/

BP Group
www.bpgroup.org

LATEST FREE WebClass:
https://tiptopinfluencers.com/europeus_reg


The Need for Experience Management

The rules today incent organizations to pay people for doing tasks and activities. We have to change that.

If we incent people to achieve Successful Outcomes then we win for the employees, customer, shareholders, in fact, everyone except the competitors! This is what The Experience Manager enables.



Access The Experience Manager:
The worlds first Outside-in platform.
https://www.theexperiencemanager.com



Join us at an upcoming workshop/session: https://www.bpgroup.org/training.html


Outside-In The Secret (book on this theme from 2010)
www.outsideinthesecret.com

CEMMethod™
 www.cemmethod.com

Connect with me on LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetowers/

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 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 was investing heavily in voice of the customer (VOC) 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 customer 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 even in 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/

Join our upcoming Coaching and Accreditation sessions online, LIVE & Interactive

Certified Process Professional
Master (CPPM)
10th Aug4 days @ 5 hours per day
Accredited CX Master
(ACXM)
18th Aug4 days @ 5 hours per day
Accredited CX Mentor
(ACX-Mentor)
1st Sep4 weeks @ 3 hours per week
Accredited CX Champion
(ACXC)
8th Sep3 days @ 5 hours per day
Certified Process Professional
Champion (CPPC)
22nd Sep3 days @ 5 hours per day
Certified Outside In Master
(COIM)
8th Sep7 weeks @ 3 hours per week

Podcast with Roland Naidoo | Live stream – rockstar.cx | Business Awards…

Live broadcast with James Dodkins  Rockstar.cx


This was an interview across the continents
(I am currently in Colorado, James is in England)
https://www.facebook.com/JDODKINS/videos/1425739797553815/

Do get along to the link – James will be hosting CX Rockstars from all over the globe 🙂

Business Leader in South Africa provides his views on Customer Centricity

Roland Naidoo, Senior Executive, Multichoice
Roland Naidoo, Senior Executive, Multichoice

 

Roland Naidoo (ACX Master) is a highly respected senior executive in the global entertainments business. As part of a podcast hosted by Futurology…

https://itunes.apple.com/za/podcast/futurology/id1078860959?mt=2&i=1000397468049

You can reach Roland here to progress the discussion:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/roland-naidoo-b403a029/

Award won by yours truly!

I was deeply honoured by the PEX community at the annual conference in Florida last month and received the Global Community 2018 Award. Needless to say (but I will) this is as much down to you guys and your great transformational work, so I graciously excepted the Award on your behalf. Thank you so much :

See the snapshot here: https://buff.ly/2EEE9Im

Next time we will be reviewing highlights of the upcoming 2018 conferences…

Get the inside track with Customer Experience thinking and practice

The once favorite topic for improving business performance was Lean Six Sigma, however, the last two years have seen the ascendancy of Customer Experience (CX) as a focus for top teams. ‘Google trends’ is a good barometer of emerging interests and this graph demonstrates increasing interest in CX (blue) compared with LSS (red). 


Curiously the largest interest in industrial age improvement techniques like Lean and Six Sigma is in non-English speaking countries, whereas Customer Experience is strongly represented in North America, UK, Australia and South Africa.


For those using the search term ‘Customer Experience,’ the associated topic list provides additional insight into searchers interests. The % trend reflects the growth year on year with ‘Omnichannel’ and ‘Digital data’ seeing explosive growth.

By way of additional information, a search with Epictions focused on Articles produces these top three pieces in the last three months on the theme of ‘Customer Experience – Omnichannel’.

1.  The Future of Car Sales Is Omnichannel (Bain & Co)

http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/the-future-of-car-sales-is-omnichannel.aspx

2.    Your Omnichannel Reading Challenge (Genesys)

http://blog.genesys.com/your-omnichannel-summer-reading-challenge

3.  Omnichannel Study: Now’s Your Chance to Get Ahead of the Competition for the Holidays (Marketingprofs)

https://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2017/33005/omnichannel-study-nows-your-chance-to-get-ahead-of-the-competition-for-the-holidays

The ‘Reading Challenge’ provides an opportunity to dig deeper with some surprising reads available related to employee engagement and the very latest customer trends.

In the BP Group, we have codified the very best practices of CX leaders in and around Customer Experience into the CEMMethod™.

If you would like to find out more about how to access this learning please visit us at www.bpgroup.org or drop by at www.stevetowers.com

Data and information shared with thanks to Google and Epictions.

The Shocking Truth about Customer Experience


The single biggest piece of advice I give to senior executives setting out on the Customer Experience journey is to STOP. Yes seriously, the vast majority of CX efforts are completely misaligned.

CX Efforts Misaligned

Don’t get me wrong the intentions are good. Unfortunately, it goes something like this:

  1. Top Team are listening and decide they need to get with this customer centricity/Outside-In/working backwards thinking.
  2. Senior Management makes noises that the customer is THE thing the business must focus on.
  3. The Executive engage the marketing and sales guys to get with it and start pushing the message.
  4. Functional leaders hear the noise and bluster. They start using the language, whilst thinking this is just more fluff and nonsense. They make the right noises for now but keep their heads down, because they know this will go the same way as so many other ‘strategic initiatives’.
  5. Fundamentally functional heads carry on working with the out of date reward system that promotes sub-optimal industrial age thinking and practice.
  6. The Executive see the usual inertia, results not coming through, apathy and indifference and decide their business isn’t really an Amazon.
  7. Top Team then reverts to just getting better at what we are doing, then when someone in ‘our industry’ proves it we will follow.
  8. Functional leaders breathe a sigh of relief and invest even more in industrial age systems and training. The illusion of doing something, in this case, is actually worse than doing nothing.
  9. The businesses failure is noted by customers who move to those who do understand and deliver Customer Experience success.
  10. The company becomes another footnote in the history books. Talked about at business schools and picked apart because of the failure to get the new Outside-In customer-centric mindset.

Making Customer Experience Successful everywhere all the time

This isn’t rocket science (unless you are NASA of course). Understanding that the structures and ways of working from the industrial age were NEVER designed to be customer-centric. They were established to make things faster by optimizing production lines.

And oh, don’t think because you are not in manufacturing you are OK. It is likely your complete ways of working will be making everything look like production management systems, with talk of leaning out, waste reduction, standardization, efficiency, productivity. Sound familiar?

Understanding this Customer Experience misalignment is fundamental.

I encourage doing three things before re-joining the CX road-march:

  1. Understand how big the gap is between what you are doing and what Successful Customer Outcomes you need to be delivering.
  2. Audit the current key performance indicators.
    Are they mostly about outputs?
    Usually, the balance will be 80% output metrics (like calls answered, Average Handle Times, Abandoned Rates, Projects completed on time to budget etc.).
    Meanwhile, the really important measures that tell you a Successful Customer Outcome is being achieved will only be a small proportion.
    What you measure is what you get and no amount of Customer Experience drum banging will work unless those measures of Outcomes become the most important.
  3. Create an awareness of what real CX success is all about.
    This isn’t just the stories. It is about the actual things on the ground that need to change. The WHY and the HOW go hand in hand. Often times upskilling a group of key players at all levels to make them Ambassadors for the Customer achieves way more than massive corporate investment in branding and image.

In conclusion, Customer Experience cannot be treated just like another corporate initiative. To achieve success requires a significant shift in mindsets, and when that is achieved the realignment of the Enterprise to Outside-In can really begin.

Want more guidance and tips like this?


☑ More Articles like this one
– visit my CX Obsession resources

 ☑ Upskilling and mentoringEvery level from the boardroom to the lunch room – BP Group

☑ In person and virtual trainingThe ACXM™ program

 ☑ Executive briefings and keynotesHow to get your hands on me and other CXperts (see what I did there?)