It’s one thing to have an amazing brand vision, it’s another to deliver it well.
There’s not doubt about it: delivery is the difference between good and great customer and employee experiences.
In other words, it is king.
Delivering is what really counts.
It is the powerhouse behind the new era of brand building.
In our latest blog post Onwards and upwards: 7 elements needed to build a great CX strategy, we stated ‘delivery is what makes a great brand and generates value.’
But how can you use Delivery to spark real, tangible results for your business and your customers?
Lost in the continuum
Building and delivering an irresistible customer experience is not a one off event. It’s a continuum; an ever-evolving and iterative process that should respond to changes in environment, competition, disruption and - of course - customer behaviour.
Customers are now comparing you to brands outside of your market, as well as those within. Add to this the rise of digital disrupters, it’s no wonder expectations for today’s experiences are being pushed higher and higher.
Every market has turned up the heat across many fronts. And let’s face it, this will only intensify.
There are new companies popping up out the woodwork every day. New competitors intensifying the battle to attract and retain loyal customers.
Remember that old African proverb…
Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion, or it will be killed.
Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle, or it will starve to death.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle - when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.
This is why you need to avoid losing yourself in the continuum. Otherwise you risk developing and delivering seamless and friction-free digital experiences that fall short as soon as the customer interacts with the physical aspects of your brand - or vice versa.
The era of delivery
The pressure for transformation is evident for us all to see…
Delivery is truly where the rubber hits the road. It’s the new communication and the only differentiator.
However you want to phrase it - Delivery is King.
When putting the wheels into motion, remember four key things:
1. Never lose sight of your customer
Delivery demands a clear focus on how your customers actually buy from you, rather than how you want to sell to them. Be sure to keep them at the heart of your planning to avoid spending too much time looking inside the business
2. Use the brand as a lens
Look at all of the interactions your brand has with its customers through the brand. This will keep positioning and values at centre stage across every touch point.
It also helps to maintain the balance between the customer and the business needs when making decisions
3. Help your people make it happen
Your front of house know what they need to deliver and how they need to deliver it. They interact with your customers day in day out and understand their needs more than anyone.
So whether it's how your own people work together to deliver your brand, or how your customers interact with them, focus on getting the insides of the business working well first.
The rest tends to follow.
4. Remember the whole customer journey
If you're working on improving just one customer touch point, it is very easy to lose sight of how those particular efforts are going to affect the rest of the programme.
To avoid siloed actions creeping back into the process, keep the envisioned customer journey front of mind at all times.
Delivery turns strategy into action and action into a communication medium. This develops stronger bonds both inside and outside the business.
It’s when all the hard work - Exploring, Visioning and Alignment - comes to life for the people of the business and your customers. Delivery is the starting point where hot customer experiences become a reality for the entire organisation.
But only when you are armed with a realistic, robust and engaging Delivery plan - which means you’re going to have to listen to some home truths.
Facing up to the brutal truth
In any transformation programme, you’ll have a set of priorities you need to deliver. Some that are immediately actionable and some long term, capitally intensive.
Your Delivery plan should accommodate all of these.
It shouldn’t run away from the brutal truths of affordability, capability gaps, or the need for outside support. It needs to embrace these challenges.
Be realistic. It’s the only way you can change your world, and it’s the only way you’re going to get backing from the senior team…
Create a Delivery plan that considers the longer term opportunities, as well as the short term wins, and help highlight the balanced approach of delivering business returns and an enhanced customer experience.
This is the realism needed to make this whole approach work - the realism needed to help the business see the tradeoff between what you need to do and what you need to stop doing.
It will help focus your resources and the effort of your people on the benefit building aspects of the plan, while breaking down barriers for both the customer and the people of the business.
The new differentiator
Delivery is the moment when transformational change begins to take place. It shows the senior team how the approach balances business return with an irresistible customer experience. It is real - and it is this realism that will power the business’ transformation.
But there’s also a significant danger that your business won’t be able to see the experience as a whole…
Being able to improve multiple touch points, without allowing siloed behaviour to creep back in, is brand critical. And forgetting the strategy and the overall programme map will only prevent differentiation.
Next time, we’re going to look at how you change your world, one interaction at a time and put Delivery into action. In the meantime, catch up on the series so far.