How to make your organization customer ready

Senior leaders committed to building a superior customer experience will need an achievable plan that can be delivered while carrying on with day-to-day business. Companies that fall short of expectations they’ve set usually fail to bring their people through the change, largely due to two blind spots. First, they push initiatives without understanding the many other tasks people are juggling. Second, the mere prospect of change can be quite unsettling; employees justifiably worry about their own role, resist the change and get distracted from their work.

1

Just as devising a winning experience starts with the customer’s priorities, an achievable plan shows empathy for employees—senior leaders put themselves in the performer’s shoes—and assesses the organization’s state of readiness by answering three practical questions:

Which groups are the most critical in order to carry out the required changes? It’s useful to map a matrix showing the importance of the change to each group and the expected effect of the change on them.

How can we equip each group for success? Improvements will come slowly if people have to battle outdated practices and policies. So companies may have to invest in process changes or technologies that will to help their people succeed, as well as hire people with new skills in, say, digital design.

Who can best support and influence the groups? Given that a customer’s experience touches multiple parts of a company—which in turn depends on support from other departments behind the scenes—success hinges on having sponsors of the plan at all levels. This “sponsorship spine” sometimes tracks direct reporting relationships, like a call-center agent, his supervisor, her manager and so on. But it often also includes respected advocates in other units, people who have influence by virtue of their earned authority and reputation.

In many cases, a complete transformation of a customer experience takes place over 18 to 24 months and comprises several phases:

  • Installation of the Net Promoter System, including working out the economics of greater loyalty as part of making a strong case for change, combined with a compelling customer vision.
  • Realization of the intended outcome by using the inner and outer loops and the advocacy of sponsors throughout the organization, while concentrating on the must-win battles.
  • Mastering the discipline of repeatability. In fast-moving markets, the half-life of any customer experience has grown shorter. Successful companies thus develop capabilities to make the experience design process repeatable, either to apply to new products and markets or to adapt to the inevitable shifts in the marketplace. Building a repeatable model allows companies to rapidly adapt to change without succumbing to complexity. The outcome is a customer-centric culture that delivers exceptional experiences, time after time, to create lasting competitive differentiation.

How to make your brand promise meaningful to your employees

 

 

 

A woman and a man on a business lunch in a restaurant

In a recent IThink post, we shared four things a brand promise needs in order to drive true customer loyalty. Together, these make up the building blocks of an effective brand promise—one that has the potential to connect emotionally with customers and is the basis on which lasting relationships can be formed.

But, as we all know, making a promise is just the first step. To successfully drive true customer loyalty, you must also be able to consistently deliver on the brand promise over and over again—something that will require everyone in the organization to become brand managers and brand ambassadors who understand why, and know how, to apply the brand promise to their daily decisions and actions.

In fact, at Infinis Consulting, we believe and teach other business professionals that the brand promise belongs to everyone in the organization, and it must be central in all business decision-making.

However, through our work with other organizations, we often see this common mistake: companies sometimes struggle to deliver on their brand promise because they tend to focus resources disproportionately on the external communication of the promise (i.e., promoting to their customers) rather than devoting necessary resources to the internal communication to, and equipping of, the people (their employees) who are critical to delivering the brand experience.

An authentic brand promise is much more than a simple poster on a wall (which no one probably reads anyway). For it to be delivered consistently, time after time, across all touch points, a brand promise must be made meaningful for all employees.

To do this, review your brand promise and ensure that it is:

  • Simple – Easy for everyone to understand and state in his or her own words.
  • Realistic – Something that all employees believe they can deliver consistently.
  • Actionable – Something that can be translated into clear and concrete actions.
  • Indicative – It clearly demonstrates: “What you will do, and what you will not do.”

Your customer experience is dependent on the people delivering it. These four tips can help ensure that everyone in the organization is prepared to deliver on your brand promise.

To know how can we make your organization’s brand promise more meaningful for your employees? contact us