Change your world, one interaction at a time

Andrew S - 19 th July 2017

Why do you get up every day?

Is it to earn money? Is it to do a job? Is it to fill a chair?

Or do you get up to change your world, one interaction at a time?

“Customer experience is every interaction, or touch point, your customer has with your brand. It not only includes the what’s (the interactions), but also the how’s (perceptions, feelings) the customer experience.” - Forrester

This is what building a competitive and differentiated brand comes down to - being able to deliver the experiences your customers want at every touch point.

You’ve done the leg work…

  • You’ve got the facts. You know what the existing customer journey looks like, you know what your customers think of your brand and you understand the ambitions of your business

  • You’ve built a clearly articulated and robustly researched vision and tested it on the right people

  • You’ve aligned the needs of your customers with the needs of the business

  • You know the minimum that is expected of you (brand basics) and have identified how you can wow customers (brand amplifiers)

You’ve made hot CX a business reality across the whole organisation. And now it’s time to kick it up a notch. It’s time to make it real and change your world…

Delivery is the difference between good and great customer and employee experiences. It creates great brands for you and your customers, builds powerful businesses and generates value for every stakeholder.

But powerful Delivery comes down to the ability to see the experience as a whole and build a plan upon this. Here, we look at how.

Extinguish cynicism

If this isn’t the first time you’ve tried to transform your business, you’re going to have to prepare for cynicism towards the approach.

Every business is different. Some have large improvement or digital departments with the skills needed, while others only have a handful of overworked technicians. Most sit somewhere in the middle.

Whether the Delivery team is outsourced or trained from within your business, they all have to be engaged from the beginning.

After all, employees have the power to drive transformation. Yes, an inspiring vision will connect the wider team and steer them to work with the grain of the business - but brilliant Deliver connects people to the business ambitions and the needs of the customers.

And of course, poor delivery will only reinforce the ‘here go again’ mindset of any cynical employees.

There are two ways to extinguish this cynicism and get your people on board:

  1. Focus on brilliant Delivery

  2. Create a compelling employee experience

Let’s start with the first solution…

Map your priorities

Brilliant Delivery demands a realistic and engaging plan that faces up to facts and speaks truthfully.

Like all of this approach, it needs to be based upon fact, not fluff. You need to listen to what the Exploring, Visioning and Aligning stages have unearthed, and use it to get buy in across all of the business.

The first step is highlighting the set of priorities you need to deliver. Every transformation will have these - some quick wins that are immediately actionable, and some long term changes that are capitally intensive…

  • Start by setting up a priority mapping workshop. Using the brand basics from the Alignment Strategy, classify your improvements in terms of effort to deliver vs. strategic impact on the business

  • Prioritise your no brainers: brand basics that will be easy to deliver and will have a high impact on the business KPIs. They are the improvements you can make to either the digital or physical experience that can be implemented immediately

  • Map the high impact improvements that may be more difficult to deliver accordingly and avoid the low impact and extremely difficult to deliver changes

Creating a priority map will shift the process into the real world to show the business the impact in the short, medium and long term. This will add significant value to your business case, helping you to demonstrate the real pressure for change and the benefits transformation will offer your business.

In turn, the senior management team will be able to back the Delivery process with confidence - knowing that it is balancing the needs of the customer with those of the employees, all whilst offering valuable returns to the business.  

Quick wins should almost always be prioritised and a rapid transformation process applied to them. But do so in a controlled fashion.

After all, we live in a world where we have to learn to fail fast in order to increase our abilities to rapidly improve.

So put pilots in place for each opportunity so you are able to see the impact on the customers and the business. If it works, keep improving and roll it out. If it doesn’t, review the data, improve the process and get agile about the iterative process.

Using digital sprints - a transformation technique that transfers well from the digital world into the physical world - demonstrate to your people that the talking has stopped and the doing has started.

In other words, prove the potential returns from the approach for both the senior management team and colleagues throughout the business.

Once you have proven the potential of the transformation with low risk quick wins, you can start to assess the longer term opportunities with a full business plan. This is a critical element of the entire Brand Alignment Approach.

Fueled by your brand

Allow your brand to fuel each and every step that you take throughout this transformation.

Avoid quick fixes that don’t relate to anything. Diving straight into fixing things that you know are leaking time or money will prove long term, brand building solutions difficult to deliver. Instead, you’ll be left with silo fixing rather than experience aligning.

Delivering must work with the grain of the business with the brand at the heart of everything you do. It helps you keep your eye on the whole picture - the experience as a whole - and keeps you away from improving one singular touch point at a time…

Customer experience is a team game. You simply cannot improve customer experience in silos.

Remember, the customer is the most important person here. They don’t see silos, they see delay, repeat activities and pain. Improvement is - and should be - a holistic thing.

“A brand is a living entity, and is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.” - Michael Eisner, CEO of Disney between 1984 and 2005

Brands are built or undermined by your people and the thousands of small gestures you make. You can just as easily destroy a brand as you can build it up.  

Everyone must be engaged in the Deliver of the customer experience; it’s the only way each and every member of the team will see and truly understand the influence that they have on the business.

Stop the talking and start the doing

Doing trumps saying every time.

By making hot CX a reality for your business, you are inspiring a positive transformation that will deliver on the three most important areas - your customers’ needs, your business needs, and the return to the business.

Put in the effort during the Exploring, Aligning and Visioning stages, and make it stick through Delivery.

Next time, we’ll walk you through the second method you can use to engage your business - an engaging employee experience.

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Andrew is the CEO and the other founding partner of Brand Vista. With over 30 years of brand experience both on the client and agency side, what gets him up every morning is a passion for helping clients grow through building genuinely differentiated brands that deliver a customer experience that becomes irresistible.
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