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 if 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 were investing very heavily in the voice of the customer 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 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 as we approach 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.
In just 60 minutes we will evaluate the 4 elements of a Customer Experience Management Ecosystem and how they can provide your organization with a company-wide ecosystem of CX management that focuses all of your team’s efforts and resources on delivering amazing customer experiences.
We are doing a CX POWER Hour this coming Wednesday 1 PM EDT/ 10 AM PDT Expert hosts include James Dodkins aka CX Rockstar, Doug Bell, Mitch Belsley (The Experience Manager) and Steve Towers BP Group.
In just 60 minutes we will evaluate the 4 elements of a Customer Experience Management Ecosystem. We will review how the 4 elements can provide your organization with a company-wide ecosystem of CX management. This then focuses all of your team’s efforts and resources on delivering amazing customer experiences.
What we will cover
1. Operationalizing Experience Designs
(How do you create and socialize simple experience designs that everyone in the organization will be able to understand?)
2. Measuring successful customer outcomes instead of business outputs
(Are you still relying on subjective NPS and VOC data to drive your CX analytics program?)
3. Focus every employee in the company every single day on CX innovation and improvement
(Are you harnessing the power of feedback and ideation from your employees?)
4. Evolve and improve your experiences in days not months.
(How long is it taking you to go from idea to implementation?)
When you align your business around an understanding of your customer, you can increase your ability to grow revenue, significantly reduce cost, radically boost customer loyalty and engagement, tighten controls – and increase your competitive strength.
The Panel of Global Experts
Meet and discuss with our world-renowned team of Customer Experience Management innovators including… Doug Bell, James Dodkins, Mitch Belsley and Steve Towers will share proven strategies, tactics and tips to help position your customer ‘front and center’ – while addressing your real-world challenges of limited resources and competing priorities.
P.S. I suggest you follow The Experience Manager on LinkedIn and stay up-to-date on how to radically improve your customer and employee experiences. We focus the ‘next practices’ of the world’s leading CX companies that will help your organization do a better job designing, developing and delivering great customer and employee experiences.
First discussed back in 2009 the idea that all work an organization undertakes is, at a fundamental level, caused by Moments of Truth. In principle, everything a company does can and should be linked to a Moment of Truth.
c. The Moment of Truth for any organization is…
At a practical level organizations need to chunk down their approach to fixing and innovating Moments of Truth. CEO of Denver based ‘The Experience Manager’
Doug Bell, CEO The Experience Manager
Doug Bell says “A Moment of Truth is an interaction that contributes to the production of a successful customer outcome. It either does or it doesn’t. To ensure outside in, you need to look through the Successful Customer Outcome lens.”
Managing Moments of Truth
Enlightened ‘Outside-In’ organizations actively embrace Moment of Truth Management as an essential strategic and operational necessity to deliver engineered Customer Experiences. How so?
a. Designing for Moments of Truth – The Design-Implementation Gap
Early efforts were geared around designing optimal Moments of Truth, however, simply mapping customer journeys has never been enough. It is one thing agreeing on what a future state customer journey should be, it is entirely another implementing it. This Design-Implementation gap is precisely what kills the majority of Customer Experience initiatives.
b. Implementing optimized Moments of Truth
Successful deployment of innovated Moments of Truth is key to delivering optimal Customer Experiences. The most practical immediate results are focused on rapid roll out across a key experience and using the success of that to validate rolling out smoothly across the organization. Establishing ownership, accountability, metrics, controls and improvement paths are part of this discipline.
c. Operationalizing Moments of Truth
Once Moments of Truth have been designed, innovated and implemented into recrafted customer experiences they need to be actively managed ‘in the moment’ and shared. Every Moment of Truth should feed to a corporate dashboard, with real-time data showing the performance of that MOT and its associated experiences. If things go wrong the owner should be able to ‘course correct’ and real-time monitor the customer experience delivery.
Imagine a world without customer satisfaction surveys, no need for Net Promoter Scores, no focus groups, and no mystery shopping because you will know how 100% of interactions are performing 100% of the time.
Control and Action combined
The C suite and leaders will now have a clear line of sight into every corner of the organization and across the enterprise landscape REAL TIME. One version of the data truth (and not all those departmental/divisional versions of reality).
The need for retrospective action evaporates. Immediate and laser-focused control can be maintained delivering simultaneously enhanced service, lower costs, higher revenues, improved compliance and uber motivated employees.
In my next piece I will demonstrate how this can be done immediately. If you can’t wait for that ping me and let’s talk the how, now
I was keynoting a conference in Europe recently, and senior executives in the room were getting the rationale behind moving Outside-In. However, there seemed to be two perplexed groups in the place.
One was what a refer to as the ‘traditional process guys’, and the other ‘the customer is first people’, and interestingly they both asked the same question “Where do we start?”
My honest and most direct answer is “You do not have a choice. You have got to start where you are and go from there!” OK, I get what you’re thinking, how could they take that away and begin to transform their organizations?
So, I walked them through TWO distinctly different ways to navigate to Outside-In working and practice, depending on your mindset, enterprise history and maturity. For the two categories of customer in the room, the NEEDS are the same, just the way they navigate to achieving them is different.
What are the Results?
From a results perspective, both approaches focus on winning the triple crown, that is Improving Service, Growing Revenues and Reducing Complexity (and hence lowering costs).
Process is the starting point
Starts with Customer Needs
Reengineering the Processes
Aligning everything to Customer Needs
Build out from Process to Department to Division to Enterprise
Articulate Successful Customer Outcomes and Remove the complexity of things that do not contribute to it
Local wins building to business-wide transformation
Immediate delivery against Triple Crown benefits
Slow burn, however when they see the benefits and ‘get it’ the support is significant
Starts at the strategic level so influences everything the organization does
If your remit is just ‘improving processes’ this approach will get you their steadily, however, the challenges facing traditional business are seismic so is there time? So, make immediate gains but push hard for more quickly.
By demonstrating the value of ‘customer first’ in terms of the triple crown the enterprise can align quickly and effectively. Importantly avoid the ‘soft and fluffy’ sentiments expressed by many in the customer experience world.
How can I Implement?
Back in 2006 the BPG launched the CEMMethod™ and built out an approach, using the 50+ techniques based on global next practice from companies like Virgin, Zara, BMW, Zappos, Apple and Emirates. Since then more than 3,000 companies in 116 countries have become accredited and certified to transform their processes and organizations.
Now in version 11, the choice you make in deployment is based on your ambition and remit within the enterprise. If you are a leader needing to embrace the digital customer ‘Customer First’ leaps out as the main option. Alternatively, if you are in a traditional process-based business (lean, six sigma, BPM etc.) the more conservative ‘process engineering’ approach may be preferred.
You can access the following resources that will help you make an informed choice:
So how do you get your hands on five hundred bucks?
Simple, put your qualification after your name!
Here is the list:
ACXM® – Accredited Customer Experience Master®
ACXP® – Accredited Customer Experience Professional®
ACXC® – Accredited Customer Experience Champion®
CPPM® – Certified Process Professional Master®
CPP® – Certified Process Professional®
CPPC® – Certified Process Professional Champion®
So change your LinkedIn title, drop me a note on LinkedIn to say you have done it and we will put you in the monthly draw… oh and good luck!!
Next month we are featuring some of the recent Rockstar CX interviews from James Dodkins
See you very soon!
Steve Towers, CEO, ACXC and CPP Champion
Joseph Michelli is an American psychologist, speaker, and author. He began writing business books in 2004 with Best-selling books including The Starbucks Experience, The New Gold Standard, Prescription for Excellence, and Driven to Delight.
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 :
Google tells us that Customer Experience is a significant and trending topic, the graph below ably demonstrates that point. (See google trends)
However, given all the noise what are THE most popular articles on the theme?
Here we present the seven most popular of the last couple of years.
Read and share
7th: Putting customer experience at the heart of next-generation operating models
This one for is McK’s second in the top seven this time…
“Digital is reshaping customer experience in almost every sector. Digital first attackers are entering markets with radically new offers, disrupting the ways that companies and customers interact and setting a high bar for simplicity, personalization, and interactivity.”
Teaching MBA courses in international business, global competitive strategies, international market research, and capstone courses in strategic planning and market research gives Louis the opportunity to research mega trends. Add to his portfolio writing for Forbes establishes his credentials in the space of customer transformation. In this article, he reflects on the coming ‘Internet of Things’ everywhere, and the impact on business and customers.
“87% of retailers will deploy mobile point-of-sale (MPOS) devices by 2021, enabling them to scan and accept credit or debit payments anywhere in the store…”
5th: The expanding role of design in creating an end-to-end customer experience
The second of McK’s into the top seven this time. Lines between products, services, and user environments are blurring. The ability to craft an integrated customer experience will open enormous opportunities to build new businesses.
“As digitization drives more and faster disruptions—and as customers increasingly desire the immediacy, personalization, and convenience of dealing with digital-marketing leaders—the business landscape is undergoing an upheaval.”
4th: The Employee Experience Is the Future Of Work
Working at Future Workplace, (an HR Advisory and Research firm) Jeanne casts her glow over the changes to the employee role within business today. She is also the co-author of The Future Workplace Experience: 10 Rules For Mastering Disruption in Recruiting and Engaging Employees:
“Today, almost every company is undergoing a digital transformation. Cloud and mobile computing, artificial intelligence, and increasing automation have created the potential to transform nearly every aspect of a business.”
3rd: United Airlines Changes Its Policy On Displacing Customers
Correspondent, San Francisco, National Desk NPR. With an eclectic style ranging across diverse topics such as medical marijuana, gay marriage, drive-by shootings, the U.S. Ninth Circuit, the California State Supreme Court and any other legal, political, or social development he understands CX first hand. Here we see a well-accounted discussion of, yes again, United Airline’s trials and tribulations.
“United Airlines crew members will no longer be able to bump a passenger who is already seated in one of the airline’s planes…”
2nd: How to Gamify your Customer Experience and Win…
Proudly proclaiming himself as a disrupter and innovator Mike’s perspective on Customer Experience is refreshing and unique in a world of sameness. He writes with an entertaining AND well thought out logic.
“I honestly can’t think of a more difficult industry to get into than candles. You have thousands of manufacturers who are all selling the same thing… A piece of wax with a string in the middle and the only way to differentiate yourself is by changing your label, along with the size, color, and smell of that wax.”
1st: Delivering exceptional customer experiences – an art and science
Luke works on the Retail partner side of Microsoft and benefits from first-hand experience of the changes in and around Customer Experience.
“Interacting effectively with customers has traditionally been a form of art, especially in face-to-face settings. But now that customers are increasingly shopping on social media, mobile apps, and websites, a bit of science can help win their loyalty. How can retailers combine customer service expertize with advanced technology to create exceptional customer experiences?”