10 ways to know for certain whether the customer comes first – and what to do about it

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.

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
1
Pyramidal management knows best
Context and customer defined
2
Business as a factory (left to right)
Customer Oriented Architectures
3
Benchmarking competitors
Determine customer needs and trends
4
Customer feedback retrospective
Customer needs designed and delivered
5
Process Improvement and optimization
Customer Experience innovation
6
DMAIC/SIPOC/DFSS/Lean
CEMMethod/4D’s
7
Improving efficiencies
Developing value for the customer
8
Model and method oriented
Customer journey and experience focus
9
Top down business architectures
Customer centric frameworks (context sensitive)
10
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 feedbackAsking 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 optimizationTaking 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 experienceIf 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 onlyTrying 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 orientedDon’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 architecturesDo 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 completedIf 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

4 Incredible uses of Virtual Reality in the workplace

Very touching and inspiring Virtual Reality of a birth (congrats guys) however think also of the business applications here.. wow

What about Workshops, Walkthroughs, In the shoes of, Be the process… 

the sky is literally not the limit anymore. Imagine walking your executive team, together, in an immersive VR experience through the process?

“Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity.”–Albert Einstein

Show them what the real mess looks like (not the sterile blame-laned diagram) and through their astonishment create the necessary change.

Join us to learn the Secrets of Apples, Googles, Zara, Zappos and Amazons success

Certified Process Professional Masters (CPP-Master) Program

An internationally recognized 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 http://www.bpgroup.org/book-class.html

30 plus Awesome Process Excellence sessions in Less than 72 Hours

PEX USA was brilliant.  #pexweek #cppusa #custexp
The leading thinkers and practitioners rallied in Florida. Here is a compilation of the two day workshop featuring the Certified Process Professional qualification. James Dodkins coached the session with Steve Towers.

The European PEX Event: http://www.pexweekeurope.com/
The Australian PEX Event: http://www.pexweek.com.au/

Join us for the very latest in Process Excellence, Customer Experience, Enterprise Architecture, technology and so much more…

For more on the Certified Process Professional…


Certified Process Professional Masters (CPP-Master) Program
An internationally recognized 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 http://www.bpgroup.org/book-class.html

It is change Jim, but not as we know it.

The accelerating rate of change brought about by digitization and customer promiscuity has changed the change agenda forever. What can individuals and corporations do to win the day and stay in front of their game?

Interviewed at the annual PEX summit in the USA I share some possibilities and options for today, next week and the next decade.


Certified Process Professional Masters (CPP-Master) Program
Orlando USA March 16-20, Denver USA March 23-27, Dubai UAE Apr 12-16http://www.bpgroup.org/book-class.html
An internationally recognized 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 http://www.bpgroup.org/book-class.html

Lean Six Sigma – let’s bridge the Gap

In my encounters I am frequently asked the question of what is the difference between Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and Customer Experience Management method (CEMMethod™). 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 everyday. 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 and let loose to transform the organisation. 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(tm).

Element
Lean Six Sigma
Customer Experience Management/Outside-In
Mind-set
Industrial Age
Customer Digital Age
Focus
Improve current work
Align to achieve SCO’s
Intent
Process will exist at the end of a review
Processes may be removed
Results
Focused on improving outputs
Focused on delivering Outcomes
Cost reduction
Triple Crown achievement (Cost/Service/Revenue)
Structure
Accepts the functional hierarchy
Proposes the appropriate structure to deliver SCO’s
Techniques
Effect based activity (value/non value added – waste identification – SPC etc.)
Causal based activity (what creates the work in the org. then let’s fix the causes)
Intelligent Processes
No mechanism exists to ensure processes are intelligent
Specifically designed to implement and mature intelligent processes
Customer
End to End working e.g. SIPOC
Centric working – the customer is at the heart of everything that happens
Are at the end and beginning of processes
Are enlightened, Promiscuous, Rebellious, Prosumer, Multi-channel, high expectations
Enterprise objectives
Operational and tactical. Aims to fix process.
Strategic and Operational. Aims to implement a sustainable architecture.
Scope
Process based improvements
Enterprise wide transformation
Other resources to explore:
Outside In The Secret: www.outsideinthesecret.com
CEMMethod™: www.cemmethod.com
Certified Process Professional: www.certifiedprocessprofessional.com


Certified Process Professional Masters (CPP-Master) Program
Orlando USA March 16-20, Denver USA March 23-27, Dubai UAE Apr 12-16http://www.bpgroup.org/book-class.html
An internationally recognized 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 http://www.bpgroup.org/book-class.html

Customer Journey Mapping – ensuring success

Forrester Research’s[1] recent report suggested that despite good intent many Customer Journey Mapping initiatives fail. Why is this so despite the often significant investment required, the many consultants offering help, and the good intent of the people involved? The key reason in our findings is that fundamentally Customer Journey Mapping does not sufficiently represent the Complete Customer Experience and instead skates the surface and emphasizes just customer touch points and the customer lifecycle.
So how do you represent the Complete Customer Experience?
The BP Groups research with 800+ clients worldwide in the last two years provides us with an easy to apply 1-2-3 guide to maximise the chances of success.
  1. Ensure your mapping exercise encompasses 
    (a) the customer experience – the moments of truth, and 
    (b) the internal interactions which contribute to the moments of truth, the handovers and business rules within our organizations.[2] 
    The reality here is that all work an organization does is ultimately spawned from those moments of truth. Hence you need to map the complete customer experience.
  2. Understand the Successful Customer Outcome[3]
    Mapping is a worthy task however it needs to have context. Do you fully comprehend the real customer needs that shape the customer experience? There are organizations that spend years customer journey mapping with context. Why are we doing this and what is the ultimate Successful Customer Outcome? 
    It should come as no great surprise that top teams lose faith with efforts that lack clear definition and purposeful delivery.
  3. Focus on mapping the Causes of Work[4]
    It stands to reason that identifying the causes of work and then seeking to eliminate them will significantly reduce costs and improve service simultaneously. All too often process improvement work focuses on the tasks and activities that are an ‘effect’ created by a ’cause’. Masking the pain never works, it will get worse and spreads. You need to identify the Cause of the pain and eliminate it. 
    This then becomes a ‘seek and destroy’ mission and as a consequence Customer Journey Map’s should be broad and deep. It is about the Causes of Work that create the activity across functional silo’s. By identifying the very Causes of Work and in subsequently fixing them much of the internal complexity becomes unnecessary. Do not get deflected by specialists who may be fixed in a shape of work created decades ago.
The Complete Customer Experience represents a unified view that enables Customer Journey Map’s to deliver success from the get go.
Customer journey mapping is just the beginning of customer centric transformation. To deliver ultimate success you need to include the complete customer experience – not just the bits directly experienced by the customer but as importantly how the internal systems and processes are wired. Reframing the organisation to achieve success requires a multi disciplinary effort involving the front line, the back office, the top team and the technologists. For a more detailed review of emerging shape of organisations James Dodkins latest book ‘Foundations for Customer Centricity’ is short and stimulating read. You can download a complimentary copy at this link:http://bit.ly/foundationsEbook
In summary Customer Journey Mapping should be inclusive – let’s make it so.
[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8KSN_McWIg


Certified Process Professional Masters (CPP-Master) Program
Orlando USA March 16-20, Denver USA March 23-27, Dubai UAE Apr 12-16http://www.bpgroup.org/book-class.html
An internationally recognized 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 http://www.bpgroup.org/book-class.html

You cannot manage the future by micro managing the past

How much do you need to know to know you know you know enough?
There is an industry out there which encourages detailed analysis of the past to understand the future. It didn’t work then, it doesn’t work now. 

Stories of generals fighting the last war are legion. So don’t become a victim of Analysis Paralysis.


Certified Process Professional Masters (CPP-Master) Program
(Dubai UAE Dec 7-11, Orlando US Jan 22-23, Denver US Jan 26-30, London UK Mar 2-6)
www.bpgroup.org/certification-by-city.html

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.www.bpgroup.org/certification-by-city.html

Customer Experience Management – the truth

Customer Experience Management – what is it and why it transcends journey mapping, process management, lean and six sigma.
Quick update for those wanting the FREE download of CEMMethod – http://www.successfulcustomeroutcomes.net/2014/11/customer-experience-management-method.html

Getting it together

Your car is German. Your vodka is Russian. Your pizza is Italian. Your kebab is Turkish and your democracy is Greek. Your coffee is Brazilian and your movies are American. Your tea is Tamil and your shirts are from India. Your oil is Saudi and your electronics are Chinese. Your news is British and your love is French. Your numbers are Arabic and your letters Latin. Your music is ethnic and your home is family. And yet you complain that your neighbor is an immigrant?

We are all in this together. So let’s smile, join hands and get on with it.