Customer Experience trumps standardization

A restaurant chain might not be the first place that comes to mind as a hub of innovative thinking–a consequence perhaps of the corporate motherships that standardize everything from the order-taker’s scripted lines to the clamshell boxes presented on abundant plastic trays.

Panera CEO Ron Shaich:

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CPP Masters – 2 days in one minute

One minute of the CPP Masters class from Denver…

Review next sessions to get in the picture at: 
Certified Process Professional Masters (CPP-Master) Program
(Warwick UK Sep 15-19, Edmonton Canada Sep 22-26, Las Vegas US Sep 29, Sydney Australia Oct 27-31, Brisbane Australia Nov 3-7, Dubai UAE Dec 7-11, Orlando US Jan 22-23, Denver US Jan 26-30, London UK Mar 2-6)

An internationally recognised program with proven track record delivered by been there and done it coaches more than 130 times, in 52 cities with delegates from 105 countries.
The program, now in its tenth year, utilizes the BP Groups approaches and framework to help you and your organization win the triple crown – simultaneously reduce costs, grow revenues and enhance service. Producing Immediate and sustainable business results across any industry and sector.

Become a qualified CPP-Master and demonstrate your professionalism.

Certified Process Professionals at PEX in Sydney

IQPC* and PEX maintained their excellent record for hosting the Sydney event. The final day was the Master class hosted by Steve Towers. Here is the motley crew at the end of the session – Congratulations one and all!

The classes in a few weeks time include:
Sydney –
Brisbane –

We hope to see you there.

* Hats-off to organisers Lisa Ao and Domenico Pinto.

Certification in Customer Experience Management, Process Management and Outside-In?

Hard to believe that it is already the second half of 2014. Where does time go these days?

There is no time to delay that next oomph and career boost with some specific hands-on training based on the approaches used in the worlds leading companies. As an individual the Certified Process Professional qualification is the gold standard with a proven pedigree of 28,000+ CPP’s since 2009.

Are you responsible for Process Management?
If you are responsible for your organizations processes, performance management and/or the Customer Experience you can go further and bring the program in-house and have it customized around the CEMMethod for your specific environment. You will be joining organizations like Citibank, WCB, Nature Conservancy, IQ Business, Old Mutual, Mediclinic, Bank of Valleta, AIA, Vodacom, Aramco, NBAD, Reliance, ABB and dozens more – and that’s in the last two years!

The next 3 and 5 day Open 2014 classes in the USA, South Africa, Australia, UAE, Singapore and the UK.

This week we are in South Africa for the CPP Masters program co-hosted with African partners IQ Business – follow progress via #certifiedprocessprofessional.

Here’s the team shot of the last session in Johannesburg a couple of months ago.

Customer Experience and Outside-In

In a recent article we covered McKinsey’s take on Outside-In. This time let’s look at a practical toolkit that can help you define any process, set of activities, or indeed enterprise in terms of the Customer Experience.

Our guidance ultimately links every task and activity in the organization with a Successful Customer Outcome. The Customer Experience is therefore the sum of all interactions; both those seen by the customer and those taking place backstage.

Customer Experiences should ultimately be designed and controlled for the mutual benefit of the customer and the organization.

Advanced BPM (Outside-In) Glossary

If you have the attention span of a goldfish (like me) which is about 3 seconds… what was I saying?

Sorry, let’s go again. Occasionally you discover gems and the info referenced here was produced by stalwart Australian Customer Experience genius, David Mottershead.
It is a glossary of terms in the modern version of BPM/CX i.e. since 2009.

Don’t thank me – connect with David over at

Oh and the goldfish thing… save this document for future reference, before you forget… now where was I?

Advanced BPM (Outside-In) Glossary

Action Plan – is a documented set of steps that can be taken, or activities that can be performed for to achieve organization improvement.

Break Point (BP) – any point within a process where work is handed off. Break points are a point of failure and can be people-to-people, people-to-system, system-to-people, system-to-system.

Business Rule (BR) – are points within a process where decisions are made, they control the behaviour of the process and are highly prone to obsolescence. Business rules are a point of failure, can be operational, strategic or regulatory and they can be system based or manual.

Customer Expectation Management (CEM) – an emergent management and business approach with the powerful idea of defining your business, not in terms of the goods and services you provide, but in terms of “customer expectations.”

CEMMethod(tm) – a set of 9 foundational techniques which help to deliver Triple Crown benefits i.e. simultaneously reducing costs, improving revenues and enhancing service.
  • Understand and Develop Successful Customer Outcomes (the basis for the alignment of the organisation to the customer),
  • Perform a simple “As Is” analysis to understand what the current customer process is (this “As Is” analysis provides a base from which we can apply the diagnostics)
  • Apply the Risk Assessment and Action Planning diagnostics, resulting in the development of an implementation plan for the improvement of the customer process.
Customer alignment – aligning strategy to customers, process to strategy and technology to process, in this sequence.

EVA – Economic value added.
In the field of corporate finance, Economic Value Added is a way to determine the value created, above the required return, for the shareholders of a company.
Flow-level – the combination of work, data and communication flows uncoupled from individual work process
Four dimensional process – Outside-In process that redesigns what work is done; who how it’s done; and enabling technology.

Future State PAM – (Process Activity Map) emerges following the completion of the Risk/Impact Assessment. The content is determined by context however as a minimum it should contain Tasks/Activities, owners, elapsed/cycle time, touch/task time and outputs. In the context of CEMMethod(tm) should also have an associated SCO Mind Map. (functionally) does it;
Hyper-Planning – a compressed, Outside-In approach to developing customer-centric strategies; differs from conventional planning because the customer perspective drives the process and internal goals are an outcome rather than a starting point

Individual Scorecard – a personalised aggregation of KPIs into higher level initiatives and objectives.
Individual work process – work performed by individuals without involving other functions
KPI – A key performance indicator is a measure of performance used to indicate a level of success.
Maturity modeling – assessments that predict an organization’s readiness to move towards customer-centrality and identifies potentially interfering deficiencies
Migration mapping – method of assessing consequences of Outside-In driven change that reveals both intended and potential unintended consequences

Process Modeling – the activity of representing processes so that they may be analyzed and improved in future.

Moment of Truth (MOT) – any interaction with a customer is a moment of truth and every moment of truth causes work within an organisation. They can be people-to-people, people-to-system, system-to-people, system-to-system and people-to-product.

OI Strategy Map

Outside-In (O-I, OI) – a means of viewing an organisation from a customer’s perspective, i.e. from the outside looking in. Outside-In organisations are aligned to provide solutions for customers. Those organisations with an inside-out orientation, on the other hand, just focus on products, sales, and the organization.

Outside-In Action Plan – is a set of steps that can be taken, or activities that can be performed for organisational improvement and alignment of the organisation to the SCO.

Outside-In Process – An outside in process is one which has been created to successfully deliver a customer outcome and has been designed from the customer’s perspective. This process is likely to reduce the number of moments of truth (MOT) or interactions with the organisation and is “doing the right things”, in terms of delivering the process as part of an overall customer success strategy.

An inside-out process may be thought of as one which also provides the goods or services to the customer, but the process to provide these are viewed from the organisation’s perspective. It may be “doing things right” but not necessarily “doing the right things”. It may seek to improve the customer’s experience, but not necessarily aligned with delivering a successful customer outcome, or what the customer really wants.

POF Dependencies – MOTs, BPs and BRs are all points of failure, where thing can go wrong in the process. MOTs cause work within an organisation as they are work and also trigger dependent work to be commence including other MOTs, BPs and BRs.

Points of Failure Factor (PoFF) – Demonstrates how close a process (or processes) is to an optimum Successful Customer Outcome (SCO). Expressed by the formula [(MOT-1) x MOT-1)] + BP

Points of Failure profile – The graph that emerges when you plot POFF

Process Activity Map (PAM) – The visual representation of the process, usually consisting of as a minimum Tasks/Activities, owners, elapsed/cycle time, touch/task time and outputs. In the context of CEMMethod(tm) should also have an associated SCO Mind Map.

Process Diagnostics – Moments of Truth (MOT), Break Points (BP), Business Rules (BR), Business Habits (BH)

Process Elasticity – The greater the POF(f) the less flexible the process, and the more prone it is to breakage. The more elastic a process the more customer oriented.

Process Performance Landscape (PPL) – all tasks, activities, outputs, outcomes, customer outcomes and successful customer outcomes performed within an organisation.
Relationship mapping – visually representing connections from among internal functions, customers, suppliers and outsources

Risk and Impact Assessment – a determination of the impact of the process diagnostics to the customer and to the organisation.

SCO Mind Map – The mind mapping techique is used to help understand and develop the  successful customer outcome (SCO) and the SCO Mind Map incorporates elements such as who is the customer, what is their expectations and what do they really need.

Simulation – the imitation of a process in order to gain insight into the what actually occurs.

Successful Customer Outcome (SCO) – a resulting outcome, and the “process” experienced by the customer behind that outcome, that the customer would define as making their lives simpler, easier and more successful.

Triple Crown – simultaneously reducing costs, increasing revenue and enhancing service.

Validated Process Diagnostics  – the process diagnostics (MOTs, BPs, BRs, BHs) that remain after performing the process analysis and designing the improved process activity map.

Visual Work flow – the first, formal Outside-In process approach (launched in 1996). VW focuses on customer-aligning strategy, process and technology

Turning your customers into long term assets

The Customer is King. What? Seriously?

Terms like customer experience management are banded about by consultants and popular business journals.

However customer experience is often associated with the soft and fluffy pop management sentiment that the customer is king, and typically lacks a clear objective contribution to business success.

Hence it is dismissed by serious business executives who focus their attention on production line based approaches that seem more tangible offering improved efficiencies and lower costs.

Prepare to reframe that thinking. Customer Experience Management (CEM), as practiced by several of the worlds leading companies, is science based and enables organizations to consistently win the triple crown – simultaneously lowering costs, improving service and growing revenues. What can be more tangible in terms of achieving business success?

So let’s get scientific about the customer experience. Being a customer-centric business today means more than treating customers like kings. It requires discipline, method and intent. It means engaging customers like people, connecting with them in unique and authentic ways, building and maintaining a relationship with them over the long-haul.

10 ways to know whether the customer comes first

Stop making dumb things happen faster for less money!
A lot of companies pay lip service to customer-centricity, write contributors Steve Towers and James Dodkins, but not many “walk the talk”. Here are 10 differences between inside-out and outside-in companies.
There is a lot of talk today, more than ever, about customer centricity,
client focus, customer experience strategy and Outside-In. Many organizations have adopted aspects of these disciplines and where many have achieved monumental success others have fallen by the wayside. Why is this? The problem is perception.

Is your company just paying lip service to customers?

Countless organizations have said all the right things to make the workforce believe that they are becoming a customer-focused organization and then doing the complete opposite.
The effect of this is rising costs, shrinking revenues and ever lowering customer satisfaction.
The problem with this is that there is now a collective of organizations that have a “customer centricity doesn’t work” mentality. It’s like putting a rain hat in your pocket, going out into a storm, getting wet hair, then swearing the hat is useless. Just having the Outside-In customer centricity ideals is not enough; you have to use them in the right way.
So, how do you know if you work in an Outside-In organization or an Inside-Out organization wearing an Outside-In mask?
Table 1: Inside-Out or Outside-In?
Inside Out – attending to tasks and activities
Outside In – aligning to Successful Customer Outcomes (SCO’s)
Doing things right
Doing the Right things AND doing things right
Pyramidal management knows best
Context and customer defined
Business as a factory (left to right)
Customer Oriented Architectures
Benchmarking competitors
Determine customer needs and trends
Customer feedback retrospective
Customer needs designed and delivered
Process Improvement and optimization
Customer Experience innovation
Improving efficiencies
Developing value for the customer
Model and method oriented
Customer journey and experience focus
Top down business architectures
Customer centric frameworks (context sensitive)
Remuneration for tasks completed
Rewards based on delivery of SCO’s

Let’s review the not so subtle differences

#1: Pyramidal management

Does your CEO really know the most about your organization? Can your CEO really relate to customers? Let’s face it, your CEO probably hasn’t spoken to a customer in years (if ever) so, why are they best qualified to determine how your organization is run? Maybe they aren’t…
#2: Business managed as a factory (left to right)

What percent of the work within your organization is manufacturing? What if you don’t manufacture anything? Then why does everything within your organization look like a factory?
We can’t meet the future with an industrial age mindset… join the rest of us in the 21st century.
#3: Benchmarking competitors
If you benchmark against other competitors you will, at best, only ever be as good as them, no better, most of the time worse and you will always be one step behind the trend.

Are you still managing a business that you think looks like this?
Rather than focusing on what your competitors are doing, focus on what the real need of the customer is and deliver that, innovate the customer experience, there is no easier way to become a market leader…let your competitors benchmark you. 
#4: Retrospective customer feedback
Asking customers “how did we do” is stupid, asking customers “how did we do” 3 weeks after it happened is even more stupid, allowing customer to self-select for a survey to tell you how you did 3 weeks after is happened is even more stupid than that.
If you want to get totally non-representative, inaccurate, and relatively useless data on how some customers may have felt you performed at some point then the traditional methods are fine (NPS, CSi, etc).
To measure a customer experience properly and objectively you need to first know what makes a great customer experience and measure if you are doing those things, we need to get scientific about the customer experience (CXRating).
If you are still in the land of subjective, self-selecting, retrospective feedback, chances are you have no idea just how well, or poorly, you are performing…even if you think you do.
#5: Focus only on process improvement and optimization
Taking what you are already doing and making it happen in a shorter time frame, more efficiently or for less operating cost is not good enough any more. If you are doing dumb things all you are doing is making dumb things happen faster for less money.
You should focus on innovating the customer experience. Any work within your organization is caused by a customer interaction somewhere down the line. If you engineer and innovate at the causal level, you will make the customer experience better and eliminate swathes of pointless dumb work that you are wasting time on every single day…simple really isn’t it?
#6: Trying to use DMAIC/SIPOC/DFSS/Lean to optimize the customer experience
If you are using process improvement methodologies that were created to optimize manufacturing processes to optimize the customer experience then you will find yourself in a mess.
Use a 21st century methodology like the CEMMethod that was designed for this day and age to really turbo charge your customer experience efforts. Have you ever heard the phrase “trying to fit a square peg into a round hole”? Methodologies like Lean and Six Sigma were great at what they were created to do, but they were not created to improve customer experience… and therefore won’t.
#7: Improving efficiencies for internal customers only
Trying to make things more efficient for yourselves inside your organization – more often than not – will actually make things worse for the customer. Don’t just perpetuate the Inside-Out mindset. You need to make sure that everything you are doing is actually creating value for customers. Don’t focus on internal customers, focus on real customers… they pay your wages.
#8: Model and method oriented
Don’t get shackled by the oppression of the models and methods that ‘the man’ has said you should use. You shouldn’t focus on trying to implement a model or method you should be focused on how to make the customer experience better… whatever it takes.
#9: Top down business architectures
Do you work in an environment when the person above you tells you what to do and you tell the people below you what to do? If your whole working life is focused on trying to make your boss happy what aren’t you focusing on?
That’s right, the customer.
As soon as we enter a habitat like this we make a habit out of ignoring what’s right for the customer over what is perceived to be right for the organization. I’m not saying you’ll be able to change this overnight, I’m just saying it’s wrong and will eventually lead to your organizations downfall… don’t get left behind.
#10: Remuneration for tasks completed
If you pay people for doing stupid things, they get very good at doing them. Traditionally, you will get paid for completing tasks and activities, filling in forms, processing invoices, taking calls etc.
If everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) was paid for delivering customer success just imagine how different your working environment would be. Empowering workers to be able to do whatever it takes to deliver customer success is the polar opposite of workers having to complete X number of forms in a day… this is maybe the biggest game changer of them all.
Steve Towers & James Dodkins