We are delighted to bring you two articles in this edition of our
newsletter. In the first article, CCI President Craig Bailey shares a
recent community service project he had the opportunity to participate
in. The second article is the conclusion of our recent case study series
on "Managing the Customer Experience."
Helping Those in Need...Again
On Monday, March 1, the team from the First Baptist Church of Hudson,
NH, embarked on the journey to the Mississippi Gulf Coast area. The team
was comprised of: Craig Bailey, Al Daigle, Rich Fieler, Ed Gotham,
Reverend Jim Harrington, Fred Miller, Bob Nealon, RJ Nealon, Joe Pirroni
and Tony Rice.
Upon arriving at Camp Victor in Ocean Springs, MS, the team attended an
orientation session (along with about 60 other volunteers from around
the country). The Camp Victor crew provided an overview of the facility
in which the team was to be housed for the week. And, the Habitat for
Humanity crew shared details regarding the job sites that the volunteers
would be deployed to.
On the first day of work (Tuesday), the team met at the main work-site.
After receiving a safety briefing and a review of the coming week, the
team was split between 2 sites. One group was transported several miles
away to install a large window, attic stairs and build a platform to
house the new home's HVAC unit. The second group began what would be the
primary work for the remainder of the week: "punching out houses." This
involved taking care of the miscellaneous details necessary to ready
houses for the homeowner, such as installing grates for under-house
venting, building and installing external stairs, putting final touches
on the trim-work, touch-up painting, sweeping up the house, washing
windows, cleaning up the job site of debris, consolidating and
inventorying extra materials, etc.
In addition to putting the final touches on several homes, the team
prepared a new foundation to receive framing by the next crew of
volunteers arriving the following week.
A great deal of work involved shoveling. This included backfilling the
foundation after it had been set and the most enjoyable activity ever:
installing over 1,500 feet of silt fence to stop erosion around the
job-site. The silt fence installation took 3 days and involved digging a
trench 8 inches deep by 4 inches wide. Thankfully, "most" of the digging
was fairly easy although several sections required breaking through
hardened clay where the topsoil had been washed away. The team made a
vow to hold a shovel burning ceremony upon returning from the trip!
In total, the team worked on 6 houses, most of which were in their final
stage of homeowner readiness.
One of the steps in the process for homeowners to qualify for purchasing
housing from Habitat for Humanity is that they must put in 200 hours of
work into the house. It was extremely rewarding to meet a prospective
homeowner, a single mom who had quite a ways to go to complete her
hours, while trying to balance work and taking care of her kids. The
team asked Habitat for Humanity if their hours could be contributed to
her time given the circumstances. They said they would check into this.
As a reminder, hurricane Katrina, followed shortly thereafter by
hurricane Rita, hit "way back" in 2005. That said, the RECOVERY EFFORT
IS FAR FROM COMPLETE. A drive along the Mississippi Gulf Coast area
reveals houses that remain boarded up and lots with foundations where
houses previously stood. The situation begs the question: where are the
families that used to live there?
The team heard many stories of people still living in sub-standard
conditions. For example, a family living in a storage container next to
their condemned house. Due to the lack of resources to rebuild, the
father dutifully goes to work each day only to come home to his wife and
kids living in a metal box.
Finally, the most rewarding experience was driving through neighborhoods
where the team from the First Baptist Church, Hudson, NH, had built
houses in prior years. Seeing children playing in clean neighborhoods
amongst new houses made it all worth it!
If you have it in your heart to assist others in need, please consider
hooking up with the charitable organization of your choice to donate
your resources (time and/or money). The reality is that if you are
reading this article you are very likely blessed with MUCH MORE than
those so desperately in need.
In closing, the volunteers listed above would like to thank all those
who supported the cause. In addition to the trip being completely funded
(covering ALL travel expenses), there is a surplus of funding which will
be used on a future mission trip, or otherwise support those in need.
Managing the Customer Experience
- A Case Study Part 5
This is the final
installment of our case study example outlining strategies and
techniques that one of our past clients (PTC) has put in place to
effectively manage the customer experience. This multi-part series
results from a collaborative effort with Mark Hodges, DVP and Chief
Customer Officer at
previous article in this series, we discussed methods to obtain and
leverage the Voice of the Customer. In this article, we share one
approach PTC is taking to continuously evolve from being highly
responsive to proactive, thereby pre-empting negative customer
As previously stated, enterprise software packages (CRM, ERP, PLM, etc.)
are highly complex in and of themselves. Couple that with the nuances
within each company in which they are deployed and the complexities and
risk can increase exponentially. We previously covered PTC's Enterprise
Deployment Center (a highly skilled team made up of cross-functional
resources) that PTC put in place to engage on escalated customer
situations. While this serves as a highly responsive method to get
customers back on track in a timely manner, the next step is to become
more proactive by identifying risk areas in advance and taking steps to
mitigate these risks.
To accomplish this objective, PTC seeks to identify risk areas early in
the project lifecycle. And, if present, the customer receives heightened
attention. Key risk areas can include new product launch, solution
complexity, customer infrastructure, global requirements, etc.
Once it is determined that a system deployment has any number of these
risk factors, the Enterprise Deployment Center is engaged. The
Enterprise Deployment Center then reviews the risk areas and makes
mitigation recommendations in partnership with the Service delivery
team. The objective is to try to mitigate the identified risk areas
before they become "RED" accounts as part of a formal escalation
process. An analogy is the use of a fire officer to advise and guide on
prevention techniques in order to avoid, hopefully, the need for the
fire truck in the future.
As reported by Mark Hodges: "All of our experiences from prior
implementation projects are serving to ensure that future deployments
(with similar complexities) are more effectively handled. In addition,
by engaging our most seasoned resources up front (on high risk
projects), we are able to identify and mitigate new risks that are
unique to the project (software deployment and the specific customer
infrastructure). This has had a direct impact on customer satisfaction
and our own operational efficiency."
In closing, effectively managing the customer experience does not just
happen because management "says so." Rather, it requires:
Ensuring executive oversight and engagement on key
Closing the loop between the front-line and
Formalizing a "Tiger Team" of highly seasoned
resources to respond immediately to escalated customer situations
Obtaining and effectively leveraging the "Voice of the
Putting in place measures to identify risks early and
becoming ever more proactive
Stay tuned for the whitepaper on this topic that will result from
consolidating the individual articles into a single useful case study
for your reference.
In the meantime, if you wish to improve the practices at your company
for managing the customer experience and would like assistance in doing
so, feel free to give us a call. We have worked with numerous companies
across a diverse set of industries, doing just this. Effectively
managing the customer experience isn't rocket science. However, it does
take dedicated focus that can often be difficult to accomplish with
internal resources, all of whom have a "day job" involving responding to
the next customer's need or issue. Customer Centricity can bring focus
to this crucial objective and help you make demonstrable progress in
very short order! Just ask some of
About PTC: PTC is all about helping discrete manufacturers succeed
by meeting their globalization, time-to-market, and operational
efficiency objectives in product development. As one of the world's
largest and fastest-growing software companies, PTC delivers a complete
portfolio of integral Product Lifecycle Management solutions to over
50,000 customers in the Industrial, High Tech, Aerospace & Defense,
Automotive, Consumer, and Medical Device industries.
PTC's solutions enable teams to collaborate across departments—and
across continents—helping them create innovative products that meet
their customer needs and comply with industry regulations. In addition
to best-in-class solutions, PTC also delivers expert training, software
support, and world-class services directly through PTC Global Services
and indirectly through a range of partners.
View previous articles in this series.
+ Helping Those in Need...Again
+ Managing the Customer Experience - Case
Study Part 5
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