This works way better than any tips or techniques…

Hi – Steve here 🙂

I’m a real sucker for great new tips, techniques, tools, shortcuts, “hacks” and other quick ways of getting better results from our processes and customer experiences.

But the truth is that the big wins don’t come from tips or tricks.

They come from getting the fundamentals right. Again and again.

Fundamentals like really understanding your customers (internal and external) so your products and services are what they need (not just what you think they want).

Fundamentals like having understanding the successful customer outcomes before you ever meet or work with them, so your processes and experiences build credibility and trust quickly.

Fundamentals like follow-up and nurturing your relationships so they are top of the priorities when your customers need to change things.

Fundamentals like being able to  “meet” face to face, on the phone, or via a webinar or web page (and by “meet”, I mean help a customer get the best from their experiences and processes, understand their problems, the potential solutions, and decide how to change things to meet ever-changing needs).

Master the fundamentals and the little tips and tricks will improve your results even further.

Get the fundamentals wrong and all the tips, tricks or clever techniques in the world won’t hurt.

– Steve

PS If you’d like to get my very best training, insights and personal support to help you align your processes and experiences for all your customers (internal and external), why not join me for my new ONLINE training program? Click here for more details.


INTRODUCING… the much requested (and anticipated) now available ONLINE Outside-In training.

To compliment our globally successful classroom program (now 118 countries with 100,000+ certified professionals) I am running SIX online live sessions over SIX weeks.

If you are already qualified it is 80% NEW STUFF. If you are not then COME ON DOWN. Early Bird registration now Open.

Download the one-pager here
Early Bird registration now Open.

6 Ways to Transform Process and the Customer Experience (at the Same Time)

Steve Towers Keynotes

Where do I start?

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).

ApproachProcess EngineeringCustomer First
FocusProcess is the starting pointStarts with Customer Needs
ScopeReengineering the ProcessesAligning everything to Customer Needs
IntentionBuild out from Process to Department to Division to EnterpriseArticulate Successful Customer Outcomes and Remove the complexity of things that do not contribute to it
BenefitsLocal wins building to business-wide transformationImmediate delivery against Triple Crown benefits
Executive Buy-inSlow burn, however when they see the benefits and ‘get it’ the support is significantStarts at the strategic level so influences everything the organization does
RecommendationIf 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:

CEMMethod™ – review its potency and pedigree:

Outside-In The Secret of 21st century companies (free access):

The Accredited Customer Experience Program 2018-19:

The Certified Process Professional Program:

I look forward to guiding you to transformation when you are ready!

Podcast with Roland Naidoo | Live stream – | Business Awards…

Live broadcast with James Dodkins

This was an interview across the continents
(I am currently in Colorado, James is in England)

Do get along to the link – James will be hosting CX Rockstars from all over the globe 🙂

Business Leader in South Africa provides his views on Customer Centricity

Roland Naidoo, Senior Executive, Multichoice
Roland Naidoo, Senior Executive, Multichoice


Roland Naidoo (ACX Master) is a highly respected senior executive in the global entertainments business. As part of a podcast hosted by Futurology…

You can reach Roland here to progress the discussion:

Award won by yours truly!

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 :

See the snapshot here:

Next time we will be reviewing highlights of the upcoming 2018 conferences…

What do you mean when you say ‘Outside-In’?

Outside-In is a regular theme during most of my keynotes, not least this last week here in Florida. A question asked from the floor related to the 30-second elevator test “can you explain to the CEO what this stuff is, why it is different, and how it reframes the work we do?”. I guess I was about to fudge and say this needs more than 30 seconds, and then remembered my two-slide explanation!
So, for those guys looking for a simple explanation, these two slides will do the job. I have put a bit of narrative in there also.

120+ in Florida at the keynote, 16 January 2018

Steve Towers Florida keynote
Florida keynote to top team of major global industrial corporation

The old, industrial-age traditional way of doing business.
We make products (and services). We look for the market to sell them in. We segment customers by circumstance and pitch our products to those segments. We add variations to the products to better fit certain niche segments. We build back-end systems and digital capabilities in this increasingly complex world. We are rigid, functionally oriented and abhor change.

Old Industrial Age thinking model


The new Outside-In customer-centric way.
We identify the customers we would like to do business with. We understand their needs (even when they may not know them themselves) and specific Successful Customer Outcomes (SCO’s).
We categorise customers by need. We then create the capability to deliver to these categories the SCO’s (both products, people and digital). Progressively we manage new and existing customer expectations to deliver success without exception. We are agile, innovative and attuned to 21st century needs.
21st century Outside-In business model

Let me know if this works for you.

Ciao, Steve

For the curious, the original slides came from a deck presented as a keynote in Sydney, Australia 3 years ago.
You can access that here:

10 Steps to Achieve “Outside-In” Capability

SynopsisIn the previous articles we have reviewed the global business transformation underway and how Advanced BPM is helping notable organizations assert their leadership. In this final article we’ll look at the ingredients of success and ten best practice ‘how tos’ to deliver the transformation.

This final part of the six part series we review how world leading trend setter companies are achieving dramatic success with an ‘Outside in’ approach.

For every dumb inside-out example there’s now a rival, usually leading the pack who like Southwest Airlines are so outside-in focused that they are more than profitable. They crush the competition with an ability to reduce costs and improve service simultaneously. So what are the lessons we can learn from the leaders?
The ‘How To’ Top Ten List to Achieve Outside-In Capability
1. Define your Customer
A couple of kick starters here include asking the organization ‘what business are we in’ and ‘who is the person/group/company that provides us with revenue’. Too often organizations create a mass of so called internal customers and the resulting customer-supplier internal relationships do not contribute to achieving a Successful Customer Outcome for the real customer.
OutsideIn The Secret
2. Articulate your Successful Customer Outcome (SCO)Easyjet, Europe’s 2nd largest airline defined a relatively simple SCO – “Bums on Seats”. Everything they do across people, process, systems and strategy is aligned with achieving that. Hallmark Cards based in the US out of Kansas City define their SCO as “Expression’. A good SCO will catapult performance as people better understand how their contribution adds to the achievement of the SCO.
3. Establish your alignment to achieving the SCOFour areas to start from include people reward systems, systems capability, process maturity and strategic endeavour. If you have a scorecard or Strategy map ask yourself how many performance measures (a) contribute to the SCO, and (b) are forward looking to progressively help us get better at delivering results. We can’t go forward by just looking in the rear view mirror.
4. Identify customer touchpoints – Moments of Truth (MOT)Customers are the Cause of Work. Every interaction we have with them results in work for our organization and creates Points of Failure. Apple have done a miraculous job in creating the i-phone and integrating the MOTs into one slick interface. Rather than many key presses for a simple operation like getting the contact list those various actions have been combined into one finger swiping Moment of Truth and in doing so made the customers life simpler, easier and more successful. Once you have identified the MOTs the edict is ‘remove or improve’.
5. Reveal internal hand-offs – Breakpoints (BP)Moments of Truth spawn Breakpoints. Every customer interaction requires us to go away and do stuff internally. The resulting activity with hand-offs between departments, people, systems and functions are Breakpoints. These Points of Failure result in unnecessary non value added work which from recent BP Group Research may be as much as 70-90% of what actually goes on in a company. Once identified Breakpoints should be removed.
6. Capture the Business Rules (BR)Business Rules determine our behaviour. They tell us what to do and when. Frequently BR’s were created to prevent things going wrong and get forgotten as we change and develop our businesses. Identify them, make them explicit and challenge them.
7. Perform an Impact and Risk Assessment against Customer NeedsAre you delivering what the customer says they want, or actually what they really need? Henry Ford said “If I had asked them what they wanted they would have said faster horses”. Are you creating the equivalent of faster horses and then wondering why sales are struggling? Do your processes rely on input from self-selecting customers analysed by the marketing teams? Get the customer in there. Seek the answers and then match the real need.
8. Develop an Outside-In Action PlanMany of the inside-out plans are really obvious as the actions are more about dealing with symptoms and affects rather than the true causes of work. Truly Outside-In Action Plans are about reinforcing the achievement of SCO’s through process change and subsequently defining and managing new customer expectations. How many of us knew we needed an Apple ipod before they were invented? What about that extra fancy drink from Starbucks that you are addicted to? What about the personal loan that hits your bank account the same day?
9. Execute the Plan as you go (simple and no nonsense)Many plans stay exactly that – just plans. The Outside-In reality demonstrates that many actions revolve around stopping the dumb stuff which shouldn’t need escalated sign-offs and committees to push them through. One recent survey suggested that more than 80% of the effort around plans in inside-out organizations consisted of talking about, getting buy-in and then achieving sign-off. If you are doing dumb stuff then stop it. Now.
10. Begin the Journey to the Outside-In world now.Waiting for executive sign-off or consensus will never get you off the launch pad. There’s that old Irish joke of when you are lost in Eire and you stop to ask a guy directions and he ponders, stares off into space for a couple of minutes and then offers the sage wisdom “I wouldn’t start from here”. Most of us don’t have a choice – just get started.
Examine everything you do from the CEM perspective and begin where ever you are currently to implement this ‘call to arms’. Your progress as individuals, teams or improvement initiatives will get noticed soon because you will be achieving triple crown success – taking out costs, improving service, and ultimately driving more revenue to the bottom line.
“…keep things simple. People get lost when a systematic approach becomes over complex and they lose sight of the actual goal.” Richard Branson, 2007
In doing so you will be creating a sustainable, agile and responsive enterprise where everyone explicitly contributes to individual, team and corporate success.
All the Very Best in your journey!

If you are interested in delving deeper get the book ‘Outside-In The Secret’

Certified Process Professional Masters (CPP-Master) Program
Orlando USA March 16-20, Denver USA March 23-27, Dubai UAE Apr 12-16
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