For the month of June we’ll focusing on Customer Experience and Culture and it’s impact on your organisational bottom line. This is the first of a four part series, subscribe here to follow the series.
To improve the customer experience, you must first understand the demand of your customers, what they want and what they actually value
In trying to address the needs of your customers and add value, there is invariably change that needs to take place across the organisation. Whether it’s changing your IVR to reflect specific call demand, changing the way a process operates to increase throughout time, or removing unnecessary steps in a process, your people will often need to completely change the way in which they work.
Making change happen across the organisation
Taking people on this journey is easier said than done. Especially when it could be changing the way someone has worked for the last 20 years or scrapping a new process someone has just developed and is very proud of – which turns out to be an ‘improvement that’s not an improvement’.
Fred Reichheld states in his book The Ultimate Question 2.0, that to achieve outstanding results from improving the customer experience, you not only need to have a Net Promoter System in place, but you also need to have the Net Promoter Spirit flowing through all levels of the organisation.
How do you change behaviour to become customer obsessed?
To create this ‘spirit’ and change behaviour to be customer obsessed, nib have used an array of tools over the years, many of which have failed spectacularly and many that exceeded our expectations.
I would like to share 10 things that have achieved results in taking people on the customer experience journey to change behaviour.
- Collect customer data, treat it like gold and action it
- Collect voice of customer and NPS data and share it with everyone so your people can see where we add value and where we don’t
- Develop the infrastructure and processes to action and ‘close the loop’ on customer feedback
- Empower your people to make decisions and address customer issues head on. It’s much easier to get buy-in and change behaviour when it’s also being driven bottom up
- Understand your key processes to effectively coach your people
- Have a solid understanding of your key processes and how they deliver value to your customers – If you don’t know them, you can’t drive improvement
- Respect your people – don’t give your people poor processes that create waste and don’t deliver value to your customers
- Know what is happening on the frontline of your business – go see for yourself
- Go to the Gemba – go to where the work is done to find the facts in order to make correct decisions
- Eliminate the distortion that comes from indirect information and dispel commonly held legacy myths
- Have a common set of questions to drive continuous improvement and Lean thinking to ensure that the customer is at the heart of everything you do
- Why do we do this process? Do we need it – could it be done differently, more efficiently, automated?
- Are we focussed on the most value add activities for our customers? When was the last time we asked them?
- Are we utilising our people effectively and matching them to customer demand?
- Have we removed all rework and bottlenecks from a process?
- Enable your people’s success by driving continuous improvement behaviours
- Encourage your team to identify opportunities within your team
- Have customer experience and productivity improvement as agenda items in team meetings and huddles
- Create and deliver on a pipeline of continuous improvement projects
- Implement ‘just do it’ quick wins as it helps drive interest and engagement
- Create visibility in your processes to drive improvement
- Use visual management to provide a shared (visual) status of the performance of the team or process
- Measure and report on factors that are meaningful, and have realistic targets
- Introduce daily stand-up meetings to discuss performance, identify issues and address in real time
- Solve problems systematically
- Give your people problem solving tools to stop customer problems from reoccurring rather than managing the symptoms by understanding and addressing the root cause
- Fixing reoccurring customer problems at the root cause releases capacity. This freed capacity can be harvested and channeled into more problem solving and customer experience initiatives
- Ensure your team goals are aligned to improving the customer experience
- Ensure that the goals of your team are aligned to customer experience and can be measured and reported on
- Celebrate success for sustainability
- Reward and recognise people who are contributing to continuous improvement and are exhibiting the right behaviours
- Circulate successes to the wider business to drive awareness
- Enough said.
Do you think there should be an 11th point? Is there anything you can add?
Adam Novak - Head of Customer Experience, NIB Health Funds
Adam has been with nib for over 5 years and is currently the Head of Customer Experience where he is responsible for ensuring that nib ‘put the customer at the heart of everything they do to improve the customer experience and business performance’. This includes reducing failure demand through process improvement and developing tools to enable exceptional service for nib’s customers in key moments of truth. Previous to nib Adam worked in advertising in client servicing and strategic planning roles both in Australia and overseas with Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicam and Belgiovane Williams McKay.