Monday, December 19, 2016

From touchpoints to journeys: Seeing the world as customers do
By Nicolas Maechler, Kevin Neher, and Robert Park

To maximize customer satisfaction, companies have long emphasized touchpoints. But doing so can divert attention from the more important issue: the customer’s end-to-end journey.

Super insight

When most companies focus on customer experience they think about touchpoints—the individual transactions through which customers interact with parts of the business and its offerings. This is logical. It reflects organization and accountability, and is relatively easy to build into operations. Companies try to ensure that customers will be happy with the interaction when they connect with their product, customer service, sales staff, or marketing materials. But this siloed focus on individual touchpoints misses the bigger—and more important—picture: the customer’s end-to-end experience. Only by looking at the customer’s experience through his or her own eyes—along the entire journey taken—can you really begin to understand how to meaningfully improve performance.In our experience, six actions are critical to managing customer-experience journeys (articles elsewhere in this volume explore several of these topics in depth):
  • Step back and identify the nature of the journeys customers take—from the customer’s point of view.
  • Understand how customers navigate across the touchpoints as they move through the journey.
  • Anticipate the customer’s needs, expectations, and desires during each part of the journey.
  • Build an understanding of what is working and what is not.
  • Set priorities for the most important gaps and opportunities to improve the journey.
  • Come to grips with fixing root-cause issues and redesigning the journeys for a better end-to-end experience.
The amount of time it can take to identify journeys, understand performance, and redesign the experience can vary widely from company to company. For companies seeking only to fix a few glaring problems in specific journeys, top-down problem solving can be enough. But those that want to transform the overall customer experience may need a bottom-up effort to create a detailed road map for each journey, one that describes the process from start to finish and takes into account the business impact of enhancing the journey and sequencing the initiatives to do so. For many companies, combining operational, marketing and customer, and competitive-research data to understand journeys is a first-time undertaking, and it can be a long process—sometimes lasting several months. But the reward is well worth it; creating a fact base allows management to clearly see the customer’s experience and decide which aspects to prioritize.

Monday, December 12, 2016

10 Principles of Customer Strategy
It’s no longer enough to target your chosen customers. To stay ahead, you need to create distinctive value and experiences for them

Strongly urge you to read the full article and other studies highlighted in it.

The conventional approach to gaining customers, which was based on picking a segment of purchasers to target and developing products for that segment, is no longer sufficient. A customer strategy goes further: It is the articulation of the distinctive value and experience your company will deliver to a chosen set of customers over three to five years, along with the offerings, channels, operating model, and capabilities you will need….
….A well-designed customer strategy will coordinate many different functions, skills, and practices. For example, it should encompass data analytics; go-to-market and channel choices; and the delivery of products, services, and experiences.Ten principles are at the heart of any effective customer strategy. These principles are universally applicable, regardless of what industry a company operates in, whether it focuses on a business or consumer clientele, where it does business, or what products and services it offers. Based on long-standing practice and observation — along with our survey and interviews with key players in eight industries — these principles show how companies can position themselves for customer success.

Monday, December 05, 2016

How Domino’s Pizza Reinvented Itself
Bill Taylor
NOVEMBER 28, 2016

This is a great turnaround story with a lot of insight in how to look at your business differently to turn it around

The scale of the changes at Domino’s are remarkable. Doyle became CEO in 2010, after some troubled years, when the company’s growth was slow and its stock price was stuck, a lame $8.76 per share. Today, Domino’s is the second-largest pizza chain in the world, with more than 12,500 locations in more than 80 countries, and a share price approaching $160. It has moved from being the butt of late-night jokes to becoming a favorite of the stock pickers on CNBC… 

… How have Doyle and his colleagues unleashed so much change in such a short period of time? First, by reminding themselves of the business they’re in. Domino’s is not just in the pizza-making business, the CEO emphasizes, but in the pizza-delivery business, which means it has to be in the technology business. “We are as much a tech company as we are a pizza company,”....  All that technology has changed how customers order (using the Domino’s app, or directly via twitter, or even by texting an emoji); how they monitor the status of their order; and how Domino’s manages its operations. 
Second, Doyle explains, Domino’s had to reinvigorate the brand. Even if delivery was the essential part of its business, the pizza mattered too—and the pizza was bad. Soon after he took over, the company launched an ad campaign that has become legendary for its boldness, sharing comments from focus groups about what people thought of the product: “worst pizza I ever had”; “the sauce tastes like ketchup”; “the crust tastes like cardboard.” Doyle appeared in the ads, accepted the withering criticism, and promised to “work days, nights, and weekends” to get better 
He and his colleagues worked to spice up the company’s image as well as its products. Once the pizza got better, Doyle announced plans to open a Domino’s in Italy—a move that was nothing if not daring. (Starbucks still doesn’t have coffee shops in Italy, although there is talk of opening them in 2017.) He also worked with crowd-sourced auto designers to create a Domino’s delivery car, the DXP, a colorful, cool-looking, modified Chevrolet Spark (an article called it a “cheese lover’s Batmobile”) with just one seat, and a warming oven with room for 80 pizzas 

“Transportation is a core part of the business,” Doyle explained, so it makes sense for Domino’s to create a “purpose-built pizza-delivery vehicle.” (The company is also experimenting with robotic delivery, and delivery by drones.) There is substance to all of these initiatives, but it’s pretty obvious they’re also designed to modernize the company’s image, to create a sense of style and a sense of humor to accompany the mushrooms and pepper.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Sustaining the momentum of a transformation
By Michael Bucy, Kevin Carmody, Jennifer Davies, and Greg Peacocke

Five elements can keep bad habits from reasserting themselves.

Sorry for not having any postings in November. A few things contributed:
Recovering from the U.S. elections (this is NOT a political statement)
Some client work

Let’s now continue our dialog

The importance of sustaining a transformation may sound obvious—and the actions required straightforward. But they’re not. Companies typically neglect this long-term imperative because, understandably, they’re obsessed by the short-term gains. They underestimate the difficulty of kicking old habits and developing a healthy new approach that will be manifest in thousands of everyday actions rather than referenced by a simple checklist. New skills, intense discipline, and strong personal relationships are needed to maintain the momentum. 
The key to sustaining a transformation is to embed what we call an “execution engine,” a replicable process that fundamentally changes performance rhythms and decision making in the business. It’s about raising sights beyond the strategic choices and daily initiatives to change how the organization 

1. Take an independent perspective.
Challenging everything is exhausting, but companies that sustain change are never satisfied with the situation today. They continue to look for fresh facts, rather than accepting the status quo. They guard constantly against falling back on negotiated targets that managers will accept easily. 

2. Think like an investor (particularly, a private-equity firm).
This mind-set is not always popular inside organizations, but adopting it is not just for the executive team. We all know how passive employees kill the dynamism of a business. Employees in successful companies sustain their transformation by constantly challenging colleagues, not just getting along. They refuse to settle back into a leisurely pace of decision making. And they pursue new sources of value. 

3. Ensure ownership in the line.

During the transformation program per se there is an inevitable tendency for management and outside advisers to set the targets (as happened with the North American engineering company). This should be resisted. Businesses with large central teams that own centrally imposed initiatives, embedded in budgets without buy-in from managers, are most at risk of falling back into their old ways. 

4. Execute relentlessly.
It’s all too easy for companies to allow the pace to let up once the initial improvement targets are achieved. It’s simpler to delegate, after all. But when senior executives go back to high-level target setting and avoid immersing themselves in the details—perhaps on the dubious pretext that they don’t want to micromanage—the warning lights should be starting to flash. 

5. Address underlying mind-sets.
Inspired employees make all the difference in an organization and in our experience conspicuously outperform those imprisoned by a traditional command-and-control culture. Managers should not just challenge; they must instill meaning. They must recognize extra effort. And they should not assume that employees necessarily understand why the company has to operate in a different way in the future.