This time we feature a nice short video from the CX Rockstar James Dodkins.
A quick google search on ‘Silo working’ reveals 37.1 Million finds and this is not a new topic. Hammer and Champy were not the first to raise the issue in 1993, but they were early advocates of sweeping away that silo thinking in ‘Reengineering the Corporation’ with their cry of ‘Don’t Automate, Obliterate!’
The Silo Mentality as defined by the Business Dictionary is a mindset present when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce efficiency in the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.
Do you want to embrace advanced Customer Centric thinking and become Outside-In?
Strategic positioning of customer experience is now widely recognized as a key to business success.
If you’re customer-first and do it in a smart way, then it can help the company.
Unfortunately, the majority of many well-intended CX initiatives become a victim of organization inertia and bureaucracy and sink to the level of metrics on dashboards buried in functional departments.
At best these failing efforts deliver small incremental performance improvements rather than providing the customer and business insights necessary to strategic success.
We have identified five major errors and causes of failure
1. Top teams have unreasonable expectations of CX success
2. Customers needs are not clearly defined from the Outside-In
3. CX Initiatives are not implemented with transformation in mind.
4. CX Initiatives focus on the wrong measures, rather than successful customer outcomes.
5. CX Initiatives go way down deep into functional complexity
👉Error #1: Top teams anticipate CX Success without understanding the enterprise was never designed to do this stuff.
Talking about customer experience and implementing the changes necessary to delivering CX success are two quite distinct things. Many organizations brief their senior people with the importance of the business transformations underway, why a focus on the customer is essential to survive and thrive, and why it is necessary that the dots are connected from every activity to the customer experience. Fair enough. However, Top teams then anticipate internal leadership towards customer centricity but at the same time do not enable the underlying functions to realign to achieve successful customer outcomes.
The organization structure, rewards systems and technology were never designed to deliver great customer experiences
The realization that the organization structure, rewards systems and technology were never designed to deliver great customer experiences, they were in fact originally designed with an industrial age mindset to achieve industrial age goals. To achieve strategic CX success, it is necessary to understand the limitations imposed by inside-out thinking (getting better at doing stuff faster) and help the organization migrate to Outside-In thinking and practices (alignment to delivering Successful Customer Outcomes)
👉Error #2: Customers needs are not clearly articulated and underpinned by smart Outside-In metrics
The challenge here is two-fold. Do we understand who our customers are, and what success looks like from their perspective?
It is frequently observed that 80% of profit comes from 20% of customers however organizations are especially fickle when it comes to understanding where they should focus limited resource to get the maximum sustained return from the appropriate customers.
Good discipline here is about identifying the categories of customer and prioritizing them in terms of needs and success. That can mean migrating away from undesirable customers. Intrinsic in this failure is arbitrarily segmenting customers by circumstance (where they are based, the length of relationship, immediate spend available etc.) rather than categorizing customers based on their needs.
Needs assessment is NOT about asking customers what they want.
Needs assessment is NOT about asking customers what they want. If you asked your kids what they want for dinner, don’t be too surprised if they say burgers, ice cream, chocolate and gummy bears, on one plate. That question is just plain stupid. So why go asking customers what they want?
Smart CX companies figure out their customer needs even when the customer doesn’t know them. Case in point would be the launch of the iPhone more than a decade ago.
Apple’s genius was in understanding the new customer and getting ahead of the game to design products and services that met, at the point of launch, something customers could never have articulated.
This is not, however, an excuse to stop listening to customers, that is more essential than ever before. Just stop asking them dumb questions which may cause you to do the wrong things (rather like Nokia did).
👉Error #3: For CX initiatives delivering success will require change and transformation
This is a very common problem and is rooted in the idea that CX initiatives are just another thing to integrate into the existing ways of working. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A fundamental of successful CX initiatives is identifying and implementing the ongoing change required across the enterprise to align everything to Successful Customer Outcomes.
align everything to Successful Customer Outcomes.
Once the customer needs are articulated work backward to recraft the appropriate structures that will guide the enterprise progressively towards success. That will, of course, require potentially significant changes to the shape and technology of how work gets done. It will reach into every nook and cranny of the business. Ultimately the organization may look quite different from the industrial age model and will become shaped to achieve the ongoing change brought about by the digital revolution.
👉Error #4: CX Initiatives focus on the wrong measures, rather than successful customer outcomes.
The Successful Customer Outcome is like the beacon on the hill; everyone should be aligned and progressively moving in that direction. If your metrics are not contributing to that alignment, you may be getting better at doing the wrong things (in the context of delivering an optimized CX).
There is a remarkable lack of science in this sphere of CX Initiatives.
Here’s a good question to ask anyone in the business “is everything you are doing aligned to delivering a successful customer outcome?” and if the answer comes back with anything other than “yes, 100%” you may be doing dumb stuff really well. The why of that is easy to understand – you get what you measure, and frequently companies excessively measure outputs (what is produced) rather than business outcomes (what is delivered).
If you task people to measure outputs and reward them for improving those outputs, there is often a repeated disconnect between the work performed and the end customer delivery. Getting a balance right here is essential.
There is a remarkable lack of science in this sphere of CX Initiatives. Reliance on simplistic measurement systems, with ‘one question rules them all’ approaches is not only misleading but may cause you to do precisely the wrong things.
👉Error #5. CX Initiatives go way down deep into functional complexity
CX Initiatives have lofty visions but all too often become bogged down in organization politics and the natural resistance to change. Often the local leadership pays lip service to the customer experience ‘it is not my job after all’ and this resulting crawl ultimately thwarts the CX initiative.
focus on winning the triple crown – simultaneously improving the Customer Experience, Reducing Costs and Growing Revenues
To deliver and ensure ongoing success, the guiding light of the Successful Customer Outcome and it is associated focus on winning the triple crown – simultaneously improving the Customer Experience, Reducing Costs and Growing Revenues – should be on every agenda in the business. Linking the triple crown across the departments and divisions dispels the practical objections as everyone becomes accountable for demonstrating their substantial triple crown contribution. This, in turn, ensures a significant contribution to delivering the ROI for the CX Initiative.
There are many bear traps and blind alleys to avoid on the journey to delivering CX success however an understanding of the most common errors will ensure a greater chance of success. After all the goal is to deliver strategic Successful Customer Outcomes that result in terrific and rewarding customer experiences.
Do you want to embrace advanced Customer Centric thinking and become Outside-In?
Executives are struggling. There is a collective fear of the Kodak Moment, where previously established businesses evaporate like the morning mist. This fear is driven by the unsettling realization that the Digital Customer is literally changing everything, and if your business relies on outdated techniques and approaches (you know who you are) then you will indeed experience a rather unpleasant surprise.
Executives are searching. Then there is the good news that online conferences, seminars, and workshops are full to overflowing with questful people looking for the answer. That’s good, however, 90% of what they hear and see is simply putting ‘lipstick on a pig’. It is the same old same old adopting fancy language and claiming salvation -if you would just follow the script and suspend your fear, uncertainty and doubt.
Executives are frustrated. The foolhardy keep hoping that doing the same thing faster will produce a different result. Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Meanwhile inexperienced youngbloods advocate revolution and change, without fully comprehending how the future is actually, pragmatically going to work. But there might be hope for some.
Executives (increasingly) are getting it. There are some refreshing conversations driven by leaders who are guiding their people, customers and shareholders to higher ground and safety. They are building new capability and bringing a far sight vision into today’s reality.
The challenge? How do you engage with the enlightened and get with the survivors, nay the thrivers, for the next decade? Well, not surprisingly that is what many of my talks and work with global leading companies are all about. So when one of the most successful CEO’s challenged me to write something that would light the fire of those still gripped by fear I stepped up. Watch the two minute video and download the FREE book , and then join us on the journey.
Complexity is an insidious thing. Humans seem unable to keep things simple and will add rules, reporting lines, and complications seemingly for the fun of it. And process people take it to a whole new level.
Why is that so? There is a simple answer, but many people don’t like it, or don’t want to admit it; if you pay people for doing dumb stuff they get really smart at it.
Politicians are especially good at creating fiefdoms and empires, and the ones really clever at that rise above the rest, making the problem progressively worse by in-turn recruiting like minded people.
Now as much as humans have traditionally done this, there is a new kid on the block. And this new kid is defining a whole new way of being, one that is built and operated with the customer at the center of everything.
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t that people haven’t talked about the customer before, just this time it is very different. The new game is all about customer experience management (CEM).
Here are a few of the meaningful stats that back this up.
According to Gartner, 89% of all businesses will compete on customer experience this year.
Another 89% believe customer experience will be their main differentiator by 2022.
The Temkin Group found that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience.
84% of companies who claim to be customer-centric are now focusing on the mobile customer experience.97% of global consumers cite customer service as important in their brand choice and loyalty.
CX also influences on-the-spot purchasing, too – as 49% of buyers have made impulse purchases after receiving a more personalized experience.
BPG Research 2021
And for those organizations effectively embracing the customer experience CEM is much more than journey mapping and the surface experience. For the leading companies, CEM is the opportunity to connect everything they do, from the customer interaction, right through to individual task, activity, and systems that support them.
Interestingly this eradicates unnecessary complexity and creates a virtuous circle. You figure out what a successful customer outcome looks like, you align everything you do to achieve it, the customer ‘gets it’ and comes back for more, and you evolve the customer experience to be even better next time.
It is a bit like a fitness regime as you get fitter, you get faster, you become better, and what was once difficult becomes easy.
👑 Those who Get It Win the Triple Crown
Not surprisingly great CEM drives down the cost of delivery, improves service and grows revenue. This triple crown of deliverables becomes the tangible measure of success for Customer Experience Management.
And as if this wasn’t motivation itself to do more CEM the work environment is simplified; we can increasingly reward each other for delivering results and outcomes (doing the right thing), rather than just measuring and rewarding what we do (doing things right).
That is what I mean when we say ‘let’s get more scientific about the customer experience’
Do you want to know more?
Do you want to embrace advanced Customer Centric thinking and become Outside-In?
Have you got a North Star metric? It’s one of the essential things for any company looking to innovate and drive growth. If you haven’t created one yet, it is time to seriously figure it out. And today, I will be explaining what a North Star metric is, why it’s essential, and how to come up with one.
The North Star metric is the most critical. It is that Metric that would consistently deliver Successful Customer Outcomes (SCO’s) and drive sustainable growth if you focus on above all else.
For Facebook is ‘daily active users,’ Airbnb is ‘nights booked,’ and for the BP Group, ours is ‘monthly organization upskilling.’
Why is having one important?
Because delivering SCO’s and driving change is a lot of work, and it’s easy to dilute effort and resources on things that don’t move the needle. Additionally, getting distracted with the latest and shiniest new ideas is a common problem. Having a North Star metric keeps everyone in your company focused on the most critical Measure for your company’s success. Chosen wisely, it will connect the dots from the front line to the top team
Creating Your North Star metric
You may already have created it in your Successful Customer Outcome Canvas® (SCOC®). Even if you haven’t yet the steps are straightforward by examining your current key performance indicators and assessing what could be a lead Metric. Examine the metrics in the context of what creates the best outcome, for the business and the customer. It is especially effective when you aggregate the SCOC’s against all your customer categories and bringing out the most significant ones and deciding decide which is the most essential Metric.
Defining that North Star metric can have a considerable impact not only on your immediate customers but on how your company operates overall.
Your North Star metric will be different from other organizations, as is how it’s rolled out and communicated.
Connect the dots, Draw the Lines
Anyone involved in delivering Successful Customer Outcomes and driving growth for your company, from the ‘C’ suite to the marketing team to the operations team and all of your external agencies, should be clear on your North Star metric and their role in driving it forward. If you don’t have one and your success maybe isn’t where it needs to be, perhaps you should consider defining one for your organization.
Set up a time with key stakeholders,
Identify your customer categories,
Agree on the SMART needs,
Choose the most important one, then
Brainstorm what it should be across the entire organization.
It starts with understanding who are your best customers are and why. You will need to cut through all distractions and noise to identify the one metric that will have the most significant and most sustainable impact on your business performance.
It’s a significant process, and sometimes it can be challenging to see the forest for the trees.
It will take a concerted effort, but it is one of the most worthwhile things an organization can do to connect the strategy to execution. Realistically isn’t that desirable for every organization seeking to make winning systematic?
The Guiding Light
The North Star metric becomes the guiding light. It is tangible, objective, and touches everyone and everything. It is a simple concept and as a result everyone can understand it.
You can explore the North Star Alignment approach within the Certified Outside-In Masters® program. Review the short video introduction here: https://cemnext.com/oi2020
I just wanted to reach out, so you don’t miss out on this limited time offer on my new book Outside-In The Secret of the 21st c. leading companies.
You might be thinking, what is Outside-In?
To sum it up, ‘Outside-In The Secret’ reveals the fundamental difference between the top-performing companies and the failing also-rans. It is a massive shift in perspective that revolutionizes work forever.
The insights shared are based on my work and research with companies like BMW, Emirates, Zara, Zappos, and Amazon over the last two decades.
But hey, don’t just hear it from me…
So, I have codified the learning and the ‘Secret’ approaches, tips, tricks, and hacks to make them accessible to all. Initially published in 2010 and it is now wholly updated as Edition 10!
My colleague and BP Group co-founder says this…
Why You Should Read Outside-In The Secret
You may be wondering why you should invest your precious time reading this book. With all the pressures of the current business climate, why will this investment be worthwhile?
I’d like you for a moment to think of ‘high jumping.’ This is a sport that has been pursued actively from the Ancient Greeks in the original Olympics to modern times. And for nearly 3,000 years, people jumped using similar techniques. Then an innovator, Dick Fosbery, thought of a new approach that was incredibly simple and yet at the same time delivered ‘breakthrough performance’ levels enabling him to win the gold medal in the 1968 Olympic high jump bar. He leaped over the bar backward, overturning thousands of years of ‘best practice.’
So I would like you to give yourself permission to consider that you, too, can achieve ‘breakthrough performance’ in your own business endeavors. In this book, ‘Outside-In,’ Steve Towers will introduce you to some remarkable concepts that at first seem simple and obvious, and yet when applied, will allow you to win the gold medal in your own field of business.
John Corr, Director, Alix Partners, London, England.
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P.S. — this book is the real deal. James Dodkins said that it’s: “the map that will allow you to turn your specialized knowledge, talents, and abilities coupled with this new perspective into a way of working that transforms you and your company! This is one of the shortcuts of the New Stellar Performers.” — and TODAY, you can get it for free, right here: