Uncovering the Secrets of the Top Influencers

Who are the best and what are their secrets?

I revisited my lists of sources, contacts and influencers, brought them up to date (the last two years or so) and collated the best across the domains I operate in. I included the recent Award winners acknowledged for their contributions to business. The result you can access below which contains the people, their LinkedIn connections, their best videos and in some cases additional resources.

My work takes me all over the planet and I get to meet some awesome people who are generous with their time and ideas. I then test, optimise and codify these great ideas into techniques and approaches we can all access.

Dare! Amazon Number 1 Best Seller (2020)

I was relating this approach at a keynote in a conference in Romania recently following the publication of our new Amazon best selling book Dare!

The keynote went well (see the extract version below) and everyone adjourned to the bar to relax and network.

At that drinks reception several people wanted to know my sources of inspiration, so naturally, we started trading names, some well known and some not yet so. As I was doing this it struck me this was one of the most commonly asked questions whether I am talking or working with some of the leading companies on the planet. So an idea was born…

Steve’s keynote in Bucharest in February 2020

Who are the best and what are their secrets?

I revisited my lists of sources, contacts and influencers, brought them up to date (the last two years or so) and collated the best across the domains I operate in. I included the recent Award winners acknowledged for their contributions to business. The result you can access below which contains the people, their LinkedIn connections, their best videos and in some cases additional resources.

So the next time someone asks me a question about influencers I am going to point them here!

All the Best, Keep safe and well,
Steve

Customer Experience, Customer Service, Leadership and Operational Excellence

Click the image to access videos, books and other resources!

What is the key that picks any lock?

Patterns. They are Fascinating. If you can understand them, and model them then you can deliver amazing results.

When I was a young kid I loved the weather forecast on TV. All those swirly lines (isobars as I was later to discover) and fronts.

Then I discovered astronomy, got a telescope, and stared in awe at the planets, stars and galaxies. It was mind blowing how they all worked together through invisible forces.

Then a good childhood friend of mine introduced me to chess. Amazing, wow! I studied openings and endings and everything in between. The great world champions, Tal, Botvinnik, Fisher and Magnus Carlsen.

Then came meditation and brainwaves. I dabbled with gamma, alpha, beta, theta and Delta and watched them represent our brain processes. I love neuro-science. Then I discovered love, the crazy emotional ups and downs, the exhilaration, heartache and the deep deep introspection.

So what do all these things have in common? Yes, patterns! If you can ‘see’ the pattern, figure them out then you too can become good with them.

Something occurred to me – were our lives governed by patterns? That ‘aha’ moment took me on a career path initially in Industrial Engineering, then Process Reengineering, then Systems Engineering, Enterprise Architecture, and even into Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Medical Hypnotherapy and Reiki.

My life can be summed as one of trying to understand patterns of energy, how they relate and how they work.

Patterns have worked for me, whether in my business life, personal (can anyone truly understand our partners and children?!), hobbies, music and so much more. By studying the greats, people, organisations, mentors and leaders you can model their patterns, codify them and share with others.

That is what, with some great friends and colleagues, we have done in and around Experience Management, whether that is writing bestselling books, developing business transformation methods, launching new software tools or simply living better lives. Working with the worlds best companies we picked apart the complexity and saw the simple beauty of approaches that work outstandingly every time without exception.

And now we have brought them online. We have unpacked the wisdom, applied pragmatic techniques and repackaged the patterns into workable replicable behaviours that we can all learn and make our own.

Please join us on this incredible journey in the next few weeks.

As a primer this course is running now – Outside-In Vision.

6 weeks at 3 hours per week to learn and practice the patterns that win the game for the worlds leading companies.

Join us live or watch the recorded interactive hands-on sessions at a time to suit you. You may just have discovered the key that picks any lock.

https://oi2020vision.eventbrite.com

The Customer Experience definition

What is the definition of Customer Experience?
The definitions of customer experience are many however in 99% of cases incorrect. Why so? Well simply because they are from a company viewpoint, that is ‘Inside-Out’.

A truly customer-centric definition needs to see customer experience through the customer’s actual experience. Accordingly, the CX definition the BP Group and partners endorse through our training, mentoring and consultancy is:

A customer experience is the sum of the thoughts, feelings and interactions a customer has about and with different products and services during the achievement of a goal or outcome

James Dodkins aka ‘CX Rockstar’

This talks neatly to the point that the experience starts with a need and finishes when that need has been fulfilled. It goes way beyond when the process for the company starts and ends.

What is your definition for Customer Experience?


So next time someone challenges you to define ‘what is customer experience?’ give them that.

You may even get people confusing customer experience with customer service but that discussion is for another day 😉

Steve Towers
www.stevetowers.com

LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetowers/

BP Group
www.bpgroup.org

CX and Technology – where to now?

The latest CX and Technology stats from Blake Morgan

I must admit yet another weakness. That is being a sucker for statistics in and around Customer Experience and Process Management so when someone, in this instance Blake Morgan, collates a fantastic list who are we not to republish and share?

Shameless, that’s me that is

And if you a writer and speaker this stuff is grist to the mill, especially in such a fast-moving arena as is Customer-Centric thinking. And with that in mind, a bit of shameless self-publicity is called for with an introduction to my all-new ONLINE course running from January 2020. And yes the themes are the very latest approaches delivering success for the worlds leading customer-centric businesses.

You can see the preview and details here:
http://bit.ly/SteveTowers-ONLINE

See you on the inside perhaps?

Steve Towers
www.stevetowers.com

LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetowers/

BP Group
www.bpgroup.org

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.

Customer Obsession v. Customer Focused

Jeff Bezos encourages us to become Customer Obsessed (see video snippet) however Netflix’s journey to CX Obsession is less well known.

Here is an extract from a great article (link below):

From Gibson Biddle, former VP at Netflix and CPO at Chegg
In 2005, as I joined Netflix as VP of Product, I asked Reed Hastings, the CEO, what he hoped his legacy would be. His answer: “Consumer science.” He explained, “Leaders like Steve Jobs have a sense of style and what customers seek, but I don’t. We need consumer science to get there.”

Gibson Biddle, Former VP at Netflix

Reed’s aspiration was that the Netflix team would discover what delights customers through the scientific process. Forming hypotheses through existing data, qualitative, and surveys, and then A/B testing these ideas to see what works. His vision was that product leaders at Netflix would develop remarkable consumer insight, fueled by results and learning from thousands of experiments.

During my time at Netflix, and later at my next startup, Chegg, I learned to move from customer focus to customer obsession. In doing so embraced Reed’s notion of consumer science. Here’s how I think about the transition:


The full article here is great testimony to moving away from the soft and fluffy version of Customer Experience.
Let’s get more scientific about Customer Experience.

Contact Gibson here.

Is your Customer Experience initiative working for you?
CX Obsessed or just playing at it?
Upskill you or your team find out more to learn how others have become successful with a Customer Obsession strategy


Steve Towers
www.stevetowers.com

LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetowers/

BP Group
www.bpgroup.org

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

Steve Towers
www.stevetowers.com

LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetowers/

BP Group
www.bpgroup.org

Moments of Truth structure

The roles in and around Moments of Truth Management – Guest article, Doug Bell

To turn an organization into a Successful Customer Outcome-producing machine, adopt a simple governance structure that is easy to deploy and operate:

Doug Bell, CEO The Experience Manager, Colorado

The Experience Manager leads the experience team for a specific customer experience. They are the central figure for:

  • Setting the vision for a successful customer outcome (SCO)
  • Measuring and reporting SCO production
  • Identifying the moments of truth

Moment of Truth Managers lead the design of specific moments of truth.
They are the central figures for:

  • Setting the vision for a Successful Moment of Truth outcome (SMOTO)
  • Measuring and reporting SMOTO production
  • Illustrating how to produce the SMOTO

Experience Producers either directly produce moments of truth for customers or support others who do. They are central figures for:

  • Producing SMOTO’s & SCO’s
  • Innovating to help improve outcome production

How to deploy & operate in existing structures

Select a customer and decide who will lead in The Experience Manager role

Create the Moment of Truth Management framework

  • Set a vision for a successful customer outcome.
  • Identify the moments of truth and a successful outcome for each.
  • Define metrics that measure SCO & SMOTO production.
  • Assign a Moment of Truth Manager for each moment of truth

Design each moment of truth

  • Illustrate the organization’s plan for producing each SMOTO.

Innovate

  • Share the MOT framework & designs with all Experience Producers
  • Give the Experience Producers a direct channel for sharing ideas to improve outcome production

Evolve

  • Report SCO & SMOTO production performance
  • Evolve the MOT framework & designs to improve SCO & SMOTO production

Additional Resources

James Dodkins (aka CX Rockstar) Video on Moments of Truth: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6543961416389410816

TEM – How to Manage MOTs: www.theexperiencemanager.com 

Moments of Truth 2019: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/moments-truth-v2019-steve-towers-ceo-cppc-acxc/

What are Moments of Truth?

Since the days of Richard Normann, the guy who invented the business term ‘Moments of Truth’ and Jan Carlzon’s book in 1989, the business world has interpreted Moments of Truth in several ways.

Jan Carlzon’s 1989 book ‘Moments of Truth’ socialised Richard Normann’s concept.

I have also published many articles and conference keynotes (see the MOT primer below) reviewing the continued evolution of this interesting concept.

Definitions

My interpretation and application of Moments of Truth revolve around three themes:

a. What is a Moment of Truth?

A Moment of Truth is any interaction with the customer within the Customer Experience – first discussed in my 1994 book ‘Business Process Reengineering – A Senior Executives Guide’

b. Moments of Truth are the cause of all work.

First discussed back in 2009 the idea that all work an organization undertakes is, at a fundamental level, caused by Moments of Truth. In principle, everything a company does can and should be linked to a Moment of Truth.

We harness and make real this design principle using the Customer Performance Landscape. Connecting the dots from everything to the Cause of all work – The Moment of Truth.

c. The Moment of Truth for any organization is…

At a practical level organizations need to chunk down their approach to fixing and innovating Moments of Truth. CEO of Denver based ‘The Experience Manager’

Doug Bell, CEO The Experience Manager

Doug Bell says “A Moment of Truth is an interaction that contributes to the production of a successful customer outcome. It either does or it doesn’t. To ensure outside in, you need to look through the Successful Customer Outcome lens.”

Managing Moments of Truth

Enlightened ‘Outside-In’ organizations actively embrace Moment of Truth Management as an essential strategic and operational necessity to deliver engineered Customer Experiences. How so?

a. Designing for Moments of Truth – The Design-Implementation Gap

Early efforts were geared around designing optimal Moments of Truth, however, simply mapping customer journeys has never been enough. It is one thing agreeing on what a future state customer journey should be, it is entirely another implementing it. This Design-Implementation gap is precisely what kills the majority of Customer Experience initiatives.

b. Implementing optimized Moments of Truth

Successful deployment of innovated Moments of Truth is key to delivering optimal Customer Experiences. The most practical immediate results are focused on rapid roll out across a key experience and using the success of that to validate rolling out smoothly across the organization. Establishing ownership, accountability, metrics, controls and improvement paths are part of this discipline.

c. Operationalizing Moments of Truth

Once Moments of Truth have been designed, innovated and implemented into recrafted customer experiences they need to be actively managed ‘in the moment’ and shared. Every Moment of Truth should feed to a corporate dashboard, with real-time data showing the performance of that MOT and its associated experiences. If things go wrong the owner should be able to ‘course correct’ and real-time monitor the customer experience delivery.

Imagine a world without customer satisfaction surveys, no need for Net Promoter Scores, no focus groups, and no mystery shopping because you will know how 100% of interactions are performing 100% of the time.

Control and Action combined

The C suite and leaders will now have a clear line of sight into every corner of the organization and across the enterprise landscape REAL TIME. One version of the data truth (and not all those departmental/divisional versions of reality).

The need for retrospective action evaporates. Immediate and laser-focused control can be maintained delivering simultaneously enhanced service, lower costs, higher revenues, improved compliance and uber motivated employees.

What’s next?

In my next piece I will demonstrate how this can be done immediately. If you can’t wait for that ping me and let’s talk the how, now



MOT primer…

Steve Towers
https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetowers/

Richard Normann – creator of the Moments of Truth concept:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Normann

Jan Carlzon – author ‘Moments of Truth’
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Carlzon

Doug Bell – CEO of The Experience Manager
‘The Moments of Truth Management System’
https://www.linkedin.com/in/dhbell/

Moments of Truth 2009
https://www.slideshare.net/stowers/moments-of-truth-perth2009

That Kodak Moment of Truth
https://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/innovation/columns/4-lessons-from-the-kodak-moment-of-truth

** Just published **
Mitch Belsley 2019 – Get Scientific about Managing Moments of Truth
http://customerthink.com/get-scientific-about-managing-moments-of-truth/