Tag Archives: customer-centricity

Leading CX Transformation: How to Drive Customer-Centricity

Photo: Frederic Edwin Church – Aurora Borealis – Google Art Project. From Wikimedia Commons.

“It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story.” – Native American proverb

What is a customer-centric organization? According to Janet LeBlanc, President, Janet LeBlanc & Associates Inc., customer-centric organizations:
- Aggressively seek to understand the customer
- Have leaders who meet with employees and customers constantly

During last month’s Total CX Leaders Conference, Janet described how organizations can drive a customer-centric culture:

1. Strategic alignment: Clearly communicate a shared vision of the ideal customer experience. Measure the impact of customer experience initiatives on business performance. Hire customer-focused executives.

2. Senior leadership: Act as a role model for customer-centric behaviors. Regularly showcase examples of customer-centric behaviors by employees. Spend time interacting directly with customers.

3. Customer insights: Quickly identify and resolve trouble spots in the customer experience. Use customer feedback to improve customer communication. Gather customer feedback, in real time, to identify early signs of customer defection.

4. Employee engagement: Clearly define what employees need to do differently to improve the customer experience. Give employees the authority to resolve customer issues on the spot. Provide employees with the right information to address customer issues.

5. Measurements and rewards: Use rewards, other than monetary, to reinforce customer-centric behaviors. Track the effectiveness of customer experience action plans and initiatives. Reward and recognize the achievement of customer experience improvements.

Let’s keep the Total CX Leaders Conference conversations going! Stay connected with TCXL15 at:
- twitter.com/#TCXL15
- linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
- facebook.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com.

Changing Behavior Towards the Customer Experience

“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael LeBoeuf, American business author

During “Changing Behavior Towards the Customer Experience,” Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit attendees learned that “checklists and compliance will not change customer behavior.” We learn by doing.

Keith Ferrazzi, CEO, Ferrazzi Greenlight and author of Who’s Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone, delivered a compelling presentation about the critical factors to changing human behavior, which include:

  • Building key relationships: Initiate and strengthen personal relationships with managers and other business partners
  • Leverage the community: Lean on your peers, managers and the broader community for personal success
  • Strengthen customer centricity: Build a customer-centric mindset within retail

A successful behavior change framework is developed by:

  • Knowing that change management is about relationships, emotion and connection
  • Focusing only on the highest return behaviors
  • Having an aligned purpose
  • Using reflective inquiry to gain engagement

A successful change framework is driven by:

  • Providing an empathetic challenge to ignite a movement
  • Helping your employees join a movement
  • Peer-to-peer coaching for support and success
Stay tuned for more customer experience insights shared at this week’s TCEL. Stay connected at:
  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com.

Nationwide, Safelite & Facebook Integrate VOC & Market Insights into Customer Strategy

Image via CrunchBase

Are you keeping the customer at the center of every business decision?

Are you using the data captured across the ENTIRE customer journey to create a strategic business plan?

Join us at the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit as we unite a diverse group of customer-focused change makers to share best practices on integrating VOC and market insights into your customer strategy. Gain the knowledge and skills you need to confidently uncover, manage, link and act on customer data NOW.  

Featured keynotes include:

Valuing Customer Input and Feedback
 - Jasmine Green, Vice President, Chief Customer Advocate, Nationwide

How Can Customer Centricity be Profitable
 - Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Driving Good Profits by Building a Customer-Centric Culture
 - Thomas Feeney, President & CEO, Safelite AutoGlass

The New Collision of Measurement and Customer Insights
 - Sean Bruich, Head of Measurement Platforms & Standards, Facebook

NACCM 2009 LIVE: Preparing for Customer Centricity 2020: How o Evolve the People, the Process & Technology to Meet Future needs

“If we’re in a service economy, what’s next?”That’s the question Bo McBee, Vice President of Enterprise Total Customer Experience and Quality for Hewlett Packard., posed to the general session on Day 3 of the NACCM Customer’s 1st Conference. It’s Bo’s job to think about these things. As he puts it, ‘At HP, the future is coming at us fast. It’s borderline chaos.’ In fact, he’s never sent the drivers of loyalty change faster than they are right now. Customers are empowered, informed, and demanding. They’ve got to see relevancy up front. HP is a big company. Actually, that’s a severe understatement. A billion people use HP technology every day. Their technology handles two thirds of all credit card transactions and supports top 200 banks & 130 major stock exchanges. HP software makes calls possible for 100+ million mobile phone customers around the globe. Part of what enables HP to operate so well as such a huge company is their focus on Total Customer Experience (TCE), which they define as the overall customer impression of HP based on perceptions and experiences with HP people, partners, products, services, etc at every touchpoint. Loyalty enables growth. And when HP measures loyalty & customer service performance, they do it across every touchpoint in the lifecycle of the customer. Bo simplified their approach to improving the TCE into three steps:
  • Execute fundamentals ‘ improve processes and products
  • Make it easy ‘ better understand your customer and competitive differentiators
  • Transform customer relationships – to be proactive ‘ reinvent the experience

Bo is a big believer in Joe Pine’s Progression of economic value. It’s a scale that explains the relative value of what you provide as a business. As you move up the scale, the customer receives and perceives higher value (and is usually willing to pay more money). Bo used a phenomenal example of how you might purchase cake for someone’s birthday.

  1. At the Commodities level, you’re willing to buy eggs, milk, flour, and sugar to bake a cake.
  2. At the Goods level, you’ll purchase a cake mix for because it’s a little easier on you.
  3. At the Service level, you’ll go for the pre-baked bakery cake for the total convenience.
  4. But at the Experience level, you’ll suddenly spend a lot more for a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese.

Bo defines an experience as a ‘distinct economic offering that people are willing to pay for.’ To move up the progression, you customize the lower levels. As you customize something, the lower or existing level of that something often becomes a commodity. Loyalty and growth are becoming more a function of ‘the overall experience’ To help accelerate the creation of meaningful experiences, HP has designed a methodology they call the IMPACT Model:

  • Identify experiences that matter
  • Make it uniquely personal
  • Process, technology, people to add value
  • Add architecture
  • Create inspiration and incentive
  • Test the experience

One of the most fun parts of the model is you have to come up with a theme for the experience that everyone agrees on, and it’s not always easy. Once you get that theme, every thing you do from that point on has to support that theme. IMPACT addresses:

  • Functional needs: help me accomplish a task
  • Emotional needs: help me feel deeply about what I do
  • Social needs: help me build relationships with others

Bo’s final tips for making sure you’re prepared for a more customer-centric world:

  • You can’t become world-class if you don’t take your strengths to world-class levels.
  • Don’t ask a customer what you should already know. Make sure your processes for listening to your customers keep up.
  • Tie customer service to growth and profitability. Don’t lose the opportunity to do something really impactful because you didn’t make business case for it.

Customers 1st 2009 Podcasts: A Conversation with Curtis Bingham, Predictive Consulting Group

As we get gear up for the 2009 NACCM: Customers 1st Event this year, we’re going to be interviewing and getting to know the speakers and sponsors who will bring their perspectives on customer service to you. We recently sat down with Curtis Bingham, President of the Predictive Consulting Group. He will be participating in the keynote panel discussion, ‘The Ultimate in Customer Centricity: Chief Customer Officers Describe How Everyone Can be a Loyalty Leader’ at this year’s conference. Download the NACCM:Customers 1st Brochure to find out more about the program this year.

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Can you tell us how important it is that customer loyalty is a focus for the entire organization?
Curtis: You know this is a really important point here; because, if you imagine going into a hotel, Jenny, it absolutely beautifully appointed, people greet you by name at the hotel, your check-in is flawless and your room has a spectacular view. However, your TV is broken, the image is snowy. So you call the front desk, they apologies profusely and they promise to send someone right up and you wait, you wait, you wait some more. Finally the repair man bangs loudly on the door, you open the door and he’s standing out there. He is disheveled, smelly and rude. He barges in past you, blames you for having to work late, and complains about hotel management while he’s fixing your TV there. If you think about your experience, the damage is just irreparable. This unprofessional behavior ruined your entire experience. And it may have caused the company to lose revenue. Because research shows that disgruntled customers tell three and thirty people about their bad experiences. And their online ratings and reviews reach thousands or millions more. All of those people who were exceptional at the front end of this particular process; their good work is undone by a single person. We live in an experience economy, where everything is all about the customer experience. Just one person can sabotage the work of 100s. What we learn by this little vignette here, is that customer loyalty needs to be everyone’s job. It cannot be the job of just one person or one group.

How do you ensure that an entire corporation if focused on customer centricity?
Curtis: This is a real challenge, and its one that we are working with right now with the chief customer officer council, one that we are working with a number of chief customer officers from around the world. On resolving this particular issue or addressing this particular issue. I think there are three things that have come out of these discussions.

The first is modeled behavior from the top. The second is peer pressure; the third is rewards and incentives. I’ll talk about each of these for just a second. A couple of months ago I noticed that each of my three children were harrumphing in disgust if something didn’t go their way or they made a mistake. I was trying to figure out where they got it from. And one day I heard the tell-tale ‘harrumph’ but without anyone around and I realized, shockingly, that it came from me. Similarly, employees will model behavior that they see in executives. The work ethic, the communication styles, the way that they run meetings, the way that they deal with difficult employees or difficult situations. And customer attitudes and focus is no different. Executives have to model behavior that shows how valuable customers are to the company.

The second thing that we want to look at is peer pressure. We often look at peer pressure as a bad thing; but it can actually be quite a powerful force for good. One chief customer officer in the council said that culture cannot be changed it can only be adapted. And he has been very successful creating culture change, very dramatic culture change by using positive peer pressure. What he did was this; he made it popular to serve customers better than the person beside you or the person in the next division over. And the results from this person’s culture change have been stellar. He’s taking a very hard charging, hard driving culture that was all about products and sales and turned it into a customer centric culture.

The last thing that is really important in getting everyone focused on loyalty is rewards and incentives. The bottom line is that you improve what you measure. You get what you inspect. And bottom line people are going to react in their rational self interest. If you measure in reward, then behavior changes; however, this type of change that is brought about through money, rewards and what not is not lasting. It should only be used after the previous two that we mentioned, the modeling behavior and then the applying of peer pressure.

How have the roles of Chief Customer Officers changed the roles of customer centricity and loyalty today?
Curtis:You know, it used to be, that as I mentioned before that we were in a product culture or product environment, where products were the most important thing. As products became more commoditized, then it became more an issue of service’how great was your service that followed on to a great product. Now service as become event more commoditized and we’re now in an experience economy and going back to our example of modeling behavior from the top — the chief customer officer does exactly that. He/she sets the standard for the entire organization on how customers need to be treated. And more importantly, going to this experience economy here, they’re the ones that are able to map out the customer experience, from start to finish, cradle to grave. And all of the different touch points and look for these disheveled repairman to make sure that there aren’t any negative experiences, to work with your organization to find where these bad experiences are, these bad influences are and figure out how to change those in such a way that the company is still profitable and yet the customer experience is still stellar. So they can measure the customer experience and refine it across all of the traditional business silos to make sure that experience is very carefully planned executed measured and refined. So the chief customer officer here, in general, is the go to authority on customers. They are the ultimate authority for customer issues; they are ultimately accountable for customer issues. And as their, in their role as the customer executive, they are not only accountable to the customer to the customer but they are able to drive customer-centric change across your organization. So before the chief customer officer, unless you have a very customer centric CEO there is often no one in a position of authority that could take a customer issue that was outside of their division or department or business units and track down other processes that were causing a poor experience in other business units or other groups. So the chief customer officer is this glue that holds all of these different, disparate processes that impact the customers together and the one that can drive the strategy across all of these different processes and make sure that the customer experience is stellar, and needs to be in this experience economy.

Can you tell us a little about the keynote panel you’re participating on at this year’s NACCM: Customers 1st Conference?

Curtis: I am really excited about this panel here, because loyalty, relatively speaking is fairly new. There has been a lot of talk about it; there has been a lot of research done on it. And yet, bottom line is that it’s new. There are a lot of people out there experimenting with loyalty in different programs, different ideas, and different methodologies. For the first time, we’ve got a series of customer centric executives that are at the top of well known corporations that have been doing this for years. And they are sitting with everybody to share what has worked for them, what kinds of things that you need to do as a loyalty leader to get buy in from the executive board for your loyalty programs. What kinds of things do you need to do to ensure that your loyalty programs achieve the desired results? How to you prioritize different loyalty opportunities and possibilities and programs that you could implement? What do you need to measure, how do you measure these loyalty programs and how do you prioritize these so that you get the most out of them from your business results from your customers. There is just a wealth of information here from both a b2b and b2c perspective. Bob Olsen, was mostly recently from Intuit, and he was with GoDaddy, a very well-known internet hosting service. They turned their call centers from a call center from being a cost center to a revenue center. They’ve just done phenomenal things in driving customer loyalty and yet still dramatically increasing profitability. He worked with very closely with Bob Parsons in order to do that. Rudy Videll is a brilliant expert on customer loyalty; it’s a customer loyalty program that he developed while at Panasonic. I had a chance to talk to him in great detail in ways that you can measure and drive customer loyalty and some of the things that he’s talking about leading indicators and lagging indicators are brilliantly simple to execute. So, I’m very excited about that. The other panelist it Tammy McLeod from Arizona Power Systems and she has taken an approach much like Disney, going back to our question earlier, to make sure that loyalty is everyone’s job. She meets personally with every new hire, so that they understand how important customers are, that the customers are the ones who are signing the paychecks. And that whenever the repair people are out in the community, they are the face of Arizona Power, that they are expected to create a good experience, a loyal following from all of their other customers. So we have a broad variety of people that are on the panel and a huge variety of experiences here that I think is just going to be a fantastic combination, and people are just going to walk away from there with some very practical, tangible hands-on approaches. How can you make loyalty everyone’s job? How can you measure it and improve it? How can you make sure that you’re focusing on the right aspects of loyalty? I’m really excited.

Customers 1st 2009 Podcasts: A Conversation with Deb Nelson, Hewlett-Packard

As we get gear up for the 2009 NACCM: Customers 1st Event this year, we’re going to be interviewing and getting to know the speakers and sponsors who will bring their perspectives on customer service to you. We recently sat down with Deb Nelson, the Senior Vice President of Marketing, Technology Solutions Group, Hewlett-Packard, and is responsible for worldwide marketing of HP’s services, software, servers, storage, and networking. She will be presenting her keynote speech, “Preparing for Customer-Centricity 2020: How to Evolve the People, the Process & Technology to Meet Future Needs,” on Thursday, November 5. Download the NACCM:Customers 1st Brochure to find out more about the program this year.

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Deborah Nelson is responsible for worldwide marketing of HP’s services, software, servers, storage, and networking. She leads marketing across five global business units to deliver technology solutions that help medium-size and enterprise organizations achieve better business outcomes.

Previously Deb was responsible for world wide marketing of HP’s personal computers, work stations, hand held products, and mobile and wireless solutions. Deb has held a broad range of marketing positions over her 20 year career. Her experience spans management of software, service, hardware products, channels, and partners, marketing communication, marketing research and business development in HP’s America and European Gail and worldwide organization.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your roll at HP.

Deb: So, as you may know, HP sells technology and technology solutions to consumers and businesses around the globe. In fact, just over a billion people around the world use our technology every single day. I am lucky enough to run marketing for HP’s enterprise business and we sell to businesses and governments around the globe. Our portfolio is a combination of business and IT services. This means different support services, consulting and outsourcing, as well as software, particularly around helping customers better manage their IT processes as well as information. And then a number of products ranging from servers to storage and networking.

What changes have had the biggest impact on customer centricity over the past few years? What do you think will change the most in the future?
Deb: Today, technology plays a fundamentally different roll in business. Technology today isn’t just supporting the business, but powering the business. Think about any business process whether you’re taking an order, replenishing inventory, even communication. It’s all powered by technology. And that means that today our customers, so CIOs, Chief Information Officers and their teams, they’re not just running IT projects, but they’re running business initiatives. They’re not just managing silos of applications and operations and strategies. They’re really managing and integrated IT platform that drives business change. That means that they need to measure technology results by the ability to either accelerate a company’s growth to help lower costs, something everyone is really interested in right now, or mitigate risks. And that means technology decisions today are really business decisions.

Now for the future, we think that customers will have even more choices about how to get accesses to different business services. And we refer to this trend as ‘Everything as a service.’ And that means that anything from just raw computing power to a business process to personal interactions, I mean, think about your consumer life, whether that’s email or other services that you get out of the cloud. That everything will be available to you whenever and however you want it. That means that customers will get to choose based on the best value. And therefore understanding and really anticipating customer needs and preference are will be very very critical.

Why is it so important for a company to have two way communications with their customers today? How has this relationship changed?
Deb:In today’s environment, we are lucky to have so many options to have a two-way dialog with customers. It’s not mass communications environments of previous decades. Today the explosion of media channels really gives the ability to have a true two-way dialog with customers. We don’t have to guess what customers want anymore, they’ll tell us. Social media has given us so many more listening points that where we can get feedback and have interactions with customers. This means it’s really critical for any organization to be enthusiastically engaged with all of their stakeholders and be a part of these dialogues going on. In fact, for us, we know that our target audience the enterprise business it buyers are actually some of the most active users of social media. We actually did research with Forrester that looked at all the different roles that people play in social media. And they said that our customers are actually off the chart as far as social participation, whether it’s someone who is creating content, so publishing a blog or publishing our own webpages, all the way up to one who is just reading and accessing information through this wide plethora of media we have. So at HP, we’re responding to our customer’s adoption of this exciting set of new social media and we’re changing how we engage with our customers whether that’s through different online interactions, blogs and podcasts such as this. We’re changing how we buy media, we’re changing the breadth of people that are participating in that so that we have the folks inside of HP that customer want to talk to like our technical engineers and presales folks. (This is so these employees can ) directly interact with customer about the technology and our technology solutions. And our goal is to have business conversations that lead to business.

Tell us a little about what you’ll be presenting at NACCM this year.
Deb: My talk is about preparing for customer centricity over the next couple of decades. And I’ll share some ideas about what you can do today to help get people, processes and technology ready for whatever the future brings. As a part of this, (I’ll be speaking about) deploying effective strategies for listening to customer and communicating with them in ways that meet their needs now and in the future. And I’ll talk about what a company needs to focus on to achieve customer satisfaction and loyalty, which has changed rather dramatically over the last five years, and will continue to change. Before, in our space, quality, deliverability and reliability were the number one drivers of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. But today, these are really just the anites to enter into the game. So I’ll talk about what HP is doing to increase and measure customer loyalty. And finally, I’ll discuss some of the things we’ve learned at HP about when and how to stick to business basics and when to embrace new methods and technology to maintain a strong customer focus.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Deb: It’s been a pleasure talking to you Jenny, and HP is a whole company that is really focused on delivering great experiences to customers. In today’s environment, we have a lot more tools to do that and to be able to have a two-way dialogue. I often hear about how some organizations feel threatened by social media, or feel that it’s a risky journey. But we really view it in a different way. We think it’s a super opportunity to be engaged real time to find out what’s on customers minds. And I’m really excited about speaking at the Customers 1st Conference in November, and it’ll be a great opportunity for me to hear from others to hear about what they’re doing to be engaged with customers.

We’d like to thank Deb Nelson for speaking with us today and a very special thank you to our listeners. Be sure to follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/customerworld.

See you in November!

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Recession can improve customer centricity

Graham Hill recently wrote a post at Customer Think about how, even though the current rough times, companies can focus on and build customer centricity. Should companies are following his five ideals to build customer centricity, they should have a customer base to carry them through the recession. Are you?

1. Having a deep understanding of customer needs (based on customer jobs and outcomes)
2. Mass customisation of products, services & experiences
3. Dynamically reconfigurable delivery system
4. Lean business support systems
5. Customer value management across the customer portfolio