The North Star Metric and Why You Need It Now

Have you got a North Star metric? It’s one of the essential things for any company looking to innovate and drive growth. If you haven’t created one yet, it is time to seriously figure it out. And today, I will be explaining what a North Star metric is, why it’s essential, and how to come up with one.

The North Star metric is the most critical. It is that Metric that would consistently deliver Successful Customer Outcomes (SCO’s) and drive sustainable growth if you focus on above all else.

For Facebook is ‘daily active users,’ Airbnb is ‘nights booked,’ and for the BP Group, ours is ‘monthly organization upskilling.’

Why is having one important?


Because delivering SCO’s and driving change is a lot of work, and it’s easy to dilute effort and resources on things that don’t move the needle. Additionally, getting distracted with the latest and shiniest new ideas is a common problem. Having a North Star metric keeps everyone in your company focused on the most critical Measure for your company’s success. Chosen wisely, it will connect the dots from the front line to the top team

Creating Your North Star metric

You may already have created it in your Successful Customer Outcome Canvas®[1] (SCOC®). Even if you haven’t yet the steps are straightforward by examining your current key performance indicators and assessing what could be a lead Metric. Examine the metrics in the context of what creates the best outcome, for the business and the customer. It is especially effective when you aggregate the SCOC’s against all your customer categories and bringing out the most significant ones and deciding decide which is the most essential Metric.

Defining that North Star metric can have a considerable impact not only on your immediate customers but on how your company operates overall.

Your North Star metric will be different from other organizations, as is how it’s rolled out and communicated.

Connect the dots, Draw the Lines

Anyone involved in delivering Successful Customer Outcomes and driving growth for your company, from the ‘C’ suite to the marketing team to the operations team and all of your external agencies, should be clear on your North Star metric and their role in driving it forward. If you don’t have one and your success maybe isn’t where it needs to be, perhaps you should consider defining one for your organization.

  • Set up a time with key stakeholders,
  • Identify your customer categories,
  • Agree on the SMART needs,
  • Choose the most important one, then
  • Brainstorm what it should be across the entire organization.

It starts with understanding who are your best customers are and why. You will need to cut through all distractions and noise to identify the one metric that will have the most significant and most sustainable impact on your business performance.

It’s a significant process, and sometimes it can be challenging to see the forest for the trees.

It will take a concerted effort, but it is one of the most worthwhile things an organization can do to connect the strategy to execution. Realistically isn’t that desirable for every organization seeking to make winning systematic?

The Guiding Light

The North Star metric becomes the guiding light. It is tangible, objective, and touches everyone and everything. It is a simple concept and as a result everyone can understand it.

You can explore the North Star Alignment approach within the Certified Outside-In Masters® program. Review the short video introduction here:
https://cemnext.com/oi2020


[1] The Successful Customer Outcome Canvas® is a technique within the CEMMethod®. This technique and its companion approach can be reviewed here. https://cemnext.com/customergame


Other Useful Resources

I have just done a 3 minute explainer video for Outside-In – see it here:
https://experienceprofessional.com/oivideo

How to become Outside-In
Step #1 – Get The Book: Outside-In The Secret *FREE* https://bit.ly/OI2021now  

Step #2 – Get The Training:

Certified Outside-In Master® | https://cemnext.com/oi2020
Certified Process Professional Master®  | https://bit.ly/CPPM21  
Accredited Customer Experience Master®  | https://bit.ly/ACXM2021  

Step #3 – Get the Software:

The Experience Manager | https://bit.ly/TEM2021  

Step #4 – Connect With The Community:

LinkedIn | https://bit.ly/Steve2021

Blog | https://bit.ly/CXO2021

BPG Website | https://bit.ly/BPG2021

Steve Towers Web  |  https://bit.ly/SBT2021

Twitter | https://bit.ly/SteveTowersTwitter

YouTube | https://bit.ly/ST_Youtube

Is Your Call Centre killing Great Customer Experiences? (Part 2 of 3)

Contact center metrics may be crippling you

Part Two. In Part One we reviewed how poor metrics drive bad behaviours. Lets dig deeper with a typical scenario…

And if you think this experience is unusual grab a coffee and google ‘poor customer experiences’.

Leadership Delusion

The leadership team can talk until they are blue in the face about customer centricity but if they insist on metrics designed for running factories everyone suffers. Here’s another typical conversation:

In all three instances the customer did not achieve a Successful Outcome.
In fact there is now more effort required by the customer, and also more cost and time to be incurred for the organisation if the customer does follow through. If the customer doesn’t bother that is more potential revenue lost.

So how does this organisation look to the browsing customer?
Pretty awful to say the least.

We know why this is so. Organisations like this are focused on measuring Outputs, rather than measures of Successful Customer Outcomes. If it is so obvious why is it so many persist in this Failure-Demand cycle?

Because they are measuring the wrong things.
And guess what? Yes, they will have automated those measurements and put them on fancy management dashboards so everyone can feel happy. Except the customer of course. But what does that matter?

In Part Three – a big reveal. A couple of techniques that will help shape Successful Customer Outcomes brought to you from companies like Amazon, Zara, Zappos and Emirates.

Now, please remember if you pay people to do dumb stuff they will get really smart at it.

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

Do you want to embrace advanced Customer Centric thinking and become Outside-In?

I have just done a 3 minute explainer video for Outside-In – see it here: https://bit.ly/OIDifference

Then follow these steps….

Step #1 – Get The Book:
Outside-In The Secret *FREE* | https://bit.ly/OI2021now

Step #2 – Get The Training:
Certified Outside-In Master® | https://bit.ly/COIM2021
Certified Process Professional Master®  | https://bit.ly/CPPM21
Accredited Customer Experience Master®  | https://bit.ly/ACXM2021

Step #3 – Get the Software:
The Experience Manager | https://bit.ly/TEM2021

Step #4 – Connect With The Community:
LinkedIn | https://bit.ly/Steve2021

Step #5 – Keep Pace with Change
Recent Interview | http://bit.ly/STInnovation

Step #6 – New Article – Customer Obsession 
LinkedIn (3 minute read) | https://lnkd.in/dHeCJhN

Qualifications in Customer Experience 2021 🥉

CX Qualification in 2021 – review here ✅

A summary with links…

Download the PDF version: https://www.dropbox.com/s/cjmzivamdln711y/GlobalCX_courses_2021.pdf?dl=0

Beginner classes… (scroll down for Advanced classes)

Name of CourseAccredited Customer Experience Specialist (ACXS)Accredited Customer Experience Professional (ACXP)
Course OutlineA new customer experience training and certification program designed specifically for customer experience professionals who need powerfully simple and immediately impactful tools, techniques, frameworks and mindsets that when applied will radically improve the experience that their company delivers to their customers, gaining a lasting advantage in their industry. Now available online, on demand, on your terms. Modular covers the themes of Customer Categorisation, Reframing from Inside-out (Industrial Age) to Outside-In (Customer Age), Includes Successful Customer Outcomes and developing the CX justification and frameworks for Success.
Duration3 Days2 Days
Presentation TypeVideo on DemandInroom or Live Online, Open or Inhouse
Accredited or NotYesYes
Date of Exam (All)No Exam – Practical Exercise based reviewed by Coach * 
Link to Access course detailshttps://bit.ly/ACXS2021https://bit.ly/ACXMaster
   
Year inaugrated20182015
Delivery (all programs)Direct with the BP Group and Global Partner network (124 countries with 40+ partners)

Advanced Classes (scroll to the top to see beginner classes)

Name of CourseAccredited Customer Experience Master (ACXM)Accredited Customer Experience Champion (ACXC)
Course OutlineBuilds on the ACXP to include modules  reviewing CX Innovation, CX ROI and Winning the Triple Crown, CX Lifecycle – The ABACUS Framework ,  The Customer Performance Landscape, CX Maturity, CX Dashboard – Connecting the Dots – from the front line to the board room, CX Attitude, Behaviour and Culture, Developing tomorrows enterprise – Teams & Structures and the CX Launch Pad – Where to Start and North Star Alignment with the CX Management Office (includes digitization)Builds on the ACXM and covers the themes of Enterprise CX Transformation through the lens of CX Strategy (what is Next Practice, what models are proven and successful, and how CX delivery is fundamentally different) Leadership looks at the practical approaches developed in winning organisations and distills Best Practices. Finally we cover CX Execution. How to scale from singular experiences and processes to a complete ecosystem
Duration4 days (includes ACXP)3 days
Presentation TypeInroom or Live Online, Open or InhouseInroom or Live Online, Open or Inhouse
Accredited or NotYesYes
Date of Exam (All)  
Link to Access course detailshttps://bit.ly/ACXMasterhttps://bit.ly/ACXC2021
   
Year inaugrated20152016

Download the PDF version: https://www.dropbox.com/s/cjmzivamdln711y/GlobalCX_courses_2021.pdf?dl=0

Recent Testimonials

Thank you for your great work and knowledge that you so openly share #thankyou #acxm🙏🏽 Kamani Naidoo, South Africa

Thank you Steve Towers for an awesome week of masterful learning.
Can’t wait to attend your next class! Victoria Weaver, United States

Wow!!! Thank you so much for all the foundation that you have laid for this great achievement at different levels of my career life. I will forever be grateful for your contributions in this regard! Stay Blessed!!!
Mashaba Mulaudzi, South Africa

Let me take this opportunity to thank Mr Steve. Your teachings are timeless and they stick perfectly and forever in our minds. We shall never forget you wherever we find ourselves on this planet. Thank you so much, Steve 🙏
Benignus Otmar, Tanzania

Thanks Steve for such an excellent program, the dedicated manner you use to share with us your wonderful knowledge and wisdom in CX, and time to response all our questions! God bless you, thanks a lot!
Yanese Angeles, Dominican Republic

Thanks again Steve. Not only have you been a fantastic mentor to me but you have taught me how to mentor others. Thanks for being so supportive and getting me through. Chandan Chhabra, Delhi, India

Another fantastic learning, personal and professional development experience with you! Lyall Shapiro, Australia

Do you want to embrace advanced Customer Centric thinking and become Outside-In?

I have just done a 3 minute explainer video for Outside-In – see it here: https://bit.ly/OIDifference

Then follow these steps….

Step #1 – Get The Book:
Outside-In The Secret *FREE* | https://bit.ly/OI2021now

Step #2 – Get The Training:
Certified Outside-In Master® | https://bit.ly/COIM2021
Certified Process Professional Master®  | https://bit.ly/CPPM21
Accredited Customer Experience Master®  | https://bit.ly/ACXM2021

Step #3 – Get the Software:
The Experience Manager | https://bit.ly/TEM2021

Step #4 – Connect With The Community:
LinkedIn | https://bit.ly/Steve2021

Step #5 – Keep Pace with Change
Recent Interview | http://bit.ly/STInnovation

Step #6 – New Article – Customer Obsession 
LinkedIn (3 minute read) | https://lnkd.in/dHeCJhN

The One Template To Rule Them All?!

Simple things can be very very effective and that is certainly the case with this ‘go-to’ template. Based on the Next Practice of some of the worlds leading companies completing this could change the way you think and do business forever.

It is my first interaction with Top Teams and Leaders and I use it as my first conversation with anyone who says they are tasked with helping transform their organisations (and themselves sometimes!)

You can get this template and watch the overview 1 minute video at:
https://experienceprofessional.com/northstar

Is it the One Template to Rule Them All? You tell me 😉

This neat 30 second video might just give you a clue as to its origins…

Finding Your North Star

Do you want to embrace advanced Customer Centric thinking and become Outside-In?

I have just done a 3 minute explainer video for Outside-In – see it here: https://bit.ly/OIDifference

Then follow these steps….

Step #1 – Get The Book:
Outside-In The Secret *FREE* | https://bit.ly/OI2021now

Step #2 – Get The Training:
Certified Outside-In Master® | https://bit.ly/COIM2021
Certified Process Professional Master®  | https://bit.ly/CPPM21
Accredited Customer Experience Master®  | https://bit.ly/ACXM2021

Step #3 – Get the Software:
The Experience Manager | https://bit.ly/TEM2021

Step #4 – Connect With The Community:
LinkedIn | https://bit.ly/Steve2021

Step #5 – Keep Pace with Change
Recent Interview | http://bit.ly/STInnovation

Step #6 – New Article – Customer Obsession 
LinkedIn (3 minute read) | https://lnkd.in/dHeCJhN

The Reason Why You Will Never 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 they missed the point. Progressive Outside-In companies (think Amazon, Zara, Zappos, Emirates) are not about retrospective subjective analysis of perceived performance.

Also it isn’t about overlaying processes with a new language when fundamentally the very systems and processes were never designed to deliver customer experiences. Those now creaking processes were designed with a factory mindset centred around production line thinking, throughput and waste. Hence the challenge for many 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

Call Centre Metrics are the Reason Customers Are so Unhappy (part 1)

Here are seven classic examples from a recent blog of someone selling Call Centre Services. No, I really am to polite to call them out. I thought I had travelled back in time 50 years, but I am appalled there are people still doing this?!

This hurts my Head

Why are these so Wrong?
Answers on a post card but Part Two Next week will provide more insight.

And then in Part Three we will explore the alternatives…

Call Centre Measures that cripple Your Customer Experiences
(the seven deadly sins)

Service Level – “The service level is the percentage of calls responded in a particular time limit. It assesses the skills of agents to deliver the service as per the Service Level Agreement (SLA) given to the clients.”…. It is a significant way to judge the performance of a call center.

Average Call Handle Time –  “This KPI measures time an agent needs on a call.”

Average Queue Time – “To assure that the wait time of callers rests in the fair scope and the patience of customers should not be tested”

Call Abandonment – “It is a usual experience in the call center that clients disconnect the calls before even connecting to an agent.”

First Call Resolution – “The client is frequently in a rush. Thus, he requires that the concern of the caller must be fixed in the first call”

Occupancy Rate – “It is completely about the ability to complete the work within minimum time.”

Agent Turnover Rate – “It measures the rate of agents who switch the job. It not only causes customer service conflicts and delays as well as it also creates many issues.”

A person once said this to me… “If you pay people for doing dumb stuff they will get really smart at it”

A Very Wise Women

In Part Two we will review why Call Centre thinking is so BAD and should be BANNED.


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4 days, 5 hours per day ONLINE & LIVE – August 10-13
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4 days, 5 hours per day ONLINE & LIVE – August 18-21
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TipTop Influencers

Yesterday someone asked me why was I publishing all the FREE material?

Well, in my line of work I am so often asked ‘who is the best person to watch on youtube about y?’ and of course each of us has our go-to person or people that we always mention. Terrific speakers and storytellers alike but I wanted to go one step further and collate some favourites. But then can it just be my opinion (as good as that could be?). No.

So I have scoured the web for the organisations who take time to run Awards programs and pass on that information for broader consumption. You could of course just go on Youtube and search for hours (and days) but these Tiptop Influencer lists make short work of that.

Enjoy.

Each day this week we will feature TipTop Influencers from different walks of life and business. I would be interested in knowing what and who your favourites are!

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

Congratulations to Ridwan Gattoo ACX Mentor

Congratulations to a newly qualified ACX Mentor Ridwan Gattoo in South Africa! Having qualified through the ACX Professional, ACX Masters and now the ACX Mentor Ridwan has passed all the tests to be a qualified ACX Mentor.

Congratulations Ridwan!

Find out more about the Certification and Accreditation programs at the https://www.bpgroup.org – Online and Inclass, Customer Experience, Process Management, Outside-In and customised to your needs.

Connect with Ridwan at:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/ridwan-gattoo-7ba8b883/

It is the end of the world as we know it… but I feel fine

The following from C. S. Lewis was written in 1948 after the dawn of the atomic age. Just substitute COVID-19 for the Atomic bomb and you will get the shivers.

In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.

— “On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948)

Chilling eh? And hopeful too!
It is the end of the world as we know it… REM would be a good bash on the last night perhaps?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OyBtMPqpNY

Learn the 8 questions that transform your Customer & Employee Experiences forever

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Keeping it Simple works best

What will they do for me?

Change your perspective to looking at your life and work to the Outside-In (the way guys like Jeff Bezos and Gary Vaynerchuk do). You will probably never think of the world in the same way again.

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Here are some of the testimonials that talk about the approaches:
You have impacted the lives of many of us in the Business Process Management community, in a big way in our career journey. Our success can be attributed to your insights on Outside-In Thinking and Customer Experience, among others.
Mashaba Mulaudzi, Manager Process Innovation, South Africa

What an amazing journey to Accredited ACX Coach,
this experience has completely transformed how we measure, collaborate, communicate and innovate with the customer in mind. Keen to guide the next willing souls on this journey.
Durrel Ramrathan, ACX Master Coach

A year after CPP training in London just wanted to shoot a note of my continued gratitude. Hope to remain involved in the CX events and work with you again..that training was beyond invaluable.
Juliana Coates – Member Services, University of Albany, New York

I’m writing to endorse BPGroups Certified Process Professional Masters program. It completely changed the way I think about a process.

Steve Towers and the BP Group taught us amazing secret techniques of process improvement. The program provided me with the ability to apply all the learnings immediately after the training. Very effective training with a wealth of knowledge to share. This is a must training for everyone who’s interested in making a process better!
Maria T Ferreira AVP – Client Experience Process Improvement at Citi

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