#6 Customer-centric culture, Star Wars NPS guide

Customer Strategy Header Welcome to my sixth newsletter covering customer experience and customer-centric business strategy. The four topics this week are:

  1. Latest posts, other thoughts
  2. Highlights from my own blog.
  3. Notable customer experience items from other sites.
  4. Looking forward

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Valentine’s Day blog post

Tuesday was Valentine’s day, so my thoughts turned to love… Of course I mean love of our customers. I started to write on the subject two years ago, and have improved my thinking over that time, I believe. The post is about the parallel between the relationships we have with our significant others and those we have with our customers. Link below. I used to believe that the principles apply only to B2B customers, but I now understand that they also apply to a major category of B2C customers: those with whom companies have an ongoing contractual relationship.

Happy couple

Thoughts on establishing a customer-centric culture

I was speaking to about 20 country managing directors and function leaders of a major multinational in Vienna earlier today. The subject was how to establish a customer-centric culture. It can be quite challenging in a multinational, depending on how the various managers of businesses, functions and geographies matrix together. Businesses, functions and geographies tend to establish their strategies and initiatives somewhat independently of each other. If you ever find yourself in a group of such leaders, a nice way of cutting the ‘denial stage’ short is to go to each of their intranet pages in advance, and copy down what they list as their top priorities. It is even better to get their latest all-employee email. Do customers make the formal list? In most companies, you get a mix of “of course everyone is responsible for customer experience improvement” and a lack of it being on anyone’s formal priority list.

In multinationals, employees in an individual country will usually read whatever the local country MD writes, and listen to what he or she says, no matter where they formally report. The reason is that everyone’s pay and conditions are local. An exception is the corporate HQ country, where employees will pay more attention to the CEO. Elsewhere, no matter what the corporate structure is, local customers will turn to the local country leadership whenever things go wrong. I will always remember a story the UK MD at HP told about a consumer showing up at his private home with a non-functioning printer, for example. The local country MD is the media spokesperson, and has to chair the local Workers Council, if there is one. They set the tone for the country. This means that local customer-centricity needs to be driven by the MD. Internal and external communication about priorities and initiatives needs to be brief and consistent. Ideally, it should be similar in all countries, and at the corporate level too. It can’t be identical everywhere because small countries do not have the resources needed to implement as many initiatives as large countries can.

Our latest blog posts

Older posts are of course still available on the blog page.

image Valentine’s Day blog – How to stay married – to your customers of course!

Valentine’s Day thoughts about the parallels between the relationships we have with our significant others, and the relationships companies have with their clients.

image ‘Gaming’ survey results is common – Here is how to do it

When your first-line managers and employees are measured individually on the results of surveys, ‘gaming the results’ is common and easy. What follows may seem a bit cynical, but has its basis in reality. I have seen all of these done in practice.

image Behavioral economics and customer experience – Part 1

Behavioral economics is a relatively new field. It combines economic and psychological theory and reaches new conclusions. Economic theory holds that people always behave rationally, optimizing their financial and other outcomes. Behavioral economists have proved something very different…

Notable customer experience items from other sites

Apparently, mentioning Star Wars makes people want to read this NPS guide

Paul Campillo, Kreg Franco and Ester Antolino collaborated to create The Star Wars Guide to the Net Promoter Score for the Typeform site. It is nicely illustrated and makes a good read. The title is a little misleading in that it covers the whole system, quite briefly, and entertainingly, of course. May the Promoters be with you!

Star Wars Guide to NPS

Inc. Magazine – 6 Shocking Tools Every Customer Service Rep Needs From Your Company…

Not really ‘shocking’ but I suppose using the word in the headline made me read the article. A good read, focusing on the emotional support needed to perform well in a service center. The article is here.

Looking forward

I have not been able to get the second post in the behavioral economics series out today. It will be out in the next few days, I promise. The subjects are price gouging and revenge. Peter has lined up a particularly incisive drawing that seems to be about a certain Martin Shkreli.

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