Thursday, August 14, 2008

Customer Experience Value Management Perspectives

Customer experience value management (CEVM) our definition: A strategy to accelerate customer value, change customer behavior and build business value to support business growth needs.

Customer satisfaction has, over time, proved to be a poor indicator of customers’ true feelings or intentions. According to a report by Harvard Business Review1 between 60 and 80 percent of lost customers described themselves as “satisfied” or “very satisfied” in customer satisfaction surveys almost immediately before defecting.

Research carried out by UK insurer Norwich Union2 in2005 suggests that, while 84 percent of customers describe themselves as “satisfied,” only 41 percent remain loyal.

And yet we know beyond reasonable doubt that a positive contact centre experience will generate positive customer behavior – a propensity to remain loyal, spend more and provide advocacy.

In research published by the Henley Centre in 20063, 65 percent of consumers said they would be likely to stay with a company that provided good customer service, even if they could get a better financial deal somewhere else.

The urgency to measure and improve customer satisfaction has intensified in recent years as customers have begun to exercise, with greater confidence, their right to choose and switch suppliers according to how well or badly they feel they are treated by them. In a customer advocacy study conducted by Hitachi in 20064, 63 percent of respondents asserted that they would defect on the basis of a poor contact centre experience.

So, recognizing that a customer’s opinion of the service they receive will influence their behavior, organizations have slavishly persevered with customer satisfaction measurement, investing time, energy and resources in order to improve their scores. They have done so despite the fact that they can make no reliable correlation between those scores, their customers’ subsequent behavior and their own business performance.We see a new alternative emerging that focuses, not on what customers say about the service experiences they receive, but on those experiences themselves.

By capturing, analyzing and evaluating the interactions that take place between customers and organizations, and then mapping that analysis against subsequent customer behavior, it is possible to identify, with some accuracy, the characteristics of customer experiences that generate the most positive customer outcomes.

Once recognized, these characteristics can be replicated at scale through process redesign and training, and then reinforced by quality management.

Vitally, in today’s multi-channel world, this approach can be applied to customer experiences delivered not only via the contact centre, but across the Internet and other automated channels. And, perhaps most powerfully, the ability to identify the sources of customer delight or disaffection is not limited to the customer experience itself. By revealing why customers are calling, what they complain about and what they most frequently applaud, customer experience analysis highlights failings and virtues in an organization’s broader business processes, or even in their products themselves.

It is important to remember that the contact centre does not exist in isolation, but sits at the centre of a complex network of back-office departments whose activities impact the customer experience. If those departments operate poorly, customer experiences will suffer, and the cost to serve will rise.

But, it is to the contact centre – and its associated customer communication channels – that customers express their frustration with such failures. Customer experience analysis can be used to examine, not just the quality of the interaction, but what it tells us about the effectiveness of back office processes, allowing improvements to be made across the whole organization.

In simple terms, analysis of the customer experience can identify those processes – within the customer management operation and beyond it – that impede an organization’s ability to satisfy customers. Focus can then be applied to the improvement of that experience – the eradication of those behaviors that frustrate and the active encouragement of those that delight.

True customer experience management is being practiced only by an enlightened minority; a minority that, we predict, will reap significant competitive advantage as a result.

Effective customer experience management has the potential not only to make customers more satisfied, but to make them more profitable. It can encourage them to buy more and complain less, to remain loyal and provide advocacy. It can bring within reach the holy grail of the customer management industry – greater customer revenues achieved at lower operational cost.

Helix Commerce has a complete Customer Experience Value Management Methodology, with deep expertise proven in pre - sales to post service business problems to help its customers innovate its customer experiences more successfully.

Research Notes: recognition to Verint Consulting

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Web 2.0 Market Update - ROI and Benefits Discussion

What’s happening with Web 2.0 in the enterprise?

With the slowing economy - Web 2.0 is falling under the discretionary spending column due to the belt tightening underway in the industry. As a Goldman Sachs analyst put it, execs are “searching for solutions with a high and fast ROI,” a criteria that is not appropriate with emerging technologies.

According to a Computerworld story about the Web 2.0 market, 63 percent of IT pros say they expect Web 2.0 technologies to have a moderate or significant impact on their businesses over the next three years.

Based on our Helix client experiences helping companies advance their Web 2.0 and SaaS strategies - IT professionals are accepting Web 2.0 tools like: wikis, blogs, podcasting and RSS feeds because their personal usage of these tools is growing. Not surprisingly, however, junior IT professionals are more familiar with Web 2.0 tools than senior management and are keen to unlock these capabilities into the workforce, while companies still battle over :should we make social mediated tools available in the workplace?

According to the Forrester Research, while 80 percent of respondents say that IT is funding Web 2.0 projects, this drops down to an estimated 60 percent, because of the line-of-business projects it thinks are still happening under IT’s radar.

Measuring ROI for Web 2.0 is a difficult topic. According to Forrester research, 22 percent of respondents have not measured the business value of Web 2.0 technologies. The most popular methods of assessing value are traditional measurements such as ROI, employed by 41 percent of companies, and employee productivity surveys, used by 27 percent of companies.

It is very difficult to sit down and create that traditional ROI measurement where you can talk dollars and cents. The benefits are softer benefits … a lot of productivity benefits spread over a lot of different resources.

There appears to be a clear relationship between awareness of tools and their perceived business value. Among the strongest performers in the survey: discussion forums, with 70 percent of respondents saying they yielded moderate or substantial business value; wikis (67 percent); and podcasts (62 percent). Earning fewer votes of confidence were mashups, with 41 percent of respondents saying they provide business value, and tagging (42 percent).

Forrester Research analyst G. Oliver Young said earlier this month about ROI when discussing a Forrester report that indicates a growing acceptance of Web 2.0 technologies among IT personnel that: It is very difficult to sit down and create that traditional ROI measurement where you can talk dollars and cents. The benefits are softer benefits … a lot of productivity benefits spread over a lot of different resources.

While Forrester’s report offers a bullish outlook on Web 2..0, others are less positive. A Robert Half Technology survey shows decent adoption rates and high interest among CIOs for some Web technologies, and strong aversions to others.

According to that survey, 34 percent of CIOs use videoconferencing today with another 18 percent planning to adopt it in the next five years. Also popular were online training, with 47 percent of respondents using it now and 13 percent planning to add it within five years, and collaborative work spaces (Microsoft’s Sharepoint is the example offered by ZDNet’s Larry Dignan), with 24 percent using it now and 19 percent expecting to add such tools.

But check out the Robert Half numbers of CIOs taking a pass on technologies: tagging software (67 percent), blogs (72 percent),wikis (74 percent) and virtual worlds (84 percent). ZDNet’s Dignan expresses surprise at the lack of love for wikis and speculates that maybe they are popular among in-the-trenches types such as software developers and project managers but not among CIOs.

While adoption of Web 2.0 technologies is growing, just 21 percent of companies are satisfied with them, found a McKinsey survey. Twenty-two percent of respondents say they are dissatisfied with such technologies, according to a Network World story about the survey, while the majority of companies are apparently still on the fence. That’s hardly a ringing endorsement.

Among the barriers to adoption: company doesn’t understand the potential financial return (the ROI thing, again), cited by 28 percent of respondents; corporate culture doesn’t encourage Web 2.0 use (22 percent); and company doesn’t provide enough incentives to adopt or experiment with Web 2.0 technologies (20 percent).

More importantly - why do companies adopt Web 2.0 technologies? The top three reasons, according to McKinsey: managing knowledge (83 percent), fostering collaboration (78 percent) and enhancing company culture (74 percent).

What we believe people are missing though in measuring Web 2.0 Value is Brand Risk and Reputational Risk and Talent Attraction Risk -- there are many other harder measurements in collaboration and Web 2.0 business models that people continue to miss out on realizing and communicating.

Sometimes it is just hard to teach and old dog new ways of looking at possibilities that are are new.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Successful Innovation requires Strong Change Leadership

The Conference Board in 2008 listed global CEO's top concerns gloabally as organizational flexibility and adaptability to change consistently. Only revenue growth was of higher concern.

Worldwide in the rapidly changing and tubulent economy companies are under pressure to "do more with less." Customers are demanding "better, faster, cheaper" everything. Competition is fierce. The pace of change is accelerating. And employees are increasingly skeptical about committing to business strategies that are constantly being redefined.

Even more challenging is the concept of co-opetition as companies increasingly need to rely on a shifting alliances - competitors one day and partners the next Corporate streamlining is an annual affair. Mergers and acquisitions are on the rise - as companies acquire to shore up short-term revenues and fail to to realize the long term value promised.

This is our current business reality and successful leadership belongs to those who keep their employees resilient, positive, and engaged dealing the constant beat of change.

Irrespective of these realities senior executives continue to make 3 major mistakes when managing change:

o Deeply understanding what it takes for an organization (or a team or a department) to go from "surviving change" to "thriving on change"
o Understanding the difference between incremental and discontinuous change - and the emotional literacy needed to lead people through both
o Recognizing how change really gets communicated through an organization (ie: the power of social networks and the grapevine, and the silent language of leadership (non verbal communication). Too many organizations rely on traditional forms of communication, employee newsletters, emails, town hall meetings, rather than effective dialogue and discovery feedback loops at the grassroots and management levels giving them the tools they need to lead their work teams more effectively.

The Killer Silent Leadership Language

All leaders have a choice in how they communicate their vision and key messages to all stakeholders. They can either express their perspectives with: openess, passion, confidence and warmth - as well as with arrogance, indifference, and displeasure through their facial expressions, gestures, touch, eye contact, and use of space.

When a leader's nonverbal messages conflict with his or her verbal messages, people become confused. Mixed signals have a negative effect on performance and make it almost impossible to build relationships of trust. This is as true for a chief executive officer or a department head as it is for a team leader or a first-line supervisor.

Evidence from psychology, neurobiology, medicine, sociology, criminology, and anthropology has given nonverbal communication new credence in the workplace. Body language is more powerful and primitive than verbal expression. By correctly reading other people's nonverbal cues, you can discover their underlying meaning. And by aligning your body language to support the content of your messages, you become more credible and persuasive.

The Power of Collaboration

"Knowledge is Power" is an old cliché with some truth, but knowledge shared across the organization is a new realization of something more powerful. A company's competitiveness is a combination of the potential of its people, the quality of the information that people possess, and the ability to spread that collective wisdom throughout the organization.

Successful collaboration is more than the technology that supports it, more than a business strategy aimed at optimizing a company's experience and expertise, and even more than a cultural shift from the industrial to the information age. Powerful collaboration is, first and foremost, about people - and their reluctance or willingness to share what they know.

Creating trust in the organization and trust in its leaders is an important first step to creating a collaborative culture.

Successful Innovation requires Strong Change Leadership

Often when we are helping organizations improve their innovation capabilities, we look to see if there is an effective change management competency. More often than not we do not find evidence of a formal innovation change management methodology and leadership program which specifically targets developing expertise in change management discipliens.

Nurturing new ideas requires supportive and collaboration business practices to ensure that new germaine ideas can grow effectively. The leadership behaviors required for innovation require strong change management expertise as an organization's nervous system more often than not treats new ideas like an invading virus and the overall system work to disable or prevent the new innovation from taking stronger roots. This is one of the main reasons organizations often extract new commercialization projects away from the core of an organization's operating practices.

In summary, the objective of this blog is to reinforce the importance of organizations developing innovation programs to ensure that they train their leaders on change management skills in order to improve their innovation leadership skills.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Omnicom Announces G23 to help businesses tap into the power of the global female economy.

Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) announced the formation today of G23, a high level strategic solution for clients seeking to make relevant and sustaining connections with women whether as consumers, customers, employees or other stakeholders.

G23, a strategic consultancy comprised of senior female communications leaders across a broad range of Omnicom companies representing every marketing discipline, is led by Janet Riccio, Executive Vice President of Omnicom Group Inc.

"The goal of G23 is simple: to transform our clients' businesses by amplifying and activating female power. Engagement with G23 is a unique experience for our clients because of the unprecedented access to a diverse group of female executives in our organization whose potentially game-changing views are shaped by our proprietary and groundbreaking research," Riccio said. "We seek to help our clients understand newly emerging fundamental truths about the women who are economically vital to their businesses before even approaching ideas about 'marketing to women.'"

Riccio noted that G23 members engage independently of their operating companies on behalf of all clients, so that this is an additive and complementary approach to the holding company's various marketing and communications disciplines. Client engagements are bespoke and consultative in nature.

Using the notion of women's tribes as a way of thinking about women whose behaviors, beliefs, and global/local contexts are similar, the group has funded and fielded a study of women's economic lives in 16 countries around the world through leading global research company Pacific Ethnography and Harris Interactive. The study, titled "The 8 Female Tribes that Power the Global Economy," examines women's economic power including what and how much they buy as well as their influence over purchasing.

"We look at women as a cultural group across borders and what they share in a global economy whether it is shared patterns of economic life or shared vision for the future," Riccio said. "This is a very different way of examining women from the traditional women versus men orientation."

Omnicom President and CEO John Wren said, "Omnicom has a history of developing multiple, innovative services and solutions for our clients. The unique perspective that G23 offers is only possible because of our commitment to a highly collaborative, entrepreneurial culture where our people are sharply focused on the pulse of the global marketplace."

In addition to Riccio, G23 members include: Emma Gilding, one of Time magazine's "Top 100 Business innovators" and President of in:site, a cultural anthropology think-tank; Tracy Lovatt, EVP, Behavioral Planning Director at BBDO; Sharon Love, CEO of consumer marketing and communications firm TPN; Marian Salzman, Chief Marketing Officer at the public relations firm Porter Novelli; Kate Stephenson, President of Global Account management, OMD; Andrea Sullivan, Executive Director of Client Services for leading brand consultancy Interbrand; Dianne Wilkins, a former golf pro and CEO of leading Interactive agency Critical Mass; Julie Winskie, President and Chief Client Officer of Porter Novelli; Jan Thompson, Executive VP, DAS, BBDO Detroit; Helen Hibbott, Managing Director, US -- Rapp Collins, New York; Julie Bauer, President, The Bauerworks; and Shelly Paxton, Global Group Director of Strategy, OMD.

Currently in discussions with Omnicom clients, the group will be joined by an advisory board whose charter members are Susan Smith-Ellis, CEO of RED, Oxford University Professor of Marketing Linda Scott who is the author of "Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism," and editor of Advertising & Society Review and Fara Warner, writer and author of "The Power of the Purse."

About G23

G23 is a senior strategic consultancy working with clients who seek more relevant and sustaining connections with women. Multidisciplinary in its communications, G23 is comprised of preeminent communications leaders, all women, who understand the importance of quickly delivering viable business changing ideas to clients.
Bookmark and Share