We can learn a lot from Jeff Bezos. 60 seconds may be enough when you understand how he creates success.
I am still perplexed that so many folks seek to justify the failure of once-great companies like Nokia, Motorola, Blockbuster and Circuit City as being complex.
It wasn’t complicated and still isn’t to understand the reasons why they crashed and burned. It is in fact pretty simple. If you lose the connection between yourselves and customer success you will fail fast. All the best leadership, innovation and culture crumbles if you are not delivering #successfulcustomeroutcomes. However, don’t take my word for it – let’s hear it from the maestro himself
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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:
Top Team are listening and decide they need to get with this customer centricity/Outside-In/working backwards thinking.
Senior Management makes noises that the customer is THE thing the business must focus on.
The Executive engage the marketing and sales guys to get with it and start pushing the message.
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’.
Fundamentally functional heads carry on working with the out of date reward system that promotes sub-optimal industrial age thinking and practice.
The Executive see the usual inertia, results not coming through, apathy and indifference and decide their business isn’t really an Amazon.
Top Team then reverts to just getting better at what we are doing, then when someone in ‘our industry’ proves it we will follow.
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.
The businesses failure is noted by customers who move to those who do understand and deliver Customer Experience success.
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:
Understand how big the gap is between what you are doing and what Successful Customer Outcomes you need to be delivering.
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.
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.
“We are trying so hard but achieving so little” this phrase echoes around many organisations who are trying desperately to form and execute a customer centric vision and culture. Why is it proving so hard?
Guest blog: James Dodkins
The first thing we need to understand is that in the 21st century our customers are very different animals. Both you and I as customers have transformed beyond recognition, our changing attitudes and habits make us very difficult to keep up with. Some people have described this phenomenon as the ‘Enlightened Customer’ and it takes an enlightened organisation to deliver outstanding service to this new breed.
The spread of the internet has been the catalyst for this change in customers, we are all connected to each other, we are connected all of the time without exception, we are connected through many different devices and mediums, we are living in an always-on world.
Because customers have been exposed to more of the world… Read the full story (and get access to a FREE hands-on Customer Experience session)….
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