- 18 Aug
Getting the same idea as your customers have for your company
Once you have familiarized yourself with possible obstacles you may find during the implementation of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), you can proceed to the next stage: framework development for customer-centric business operation model. At this step, there are five different focus areas you should consider before you can bring your business at the same way as your customers want.
Insights and Analysis
Once you have grabbed the idea of the importance of having the same way of thinking as your customers have and committed to doing all necessary strategies to get it, business analytics and market research can provide you help you need in learning your goal. At the next stage, you will learn how company performance audit can help you in understanding your customers’ needs as well as improve the quality of both goods and services your company manufactures.
Few years ago, Wells Fargo conducted a research on this subject. Today, it is very common for us when people prefer online services than conventional, offline services. Mobile services and ATM have become standard media for this purpose, but this study revealed one crucial fact. At least 60% bank account holders still prefer to make the financial transaction with the help from the bank teller rather than using ATM for the same purpose.
This discovery surprisingly led the research actors in making one critical decision. Well Fargo, as the research actor, chose to tie all different platforms together. With this strategy, all bank account holders no have the necessary access to open online account with all features they can get from conventional, offline account opening. It means that everyone from all around the world can make the deposit at any bank branch, withdraw cash from their account through ATM booth, check their balance using mobile application with their mobile device, and other features. All come with easiness as they do all the financial activities with real bank teller. All these features make Well Fargo’s discovery as one of the crucial financial-related discovery the world has ever seen. Everything in the financial world has never become as easy as we have today.
Here are some simple rules you should keep in your mind your business analysis will recommend to you.
Have the courage to face criticism
It is people who run the business, not machines. It means that no matter how perfect you set your business system, there is still possibility it will not deliver the best service and product quality to your customers. There are still some people who feel unsatisfied with your service or product, but this fact does not mean you should ignore them. You should receive them with gratitude instead of ignoring them because renunciation will only bring negative public perception over your company. At contrary, once you choose to accept both negative and positive feedbacks, you have allowed yourself in developing the ability to gather, hear, organize, and respond to all customers’ reactions. It is precious information asset you can use to inform as well as enhance your business operations.
In addition to the operation enhancement, you may also need good connectivity across various functions you have. Once you have multi-channel operation, not only you can increase your business performance, but also ability in managing any feedback you get from all clients.
Conduct an audit over your customer’s satisfaction and experience
An audit is very useful not only to assess your business performance, but also your customers’ experience, feedback, and satisfaction over your company service and products as well. However, unlike conventional financial or performance audit you usually do, this particular review requires you to navigate through a series of company-customer interactions where you should learn to understand not only external factors that may drive people’s experience, but also internal capabilities. During the process, I should remind you for not lowering your awareness for any weird transition. It includes uncommon movement your customers make when they choose to purchase an item immediately instead of browsing relevant information, preferring retail store rather than internet and other possible activities. These mysterious activities will bring a different result to your audit. So, keep your eyes on it.
Once you have received the audit result, re-consider whether information you get have successfully targeted your customers’ experience as the review subject or not. It is crucial to determine the accuracy level of the examination itself.
I remind you the presence of information you should know about customer experience audit: you can also use it as the internal benchmark over your business performance. The result will lead you to the right way you should take if you want to become a customer-oriented unit which lives as your customers do.
At this present stage, I wonder you have had the results. Now, it is the perfect time to harness the power of business analytics and reporting tools. They are crucial business tools that will help you in getting 360-degrees view of any information you should know about your customers, including their profile information, shopping behaviors, the decision-making process, preference, and other information you need.
In general, your audit stands as powerful information you can use for almost all business purposes. It includes if you supported the review with appropriate technologies that will boost its accuracy and the amount of valuable information it gathers. However, you should treat the information carefully because not only they can help you in making the best decision you will never forget. Also, they may lead people for not trusting your company anymore if you take it on the wrong way.
Strategy and customer experience
Even a simple insight on what your customers need can lead you to develop an ultimate model for your business. Zappos.com, an online shoe retailer, should be able to give you the clear example on this subject. The store chooses a unique name for its brand; a unique name that perfectly reflects the company strategy in selling footwear: WOW. This policy wants to eliminate common difficulty when people want to purchase footwear: we do not which shoe fits our feet when we look at the catalog. So, Zappos try to offer free shipping service and return if the shoes do not match with the customer’s feet. By eliminating the ‘mismatched’ risk, Zappos successfully turns everyone’s mind in going to online shoe retailer as the perfect alternative from conventional shoe store.
From the same store, at least there are some important points we can learn:
1. Use ‘customer experience blueprint’ to create top-down and bottom-up design
First, you need to establish a strategic business vision before you can define the big picture for your company future. After you completed the task, get a clear definition of ‘good’ when it comes to field implementation where you should draw the ideal vision blueprint of your customer experience. It is crucial to ensure your employees one important thing: you have high expectation that your customers will follow each path you take.
In accordance with the blueprint (it is crucial, you know), you can use it to reveal any changes in your business which has never become as crucial as the current time if you want to create easy access for your customer as well as clear insight on how to phase under this circumstance. As you can see, the benefits are even greater than enterprise architecture your company uses.
Finally, you should connect all the top-down vision your company has with the blueprint of your bottom-up idea. Once you cleared it, continue with the definition of business roadmap you need to bring both visions into reality.
There are always quite many ways you can use to arrange your business resources, no matter in which form they take present. However, experts in customer-centricity niche discovered that the most appropriate strategy ‘manufactures’ both business and customer value. Our first example, Zappos, has clearly shown you the reason of this statement.
2. Establish collaborative and effective planning across business units and functions
Create an effective, specific, and collaborative business plan that connects all functions and units in your business; then isolate the plan. Only after you complete this stage, you can proceed to fragmentation which you will use to revive your dreaded silos. Perform the fragmentation at functional or product level. Carefully wait until you finish the process because you need well-integrated plan to penetrate the market with well-prepared approach and integration of customer experience blueprint. This blueprint is mandatory n building and developing compatibility among product strategies, customer, and collaborative execution you have completed previously across all units and functions you have in the office.
3. Expand your core services and products
Under some circumstances, studies discovered that business growth and development may become necessary even though when it should happen beyond your previous expectation of both service and product portfolio model. Nike and Ford Motor Co. will be enough samples for this purpose. These companies have committed themselves in providing precious new value propositions to all customer they get by shifting their operating models as well as product lines.
The proposition itself does not have to reach everyone from all around the world, huge or famous. As long as it brings your vision and help you in the value implementation, it is enough.
Operating model design and execution
Operating model design and implementation means you should take the holistic approach as you continue with the address any business issue that has relevance with all aspects in your office. The biggest challenge, however, remains at unifying both execution and design which some people often consider dismantling.
1. Cleanse customer-centric processes
In almost all conditions, process connection, organizational structures link, and system integration can help you in making the information flow as smooth as possible. During the process, you should however, prepare yourself in describing any process that may give impact to your customers. It is important because people will define your activities, ‘determine’ which technology you should use, channel you require, and defining all relevant responsibilities and roles. Yes, the whole process is never as easy as some business owners think. A customer-centric process architecture and system make everything clear, including where customer handoffs will occur, things your customers need to shape their experience, and how you should optimize all resources you get.
2. Develop new capabilities for both internal and external facing
There is necessary information you should know if you have previously applied CRM for your business. There are two customer types who ever contact a company call center: either they come with experience about product they found on the internet or not. These people come with one intention: prompting the customer service agent. Well, most conversations turn into personal interaction, but you should memorize one crucial fact: new platforms are not always the answer you need, such as online portals, mobile-enabled video chat, and other similar tools. Even though we cannot deny the effectiveness of advanced technology, they do not stand as the crucial one in determining the operating model. You will only get great result over detailed precision if you follow the customer experience blueprint.
3. Connectivity is important
Collaboration is crucial whenever we speak about customer-centric business operating model. Once you committed your company to breaking all the obstacles and silos, you must make everything clear about when it will take presence. The answer may vary, depending on your corporate culture, but it is always crucial to keep the solution as efficient as possible.
Before you can re-define your business operating model, begin with performing an examination over your company’s collaborative capacity. How will you describe the collaborative capability of your company? Is everyone has the same willingness to become better than ever? These are undeniable questions. Once you get the answer, you should be ready to face any cultural change, but remember once again that the change may vary from major to minor. If it is likely to be significant and radical change, I think it should be better than ever if you choose small, regular changes to take time. The contrary happens if the opposite happens.
As you choose to shift your business model from product-centric to customer-centric pattern, there are various questions lie in front of you. However, there is one question that holds the most crucial aspect you should answer immediately: how flexible you expect your vision to turn? How your company makes a decision and who has/have the power to create them?
Those questions may just contain several words, but they greatly affect your business especially in maintaining the company discipline and creativity encouragement as well.
If we turn to the original description of governance, we will arrive at one crucial and helpful conclusion: governance deals with decision making and exception handling. It deals with flexibility. That is the clear reason once an approach becomes too rigid, everyone will get obstacles on their way whenever we want to discover innovation and the best innovation we can share to the company where we work. At the other side of this case, it is also important for business leaders and owners as well to take care the undisciplined mentality of “Wild West." It is a useful mentality if you have good corporate culture and behavior, but it may turn to nightmare if you come with random preparation.
In most occasions, business governance deals with board creation from various impacting functions as well as customer facing. It holds the responsibility for a group of issues, including roadmap creation for enterprise architecture evolution, vision management, approach initiative for exploiting new business capabilities and deviation stem, and other related functions.
1. Maintain control scope and collective vision
Sometimes it may be difficult to stand by a company vision because different stakeholders may have the different perspective, information, and priorities that will determine which decision they take. Today, we can see new insights replace conventional thought in the development of business idea, but still we cannot deny the truth that evolution is conscious through traditional path. When you ask people to stand by the idea they partly understand; it is likely any decision they take will not have perfect alignment with the vision itself which in this case, governance is mandatory.
In other cases, whenever one function inside an organization or company deviates from the major plan, you need to perform a ‘legal’ escalation process to prevent any adverse impact that may occur. Right calls are crucial to maintain the goal.
2. Be clear-cut about who holds customer relationships
The governance board inside your office must immediately decide where the holding lies, based on the company products/services and the company itself. Get the answer immediately (no matter where it lies: corporate, brand, or franchise level) because you need it to help your customers in ensuring themselves that your office has the firm commitment in delivering consistent and deliberate customer experience.
3. Keep a record of touch points
Both commonsense rules and ‘synthetic’ firm capabilities reflect how good your company in making interaction with your customers over a possible oversaturation issue. It is another reason you need governance board in the office. It helps you in defining appropriate business rules you need around cadence and frequency of customer touch points. When a company chooses to engage its users too often, the contacts usually turn into spam, and that is the point. You need to develop your rules around the ideal touch points you should perform. So, it will never turn into spam. Coordination is crucial here.
No one doubts the effectiveness of being a customer-centric company, but the implementation of this decision urges strong commitment in leadership to manage all possible changes. You do not have enough resources if you believe conventional office project management will treat it well. In fact, it is not only about you, but also everyone in the office. Everyone should have the same responsibility in behavioral changes as well as operational impact, interim plans, and cultural implications.
1. How do you react to the new culture?
Whenever a development takes place, the biggest problem is establishing new model and system that will stay operational during the process without any noticeable disruption. What strategy did you want to apply to balance both the old and new environment? How you prepare everyone in the office to deal with the new situation? Well, current culture in your company may help you in overcoming any negative impact the transition may bring, but you should also realize that not all people come with similar skills as you have. People will still need guidance which in this case, it comes only from you.
2. Place the winner of customer experience at your business executive level
After some guidance, you will get more people than just yourself who understand everything they should do to deal with the new culture. Place these people at executive level as ‘tutor’ for everyone. They will not only make all processes easier than before, but also lead everyone on the right path to create a stable working environment which you need if you want to establish a high-level business strategies as well as tactical execution.
3. Everything needs time
Even though you have all well-established preparation, you believe to be applicable under all situations, you can expect all changes to be fully operational in days. You need time, and it is not only for you, but also for the whole member of your firm to adopt. Do not rush the time because it will only break the system, culture, and your company as the worst case.
4. Create a project management that will manage all changes for communication and training
Preparation is crucial, but it does not have relevance at all if you believe monitoring stage is useless. In fact, you need project management program to monitor all changes until it is complete. Some companies even hold the project until couple months or even years until they are completely sure there is nothing wrong happens to the company due to the culture transition. Set your goal and which aspects you should carefully watch. It will help you in overcoming the possible ‘threat.'