Business failures are all around us, nothing new there then. If we go back a decade or so we saw the demise of Nokia, we’ve seen companies like Blockbuster crash and burn, and other companies in the High Street whether it’s in Europe or in the US disappear and never to be seen again.
Why is this so? When you look at the investment those companies were making there was no lack of intent to spend in understanding how the customer was changing. In the year that Apple introduced the iPhone Nokia was investing heavily in voice of the customer (VOC) surveys, customer satisfaction and NPS.
But they missed the point. Progressive Outside-In companies (think Amazon, Zara, Zappos, Emirates) are not about retrospective subjective analysis of perceived performance.
Also it isn’t about overlaying processes with a new language when fundamentally the very systems and processes were never designed to deliver customer experiences. Those now creaking processes were designed with a factory mindset centred around production line thinking, throughput and waste. Hence the challenge for many is more fundamental as it’s not about rejigging what you’re doing – it is about a complete rethink to move outside in the way that you do business.
Remarkably even in the third decade of the 21st century there are still those companies that think they can just tweak and change the language inside their organisations.
As if doing better advertising and marketing to customers and talking about ‘new’ services on top of their existing infrastructures and IT systems hacks it. The actual reality is somewhat different.
Senior Executive commentary
Top teams and senior executives need to grasp this challenge. Roland Naidoo, a senior executive at African based entertainments company Multichoice puts the choice starkly:
“Would you measure how fast a 1600cc car performed around an F1 circuit. No? Then why would you try to measure customer experience AND improve it on processes and products there were never designed with experience in mind. Go on enter your 1600 into the next F1. Wonder how it would perform?”
Roland Naidoo, Multichoice Africa
Lipstick on a Pig? Surely not…
Those companies who understand that ‘outside-in’ thinking calls for a complete realignment and new appraisal of what the customer experience consists of.
Rather than, to coin a phrase, putting lipstick on a pig. You have actually got to think about what is it you’re trying to achieve; what does success look like for our customer? And then align across all functions, all systems and ways of working towards successful customer outcomes. Disney refers to this alignment as getting everybody to understand where true north is and not to do anything unless it contributes to that alignment. Imagine all new initiatives being assessed by a similar approach?
Are you working in a Rubik cube?
Another aspect which comes into play is this idea that traditional measurement* is predominantly subjective and retrospective. Progressive outside in companies are not reactive – they get scientific about the customer experience.
Measuring each interaction as it happens and if necessary course-correcting in real-time. They develop the ability to see around corners to understand what’s coming next. They don’t have to wait for analysis 2 weeks after an event to decide that some remedial action is required.
This knowledge in the instance of what is happening requires us to create this idea of ‘action in the moment’ for all our employees. Zappos**, for instance, give their employees the tools and the capability to be able to make decisions in the moment (without the need to escalate to supervisors).
Industrial Age thinking will kill you
And there is another challenge companies face if they are still organised around functional specialist silos. If you’ve recruited low paid people and given them a script to follow, manage them to average handle times and throughputs you’re going to fail.
Once more the outside-in companies have an edge here as they understand that to give your most precious resource (the customer) to the employees then you need the right people in the right place able to do the right things at that moment of truth.
So what is your organization doing? is it trying to put lipstick on the pig? is it just trying to overlay the existing process is an infrastructure with this new customer-centric way of talking and doing?
It is very simple. You need to get down to brass tacks of rethinking what customer experience is all about its implication for the organisation going forward. Those organisations that are taking this outside-in approach find the world becomes simpler, faster and much more directly oriented towards delivering successful customer outcomes and winning for the bottom line.
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.
The Global Change Architect of the Year is announced! And 2020’s award goes to Roland D Naidoo in South Africa.
The BP Group and Affiliates are pleased to announce the winner of this years prestigious ‘Change Architect of the Year’ Award goes to Roland Naidoo, Head of Customer Operations at Multichoice in Africa.
The Award, now in its third year, recognises the formidable achievements of the winner in delivering both personal, professional and business transformation in the organisations they work with.
Roland Naidoo is a Chief Coach and Mentor for several hundred people and has pioneered the integration of Customer Experience Management by changing the methods, approaches and measures of success to innovate within his organisation.
Over the last few years Roland has also led the upskilling of more than 150 colleagues across the business with professional qualifications in Customer Experience and Process Management and now co-ordinates a team of 20+ qualified ACX Mentors who in turn are coaching, transferring the skills and leading their teams with advanced Customer Experience Management Methods.
Prior to joining Multichoice Roland worked in the banking sector and technology companies in South Africa.
Selected by their immediate peers and fellow professionals the Change Architect of the Year now appears in the ‘Change Architects Hall of Fame’ A charismatic leader Roland is now acknowledged as this years ‘Global Change Architect for 2020’.
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! The ACXS™ training and certification program is now available online. Get instant access to 25 video lessons and become certified as an Accredited Customer Experience Specialist – the first choice certification for CX disrupters.
You will learn how to connect with your customers at a deeper level, understand their expectations, where they came from and how to change them, uncover hidden needs, articulate ‘Successful Customer Outcome’ statements and build ideal experiences that deliver on these things.
Measure the CX6, calculate Return on Experience Investment, implement Proactive Experience Recovery, learn how to redefine CX in your company…and much, much more.
Things are a bit crazy right now, we’re all stuck at home, we’re all looking for ways to make the most of our time, we’re all trying to be as productive as possible – Why not become an Accredited Customer Experience Specialist Online, On-Demand, On Your Terms?
Use code ‘special50’ to get a massive 50% discount, taking lifetime access to the training down to from £860 to only £430!
And if that wasn’t good enough you can spread the payments out over 4 crazy low payments of just £107.50
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.
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 😉
Do you want to embrace advanced Customer Centric thinking and become Outside-In?
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.
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.
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 SAAS company ‘Parallel’
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.
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