Building The Customer First Mindset

Agile is often thought of as a process when it’s really a mind-set (supported by processes, of course). Yes, it’s about testing and learning, and new ways of working, but at the heart of agile is the determination to provide the customer with something she or he wants or needs. That’s the point. Enshrining this principle across the business provides a consistent point of reference. But while almost every company will claim to be “customer first,” a closer look under the hood often reveals that internal efficiency or profit rather than customer need is the true driving force.

An agile mind-set starts from the premise that everyone is responsible for the customer, be it the CEO who determines the business strategy, the salesperson directly serving the customer, or the data scientist developing analytics platforms. You will only be able to embed agile ways of working once this becomes a core value, providing cohesion and purpose. This isn’t about doing your job better; it’s about serving the customer better.

The way a true customer-first ethos comes to life is through design—the process of integrating the customer point of view into all development.

This is much more than gathering insights or building elegant websites. It’s about building an adaptive learning process around the customer for everything the company does.

Getting design right is worth a lot. Companies in the top quartile of the McKinsey Design Index, which rates companies by how strong they are at design, outperformed peers in their sector in terms of growth by as much as two to one.

Here are two of the most important things the winning companies do:

1. They Make Huge Efforts To Know The Customer

A design approach requires solid customer insights to understand the real needs of potential users. Yet only around half the companies McKinsey surveyed conducted user research before generating their first design ideas or specifications.

One international pizza chain wanted to improve home delivery, a crowded market where consumers were already spoiled for choice. Data analysis revealed that one of the biggest drivers of customer satisfaction was how hot the delivered pizza was. This fact led the business to invest in “Intelligent Kitchen” technology, which determines when orders are baked based on the delivery address, driver availability, and current location, as well as road conditions to ensure the customer got a piping hot pizza. This approach grew overall sales 7 percent in the first  year, and more in the years following.

The best results come from constantly blending both quantitative and qualitative research. One top team invites customers to its regular monthly meeting solely to discuss the merits of its products and services.

And the CEO of one of the world’s largest banks spends a day a month with the bank’s clients and encourages all members of the C-suite to do the same.

2. They Continuously Improve With Customer Feedback

Continuous improvement is key to success for a digital transformation. This is the raw learning capability. You can see it in companies that foster a culture of sharing early prototypes with outsiders and discouraging excessive time spent on mock-ups or internal presentations. Despite the value of iteration, however, almost 60 percent of companies in our survey said they used prototypes only for internal-production testing, and even then, only late in the development process.

New technologies allow companies to uncover insights and test products in a dramatically faster way than traditional market research or focus groups. Digital marketing teams can convene online customer panels using video chats and watch as the panels test products and provide feedback in real time. One insurer created digital diaries to help identify customer pain points that would previously have gone undetected.

Similarly, digital companies can quickly A/B test new products and campaigns with thousands of customers in hours or days.

Agile Defined


Agile isn’t just a process. It’s a mind-set that puts customer objectives first. Team autonomy works best with guiding principles about what needs to be done and why.

Agile coaches are necessary to train people to learn new skills fast—leaders included.

Agile budgeting helps scale agile by quickly allocating money to projects.

Agile ways of working can’t take hold unless they are supported by stable processes.

Design thinking is the commitment to completely understanding your customer.

Contributed to BSI By: Arun Arora, Peter Dahlstrom, Klemens Hjartar, and Floria Wunderlich. Excerpted from their book Fast Times: How Digital Winners Set Direction, Learn, and Adapt (Amazon Publishing)

The Blake Project Can Help You Create A Brighter Competitive Future In The Jobs To Be Done Workshop

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Shep Hyken: Customer Service & CX Expert

Go to http://www.TheCustomerFocus.com or call 314-692-2200 to learn more about Shep Hyken or to learn about customer service training. Your people attend customer service training. They learn techniques and tactics on how to deal with complaining customers, angry customers or customers who just need a little support. They are taught the right answers to some difficult questions. This is what customer service training is all about. But… What happens when something happens that is outside of the parameters of the training your employees have received?

Customer-Centric Leadership is The New Growth Indicator: Zendesk & ESG

  • The new report, CX Champions: How CX Leaders Who Improve Their Game Are Driving Business Success , surveyed more than 1,000 CX managers and leaders in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America to better understand their investments in CX.

Zendesk today released new research in partnership with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) showing how companies investing in customer experience (CX) are reaping the benefits.

The global study found that there is a clear link between organizations with more mature customer experience capabilities and greater business success in areas such as market share, increased customer spend, and dynamic processes over the past six months.

The research also found that, as companies around the world adapt to new forms of remote work and constant uncertainty in 2020, more than three-quarters of medium-sized and enterprise companies (78%) and almost two Thirds of small businesses (65%) said that customer-centric agility has increased in importance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Organizations are under increasing pressure to outperform the competition and grow their businesses – that’s an even greater challenge as companies adjust to the impact of a global pandemic and associated uncertainty ahead,” he said. Colleen Berube, CIO and senior vice president of operations at Zendesk.

“By working with ESG, we set out to confirm the link between an organization’s ability to deliver a high-quality experience and better business results. The relationship is clear. We hope that these insights into the connection between a focus on customer experience and business success can help companies learn from those ahead of the CX scale, “he added.

The new report, CX Champions: How CX Leaders Who Improve Their Game Are Driving Business Success , surveyed more than 1,000 CX managers and leaders in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America to better understand their investments in CX. Based on the research, ESG developed a CX Maturity Scale that segments organizations into three levels of customer service maturity, based on seven key characteristics that cover how organizations use their support teams, technology and data to drive better performance. Next, ESG classified the companies into three maturity categories: Starters : showing from zero to three of the seven characteristics; Risers (Advanced): they have four to five of the characteristics; and Champions (Expert 🙂 that meet at least six of the characteristics.

Some key findings from the report show that companies that invest in CX reap significant benefits, including:

  • Faster growth: Even during the pandemic, midsize and business Champions were found to be 8.7 times more likely than beginners to have significantly increased customer spending. For the Small Business Champions, this figure increases to 9.2 times.
  • Increased market share: Medium-sized and enterprise Champions were 3.3 times more likely to have increased their customer base in the past six months. Small Business Champions experienced similar growth, 3.6 times more likely to have increased their customer base in the same period.
  • High-level support: Champions also ensured increased investment and support from high-level leaders within their organization. For example, senior Champions leaders of midsize companies and enterprises were 3.8 times more likely to see customer service as a differentiator.

“Our research identified a clear connection between CX excellence and business growth. Not only are companies in the Champion stage of scale seeing better results in traditional service metrics such as time to resolution and CSAT, they are also experiencing positive business results in customer spend, retention, and CX board-level support as a business priority, ”said Adam DeMattia, director of personalized research at ESG.

By: Entrepreneur en Español

Jennifer Bridges, PMP, shows how customer-centric leadership can help your business. Try our award-winning PM software for free: https://www.projectmanager.com/?utm_s… The customer is king, but unfortunately they aren’t always treated as such. See how customer-centric leadership can help your business with real-life case studies from successful companies such as Apple, Amazon and Virgin Airlines.

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How Data Can Help You Understand Evolving Customer Expectations In The New Normal

How well do you understand your customers? Whether your brand is B2B or B2C, your customers expect seamless, omnichannel experiences. Especially during the Covid-19 crisis, customers expect brands to offer value, relevant products and services, and to grow with them as their needs evolve.

The pandemic has taught businesses that staying relevant in a time of crisis requires a deep, holistic understanding of the customer, and an openness to new ways of doing business. To stay ahead of such rapid change, customer intelligence and data is more important than ever. From remapping and re-creating customer journeys, to developing more accurate forecasting models, all businesses need a data and analytics strategy that allows everyone in the organization to see customers needs in real time and build scenarios, identify gaps, stress-test ideas and improve results with actionable insights.

Your customer is expecting you to lead, and it’s never been more important for your brand to address their pain points and deliver exceptional experiences.

Meeting the customer where they are

While the long-term economic and societal impacts of the pandemic are yet to be fully understood, customer attitudes and behaviors have already shifted in profound ways, and some of these changes are predicted to continue into the future. Recent consumer surveys reveal how rapidly behaviors are evolving:

  • 68% of people report that the pandemic has changed the products and services they think are important
  • 75% of people using digital channels for the first time will continue to do so
  • In Italy, e-commerce sales for consumer products rose 81% in a single week and in the UK, 20% of people say they won’t buy fashion in-store again

In the retail sector, the shift to online buying and direct-to-consumer selling, coupled with a decrease in discretionary spending and flat sales for net-new products, has forced businesses to change their business models overnight. Traditional B2B businesses like financial services organizations are not far behind, augmenting existing sales and service models so they can better serve customers remotely. In the healthcare sector, patients can now choose telehealth as a standard alternative to an in-person visit—and adoption has been swift: one of Europe’s largest telehealth providers, KRY International, has seen a 200 percent increase in registrations. Government agencies and educational institutions are also finding ways to deliver their services in a virtual world.

But meeting the customer “where they are” is not just smart business—it’s essential for survival. Business segments that aren’t responding to changing customer preferences by accelerating their own digital transformations will be left behind. And a central part of transformation includes prioritizing customer analytics.

In today’s competitive and uncertain market environment, your advantage lies in understanding what resonates with your customers. How businesses choose to respond will influence buying decisions today and in the future.

Goal: a complete picture of your customer

What kinds of customer experience metrics are valuable in order to gain understanding of your customer? To create baseline analyses, you need behavioral, transactional, and feedback metrics. And as Gartner points out, more frequent, real-time monitoring of customer metrics is essential during this crisis, since attitudes are changing so rapidly. Useful metrics include:

  • Customer satisfaction scores
  • Customer effort scores
  • Net promoter scores
  • Customer call volume and types of queries
  • Website behavior
  • Point-of-sale data
  • Geospatial data
  • Social media sentiment
  • Employee feedback

Every business, regardless of industry segment, should also expect to field new questions from customers about products, logistics, inventory, supply chain, and operations—and every business needs to be prepared to capture this feedback and respond.

01. Strategic Dashboard

Potential Users: C-Suite, VP, DirectorObjectives: At-a-glance cohesive data storyInsight Examples: Performance and comparison metrics tracked against enterprise goalsExample: Executive Summary dashboard

02. Tactical Dashboard

Potential Users: Analysts, Brand ManagersObjectives: Granular, in-depth analysesInsight Examples: Identify trends, monitor processes supporting strategic objectives, create targets and predictionsExample: E-commerce Marketing Optimization dashboard

03. Operational Dashboard

Potential Users: CRM Support Teams, Website Managers, Marketing ManagersObjectives: High-level, real-time monitoring and managementInsight Examples: Retail and customer satisfaction KPIs, marketing campaign performance, inventory statusExample: Store-level Product Availability dashboard

Know your customer, know your business

Things definitely look different now, and they are different. When every aspect of your operation is under scrutiny, you need information, quickly, to make the right decisions for your business and your customers. Understanding customers and their expectations has always been a priority for businesses looking to create competitive advantage, but the pandemic has proven that businesses must have an even stronger line of sight into what their customers need.

You need to be prepared to proactively respond to rapidly-evolving behaviors and perceptions. As David Leonhardt notes in a recent New York Times op-ed, “When the economy weakens, people have to make decisions about where to pull back.” By using data insights to understand and adapt to new realities, you can give your customers reasons to remain loyal and eliminate some of the uncertainty facing your business.

What untapped insights are waiting to be discovered in your customer data?

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Dow Futures Rise Nearly 200 Points As Investors Shake Off a Continued Spike In Coronavirus Cases

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Stock futures rose in early morning trading on Monday as investors looked past a record spike in coronavirus cases in Florida.market

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 185 points, pointing to a more than 200-point gain at Monday’s open. The S&P 500 futures and the Nasdaq 100 futures contracts also pointed to a positive Monday start for the two indexes.

Florida reported 15,299 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest single day total for any U.S. state since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, the U.S. has reported more than 60,000 new cases daily for three days in a row now, bringing the national total to more than 3 million cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

“COVID remains a huge problem w/cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities all climbing,” Vital Knowledge founder Adam Crisafulli said in a note on Sunday. “The market continues to absorb all this information relatively well and this seems to be a function of vaccine hopes, lower fatality rates vs. Mar/April, the avoidance of wholesale lockdowns, and the lack of a resurgence in the Northeast (esp. NYC).”

The Dow and the S&P 500 are coming off two consecutive weeks of gains, while the resilience in tech shares pushed the Nasdaq to a new record after three straight positive weeks. For July, the Dow and the S&P 500 have risen 1.0% and 2.7%, respectively. The tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed, climbing 10.7% this month as Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Alphabet all reclaimed new highs.

“The overall rally is still very narrow…and several of the high flying mega-cap stocks are becoming overbought (and more over-valued),” Matthew Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak, said in a note on Sunday. “Therefore, we HAVE to wait to see if the key resistance level on the S&P is indeed broken to the upside before we can confirm that another rally leg in the broad stock market has begun.”

Earnings season is set to kick off this week with big banks and others reporting their quarterly results. JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo are scheduled to report on Tuesday. Pepsi will report earnings on Monday before the market open.

Corporate profits are expected to fall by 44% in the second quarter, which would be the biggest drop in quarterly earnings since the fourth quarter of 2008, according to Refinitiv data. However, the market could shrug off the sharp profit decline as long as companies signal a recovery on the horizon.

After the S&P 500′s best quarter in more than 20 years, the broad market’s comeback rally has slowed down amid fears of a worsening pandemic. Still, the equity benchmark is now down just 1.4% year to date, sitting about 6% off its February record.

By: Yun Li   @YunLi626

Source: https://www.cnbc.com

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