Becoming Customer Centric - Implement
Now that you have obtained customer input, analyzed it and socialized the
results, it is time to implement customer-focused changes. This
implementation involves several steps:
Management attention and commitment
Conducting formal cross-functional reviews
VoC tracking and reporting
In this issue, we will expand upon the first two items
Management Attention and Commitment
Senior management (Director and VP-level) of several critical
organizations must be engaged to participate in the VoC program. This
includes the following organizations:
Training and Education
Service and Support
This level of commitment requires senior managers to
"personally" review the VoC information as well as ensure their areas are
fully represented in all elements of the VoC program. Additionally, it is
crucial for them to determine the key performance indicators of the
organization that the VoC program is targeted to improve, such as:
Revenue and profitability
By customer segment
Product/service diversity by customer
Obtaining management attention and commitment to this
program, and what will be measured, demonstrates leadership and the level
of importance given to the VoC program.
Conduct Formal Cross-Functional Reviews
This step involves conducting a periodic (monthly/quarterly)
cross-functional discussion which includes the following steps and
A formal review of VoC data with a team of resources
from each department previously identified as having the most
significant impact on the customer experience.
Obtaining organizational commitment for putting in
place action-plans to respond to troublesome trends and/or close the gap
between current state and goal (level of satisfaction, retention,
revenue, product/service diversity per customer, etc.).
Obtaining updates on previously established
action-plans. Because this is a recurring discussion, it is important
not only to identify new action-plans to address new trends and
observations, but also to obtain status of previously committed
action-plans to ensure accountability and follow-through.
To support this,
each organization involved in the VoC program needs to receive the monthly
reporting package and perform a detailed review to identify trends
observed and determine actions in advance of this review meeting.
This could include individual organizations identifying the need to
follow-up with the customer to apologize for lack of performance by the
firm, reset expectations or obtain additional details regarding a comment.
For chronic trends that are impacting many customers, you will want to
define initiatives to improve the organization's level of performance
experienced by the customer.
Each team must come to the cross-functional review meeting prepared to
discuss the VoC results respective of their area and comment on actions
that have been, or will be, taken.
Finally, this meeting should be facilitated by an "unbiased" member of the
firm who is not "within" a customer-facing organization. This role could
be referenced as the VoC program manager. This person must be assertive,
diplomatic and empowered to "ask the tough questions." Because this person
has no vested interest in the customer-facing organizational camps, he or
she can tease-out key areas that need to be addressed to get at the root
of issues causing customer dissatisfaction and/or defection.
In the next edition we will expand upon the items of VoC
Tracking/Reporting and Forecasting.
If you'd like to review an outline of the complete VoC program, feel free
to download the
presentation recently delivered to PDMA's VoC conference.
A Word From Our Readers
We received the following feedback to last issue's article
The CRM Mutiny. The area of Customer Relationship Management is
important to so many of our readers that we felt this feedback should be
shared with all of you. (See sidebar for our new reader-input incentive
Thanks for the newsletter. I would add to Kurt's great "mutiny" article an
observation from my experience.
The new system almost always embodies some new work, new processes, and
perceived tighter management control. Management usually wants pipeline
data, the ability to intercede on some key sales, and consistent sales
process implementation (to make the pipeline data useful).
If this type of work were being done consistently without the support of
an automated system, then sales people would be more likely to see it as
an improvement that they would support.
The system features, support etc. take more heat than they deserve because
of the underlying resistance. The successful implementations take account
of how the work will change and what this really means for people. And
that may not be an IT or system feature discussion at all.
+ Becoming Customer Centric
+ A Word From Our Readers
+ Recommended Reading
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recommended reading comes from CNET News.com, via the McKinsey Quarterly.
Telcos: See you online discusses how telecommunications companies must
follow the lead of other industries, such as airlines and retailers, to
create strong online customer-service capabilities, in order to reduce
call-center costs while providing an enjoyable customer experience.
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