Archive for the ‘customer experience management ’ Category

Designer. Sui Generis

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

His true legacy is that he made the digital analogue. He turned ‘stuff’ into enduring delight. And what one business would have seen as irrelevant, expensive design detail, he made glorious, emotional connectivity. ~Richard Seymour, designer

His Legacy

In countless tributes to Steve Jobs, Apple devotees are understandably praising him for redefining several consumer electronics categories — the computer, the mouse, the MP3 player, the smartphone and the tablet.

Apple’s sleek devices resonate with users through all the noise and clutter of their lives, whether they’re in Johannesburg, Shanghai or São Paulo.

But Jobs’ impact extends beyond Apple’s wildly successful product line. Jobs not only raised the bar on consumer electronics, he transformed the discipline of design. Due to the universal appeal of his work, he revolutionized the way designers everywhere approach their work.

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Focusing on Customers’ Needs

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

In our practice, we help clients use visual maps of the “touch points” at which customers interact with the brand.  There are several ways of doing this but one of my favorite modeling tools is the storyboard in which is a narrative sequence wherein each touch point is identified.

This works well when facilitated, cross-disciplinary teams of employees explore customer scenarios from the customer’s point-of-view. The team considers the customer’s preferences (needs, wants and expectations) as they evaluate relevant system interfaces, business rules and work/information flows.

The facilitator’s role is to be sure the group stays on track and considers touch points from the customer’s point-of-view.  They must also help the group remain mindful of the big picture as participants can become preoccupied with particular sticking points.

In the process, participants are well-served to consider broader questions: What are our target customers looking for, and how has that been changing over time? Why do they choose our product over that of our competitor’s?  How can we further tip the scale in our favor?  What are the benefits versus the costs?

This simple exercise typically results in new insights about service processes that can be rapidly put into practice and supported by the larger organization.

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As always, I’d love to hear your perspective…

The Hat Trick

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

The thrill of victory

One of the best things about my work is what my colleagues and I call the “hat trick”.  In sports like cricket and hockey, a hat trick is accomplishing a feat three times in a contest.  I’ll explain what a hat trick is in my world and why it’s thrilling to pull one off.

Our mission is to help clients enable their customers to enjoy richer, more satisfying service experiences.

A hat trick is when we not only help clients to better meet the needs of their target customers, but also enable them to increase customer loyalty and revenue. We do all this while also cutting service costs — sometimes up to 20%.  Almost every assignment offers hat trick potential.

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Understanding Customer Behavior

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Why customers do what they do

It feels like we’re at the dawn of a new era in understanding how people — namely our customers — make decisions, and some businesses will benefit enormously. More importantly, customers will soon enjoy more kinds of services designed to better meet their needs.

Our collective thinking is being informed by discoveries in behavioral sciences and behavioral economics about the role of the unconscious mind and the centrality of emotions in driving behavior. Many of these findings are now verifiable through neuroimaging tools.

Among other things, we’re realizing that people aren’t Vulcan-like beings who make choices on a cold, purely rational basis. Individuals — our customers — are complicated and swayed by factors beneath the level of consciousness.

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Dispatch from West Africa

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

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Downtown Cape Coast, Ghana

Pulsating business scene

I spent the last couple weeks on assignment in Accra, Ghana. On this trip, I’ve seen more growth than any time since my company started working there in ’07. This is a period of unprecedented business activity and promising new projects within and beyond the mobile sector.  Meanwhile, new competitors from around the world are streaming in. This corner of Africa’s business scene is pulsating.

Astute businesses here are taking steps to preserve their client base and deepen relationships with their customers. We’re privileged to work with a new generation of African business leaders with the courage and determination to transform their offerings to meet the needs of an emerging class of consumers.

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In Appreciation

Friday, January 1st, 2010

One of the more satisfying experiences at year’s end is reaching out to clients, partners and colleagues to thank them for their business and their stalwart support.  It’s even sweeter this time while reflecting on an entire decade going back to the early days of my business.

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Opportunity “Smell Test”

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

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Over the last few weeks, my colleagues and I presented value propositions to separate audiences in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Clients in each of these markets face unique challenges and opportunities to be sure. Our offerings addressed their different needs, but our approach is fundamentally the same everywhere.

Our work consists of three steps:

1)      Develop a better understanding of customer needs by getting closer to customers and engaging them wherever possible,

2)      Use customer insights to continually improve offerings,

3)      Deliver a customer experience that’s better than the rest.

The good news is that these steps apply to clients everywhere, despite cultural variations. The not-so-good news is that succeeding with these steps is almost impossible unless there is substantial buy-in at the highest level in an organization.

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