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!

The Ten Commandments of Customer Experience Management

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 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, 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. 

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.

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.


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

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?)

3 reasons why Blockchain will transform every business (need to know!)

I interview the CEO of Blockchain-X and Railz, John Corr on why we need to know about Blockchain and how it is helping to change business forever.

When you talk about disruptive technology THIS is the very definition, and believe me all our lives #business and #customer experience are becoming very different as a consequence.

As the opportunity reveals itself nation states and political groupings are getting in on the act. The UAE government believe 50%+ of all transactions will use blockchain within 2 years. Are gearing up for a similar shift?

You can contact John Corr directly at linkedin.com/in/johncorr and john.corr@closequarter.co.uk

Learn how Blockchain, business and the associated customer experience #CX are changing the world and access the CEMMethod to help you and your organization realise the benefits.

3 Secret (Top Team) Reasons why we have to get more scientific about the Customer Experience.

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 2018.
  • Improved experience can grow revenue by five to 10 percent—and cost 15 to 20 percent less—over a span of three years.
  • 97% of global consumers cite customer service as important in their brand choice and loyalty.
  • Three out of four people have spent more with a company because of a history of positive experiences.
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.
Not surprisingly great CEM drives down the cost of delivery, improves service and grows revenue. In other words, this triple crown of key 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, and 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?

Join us for an upcoming CEM ACXP one day session: http://www.bpgroup.org/acxp-london.html

Top teams? Results? bah, humbug.

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.

So self audit time…

Outside-In wins the Triple-Crown+

When the Upside is greater than the pain of adopting something new, a new approach can breakthrough. If however the upside is not sufficient, then the status quo will remain.
So if you don’t want change personally or in your organization keep doing what you have always done. That way you will get what you have always got.

On the other hand if change is necessary you need to demonstrate a significant upside, whether that is in terms of cost reduction, revenue improvement, service enhancement and better compliance – that is the triple crown plus.

Ideally the approach you adopt will give you the capability to deliver all triple crown benefits simultaneously and in a truly sustainable, repeatable pattern.

That is precisely what the Outside-In philosophy is all about.

*** Need to know more?

> Customer Experience Management Method http://www.cemmethod.com
> Articles and Case Studies http://www.successfulcustomeroutcomes.net
> Accreditation and Certification http://www.bpgroup.org/certification-by-city.html
> Get the book (that even CEO’s can understand) http://www.outsideinthesecret.com/
> Connect on http://twitter.com/stowers  and http://twitter.com/jdodkins
> Join the community https://www.linkedin.com/groups/BP-Group-1062077

How do you start the journey to Enterprise BPM/Outside-In?

James Dodkins (far right) is the
BP Groups Chief Customer Officer

From the desk of James Dodkins

If I scan the fifteen or so new OI initiatives in large corporations I have worked closely with (in the last three years) I would say 80% of that work is through what you can think of is a 1-2-3 project cycle.

1. Start where you are – deploy, for instance the CEMMethod techniques, especially the Moments of Truth, Breakpoints and Business Rules, in whatever is your remit. Just get going.

2. On the back of that success move upstream and downstream in the particular process. You will have internal advocates at this stage who understand how to do this stuff. At this point the fun and the wildfire starts 🙂

3. Take the ‘boil the ocean’ proposition to the top team. Ask for the biggest current organization wide challenge and relate the internal benefits (Project 1&2, the external case studies, the videos of the CEO’s, the HBR articles, the Business week case studies blah blah) They will love the talk of results – reducing costs, improving revenue, enhancing service.
Whenever have you talked to a top team and somebody has turned round and said those elements were not part of this years agenda eh?

Bingo – six months in and you’re on the organization wide Outside-In transformation.

Business Process and Complexity from Raju Oak

 
An insightful and often times amusing presentation steers us through the stormy waters of complexity. (beware the cannibals)


Reduce Costs – Improve Revenue – Enhance Service simultaneously

From the PEX Network event in Florida, January 2012. Ten minutes 🙂