It’s difficult to imagine implementing significant change within a large multi-national B2B organisation while dealing with the complexities of COVID and supply chain issues. However, this case study achieves the triple crown of business benefits by increasing revenue, decreasing costs, and significantly increasing value by reducing “time to respond.”
This organisation achieved outstanding results by taking an outside-in approach to customer outcomes and driving results through goal-driven collaboration. As a result, they were able to expand on a large scale during the COVID period.
I wasn’t always an expert in Customer Experience and Outside-In
In fact, when I became an Industrial Engineer I didn’t have the first clue about how to deliver Successful Customer Outcomes.
I’m going to share a personal story with you about one of my early failures…
It’s a little embarrassing to share, but I think it will inspire you.
It was a quest of five years looking for a standardized Home Loan process and system for a world-leading bank. My team and I visited 30+ countries, reviewed more than 40 IT suppliers, and talked with other top banks and mutual lenders. We sat down with the best business professors, authors and researchers and attended dozens of events on our quest…
And just as in Monty Python and the Holy Grail we returned home empty-handed. You can imagine the investment of time, energy, and budget to realize there isn’t such a thing as an Ideal Home Loan process and system (despite what the big consultancies and IT vendors had told us).
Our senior executive team in the bank was incredulous. In fact, deep down I doubted my own capabilities, I was exhausted and had failed with one of the biggest projects in the bank’s history. Or so I thought…
That is when the truth hit me square between the eyes. We were thinking of our business in the wrong way. My enlightenment was complete when Steve Jobs, in the same year 1997, said the now immortal words “You have got to start with the Customer Experience and work backwards to the Technology, not the other way around”
I had finally got it – we had to think Outside-In, put the customer at the center of everything, and realize using out-of-date business thinking has no place in the 21st century.
Everything changed for me in May 1997. Since then I have worked with the world’s leading companies learning and adopting Outside-In as a way of being. Trust me, if I can do this so can you.
In fact, you even have it better than me. You can bypass all the trouble I went through by simply learning from my mistakes.
First question… QUESTION: Why do so many organizations struggle to become truly customer centric?
ANSWER: They are using an out of date mindset. The thinking is borrowed from the industrial age when optimising production and throughput was the thing. That way of thinking is about production management, efficiency, effectiveness and elimination of waste. Does that feel familiar? Next question…
QUESTION: What is (probably) the biggest hurdle to overcome on the way to becoming Outside-In?
ANSWER: It is getting passed this industrial age mindset and all the things that come with it… our reward structures… our approach to employee engagement… the processes and systems… Alright, one more…
QUESTION: If listening to the customer is so important what is ‘best practice’?
ANSWER: Often times many companies are trying to drive forward by only looking in the rear view mirror. That is listening to subjective perceptual feedback, rather than at every interaction 100% of the time.
The GOOD news is… In the ACX Masters program, we show you step-by-step how to handle these challenges so you don’t have to Fall into the Bear Pit. You can get the full scoop and preview here: https://bit.ly/GCCACXP
Cheers for now! Steve
PS. We have got to get more scientific about the customer experience! I have just done a 3-minute explainer video for Outside-In – see it here: https://bit.ly/OIDifference
Step #1 – Get The Book: Outside-In The Secret *FREE* https://bit.ly/OI2021now
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos employed rules and principles to make the company successful that are revealed in a new book, “Flywheels: How Cities Are Creating Their Own Futures.”
The book was written by Tom Alberg, an early-stage investor and ex-Amazon board member of 23 years, and he explained Bezos'”Day1″attitude.
The book also talks about how Bezos overcame the company’s early difficulties in attracting investors.
Alberg described the rules that Bezos followed at work based on his experience watching the tech magnate make judgments.
In his book, Alberg noted, “The most important thing is customer obsession.” He went on to say that too many organizations, in his opinion, focus on their competition rather than Their customers. According to Bezos, who testified before a congressional committee, “Customers Are consistently, delightfully unsatisfied.
We are continually inventing on behalf of our clients out of a desire to delight them” Alberg writes. According to him, Bezos made moves that harmed Amazon’s short-term business line but benefited customers and ultimately helped Amazon become a trillion-dollar company.
Continuous Invention & Innovation
“Continuous invention and innovation” is the second principle. According to Alberg, client happiness and inventiveness are inextricably linked. “When making decisions, customer happiness and innovation are powerful touchstones,” he added.
When you ask yourself, “What is the best decision for the customer?” it becomes much easier to make decisions. “Is there a way to invent our way to a solution?”and”Is there a way to invent our way to a solution?” Alberg writes.
According to Alberg, the third principle championed by Bezos is operational excellence. “Two-pizza teams,” “one-click shopping,” “single-threaded leaders,” and “working backward/becoming Outside-In” are some instances.
One of Bezos’ more inventive techniques is the”two-pizza rule,”which aims to avoid wasting a full day on unproductive meetings.
So, how does it work? The more people you have at a meeting, the less productive it will be. The notion is that instead of expressing their viewpoints and ideas, most people will end up agreeing with each other (groupthink).
What is the solution? Never have a meeting where two pizzas aren’t enough to feed everyone. According to Alberg, the fourth principle underpinning Bezos’ decision making process at Amazon is to think long-term.
Think long term
This can be everything from starting a new business to investing in new technology. Bezos’ early use of AI is one example.
“Jeff told the board that he intended to apply AI in every element of the business when firms were just beginning to understand the possibilities of machine learning and AI,” he wrote. The next step for Bezos was to employ AI experts and instruct the existing engineers on how to use AI.
According to Alberg, Amazon produced and made AI capabilities available to clients on Amazon Web Services, originally run by Andy Jazzy, now the new global CEO since the Jeff Bezos exit. Making AI available to employ in their businesses actually to compete against Amazon.
Alberg noted that his fifth principle, and probably the most important, is his “staying optimistic for the future and how we are only in Day 1.” Bezos’ “Day 1” mindset is founded on the broader premise that, “while the internet and Amazon may appear mature to many, we are still at the beginning, according to Bezos.
Alberg commented, “It is his greatest expression of optimism about what the future will hold.”
These concepts are “not hidden,” according to Alberg. “However, you must adhere to them at all times, something most businesses are unwilling or unable to do.”
This time we feature a nice short video from the CX Rockstar James Dodkins.
A quick google search on ‘Silo working’ reveals 37.1 Million finds and this is not a new topic. Hammer and Champy were not the first to raise the issue in 1993, but they were early advocates of sweeping away that silo thinking in ‘Reengineering the Corporation’ with their cry of ‘Don’t Automate, Obliterate!’
The Silo Mentality as defined by the Business Dictionary is a mindset present when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce efficiency in the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.
Do you want to embrace advanced Customer Centric thinking and become Outside-In?