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.

SEVEN STEPS TO ENSURE YOUR PROCESSES AND CX ARE TIP-TOP FOR 2020

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.

The pioneer of all things Outside-In?

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.

The CX Rockstar tells us why many get the definition of CX wrong.

James Dodkins aka CX Rockstar has many similar takes over at rockstar.cx

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.


Other Outside-In resources to Explore

https://londonstevetowersmasterclass.eventbrite.com

Steve Towers
www.stevetowers.com

LinkedIn (24K followers)
https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetowers/

BP Group
www.bpgroup.org

James Dodkins
www.jamesdodkins.com

The Ten Commandments of Customer Experience (updated)

It is good to have a guide in life. Many of us share political creeds, religious beliefs and codes of honor 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 thirteen years later we have the accumulated wisdom of the giants of Customer Experience Management, proof that focus on Successful Customer Outcomes, Outside-In and working backwards are fundamental to becoming a winning organization.

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 Customer Experience Management.

1. Customers are first, front and center 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 the subjective ‘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.

Connecting the dots across every interaction, inside and out, to ensure everything is aligned

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. 

See also 6 step ‘Duck Theory’ videos: http://bit.ly/DuckTheoryJames

5. Create your brand and be the brand you create.

Customers develop trust when you say what’ll you do, and then do what you say. Conversely, do not project yourself as something you are not.

6. Be consistent and truthful across all your channels.

Customers will interact in ways and times that suit them, so ensure you keep a coherent message across all experiences.

7. Act on People liking people.

Do not hide behind automation, whether that is voice systems, web interactions or even text messaging. The most intimate relationships are formed with people, not computers.

Keep in front of the song.

8. Creating memorable experiences requires anticipation and coordination.

Fix problems before they happen, and when problems do arise (they will) pull out the stops to put things right.

9. Design every customer experience for the category of customer.

You should never ever treat all customers in the same way. Personalization and direct communication are proven winners in an era of standardization.

10. Employees are your first customers.

Happy Employees Create Happy Customers who come back for more, thus pleasing shareholders

If they ain’t happy your paying customers won’t be either. Treat your people well and let them know they are the most critical part of the brand and the complete customer experience.

​”Let’s not beat around the bush… Customer experience is the new battleground. 
At The Experience Manager,  BP Group, and Rockstar.cx 
we know the art of this new war. 
We have the tools, the technology and the strategies to remorselessly create victories for our clients as we build a more customer-centric world, one experience and one enterprise at a time”.

Steve Towers


Join us for Complete Experience Management with coaching, training, consultancy and Certification at www.bpgroup.org 

Upcoming Open classes:
Johannesburg: https://joburgacxsep2019.eventbrite.com
Denver: https://denveracxcppm2019.eventbrite.com
Dubai: https://dubaiacxm_2019.eventbrite.com
Los Angeles: https://acxm_losangeles_2019.eventbrite.com
Washington DC: https://championsindc.eventbrite.com

CX Ecosystem:

https://www.theexperiencemanager.com

Fantastic keynotes:
https://www.rockstar.cx


Innovate or Die…

If you are looking for Innovative leadership then this will inspire you onwards and upwards. Shared by one of South Africa’s most progressive business leaders, Roland Naidoo:

Having just left the football field with my 5 year old son I was finally motivated to write this blog. Why? Trying to teach him to kick the football in the correct way, it dawned on me in that moment I was doing to him what every organised structure is designed to do.

As I caught myself I paused, looked at him and said, “My boy, you figure it out, play, have fun, and find new ways to kick a football.”

  • Be the doctrine of the how and the why.
  • Be the standard of the where and the when.
  • Be the one and only way.
  • Have the right answers!

New Realisation

The dawning of that realisation underpins why innovation is so important to me. Innovation should by definition not be defined Ior it will simply succumb to every other conformity we know. It should live in every one of us.

This is the need to ask ourselves ‘why?’. Why am I doing this in this way? Is there a better way? Is there a different way? Is there even a need for this at all?

A spirit of innovation is not technology or wonderfully bombastic ideas, but the courage to question our education, rules, bonafide truths and all so-called absolutes in between. Know that your bravery will be rewarded with knowledge; am I. Know you were courageous enough to acknowledge you were wrong and move forward.

In the future when you find yourself saying or even thinking thoughts like this is how it’s always been; this is the way we do things; there is no other way; this is impossible; these are the rules; some things can’t be questioned, stop, take a breath, and find a new way to kick a football.

Roland

Footnote (from Steve)

So go find that ball and a new way to score for your team!

You can reach Roland at: Roland.Naidoo@multichoice.co.za

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:
www.cemmethod.com

Outside-In The Secret of 21st century companies (free access): http://bit.ly/StevesOIBook

The Accredited Customer Experience Program 2018-19: https://www.bpgroup.org/acxp1819.html

The Certified Process Professional Program: https://www.bpgroup.org/certifiedprocessprofessional.html

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

How much do you need to know to know you know you know enough?

Knowing what you don’t know is a great starting point

>> We start out not knowing what we don’t know

>> We then get a bit better and we know what we don’t know

>> It gets better, we then know what we know

>> And ultimately, we then don’t know what we know

Think about when you were learning to drive…

As kids traveling with Mum and Dad, they drive the car and we get there (eventually)

We then get to teenage and start to drive that same car – OMG – the gas pedal, the watching, friggin hell the other road users, the SPEED, the signals!

And then we settle into it, it starts to become second nature, until

We do the Route 66 road trip, enjoy the bars, the people, however we don’t remember much but arrived safe and well because there was no blood on the hood!

So what? The CEMMethod feels the same!!

And yes it is a helluva ride, but you will get there. It’s proven.

Join us soon in Denver, Washington DC, London, Dubai, Johannesburg or Melbourne.

Seriously, you gotta know this stuff to know you don’t (spooky eh?)

The 3 Significant Reasons Why You Need The CEMMethod

CEMMethod guides the CX Management Strategy

Do you know the CEMMethod?

Born in 2001. Launched in 2006. Now in version 11.

Holiday Reading – Customer Experience & Process Transformation

Just updated the Articles page which connects to my LinkedIn profile.

It has been a busy 2018 so far – you can access all the new articles (15 in 6 months) covering all the latest themes in and around Customer Experience Process Transformation.

Click on the image to access the individual pieces, however, to whet your appetite three of the most popular articles:

The Customer Experience Management Office – The What and the Why

Three fundamental Building Blocks for CX

The Employee Experience

Everyone Loves Great CX

Additionally, the new book is in draft, “Everyone Loves CX”, and will be published early next year. If you want to join the list and get access to the preview, samples and associated materials register here.

With a dozen new case studies and terrific insights from global leaders, I examine some of the next practices and how you can deploy them with immediate effect in your own world.

 

Rockstar CX

If videos are your thing then do hook up with James Dodkins and the Rockstar CX initiative.

He interviews live on Facebook the leading CX Professionals from across the globe at:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/JDODKINS/videos/

OK, I am off to the beach now. Get that G&T ready, please!

How popular is Customer Experience #CX thinking and practice?

An important question if you are tasked with making Customer Experience  #CX work for your organization.

Let’s contrast and compare current trends!

Twitter – Trends emerge when you monitor hashtags, and the shorthand for Customer Experience #cx is a good starting point. When you contrast #CX with other popular management approaches such as #lean #lss and #bpm is interesting:

hashtags data by hashtagify.me

That puts #CX in the ascendency.

What about #CX with other associated interests?

hashtags data by hashtagify.me

 

Top of the Tweeters for Customer Experience is Colin Shaw @ColinShaw_CX with over 43,400 #CX tweets.
If you follow him you will never be short of material related to Customer Experience as he vacuums the web for interesting articles, in addition to his own contributions.

Jump to the latest on Twitter with https://twitter.com/hashtag/cx

What about LinkedIn?

A recent introduction of hashtags to this platform provides a good insight…
Searching LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator platform with #CX reveals 83.4K members using Customer Experience as part of their profiles (that is 10 times greater than those using #lean).

The demographics
of the 83.4K show a predominance of folks in the US.

  1. United States (25,513)
  2. United Kingdom (5,733)
  3. Australia (5,200)
  4. India (4,622)
  5. Brazil (3,527)
  6. Sydney, Australia (2,639)

If you slice the data into companies expressing their interest in #CX we can see Oracle way ahead.

  1. Oracle (3,783)
  2. Amazon (534)
  3. IBM (437)
  4. Microsoft (433)

Does this reflect a reframing of their products to emphasize Customer Experience as a top table strategic interest?

And What about Google?

Searching #CX reveals 317,000,000 results in 0.8 seconds. That is one helluva a lot of reading. Drilling down with Google Trends, and using the same comparisons with Lean, LSS, BPM and CX produces an interesting contrast with Twitters results. Here we do see a decline in interest with Lean however the interest is still significantly ahead of CX.

We will revist this analysis periodically. Now go away and start researching all those interesting sources!