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Epic Fail – forewarned is forearmed

13 Nov

12 CX traps for your company to side-step 

Who doesn’t like a good list? Here then are some personal reflections on stuff to avoid, as you embark on CX change.

  1. Lip service leaders who talk a good game
    • shallow support and commitment from fair-weather friends
  2. No navigational North Star
    • no compelling strategy and CX vision to identify the desired on-brand experience and guide design and behaviours
  3. No hard-wiring into the business rhythm
    • CX is an aspiration only without the right governance to drive business decisions
  4. Silo’d solutions for joined-up needs
    • functional and fragmented changes that miss the customer’s bigger picture
  5. Reducing customers to numbers
    • left-brain organisations struggle to recognise customers as people, not targets or statistics
  6. Making CX a project or an initiative
    • giving CX ‘flavour of the month’ status means it will never become ‘the way we do things around here’
  7. Measurement, the corporate comfort-zone
    • obsessing about metrics, reporting and methodology, as a substitute for acting on it
  8. Not winning the crowd
    • not sharing CX stories across the organisation, and joining the dots for everyone between strategy, activity and outcomes
  9. Wanting it all, now
    • unrealistic expectations and corporate impatience resulting in a potential credibility problem for CX activity
  10. Wrong metrics drive wrong behaviours
    • internal, or operationally focused reward metrics can drive unwanted behaviours that reinforce the silos and damage customer outcomes
  11. Fail to plan, plan to fail
    • being seduced by the tools and failing to look beyond the workshops and planning for the long road ahead
  12. Ignoring your own people
    • no mechanisms to harness the great insights and ideas from within, from exactly those people who have a huge interest in their company’s success

 

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The good, the bad and the ugly

7 Dec

Slide1

Customer experience is hot right now – there are plenty of great reports and facts and figures out there that help sell the story. Some are more powerful than others, some are plain worrying and some continue to highlight the deep void between the corporate view of the world and customers’ view. Here then is a roundup of some of my favourite numbers, pulled from a wide range of sources and commentators, the good the bad and the ugly. So, do the maths, and work out for yourselves where the real issues lie.

The good news is largely about what organisations say about themselves and their ambitions and plans. The bad and the downright ugly truths are much less about talking the talk, and much more about walking it too. And, as always, when you get down to the ugly truth, it’s all about the culture in the business. After all, every business that has customers is really in the people business.

 

THE GOOD

  • 97% of global executives say that customer experience is critical to their success (1)
  • 90% of executives claim that customer experience management is a top corporate priority (2)
  • 85% of customers state that they are willing to pay up to 25% more for a superior customer experience (3)
  • 81% of senior managers believe that gaining an understanding from the customer viewpoint is very likely to lead to ROI (4)
  • 59% of large global organisations have an ambition to provide the best customer experience in their industry (5)

THE BAD

  • 79% of those who complained about poor customer service online had their complaints ignored (6)
  • 61% of customers agree that ‘different people approach the handling of issues when something goes wrong differently’. Clearly, inconsistency in treatment is always going to be unsettling. (7)
  • While 80% of big companies described themselves as delivering “superior” service, only 8% of customers say they’ve experienced “superior” service from these same companies. It’s a similar story in banking: while 78% of executives say their customer experience has improved over the last year, only 28% of their customers agree (8)

THE UGLY

  • 96% of executives say that some culture change is needed in their organisation (9)
  • Only 31% of employees are truly ‘engaged’ with their organisations, across Europe (10)
  • 30% of managers are coping with 6 or more strategic initiatives at any one time (11)
  • Only 18% of consumers globally believe that business leaders tell the truth (12)
  • Only 8% of companies can confidently declare that they have been successful in changing their culture as a result of customer feedback (13)
  • Only 5% of companies actually bother to tell their customers what they have done with the customer feedback they collect  (14)
  • Only 4% of customers actually bother to feedback and complain to the company – the other 96% don’t bother. (15)
  • Only 4% of global companies are judged to be delivering excellent customer experiences (16)
  • A mere 2% of customers feel that their expectations are always met (17)

SOURCES:

  1. Oracle
  2. Forrester, 2013
  3. Right Now, 2010
  4. Institute of Customer Service, 2011
  5. Temkin, 2012
  6. Kissmetrics, 2013
  7. Beyond Philosophy 2010, CX Trend Tracker
  8. The New Yorker, Bain Consulting and People Metrics
  9. Booz and Co 2013
  10. Blessing White, 2013
  11. Simplicity Consulting, 2011
  12. Edelman Trust Barometer, 2013
  13. Syngro, Seven global challenges 2012
  14. Gartner
  15. Helpscout, 2012, quoting Understanding Customers by Ruby Newell-Legner
  16. Temkin, 2012
  17. Oracle – 2012, the Era of Impatience

Rubbing Salz in the wound at Barclays?

4 Apr

Slide1

The Salz review of Barclay’s Business Practices was published yesterday, all 244 pages of it. And, kudos to the new brooms at the bank for publishing it online too.

So, hot off the press here is a set of excerpts, mostly from the front of the report (but not the headings, they are mine! Highlights are mine too). It all makes fascinating reading, essential text-book reading really for anyone involved in financial services, risk management, governance and organisational culture or simply fascinated by the sorry tale of a major UK bank brought low by toxic culture in one part – a dominant and super clever part – of the business.  

Multi silos = multi cultures

“The result of this growth was that Barclays became complex to manage, tending to develop silos with different values and cultures. (Turn to page 81 for Fig 8.2 for a great audit of the many differing value sets!). Despite some  attempts to establish Group-wide values, the culture that emerged tended to favour transactions over relationships, the short term over sustainability, and financial over  other business purposes”.

Void at the centre

“We believe that the business practices for which Barclays has rightly been criticised were shaped predominantly by its cultures, which rested on uncertain foundations. There was no sense of common purpose in a group that had grown and diversified significantly in less than two decades. And across the whole bank, there were no clearly articulated and understood shared values – so there could hardly be much consensus among employees as to what the values were and what should guide everyday behaviours. And as a result there was no consistency to the development of a desired culture”.

“However, culture exists regardless. If left to its own devices, it shapes itself, with the inherent risk that behaviours will not be those desired. Employees will work out for themselves what is valued by the leaders to whom they report. The developing cultures across Barclays were still less consistent as a result of a highly decentralised business model, that tended to give rise to silos. This left a cultural ambiguity at the heart of the bank”.

“The entire Group Guiding Principles had not percolated into the consciousness of the Group. Employees of all ranks were often unaware of the Guiding Principles. If they were aware, they could cite only one or two of them – often without much authority. They also told us that they were not a regular feature of induction processes, were rarely discussed as part of how they should work in practice, and were not embedded in training or performance management processes.”

“As Antony Jenkins (new CEO) said in the 2012 Annual Report: “For the past 30 years, banking has been progressively too aggressive, too focused on the short term, too disconnected from the needs of our customers and clients, and wider society and we lost our way.”

The unhappy voice of the Employee

“For the employees at Barclays this has been a difficult time. Our meetings with them and a survey we conducted made clear that the overwhelming majority are focused on the bank’s customers and doing their best for them. They are as disappointed as anyone by some of the behaviours”.

“Many employees told us directly about their sadness, disbelief and anger with what has gone wrong in terms of the much publicised poor behaviours”

You get the behaviours you reward

“There was an over-emphasis on short-term financial performance, reinforced by remuneration systems that tended to reward revenue generation rather than serving the interests of customers and clients”.

Kill the messenger?

“There was also in some parts of the Group a sense that senior management did not want to hear bad news and that employees should be capable of solving problems. This contributed to a reluctance to escalate issues of concern”.

HR powerless

“The HR function was accorded insufficient status to stand up to the business units on a variety of people issues, including pay. This undermined any efforts to promote correlation of pay to broader behaviours than those driving individual financial performance”

Customers 101 (!)

“In pursuit of its goal of being a leader among its peer institutions, Barclays should develop an understanding across its businesses of how to meet its customers’ needs and expectations while also meeting its own commercial objectives and those of its shareholders. It should seek to learn from customer feedback, and publish the measures by which it would judge performance in resolving complaints. Barclays should report periodically on progress against these measures by publishing the data both internally and externally so as to reinforce the seriousness Barclays places on continuous improvement.

And…so what?

“To address the trust issues and restore its reputation, we suggest that Barclays should communicate openly and transparently how, and to what extent, it will implement our recommendations.”

Barclays should be praised for publishing this report. Let’s hope too that this new spirit of openness and humility continues, and that this point above is also acted on. Fascinating times indeed, for the once great Barclays!   

Why 98.7% customer satisfaction isn’t good enough. Safelite CEO on Net Promoter.

30 Nov

It’s always good to hear CEOs talking with passion about their own business. This is a useful belt-and-braces film of  the Safelite CEO (windscreen replacements) talking at a 2012 satmetrix event about how Net Promoter has been “the catalyst for cultural transformation across the company”.

Because the film is over 50 minutes long, it’s broken up into chapters so you can browse the headings, and I’ve also produced a brief guide to its greatest hits. And, to see the videos onscreen, it’s best to press the Switch Views button:

Safelite Autoglass, Boise

(Photo credit: markhillary. via Flickr.com)

6.30 mins

Nice summary of Safelite’s old days and old ways, a familiar world of short term focus, where cost and efficiency were paramount, and where a customer satisfaction score of 98.7% just wasn’t good enough (because as all NPS folk know, mere satisfaction is a low bar and a score like this tends to breed complacency).

8.15 mins

It’s worth noting that, as he says, this is a tough business to be in. It’s hardly Apple. It’s a low interest, low frequency, low involvement and low awareness business, like say, insurance where you’re only needed (and really tested) when things go wrong, or, most utilities. All the tougher then, given this, to create real connections with customers, and as he says later, the positive feelings and goodwill dissipate quickly too.    

21.30 mins     

Some useful stuff here on their actual feedback-gathering process. The figures quoted here feel pretty good, which means large volumes and low survey costs. They manage to obtain 77% of email addresses from customers, email 100%, and achieve a 25% response rate.

23.10 mins

Everyone has a ’roadmap’ these days (in much the same way that everyone is on a ‘journey’) so here is Safelite’s. And, yes, it’s good see the twin pillars of people first and customer delight. Even though the cliché counter may be in overdrive here (sorry), just as for every other business on the planet, there is no business without people. Great customer experiences begin with great people experiences.  

26.10 mins

OK, If you’ve made it this far, you’ve got through the vision, the ambition and the nice words like focus, caring and talent. The real question is, how to make these words live? So here are the core competencies. Again, pretty familiar stuff at first glance and the real differentiation comes through actually meaning it and doing it. But, to me, the third and fourth points – have a passion for creating customer delight and understand the business and your role in it – are interesting, as is the fact that to help spread the word and connect the dots, they also use Net Promote to measure support staff internally.   

The next five or so minutes focuses on the How of how they train and embed the right behaviours, and then recognise and reward (clue: money).

Results section to 46 mins

Show me the money! As he says earlier, adopting Net Promoter does require faith and in particular, trusting that if you do the right thing by the customer, the results will follow. A 12 point increase over 4 years, to 85% NPS is impressive in anyone’s book. He then goes on to outline the financial impact. Making the connection between happy customers and the bottom line is tough, and it takes time too. But it’s the Holy Grail when it comes to getting the whole business aligned behind the Net Promoter discipline. Once you have it, it’s priceless because then everyone – the finance team, the CEO and the customer-facing folk – are all talking what is essentially the same language. This CEO clearly feels it’s working for him.    

51 mins

Let’s end on some great closing words. The key to achieving customer centricity lies in how you think, whether you think internally, starting with systems and processes, or whether you start with the customer, and think externally.  

Making unhappy customers happy : it’s not rocket science. BUPA and Net Promoter.

26 Nov
Bupa

Bupa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A great reminder from BUPA International (medical insurer) that Net Promoter should be about much more than simply ‘market research’. It’s about taking action and fixing things for unhappy customers, day in day out, as this short film demonstrates.

It’s interesting too to hear about how this process challenges conventional metrics, and always nice to hear someone say it’s not rocket science. This is a phrase I probably use far too much, but that’s because it’s true. Most of this is just good old fashioned common sense, and yet that doesn’t make it easy to do, and it is especially hard to do consistently, and weave a discipline like this into the rhythm of business as usual. Enjoy the film.

BUPA Film

General Motors seeks customer zealotry, with new bonus scheme

26 Nov
English: Logo of General Motors Corporation. S...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This, from Automotive News in June, is another interesting sign of the times. The North America GM president has launched a new compensation structure that connects all staff bonuses to customer loyalty, in other words people coming back and buying more cars. This is a significant change from the days of old; as a dealership owner says in the article:  “Five years ago….if I were to call my zone manager, all he’d try to do is sell me something I didn’t need.”

There are a couple of interesting cultural insights in the article, about the organizational and cultural challenges that feel pretty much par for the course for many large long – established companies.

For example, there’s the dreaded silo’d and functional thinking, which resulted in the ‘everything is green syndrome’ nicely described in the article: “In the past, divisional barriers meant that even if employees in one area were hitting their targets it often did not translate into success for GM. “Everybody had their own metrics, which somehow were all green,” or positive, Reuss says of the old GM. “But, weirdly, when we added it up, it was pretty red.””  

So, the challenge is for people to look beyond the narrow scope of their job descriptions and keep their ultimate focus on the customer, and to recognise that, as far as the customer is concerned, it only works when it all works, hence the new bonus package.

gm-will-base-employee-bonuses-on-owner-loyalty

 

Making Net Promoter real in ING

20 Nov

Nice short film from satmetrix of the (ex) NPS lead at ING on how they engage their own people on the NPS journey.

I love the small but highly symbolic signals they send out internally; for example, the London phone boxes for people – including the CEO – to go back to customers and ‘close the loop’ on their feedback and issues. 

Great quote: “celebrating success costs us nothing but it has such an impact on people”. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtBHT8vyEa0&feature=related

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