Of course, you are asking for customer feedback. Yes?
Opps, sorry, that is one of the dumbest things you can do. Don’t take my word for it – watch this amusing video with James Dodkins keynoting at the recent Lean Six Sigma conference in Iceland. ‘The Customer Feedback Conspiracy”
An internationally recognized program with proven track record delivered by been there and done it coaches more than 270 times, in 119 cities with delegates from 132 countries. The program, now in its sixteenth 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.
Do you ever have that sneaky feeling that we can get so much more out of our business processes? Are you Struggling to get support from the organization for your change? Are you curious about what are the best proven techniques (that go way beyond Lean and Six Sigma)?
If so you are in the right place!
This FOUR day 5 Hours per day program shows you how using the REAL LIFE work you are doing! Come get upskilled and take back IMMEDIATE improvements that realise tangible benefits from the get-go.
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
Thank you, the experience was enlightening, empowering, educating, encouraging and engaging.
Natasha Doren, South Africa
Thank you, Steve, I have never enjoyed anything more than the CX course, The weight of knowledge I gained and the enlightenment that I got is indescribable.
Reem Elsadig, Sudan
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
You started me out on this journey my friend. Thanks for letting me live out my passion!
Molly Redenbaugh, Iowa, United States
Thank you! It’s been an amazing journey and you have been a great mentor.It was an honor taking your class, I am now a confident CPP Master🙏🏾
Masele Masudi Msita, Tanzania
Thank you Steve for high-quality wonderful Master. I thought the course was brilliant.Thank you for everything.
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Who started #customerexperience ? Well, there has always been a customer experience, however, it is only in the last 20 years that companies have realized the need to get scientific about shaping and innovating #CX. Who was the pioneer that did that first? And in doing so shifted the emphasis from Industrial Age thinking to Outside-In practice. Let’s jump into the time machine and rediscover Steve Jobs back in 1997.
Moving from Product to Customer-Centric
Back then it wasn’t understood that designing Customer Experiences and delivering Successful Customer Outcomes went way beyond being product-centric. Steve Jobs anticipated this shift towards customer-centricity, and evolved Apples approach to rapidly shift to Outside-In strategy and operations.
Many of the concepts we accept, such as defining the customer experience from the customers perspective, and not the organizations, were developed in the cauldrons of Apple mountain. In fact, one of the key techniques within the CEMMethod™ was initially referred to as the ‘Apple Innovation Approach’.
Why so many still get it wrong
Here’s a great mini video explaining the difference in viewpoint Inside-Out v. Outside-In.
We saw that at work in Outside-In design of products like the original iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Now taken for granted the last century was a mish mesh of competing chunks of technology (think the early MP3 players) that often required an MSc to understand the menu system and driver updates.
It isn’t what they want, it is what they NEED
Nowadays the major consumer product companies understand the requirement to articulates the needs of customers, and only then design products that meet those needs. That is Outside-In in action.
You would be right in saying he was the pioneer of Outside-In.
If you would like to dig deeper I talked about the difference in approaches of Industrial Age v. Customer Age/Outside-In in this article.
This item has caused quite a stir over at LinkedIn, you can join that discussion here.
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:
During my encounters with global business leaders, I am frequently asked the question of what is the difference between Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and Outside-In thinking and practice?
Often the question is prompted as a consequence of the huge investment many large corporations have made into up-skilling their people and processes to LSS. Many times those same executives are querying the return on those investments and hence now looking at more progressive alternative approaches to evolve their business performance.
For those familiar with Outside-In thinking and practice the difference is fundamental however if you haven’t been exposed to such training or working in one of the worlds leading Outside-In companies it would be good to have a short comparison of the key thematic differences.
In the interests of full disclosure, I was an Industrial Engineer qualified as a Lean Master and Six Sigma Master black belt and I see and witness the significant differences every day. Does the implication of the difference mean we should abandon LSS? No, far from it. In fact, integrating the Outside-In perspectives into existing programs is a proven tried and tested way of advancing LSS to the centre stage of winning performance.
Case in point is a North American plastics extrusion company. They had previously been a powerhouse of Six Sigma, grown into and become a Lean ‘Toyota way’ dynamo only to run into the problem of diminishing returns.
Investing just as much in getting better the decreasing returns and eroding margins made it an issue at the top table. In true pragmatic Texan style (their CEO is from Dallas) they embraced Outside-In big time. Over 6-9 months people were upskilled for the Customer Age and then let loose to transform the organization. Not only did they save their bacon they are now a world-leading company. And what do they call their program? OIL – Outside-In Lean. Nice eh?
So be pragmatic. Look for the bridges from here to there and you can have the best of both worlds.
Table 1: Comparison of some differences between Lean Six Sigma and the CEMMethod™.
Lean Six Sigma
Customer Experience Management/Outside-In
Customer Digital Age
Improve current work
Align to achieve SCO’s
Process will exist at the end of a review
Processes may be removed
Focused on improving outputs
Focused on delivering Outcomes
Triple Crown achievement (Cost/Service/Revenue)
Accepts the functional hierarchy
Proposes the appropriate structure to deliver SCO’s
Google tells us that lean thinking and practice has had its heyday. However, the overlay of ‘digital everything’ makes processes more important than ever, so what are the leading Lean Six Sigma articles of the last 12 months?
5th: Why Lean Six Sigma is a necessity in every industry
Intelligence Quality Intelligence Quality is a Management and Business consulting firm that specializes in Lean and Six Sigma strategies.
“There is a false notion about Lean Six SIgma wherein it is a waste of money to incorporate the concept in the company, however, one fails to realize that like any other department, Lean Six Sigma is a necessary method that every industry must follow in order to rectify their financial curve.”
4th: 5 Process Improvement Strategy Trends of Future-Ready Firms | AccountingWEB
Dustin Hostetler is a Lean Six Sigma consultant and shareholder of Boomer Consulting Inc. As a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt with extensive experience working inside a large regional CPA firm, he has taken proven Lean techniques from the manufacturing floor and tailored them to bring groundbreaking value to public accounting firms
“The firms that have been comfortable with status quo, quite frankly, are going to be rudely awakened as the intersection of technology and process continues to change the game around them. I can’t help but think of companies like Blockbuster and Kodak that were at one time comfortable with the status quo.”
As a provider of LSS services and resources Scmula helps people ‘get’ techniques and approaches, tried, tested and proven.
“Lean Six Sigma is one of the most advanced and effective methodologies available for business process improvement and optimization. It is especially adept in battling a wide range of problems and inefficiencies. To help better understand and deal with waste, this approach classifies them into the 8 Forms of Deadly Waste. This classification is important because it makes waste much easier to uncover and then eradicate. It also helps you identify environmental improvement opportunities.”
“Do you ever walk into a store and know at a glance where to find what you need? Do you notice that seemingly long lines can often move really quickly? Do you find yourself wondering why things don’t go horribly wrong more often? Lean Six Sigma is at work!”
It is good to have a guide in life. Many of us share political creeds, religious beliefs and codes of honour to guide our decision making. Wouldn’t it be crazy good to have the same for the doctrine of Customer Experience? When I co-authored the best selling book “CEM Success without Exception” back in 2006 Customer Experience Management was in its infancy.
Now twelve years later we have the accumulated wisdom of the giants of CEM, proof that focus on Successful Customer Outcomes, Outside-In and working backwards are fundamental to winning organizations.
It is with these thoughts in mind and the worthy experience of many that I set pen to paper to craft these tenets as guidelines for all of us seeking to maximise our deployment of Complete Experience Management.
1. Customers are first, center and last for everything.
Understanding that all the work an organization undertakes ultimately stems from a customer interaction is key. Work to engineer every experience to the optimum.
2. Listen to the questions customers ask you.
Resist voice of customer surveys (they are biased and unrepresentative) and focus on understanding and articulating needs – the Needs of the Customer.
3. Stop selling and let people buy.
Customers are now prosumers and most know what they want and how to get it. You will not win them if you force sell; in fact, you will make enemies of them.
4. Map the Complete Experience.
This is both the stuff the customer sees (the customer journey and the brand promise) and the work that takes place across the rest of the organization to support all interactions. Combine those the Employee Experience and the Customer Experience you are nearing the Complete Experience; these are not separate things but should be viewed through the same lens.
The CEMMethod.com can help you in seeing the Complete Experience.
An internationally recognized program with proven track record delivered by been there and done it coaches more than 270 times, in 67 cities with delegates from 116 countries.
The program, now in its twelfth 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.
Customer Experience Management (CEM) has become an established strategic objective for progressive organizations. How can we integrate this Outside-In thinking and practice into our own businesses? It is customer centricity… but not as we know it.
Do you want to get in the picture? Join us soon at a session in a city near you…
Join us to learn the Secrets of Apples, Googles, Zara, Zappos and Amazons success
Certified Process Professional Masters Champions (CPP-Master) Program
An internationally recognized program with proven track record delivered by been there and done it coaches more than 150 times, in 57 cities with delegates from 108 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.
What do the top teams want to see? What do they crave?
Answers on a postcard please…
Seriously though it is results. if what you are doing in the organisation does not contribute to improving the bottom line consistently you are dead in the water. All those fancy projects, training events, greenbelts qualified etc. mean nought if there is no apparent delivery to the bottom line.
Are you projects contributing to the bottom line or are you simply content to come in on time, to budget and achieve the deliverables? Are you content to deliver even more training to the workforce without establishing the true value of the work you do?
And when we say the bottom line contribution we should mean winning the triple crown – lowering costs, improving service and growing revenues. Winning the triple crown in other words.