CCI Sponsors 'Cool' Event
Customer Centricity is joining a select team of organizations in
sponsoring the 2009 Hot Stove Cool Music: The Summer Sessions VIP
Party. This fundraising event is taking place in Boston on the
evening of August 31, 2009 prior to the Counting Crows concert at the
Bank of America Pavilion. The event will benefit The Foundation to be
Named Later, an organization which is on the frontlines serving
disadvantaged children and families. The foundation was established by
Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein and his brother Paul as a branch of
the Red Sox Foundation.
To learn more about the event or to inquire about the availability of
remaining VIP tickets, please visit The Foundation to be Named Later's
www.foundationtobenamedlater.org. To view the full announcement
about the Hot Stove Cool Music: The Summer Sessions VIP Party, please
Head in the Sand or Nose to the Grindstone?
While there are
glimmers of hope in the current economic outlook, stories of gloom
remain. And, it seems there is a long road to recovery ahead. That said,
team-Customer Centricity continues to be very busy (and growing) as we
work with leading firms who are investing in improving the customer
experience and operational performance.
I know that it is difficult to (continue to) reduce costs while
delivering the same (or better) service to the customer. However, it is
simply table-stakes. If all you are doing is cutting costs and keeping
your head in the sand until the "current" black cloud blows over, you
are going to be at a disadvantage vs. those firms that are quietly
retooling their operations.
As a leader, it is your job to keep the team optimistic about the
prospects of the future by backing it up with positive action to prepare
your organization accordingly. If you need ideas to get started, here is
a check-list of things that you can do quickly and easily (i.e., these
things don't have to cost a lot of money, and can be done with internal
Do you know how your customers REALLY feel about you?
If you are doing a customer survey, is it giving you the information
you need to feel comfortable that you have a solid read on your
customers' perception of you? If there is ANY concern, you can
perform a customer perception-polling exercise. By asking 3 simple
questions to key customer decision makers, you will learn EXACTLY
where you stand:
working well in your relationship with our firm?
What do you
feel are opportunities for improvement?
What are the
key success factors in your relationship with us and are we
While you may not be
able to perform the above for all, or even a majority of, customers,
this exercise should be considered absolutely crucial for ALL your key
accounts (at a minimum).
Are you TRULY obtaining input from your customer touch
points? This is much more than the monthly management report of
metrics (i.e., call volumes, answer times, service levels, renewals,
etc.). Have you asked your front-line personnel:
The people to ask
these questions include your front-line customer service, technical
support and account management personnel (to start). When doing so,
indicate that EVERYTHING is fair game. And, to ensure you get the
unfiltered truth you need an external (of that department), objective,
unbiased party to obtain this information and report up to senior
management. Attempting to bubble-up this information "through the ranks"
will result in sugar-coated feedback that is so polished, there is no
room for improvement. In fact, you'll probably be lulled into (more)
Do you have a punch-list of improvement opportunities,
prioritized by "bang for the buck" and a road-map to completing
these? If not, engage one of your top-notch program/project managers
and have him/her frame-up and DRIVE the enterprise-wide effort to
get out of the swamp.
Has your firm been on an acquisition binge? If so,
have you consolidated all operations (people, processes and systems)
and product lines? If not, review each organization (the acquiring
and acquired) for best practices and best systems, define a roadmap
(again, based upon bang for the buck) and adopt/deploy each
enterprise-wide. Make no mistake, it may actually be the parent that
could use a dose of the acquired firm's processes and/or systems.
So, leaders within the acquiring firms – have an open mind about
this. Having this open-minded conversation between all the parties
can help bring everyone together on the same page faster and
potentially yield improvements in unforeseen areas. In other words,
everyone will begin to work more as one team vs. "us and them."
Have you outsourced or based key components of your
operations (service, support, telemarketing, business development,
etc.) on partner relationships? Are these third party functions
operating at arms length distance with your firm, with lots of stuff
falling through the cracks? Are you not achieving the efficiencies
that you expected, but it is too painful and/or expensive (can't
break the contract) to turn back now? If so, then spin-up an
initiative to improve processes and system interfaces with these
"partners." Because, whether you realize it or not, these partners
are simply extensions of your organization. And, in the eyes of the
customer they ARE your organization. If they aren't operating
effectively on your behalf, or there is a broken interface with your
firm, then you are not delivering a seamless experience to your
customer or the bottom-line results you've promised to your
Again, any of the above items can be done internally, if your staff has
the bandwidth. That said, if you need help feel free to
contact us. It just so
happens that the above is a punch-list of current initiatives that we
are working on with a number of our clients.
+ Eking out Improvements in a
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Some Words From Our Customers
Check out what a customer
had to say about his experience with Customer
needed to move from a process-centric to a customer-centric focus. We
engaged Craig Bailey and Customer Centricity to assist us in moving in
the right direction while simultaneously controlling costs and
preserving resources. Phase I of the project was an organization
assessment and implementation plan. We are very pleased with the outcome
of Phase I and feel that the results were well worth the investment.
Much of the success of this project is due to Craig's skill and
fact that the staff responded so enthusiastically is a testament to his
ability to make them feel comfortable, ask them the right questions and
to express the intention of improvement rather than criticism.
The true proof of our satisfaction with Craig's services is that we will
be engaging him to oversee our Phase II implementation project. I'm
looking forward to our next steps and to moving forward to customer
VNA, Western Pennsylvania
About Customer Centricity, Inc.
We strengthen overall company performance through
better service delivery and management.
We boost efficiencies in front-line customer service and technical support
teams, order processing, fulfillment, field service, logistics and other
key operations functions.
In short, we align the resources of your organization to exceed your
customers' expectations in the most effective and efficient manner
See What Our Customers Say