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The East African : October 26th 2013
46 The EastAfrican BUSINESS OCTOBER 26 - NOVEMBER 1, 2013 MANAG E R Managing a custome≥’s jou≥ney gives companies a competitive advantage interact with the organisation and its offerings on their way to purchase and after. But the narrow focus on maximising satisfaction at those moments can create a distorted picture, suggesting that customers are happier with the company than they actually are. It also diverts attention from the bigger picture: the customer’s end-to-end journey. In our research, we’ve found C that organisations able to skillfully manage the entire experience reap enormous rewards: Enhanced customer satisfaction, reduced churn, increased revenue and greater employee satisfaction. They also discover more-effective ways to collaborate across functions and levels, a process that delivers gains throughout the company. More touch points, more complexity At the heart of the challenge is the siloed nature of service delivery and the insular cultures that flourish inside the functional groups that design and deliver service. These groups shape how the company interacts with customers. But even as they work hard to optimise their contributions to the customer experience, they often lose sight of what customers want. The solution to broken serv- ice-delivery chains isn’t to replace touch point management. Functional groups have important expertise, and touch points will continue to be invaluable sources of insight, particularly in the fast-changing digital arena. Instead, companies need to embed customer journeys into their operating models in four ways: They must identify the journeys in which they need to excel, understand how they are The experience a customer gets from the moment they start interacting with your organisation is important. Picture: File currently performing in each, build cross-functional processes to redesign and support those journeys, and institute cultural change and continuous improvement to sustain the initiatives at scale. Identifying key journeys Defining the journeys that matter and deciding where to begin the transformation requires both top-down, judgment-driven evaluations and bottom-up, data-driven analysis, to varying degrees. We recommend pursuing these efforts in COMMENTARY ALEX RAWSON, EWAN DUNCAN AND CONOR JONES “Organisations able to skillfully manage the entire experience reap enormous rewards.” parallel whenever possible. An executive working session, drawing on existing research, may be sufficient to identify the most significant journeys and the pain points within them. That research is typically fragmented and often includes data on the customer volume in a given journey, reasons for call centre complaints and obvious gaps in performance. But those companies that want to transform the overall customer experience need to simultaneously create a detailed road map for each journey, one that describes the process from start to finish, takes into account the business impact of optimising the journey and lays out a common-sense, feasible sequence of initiatives. This is a bottom-up effort that starts with additional research into customers’ experiences of their journeys and which ones matter most, both to customers and to business performance. A company should draw on customer and employee surveys along with operational data across functions at each touch point, to assess performance and gauge how it is doing relative to the competition. Understanding performance A company must examine each key customer journey in detail in order to understand the causes of current performance. This deep dive involves additional research, including customer and employee focus groups and call monitoring. It allows the company to map the most significant permutations of each journey as the customer experiences and would describe it, revealing the sequence of steps he is likely to take from start to finish. The mapping exercise also exposes departure from the ideal customer experience and causes, and often reveals policy choices or company processes that unintentionally generate adverse results. For example, many companies charge ompanies have long emphasised touch points — the many critical moments when customers for phone-based technical support, thinking that imposing a fee will steer customers to selfservice options. But the consequence may be numerous callbacks or inadequate do-it-yourself fixes, both of which degrade the customer experience. Redesigning the experience Leaders must avoid the temp- tation to helicopter in and dictate remedies; indeed, they should refrain from any solutions that don’t give employees a big hand in shaping the outcome. Even if a fix appears obvious from the outside, the root causes of poor customer experience always stem from the inside, often from cross-functional disconnects. Sustaining at scale Delivering at scale on custom- er journeys requires two highlevel changes: modifying the organisation and its processes to deliver excellent journeys, and adjusting metrics and incentives to support journeys. Adopting a journey-centric approach allows companies to move from siloed functions to cross-functional processes and empowered, bottom-up innovation. Many companies set up a central change leadership team with an executive-level head to steer the design and implementation and to ensure that the organisation can break away from functional biases that have historically blocked change. Once their new management structures are in place, organisations must identify the appropriate metrics and create the appropriate measurement systems and incentives to support an emphasis on journeys. Optimising a single customer journey is tactical; shifting organisational processes, culture and mindsets to a journey orientation is strategic and transformational. Delivering successful journeys creates a culture that’s hard to build otherwise, and a true competitive advantage goes to companies that get it right. Alex Rawson and Ewan Duncan are partners in McKinsey’s Seattle office, and Conor Jones is a partner in its Dublin office. What behaviou≥s do you expect you≥ leade≥ to display? By KEVIN SHARER New York Times ANYONE WITH responsibility for the performance of a large organisation knows the value of effective leaders. But even a cursory review of the management literature shows that there’s no consensus on how to do that. When fast growth pressured us at Amgen to bring along the talent in our leadership pipeline, we had to figure it out for ourselves. We had to put the focus on the behaviours we expected leaders to display, intellectually and emotionally. First we discussed at a headline level what a leader in our organisation should do. We arrived at a list: Consciously act as a role model; deliver strong results in the right way; build, develop and lead empowered and diverse teams; and motivate others with a vision for the future that can be implemented. We then sought to describe each behaviour with enough specificity to inform selection, training and evaluation. Take, for example, acting as a role model, which challeng- es leaders to bring their best selves to the job day after day. We came to agree that leaders should work to gain self-awareness, seek and accept feedback, grow and improve continually, and embrace Amgen’s As a CEO, your greatest contribution is the behaviour you allow to thrive in the organisation’s upper ranks.” cultural values. Through this we underscored two messages: It isn’t worth much to have an attribute that you don’t display; and if you fall short of what the best leaders do, you can close that gap. Emphasising behaviour over traits also opens the door to style differences. An organisation doesn’t benefit when all of its leaders ape some icon-of-the-moment’s style. Enterprise leaders must value, at their core, each behaviour that they expect others to exhibit and be judged on. The only way to capture their authentic beliefs and benefit from their collective experience is to get them working from scratch. As a CEO, your greatest contri- bution is the behaviour you allow to thrive in the organisation’s upper ranks. It’s hard work to answer the all-important question “What do we expect leaders to do here?” But at your level, it is precisely the behaviour everyone needs to see. Kevin Sharer was the CEO of Amgen for 12 years. He now teaches in the strategy unit at Harvard Business School. NewYork Times.
October 21st 2013
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