Thursday, November 5, 2009

NACCM 2009 LIVE: Preparing for Customer Centricity 2020: How o Evolve the People, the Process & Technology to Meet Future needs

"If we're in a service economy, what's next?"

That’s the question Bo McBee, Vice President of Enterprise Total Customer Experience and Quality for Hewlett Packard., posed to the general session on Day 3 of the NACCM Customer’s 1st Conference.

It’s Bo’s job to think about these things. As he puts it, “At HP, the future is coming at us fast. It’s borderline chaos.” In fact, he’s never sent the drivers of loyalty change faster than they are right now.

Customers are empowered, informed, and demanding. They’ve got to see relevancy up front.

HP is a big company. Actually, that’s a severe understatement. A billion people use HP technology every day. Their technology handles two thirds of all credit card transactions and supports top 200 banks & 130 major stock exchanges. HP software makes calls possible for 100+ million mobile phone customers around the globe.

Part of what enables HP to operate so well as such a huge company is their focus on Total Customer Experience (TCE), which they define as the overall customer impression of HP based on perceptions and experiences with HP people, partners, products, services, etc at every touchpoint.

Loyalty enables growth. And when HP measures loyalty & customer service performance, they do it across every touchpoint in the lifecycle of the customer.

Bo simplified their approach to improving the TCE into three steps:

  • Execute fundamentals – improve processes and products
  • Make it easy – better understand your customer and competitive differentiators
  • Transform customer relationships - to be proactive – reinvent the experience

Bo is a big believer in Joe Pine’s Progression of economic value.

It’s a scale that explains the relative value of what you provide as a business. As you move up the scale, the customer receives and perceives higher value (and is usually willing to pay more money). Bo used a phenomenal example of how you might purchase cake for someone’s birthday.

  1. At the Commodities level, you’re willing to buy eggs, milk, flour, and sugar to bake a cake.
  2. At the Goods level, you’ll purchase a cake mix for because it’s a little easier on you.
  3. At the Service level, you’ll go for the pre-baked bakery cake for the total convenience.
  4. But at the Experience level, you’ll suddenly spend a lot more for a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese.

Bo defines an experience as a “distinct economic offering that people are willing to pay for.” To move up the progression, you customize the lower levels. As you customize something, the lower or existing level of that something often becomes a commodity. Loyalty and growth are becoming more a function of “the overall experience”

To help accelerate the creation of meaningful experiences, HP has designed a methodology they call the IMPACT Model:

  • Identify experiences that matter
  • Make it uniquely personal
  • Process, technology, people to add value
  • Add architecture
  • Create inspiration and incentive
  • Test the experience

One of the most fun parts of the model is you have to come up with a theme for the experience that everyone agrees on, and it’s not always easy. Once you get that theme, every thing you do from that point on has to support that theme.

IMPACT addresses:

  • Functional needs: help me accomplish a task
  • Emotional needs: help me feel deeply about what I do
  • Social needs: help me build relationships with others

Bo’s final tips for making sure you’re prepared for a more customer-centric world:

  • You can’t become world-class if you don’t take your strengths to world-class levels.
  • Don’t ask a customer what you should already know. Make sure your processes for listening to your customers keep up.
  • Tie customer service to growth and profitability. Don’t lose the opportunity to do something really impactful because you didn’t make business case for it.

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