Want happy customers? Focus on happy employees

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Customer care / Kundvård, Försäljning / Sales on October 6th, 2018 by admin

It was 5:18 a.m. – after a five-hour, red-eye flight – when I arrived at the tony Vineyard Resort, where in three hours, I would face 15 participants in a two-day leadership training program. But the receptionist couldn’t find my reservation and didn’t seem to care much. When I got to my room 90 minutes later, a note of greeting read: “Hospitality and service as a way of life.” Oh, the irony!

The incident spotlights that being customer-centric requires a culture where employees must live the inspirational quotes espoused. A decade ago, McKinsey and Egon Zehnder studied the relationship between managerial quality and revenue growth. The analysis found that customer impact – the capacity to grasp the evolving needs of customers – led all leadership competencies.
The degree of customer impact also correlated with a company’s revenue growth and the effectiveness of its top executives across all growth situations, as well as with the senior teams and managers below them. It helps define a customer-centric culture where employees individually and collectively prioritize customer needs in everything they do.

Why are some organizations better than others at creating leaders focused on customer impact? How do you recognize a customer-centric culture? Invariably, a customer-centric organization displays:
– A clear vision that customer experience is a priority.
– Formal mechanisms to co-create that experience with customers and complementary partners.
– Accountability created among employees.

In such organizations, employees at all levels possess the freedom to drive customer service excellence. Customer experience and outcomes are measured, shared and tied to individual performance assessment. These organizations recognize and reward internal cross-functional collaboration and knowledge-sharing because they understand how to serve customers better. The employee experience reflects the customer care the organization seeks to create.

Consider Southwest Airlines, a recognized leader in customer experience. It consistently scores in the mid-sixties in public NPS (Net Promoter Score) benchmarks that measure customers’ willingness to recommend a company’s products or services to others, a score that is higher than any airline and one of the leaders in any industry.
Many travelers are familiar with Southwest crew members delivering safety announcements with humor, thereby personalizing that obligatory inflight duty and making it more enjoyable for passengers. And it goes beyond the safety spiel. Employees are routinely asked to submit ideas for improving safety and hospitality and for paring costs.

Southwest gives employees the autonomy to deliver a premium customer experience and to continuously improve it. When the airline decided new uniforms were needed to match its new logo and image, they asked their employees to design them. Thousands volunteered, and 43 employees were chosen to collaborate. They designed a fashionable, yet functional uniform (even machine washable, a rarity) that employees say represents Southwest’s personality.
Forbes named Southwest No. 12 on its list of America’s Best Employers in 2016. CEO Gary Kelly attributed the ranking to “the passion [employees] show every day for offering the best in hospitality to our customers and to each other.”
This is an example of customer service done well, where employees are empowered to be engaged and passionate about the customer experience.
My reservation at the Vineyard Resort was not in the system; something had gone wrong in the back office. That happens. The next day, resort managers apologized many times. Still, in the end, the receptionist likely was not empowered to go above and beyond. He likely did not feel safe to take a risk and give me a room without following protocol. That single incident left an indelible memory – and it wasn’t favorable.

Source: McKinsey.com, 10 September 2018
By: Gila Vadnai-Tolub

The secret to making it in the digital sales world: The human touch

Posted in Aktuellt, Customer care / Kundvård on June 4th, 2018 by admin

Successful B2B sales teams strike the human-digital balance customers want in three core areas: speed, transparency, and expertise.
The CEO of a large industrial company recently posed a question: “My face-to-face sales force thinks everything should be analog. For years, they’ve successfully driven consultative sales relationships based on face-to-face conversations, and they think they should carry on. Meanwhile, my e-commerce business unit thinks we should convert everything to digital because that’s where the growth is. Who’s right?”

The short answer is, “Both.” The realities on the ground, however, make it hard for sales leaders to understand what they actually need to do, especially when different parts of the organization have a vested interest in pushing different sides of the human-vs.-digital debate.
There’s no doubt that digital is rocket fuel for sales organizations. B2B sales leaders using digital effectively enjoy five times the growth of their peers who are not at the cutting edge of digital adoption. But a recent McKinsey survey of B2B customers highlighted a more nuanced reality. What customers most desire is great digital interactions and the human touch.
The implication is that B2B sales companies have to use technology to power and optimize both digital and human interactions. Companies that add the human touch to digital sales consistently outperform their peers. They achieve five times more revenue, eight times more operating profit, and, for public companies, twice the return to shareholders. That data holds true over a four- to five-year period.
Many sales organizations, however, have trouble putting this human-digital program into practice. The truth is that there are no tried-and-true methods. Companies need to create the human-digital blend that is most appropriate for their business and their customers. This should not be a random process of trial-and-error testing. What is needed is a systematic way to evaluate the optimal human-digital balance (see sidebar, “Sales channels have evolved”).

Sales channels have evolved
Twenty years ago—let’s call it the monochannel era—B2B sellers typically had one channel for all their customers. It might have been a face-to-face sales force or a call center, or they might have sold solely through resellers or distributors. As businesses grew and connectivity increased, these companies might have added a new channel; customers would have been clearly assigned to one or the other based on their segmentation.

Then the Internet changed everything. Multiple channels were available to customers in any segment. Monochannel became multichannel, and now we have omnichannel—a “multitouch” world. Today’s customers, regardless of segment, expect to engage with companies using the channel of their choice at any given moment in time and at all the different stages of the buying process.

It’s not who, it’s when
The majority of B2B companies want both human and digital interactions on their buying journey, according to a recent McKinsey survey. Their specific preference at any given time is primarily correlated with the stage of the buying journey.
When customers are researching a new product or a service, for example, two-thirds of those who lean more towards digital still want human interaction. As customers move into the evaluation and active-consideration stages, digital tools that provide information, such as a comparison tool or online configurator, come into their own, especially when combined with a highly skilled sales force.

After the purchase, when discussions are about renewal, cross-selling, and upselling, the tables are turned completely, and 85 percent of those who lean overall towards human interaction now prefer digital. Yet most B2B companies still reward reps more for spending time keeping customers loyal and repurchasing than for uncovering new customer needs or driving demand, which is exactly where customers say they want face-to-face expertise. The key message for sellers is that context matters more than customer type and much more than industry. Companies that are digital from start to finish today could see even higher growth if they reintroduce the human touch to the start of the buying journey. Conversely, if companies are firmly holding customers’ hands via key-account managers or value-added resellers, they should be aware that customers are saying loudly and clearly that they don’t value that close personal attention after the sale.

What do customers want?
Customers want a great digital experience and a great human experience. Be careful, though. We asked customers “What annoys you most?” and gave them a large number of possible answers, including price. A third said “Too much contact”—by far the single biggest answer.
The trick is to understand where human interaction is most wanted and invest there—be it in expertise available via a web chat, ensuring a speedy response to customer-service queries, or simply having a person pick up the phone when a potential customer rings.
Companies also need to invest in digital, but those investments should focus on two places. First, where digital is most valued by customers: enabling speedy purchases and repurchases, delivering online tools for customer service, or offering real-time pricing with product configurators. Second, where digital can enable humans to do a better job of interacting with customers when the human touch is required.
Since many B2B customers still want human interaction at some stage of their customer journey, sellers need to offer multiple routes to market with both human and digital resources available at all stages at varying degrees of intensity. The challenge is ensuring seamless transitions and handoffs from one stage to the next so that customers are neither repeating themselves nor frustrated at delays.

The implications for employees are substantial. Sales reps need to focus their efforts on expertise, on being more consultative, and on responding quickly. Compensation structures may well have to change, too. If reps become less important at the point of purchase, then the commission model will need to evolve.
From our research and experience, three traits have emerged that should be core ingredients of every company’s optimal human-digital blend: speed, transparency, and expertise.

The need for speed
Slow turnaround times are frustrating, and slow means more than 24 hours, even for B2B customers. Companies need to think about having 24-hour expertise available on call, with superexperts, who can answer customer questions in real time, sitting with the sales or customer-service team. Digitally enabled tools can help enormously, for example by connecting customers with experts via a web chat.

Even when customers are doing extensive online research, there usually comes a point when they want a question answered quickly. This could be online, through the company website’s FAQs or product pages, or through contact with a real person. Yet most B2B companies have yet to perfect their online content to answer all questions, and even fewer have reconfigured their traditional inside sales channels or web-chat tools to deliver highly technical expertise on demand.
Once customers are set on making a purchase, they want to do it fast. One-click purchases or shortcuts for repeat orders (even for large capital purchases) can speed up the process tremendously. If customers are on a company’s website but have to buy from a distributor, they need to be able to reach the appropriate page on the distributor’s website quickly and smoothly. If there are changes to the RFP, customers expect an almost instantaneous turnaround or, better still, an online space where buyer and seller can solve the problems in real time. Customers we spoke to complained a lot about being unable to make a quick change, whether they were buying in person or digitally.
Finally, speed is vital in repurchase and postpurchase troubleshooting. Four times as many B2B buyers would buy directly from suppliers’ websites if that option were available (and fast). They are especially keen on it for repeat purchases.

For postpurchase needs, speed can come from something as simple as having better FAQs, or from a well-run forum where customers can solve one another’s problems online. Increasingly, it means using chat bots, which can often answer a lot of customers’ queries, or at least ensure they are directed to the best place or person as quickly as possible.
One B2B retailer changed how it offers online support by crowdsourcing improvements to its FAQs and offering a small reward as an incentive to engage. It also interviewed customer-facing staff to prioritize customers’ pain points. It then updated the FAQs based on this feedback and cross-referenced the answers with the service calls that had the highest-rated resolutions to ensure the content was correct. Finally, and perhaps most simply of all, the company moved the FAQs to a more prominent place on its e-commerce site.
These relatively inexpensive and straightforward changes reduced the volume of calls and messages to its customer care center by a staggering 90 percent, since customers could now quickly find the answers to their problems. This success allowed the retailer to shift support capacity to work with the key-account teams on strategic accounts.

Transparency matters
Customers want transparency. They want to know at a glance the difference between what they have today and what they could have tomorrow, and they want to know what the total cost is. Digital tools make product comparison and price transparency easy and can be used both by customers directly and by sales reps working with clients, blending the digital and human. For example, in more transactional situations or for general comparison and evaluation, customers want to be able to look online for pricing or use configurators to generate pricing for comparisons. In more complex or consultative situations, face-to-face or inside sales reps might access online configurators or pricing tools in collaboration with a customer.
The importance of transparency extends to resellers. Our research shows that customers still judge companies on pricing transparency at their resellers. If the reseller lacks a good product-comparison engine, a good configurator, easy-to-understand pricing, or easy-to-build quotations, then in the customer’s mind it’s the same as if the company was managing the sales process itself. One option is to let customers use your site to do their comparisons; the other is to find out where customers struggle on the reseller’s site and invest in helping the reseller overcome the problem.

Whatever the specific situation, it is critical to control as much of the process as you can, and to influence what you cannot directly control. One software company realized it wasn’t converting small- and medium-sized business customers from consideration to purchase. Its one-size-fits-all approach to product recommendations meant that SMB customers saw the same offers as enterprise-level customers and thus had no clarity on which elements might be priced differently if applied to them. So they took their business elsewhere. It was time for a change.
The company set up a “trial and buy” website specifically geared to small- and medium-size businesses. It asked customers to fill in a brief form to assess their needs and made offers based on their answers, with clear pricing for each package and a clear explanation of how each package was different. This approach helped the company open up a whole new segment. Within three months, 90 percent of SMB buyers were first-time customers. Those customers whose needs were seemingly too complex for an off-the-shelf package were routed to a team of inside sales experts who were able either to direct them to the right standard package or to configure a solution to meet their needs. This ability to “triage” customers into those who need more human help versus those who can be well served with digital tools can significantly improve customer experience and conversion.

Digital to support your experts
Today’s account managers need to be experts, and digital tools can help them provide their expertise to their customers. The human conversation facilitates and drives the customization, while the digital tools bring the quick visualization and specifications—including pricing tradeoffs—into sharp relief. Neither works without the other.
A senior account manager at an audiovisual company was sitting down with a customer’s team. On her tablet was a product configurator, and during a three-hour meeting, she was able to use the live configurator to redesign the product in line with the customer’s evolving requirements. The pricing updated in real time, the ancillary products and services that would complement the new system were included, and everyone around the table could talk about what they were seeing on the tablet. Such an exchange might have taken two to three weeks just a few years ago.
At a medical-products company, sales reps brought their expertise to surgeons, helped by a complex configurator and visualization tool. They were able to help the surgeons pick precisely the right product for particular patient segments (based on demographics and diagnosis) and show them a video game that demonstrated connecting the device to the patient. This experience boosted surgeon satisfaction with the company by 10 percent, and sales by 12 percent. Moreover, the surgeons rated the reps’ expertise as 30 percent better than that of a control group armed with just brochures and PowerPoint.

The hat trick
Successfully bringing speed, transparency and expertise into the digital/human blend delights customers and grows sales. Recent moves by Grainger are a classic example of a response to all three customer needs simultaneously.
Grainger is one of the world’s largest providers of maintenance and repair supplies and was one of the first companies in its sector to seize upon digital as a tool for achieving both customer intimacy and growth. As far back as 1991, when they provided an e-catalog on CD-ROM, Grainger has been at the forefront of embracing digital alongside its core “human” branches and sales reps. Fast-forward to today, when 69 percent of Grainger orders originate via a digitally enabled channel (such as website, TakeStock, and EDI). But sales and service representatives, along with local branches, remain integral to the customer experience.
As their ecosystem evolves, Grainger continues to innovate, launching two businesses that are fully online only. Monotaro, serving SMBs in the Japan market, and Zoro Tools, serving SMBs in the United States, are both single-channel online stores. Both offer only products that are meaningful for this segment, which meant whittling down tens of thousands of SKUs, simplifying the assortment available, and increasing the speed at which customers find what they need. Pricing is transparent, and the purchase process is fast: simply click to buy.
The benefits for Grainger have been significant. Both Monotaro and Zoro have experienced double-digit growth as the result of a speedy, transparent, and informative process (22 percent and 18 percent respectively, 2017 over 2016). Simultaneously, customers continue to engage in analog experiences, with 32 percent picking up orders either at a branch or via an onsite locker system.1The human touch and experience remain very relevant.

Perhaps the single biggest lesson from this research is the benefit of asking customers what they want. We asked them, “What’s the one thing a salesperson could do that you would really appreciate in terms of how you interact?” Their answer: “Ask me.”
Is it time to ask your customers whether the monthly meetings you have with them are valuable? Would they prefer a quick text or email rather than a phone call? Are they aware of the product wiki you have online? Get the customer involved to find out when to use digital tools and when they want the human touch.

Source: McKinsey. com, May 2018
By Christopher Angevine, Candace Lun Plotkin, and Jennifer Stanley
About the authors: Christopher Angevine is an associate partner in McKinsey’s Atlanta office, and Candace Lun Plotkin is a senior expert in the Boston office, where Jennifer Stanley is an partner.

Så påverkas du av artificiell intelligens

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Customer care / Kundvård, Digitalisering / Internet on January 26th, 2018 by admin

Artificiell intelligens är redan en del av vår vardag och många påverkas varje dag. Vilka konsekvenser blir det när maskinerna bli mer intelligenta? ”Vi kommer att bli alltmer bekväma med att interagera med AI”, säger Lotta Laurin, nordisk marknadschef på Salesforce.

”2020 kommer kunder att hantera 85 procent av sin relation till ett företag utan att interagera med en människa.” Det förutspådde undersökningsföretaget Gartner redan 2011. Användningen av digitala assistenter som Apples Siri och Amazons Alexa ökar snabbt liksom tillämpning av chatbots (program som simulerar en konversation) till exempel inom kundservice. En undersökning som molnföretaget Salesforce har gjort pekar i samma riktning.

– 57 procent av konsumenterna förväntar sig att röstaktiverade assistenter har stor eller måttlig inverkan på deras liv senast 2020. Allt pekar på ökad användning då allt fler produkter innehåller röststyrning och människor blir mer och mer bekväma med att interagera med AI på det sättet, säger Lotta Laurin, nordisk marknadschef på Salesforce.

AI används också för att framställa texter. I år kommer cirka 20 procent av det skrivna material som företag distribuerar att vara producerat av maskiner enligt Gartner. Aktieägarrapporter, juridiska dokument och pressmeddelanden är exempel på material som kan genereras med automatiserade skrivverktyg.

Förbättrad service och service till saker

När många olika produkter blir uppkopplade får AI en avgörande roll när det gäller att leverera underhåll och proaktiv service.

– När exempelvis en uppkopplad hiss rapporterar ett problem, kan AI göra en analys av hur allvarligt problemet är och välja rätt reparatör beroende på kunskap, plats och tillgänglighet. AI kan därefter schemalägga ärendet och informera kunden. Det här är en innovation som förhöjer kundupplevelsen samtidigt som det hjälper serviceteam att vara mer proaktiva och effektiva, säger Lotta Laurin.

Vikten av att sätta kunden i centrum är centralt för företag som vill överleva i en knivskarp konkurrens. Men det finns nu även sex miljarder föremål; hissar, bilar, maskiner och byggnader, så kallade Internet of Things (IoT), som också behöver tas omhand.

– Intelligenta hus och smarta elnät är exempel på IoT, som kräver uppkoppling och hantering av data. Den här enorma mängden av IoT kräver också support, och kanske måste företag börja betrakta dessa ”saker” som en ny form av kunder. Företag måste utveckla nya strategier för att svara upp mot de behov som sakernas internet har, jämfört med de som kunderna efterfrågar. En helt ny serviceindustri kommer växa fram, säger Lotta Laurin.

Självkörande bilar är ett bra exempel på IoT som kommer att bli vanligare på våra vägar. Enligt företaget Statista räknar 61 procent av konsumenterna med att röststyrda, uppkopplade bilar kommer att ha stor eller måttlig inverkan på deras dagliga liv senast 2020. 2015 utgjorde bilar med uppkoppling 35 procent av alla nya bilar, en siffra som förväntas stiga till 98 procent år 2020.

– Smartare, uppkopplade bilar betyder också flera applikationer som kan förbättra körupplevelsen: navigeringstjänster, trafikinformation och underhållning för att nämna några. Här har också röststyrningsfunktionen en central plats för att föraren ska kunna fokusera på körningen istället för att trycka på knappar eller skärmar, säger Lotta Laurin och tillägger:

– När de självkörande bilarna så småningom blir vanligare kommer du istället att sitta i baksätet, läsa tidningen och be bilen att köra dig hem.

AI ger fler människor arbeten

En undersökning från Narrative Science avslöjar att företagsledare, analytiker, ingenjörer med flera, inte tror att AI kommer att minska antalet jobb. Tvärtom tror 80 procent av de tillfrågade att artificiell intelligens både kommer att skapa fler arbetstillfällen och förbättra de anställdas produktivitet.

– Sedan flera år tillbaka har företag använt artificiell intelligens för att analysera Big Data och därmed få bättre beslutsunderlag. Den aktuella undersökningen visar att företag generellt menar att de skulle kunna få fram dubbelt så mycket information från sin data. De måste därför anställa fler dataanalytiker och specialister som kan tolka analyserna, avslutar Lotta Laurin.

Källa: DI.se, januari 2018

Customers’ lives are digital—but is your customer care still analog?

Posted in Aktuellt, Customer care / Kundvård, Digitalisering / Internet, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on June 20th, 2017 by admin

Digital customer care is still new territory for many companies. They can learn a lot from the natives.

Today’s customers expect digital service. More and more are getting it, too, across sectors from telecommunications to banking and from utilities to retail. For example, telco customers conduct roughly 70 percent of their purchases either partly or wholly online—and 90 percent of their service requests as well.

The rapid shift to digital customer care (or e-care) should be good for everyone. Automation and self-service cuts transaction costs for providers. When e-care is done well, customers prefer it, too. Our research among telecommunications customers shows that customers who use digital channels for service transactions are one-third more satisfied, on average, than those who rely on traditional channels. And since companies that excel in customer satisfaction also tend to create more value for their shareholders, there is even more incentive to get e-care right.

Despite e-care’s advantages, however, many companies struggle to give their customers a consistently good digital experience. The same research revealed that while more than two-fifths of service interactions with telecommunications companies begin on an e-care platform, only 15 percent are digital from start to finish. We’ve also found that use of digital service channels lags a long way behind awareness. In Europe, for example, 98 percent of mobile phone users in one survey knew their provider offered a service website, but only 37 percent made use of it. In the United States, meanwhile, only 18 percent of mobile users said they used their providers’ online service platforms.

And e-care is getting more complex to implement. Not only do customers now want access to a fully comprehensive range of online service offerings—they also want to access these offerings using a variety of platforms, including both conventional web browsers and a growing pool of mobile devices and dedicated apps. Customers expect their experience to be continuous and consistent as they migrate from one platform to another, but they also want service options that make sense in the context in which they are asking for help.

Finally, customers are getting harder to impress. The rapid rise of “digital native” companies, such as Spotify or Uber, exposes customers to simple, streamlined user experiences designed from the ground up for digital delivery. Established companies that build their e-care offerings and processes on top of, or alongside, more traditional channels often find it hard to meet the same standards.

That comparison is becoming increasingly important. When customers think about the e-care service they receive from their bank or phone company, they don’t compare it with its competitors in the same industry but with the other digital services they use every day. When the online experience doesn’t meet their expectations, customers go back to the phone. As a result, some telecoms companies have seen call-center volumes—and costs—rise as they attempt to move to a digital service model.

Making e-care work
Companies that have been able to move more customer-care services to online channels and articulate strong e-care offerings excel across seven dimensions:

Simplicity starts with a clean, clear, and intuitive design that requires few mouse clicks or screen touches to achieve the desired task. The main functionalities are easy to find and well explained. The language is concise, simple, and easy to understand. Apple offers a wide range of products aimed at very different customers, for example, but its product information and support websites use the same clean, pared-down design, with key information presented clearly and more detail available with a minimum of clicks. In financial services, companies such as PayPal have dramatically simplified online payments, in many cases requiring only the recipient’s email address or mobile-phone number as identification.

Convenience means customers are offered a wide variety of services and a choice of support channels. User interfaces are easy to navigate and critical information is not hidden within long pages or complex menu hierarchies. Even better are sites that use data intelligence to tailor page content dynamically based on who is accessing it. Similarly, biometric identification techniques using fingerprint or voiceprint technologies accelerate authentication steps and reduce the mental burden on users without comprising security. One telecom company has developed a dynamic FAQ system that suggests possible support articles as soon as a customer begins to type a query and that loads the most relevant content automatically without requiring a page refresh.

Interactivity reflects the fact that customers now expect their online experiences to be dynamic and interactive, with blogs, social-media feeds, user reviews, and customer forums all playing important roles in modern e-care. These are especially important for millennial consumers, who have grown up steeped in social media and online interactions. Accordingly, an active user community is central to UK-mobile-phone-network giffgaff’s strategy. Users receive account credit for helping others with their queries, and individual community members are regularly highlighted on giffgaff’s support website. One of the company’s core product offerings—a bundle of text messages, voice minutes, and data known as a “goodybag”—was introduced as a direct result of suggestions on user forums. Moreover, through interactive games and a cocreation system that lets users build new services for other community members, customers now help set giffgaff’s direction.

Consistency is essential: customers require that the appearance, functionality, and information available in e-care services be consistent regardless of which device or software they use. Amazon, for example, shows customers essentially the same menus, the same links, and the same tone and language across all of its mobile and website channels, giving customers the same experience as they move from one channel to the next. This commitment significantly reduces any need for relearning after each switch—and any attendant digital friction.

Value results only if e-care works for the customer. Services must be designed to reflect the user’s individual needs, rather than the company’s internal processes, and must evolve as those needs change. One insurance company, for example, uses real-time rendering technology to create a customized video presentation of the coverage included in the customer’s quotation. The video combines professionally scripted and presented content with customer-specific data drawn from multiple sources, and its content is adjusted based on the customer’s choices and responses during the presentation.

Desirability is a product not only of a consistently appealing visual design but also of the tone and presentation of the site’s content. Both usually require adaption to suit local tastes, which may require dramatically different choices depending on the specific context. For instance, Chinese websites are typically very crowded, with lots of information available, while sites in the United States and Western Europe tend toward a more streamlined aesthetic.

Brand is not just a label: it is how customers experience a company’s products and services. Given that e-care has become one of the primary ways customers interact with a business, brand reinforcement should be a primary e-care goal rather than an afterthought. The best companies therefore integrate their brand values deeply into the design of their e-care offerings.

To buttress its message of providing exactly the services its customers need, one mobile-phone company has tailored its service experience to support unique “moments of truth” in the customer journey. Once a customer logs in, the website’s navigation changes dynamically based not only on what the customer is doing but also on behavioral insights based on previous interactions with the company.

A customer who’s usually pressed for time may see just three simple plan alternatives, cutting through the clutter, while one who wants to be assured of getting the best deal will see more detail on plan options, so she can feel in control. The site then guides the customer through activation steps, offers clear instructions on how to get the most from the service, and anticipates the most common questions with detailed answers.

Measuring up
To understand how leading players measure up under this harsh scrutiny, we evaluated the e-care offerings of more than 20 major telecommunications companies across the world, covering both online services and dedicated apps. We tested half a dozen common service activities, including access to billing and consumption information, technical-support queries, and sales or upgrade queries.

Our approach looked at the way e-care platforms were designed and presented to the user, the functionalities on offer, and the information available within each of our target service activities. Under each of those three main concepts, we rated the offerings across the seven dimensions described above.

Are you ahead of the pack?
Overall, our analysis should be sobering reading in all sectors for incumbents that are digitizing their customer-service offerings. We found only one area—the presentation of information using simple, jargon-free language—where most of the companies surveyed are demonstrating best practices. Elsewhere, we did find examples of best practices, but they have not been adopted by every company, and they are not always consistently applied even when they have been adopted.

The best websites and apps in our survey sample, for example, offer a wide range of services using a clear, easily understandable architecture that requires few clicks to access relevant content. Several, but by no means all, companies provide a convenient search function to help customers access technical support. Only a few make “search” the core navigation method for technical-support information.

Indeed, not many of the surveyed companies are taking full advantage of digital platforms’ unique capabilities. Interactive features such as support wizards or explanatory videos were rare. Only the very best-performing companies managed to integrate their e-care offerings seamlessly with live channels (such as e-calling or traditional telephone support) to create a truly multichannel experience. And just a handful have deployed the most advanced e-care technologies, such as artificial intelligence or chatbots.

For many of the services we evaluated, customer experience was inconsistent between web and app platforms. Apps sometimes offered less functionality and frequently provided less information than their web counterparts, which companies tended to position as the full-service option. On further examination, differences in look and function between apps and web often arose because of the relatively recent introduction of app offerings, or the use of different design and development teams.

Best practice is not enough
As they move further into the digital world, many incumbents clearly have work to do to give their customers the best e-care experience. But that’s no reason to set their sights too low. Leading companies not only make their digital channels highly useful and consistent at every customer touchpoint—they also make them fun and emotionally appealing. They personalize the experience and keep it relevant across the entire customer life cycle. For these top digital players, e-care doesn’t just work, it builds a brand that engages and delights customers.

That’s the standard, and it’s lifting customer expectations for everyone else. To keep up, traditional companies must measure their own performance against the best of the best of best—and embrace a culture of rapid, continuous evolution and improvement. There’s no time to lose.

Source:McKinsey.com, June 2017
Authors: Jorge Amar and Hyo Yeon
About the authors: Jorge Amar is an associate partner in McKinsey’s Stamford office, and Hyo Yeon is a partner in the New York office.

Customer experience starts at home

Posted in Aktuellt, Customer care / Kundvård on May 29th, 2017 by admin

To serve end customers better, begin with your employees.

Charity, the saying goes, begins at home. So too does a superior customer experience.

Growing numbers of companies are coming to recognize the benefits of customer-centric strategies: higher revenues, lower costs, and stronger employee and customer loyalty. In the effort to transform customer journeys and refine direct interactions with clients, however, many companies overlook the need to engage the whole organization, including its support functions, in a customer-centric transformation.

That’s unfortunate. Turning the support functions (such as information technology, finance, human resources, purchasing, and real estate) into excellent customer-service operations is a powerful lever to sustain and expand a full customer-centric transformation. It helps to create a new service culture that deepens customer-centric efforts in all layers of the organization. It promotes a longer-term impact and the full engagement of the staff by applying the principles of customer excellence to employees’ journeys. Atladda ned leading customer-centric companies, such as Disney, creating great customer experiences begins with a common vision and requires an engaged and energized workforce that can translate individual experiences into satisfying end-to-end customer journeys. The logic of extending that commitment inside, to support staff, is powerful.

In our experience, successful large organizations think more and more about end-to-end transformations that focus on internal customers—their employees—as well as external ones, to gain a durable competitive edge. Not that this is easy to do. Such efforts can take two or three years to execute fully for all internal customer journeys. And rather than being a kind of employee-satisfaction exercise, typically conducted by the HR department, an effort to bring support staff into a true culture of customer service requires clear and ambitious objectives, earmarked resources, and involved sponsorship from C-suite leaders.

The good news is that these efforts can run in parallel with externally facing customer-experience programs, each complementing and reinforcing the other. This exercise delivers results. In our experience, redesigning customer journeys raises customer-satisfaction scores by 15 to 20 points, reduces costs to serve by 15 to 20 percent, and boosts employee engagement by 20 percent.1

This article focuses on assessing the benefits of engaging support functions in customer-centric transformations and defines the methodology and principles for leading such programs successfully.

Why transforming internal services matters
A superior customer-experience strategy goes well beyond making products and services as good as they can be. It weaves a seamless web of “customer first” activity that extends from the vision of boardroom executives to the individual actions of frontline workers in day-to-day exchanges with customers. The closer a company can align its commitment to customer-centricity with the interests of its employees, the closer it will get to achieving its customer-strategy goals.

Yet many companies struggle to align themselves internally behind these goals. Some, like banks, face security and regulatory constraints that make it hard to deliver internal services in a smooth and quick way—for instance, tight criteria for storing and sharing data limit the access of employees to multiple sources of information across locations. Worried about noncompliance, some companies place extreme limits on themselves, hurting their efforts to work efficiently, smoothly, and quickly. One bank, for example, stored all its data at the highest level of confidentiality, restricting its employees’ access to useful nonconfidential information.

At other companies, siloed organizational functions address individual touchpoints in a customer’s journey but leave no one responsible for the end-to-end experience. What’s more, in the search for efficiency and the advantages of scale effects, companies build large teams devoted to specific topics, creating silos that disconnect support functions from their users. Still other companies, which emphasize their external image and customer-experience efforts to the detriment of internal services, treat support functions not as core drivers of corporate health but as targets for cost cutting.

Such oversights can be costly. When companies fail to maximize the quality of their internal services, they disconnect the customer experience that their employees encounter at work from the one they aspire to create for their frontline people in dealing with customers. Françoise Mercadal-Delasalles, group head of corporate resources and innovation at the French bank Société Générale, says “that if you want your front-end employees to be very good at the relationship with their clients, then the core of the company, including the support functions in particular, has to be very good with the front” (see “How good is your company’s internal customer experience?”).

In short, the internal-customer experience often lags behind the external one as a top-management priority. That’s a shame because the implications for good customer service are many.
First, in our experience, the quality of internal services ultimately has a direct impact on the experience of external customers. Which customer, for example, doesn’t rely on internal services (such as IT) to define the customer relationship? At one international airline, the IT department failed to synchronize its front-office tools with a new IT infrastructure. Without correct information on flights and bookings, employees couldn’t serve their customers, and that led to massive delays and flight cancellations.
Second, in a competitive market for talented people, offering employees a seamless experience at work can be part of a company’s value proposition to attract and retain talented people. Moreover, encouraging a customer-first culture in support functions tends to inspire back-office employees with a heightened sense of ownership, which boosts their retention rates, just as it does in transformations of externally facing customer teams.
•Third, transforming the internal-customer experience will probably not only increase the satisfaction of employees but also help to cut costs by increasing productivity, eliminating inefficiencies in processes, and reducing absences. For instance, digitizing manual processes increases efficiency in a significant way and reduces wasted time for employees. In our experience, such successful transformations can cut the total cost of the journeys by 25 percent within two or three years. These savings can be reinvested in growth efforts and other projects.

Measuring and understanding internal-customer satisfaction
First and foremost, companies must understand their employees’ level and drivers of satisfaction with the working environment and services. We find that the best approach is a structured one that truly reveals the sources of satisfaction and the way to improve them. Too many companies do not measure employee satisfaction or the support functions’ performance effectively and so fail to understand the needs of the employees using these internal services. The result is a diminished opportunity to take corrective action.

Why are companies ill equipped to assess internal-customer issues properly? Some put measuring employee satisfaction in the hands of the HR department. Often, HR sends out employee-satisfaction surveys with disparate, generic questions that don’t address the forces that drive satisfaction or dissatisfaction and are disconnected from the daily experience of work. That survey-intense approach doesn’t help companies to understand the root causes of employee satisfaction and isn’t always followed by the appropriate corrective action. Employees are left frustrated.

A European bank, for example, discovered that its employees were dissatisfied with their technology and tools. To bridge the gap, it offered them tablets. Most of these devices ended up ignored in drawers because they were hard to use and full of technical glitches. The bank thus added costs without making its employees more satisfied. In the end, it generated additional frustration.

This missed opportunity highlights the need to assess in detail the drivers of internal customers’ satisfaction before finding the right levers to improve it. After launching a customer-satisfaction survey devoted to the journeys of employees, the bank concluded that they were primarily dissatisfied not with the obsolescence of the tools but rather with their complexity. Synchronizing passwords to log onto applications, for instance, would have made the employees significantly more satisfied with the hardware.

In many cases, companies choose to address their employees’ satisfaction and dissatisfaction in the wrong way. Like many diagnoses of external-customer experiences, employee-customer-experience efforts often focus on touchpoints—the individual interactions support staffers have with their colleagues—rather than on end-to-end customer journeys. That exposes a company to the possibility of failing to understand and improve its users’ satisfaction because it can’t see blind spots and misses important cross-functional issues.

Defining and measuring internal satisfaction
Measuring the satisfaction of employees with internal services ought to involve a user-centric methodology. In most cases, these efforts focus on a set of 10 to 20 journeys that are relevant because of their frequency, importance, or cost. While we illustrate this point for business-to-consumer (B2C) services (such as IT for all employees), a similar analysis is also possible for business-to-business (B2B) services (for instance, IT services for IT operators).McKinsey

Defining the journeys of employees and preparing to survey them should follow a two-step approach. First, you need to define a list of journeys to explore, filtered by the criteria above. In most cases, only ten journeys account for about 80 percent of customer-satisfaction results. These journeys are cross-functional by nature. It is therefore important that key people responsible for all departments that deliver services to employees gather to define the journeys and embrace the customer perspective. Avoid trying to define journeys within organizational silos; for instance, a journey like “I am a new employee in the firm” involves HR (to provide contracts and validations), the purchasing office (to produce badges), the real-estate department (to secure an office), IT (to deliver hardware and software), finance (to share bank-account documentation), and so on.

Next, to ensure that the list is complete and representative, test it with employees who use these internal services. To survey employees about the fine-grained elements of journeys, it is important to surface the details. In fact, the objective of surveying employees about their satisfaction with internal journeys is not just to assess it. Above all, this effort aims to understand the elements that drive satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the journeys and in this way to identify and establish priorities for transforming them. To do so, the detailing exercise should break down the steps employees go through during these journeys, with input from those who operate them and those who use them. Live observation of the journeys should be part of the effort.

Analyzing the ratings and feedback gathered through the survey will help companies to understand:
•what really influences employees’ satisfaction with internal services
•the level of satisfaction with each of the journeys
•what drives satisfaction or dissatisfaction with each journey

These findings will determine the priority areas for an effort to transform the internal-customer experience. They will also help companies to avoid complex efforts that won’t be rewarded.

A European insurance company, for example, took more than a year to develop a comprehensive employee portal that aggregated all links to internal requests and information about support functions. The IT team led the effort but didn’t analyze the needs of internal customers, test features with the user base, or provide training on how to use them. After releasing the portal, employees were not using it at all, because it was complex and required several passwords for access. After a structured internal-customer-centric transformation, the company refocused its efforts on improving journeys that mattered more to employees. As a result, their satisfaction with internal services increased significantly.

What do employees want?
Over the course of conducting several internal-customer-experience surveys at large companies, we have drawn some conclusions about the major areas of dissatisfaction employees experience with internal services.

Among them:
•the availability and clarity of information
•the overall time needed to complete tasks required by support functions
•the effort required to go through processes involving support functions

Our research has also helped us compile data on categories of employee needs and sources of satisfaction and to develop a hierarchy of what employees want from customer-centric organizations. The more advanced a company is in its customer-centric thinking, the more likely it is that the determinants of employee satisfaction will evolve from basic courtesy by the staff to the availability and timely delivery of information and, finally, to an enjoyable and seamless experience resolving problems and issues on the first swipe.McKInsey 2

Key success factors for conducting an internal-customer-centric transformation

As with any customer-centric transformation, an internal-user-centric one requires organizations to put in place design and governance prerequisites:

One is establishing the right overall architecture—setting a clear and aspiring vision, including a change story; drawing up a governance blueprint; drafting an initiative road map; and aligning the organization on metrics and objectives. In addition, to change mind-sets and behavior and to ensure that the whole organization works to give internal customers an outstanding experience, the company must develop and implement purpose-driven change-management principles defining a new way to work.

Another prerequisite is setting up cross-functional transformation teams representing all functions and departments involved in internal-customer journeys. To be autonomous and to test all relevant ideas in a risk-free environment, the teams must run the transformation by defining their own rules and scoping out activities they could not undertake if operating in a regular day-to-day environment.

Besides the traditional key success factors encountered in customer-centric transformations generally, our experience running internal-customer-centric transformations has highlighted factors specific to them:

Managing a cultural transition to refocus support functions on the customer. Although frontline employees are constantly in touch with customers, the support functions may well have become increasingly disconnected from them and developed their own purposes and motivations, detached from the company’s. To refocus support functions on the customer, organizations should mobilize a range of outreach efforts. These include creating an understanding of and a commitment to the need to increase internal-customer satisfaction; reinforcing internal-customer-satisfaction mechanisms, including customer-feedback loops and incentives; building the skills and capabilities required to deliver services for internal customers; and modeling desired behavior by the heads of support functions to demonstrate the importance of the internal-customer experience.

A bank, for instance, tried to encourage a customer-centric transformation of its support functions without stimulating this kind of cultural transition. By failing to create a sense of common purpose and aspiration, the bank also failed to engage its employees. The result was only small-scale progress.

Building strong links between the support units and the business to ensure alignment of interests and close collaboration. One manufacturer pursued a customer-centric transformation of the information-technology department by putting in place intermediary roles between IT and the business, to serve as an interface between them. The result: the IT teams became disconnected from the business, while the intermediaries didn’t convey messages from the business to IT and vice versa effectively. By removing these roles, reestablishing direct links between the two entities, developing tools better suited to the needs of employees, and including them at all stages of product development, the company significantly increased the satisfaction of the business and IT operators alike.

Giving support units direct contact with internal and external customer feedback relevant to their actions. A private bank ran the customer-centric transformation of the frontline and support functions in parallel. Employees of the support functions attended “client arenas,” where clients shared their experience of and feelings about their relationship with the bank. During these meetings, clients complained about constraints on activities (such as making some transactions) because of multiple restrictive compliance requirements. This was a decisive moment for the compliance function, which had resisted interacting with clients in the past. By standing in the shoes of the clients, the compliance team changed its purpose from acting solely to protect the bank to providing a smooth customer experience while continuing to play its protective role.

Companies hoping to tap into the competitive advantages of a superior customer experience would do well to look inward as well as outward. Including employees in a culture of customer-centric thinking is a powerful way to build not only organizational loyalty but also effective outreach to end customers.

Source: McKinsey.com, May 2017
By Sylvie Bardaune, Sébastien Lacroix, and Nicolas Maechler.
About the authors: Sylvie Bardaune is a consultant in McKinsey’s Paris office, where Sébastien Lacroix and Nicolas Maechler are partners.


Kunden i fokus – på riktigt

Posted in Aktuellt, Customer care / Kundvård, Försäljning / Sales, Leadership / Ledarskap on November 30th, 2016 by admin

Alla vet vikten av att ha kunden i fokus vid det här laget. Men hur gör man för att bli kundcentrerad – på riktigt? Det vet Oke Eleazu, grundare av Think outside in.

ceEn tydlig trend inom de allra flesta branscher är att erbjudandena blir alltmer likriktade. Det medför att det inte går att förlita sig på företagets produkter eller tjänster för att nå framgång. Istället blir det olika aspekter av kundupplevelsen som väger in.

Detta konstaterar Oke Eleazu, grundare av den kundupplevelsefokuserade konsultfirman Think outside in!, och nu aktuell med boken The Cult of Service Excellence.
– Till och med inom resebranschen har trenden blivit tydlig. När Ryanair inte längre kunde vara säkra på att alltid erbjuda det lägsta priset, så satsade de på att förbättra sin kundservice – och såg direkt hur vinsten ökade, säger Oke Eleazu.

Större makt åt kunden

Allt fler får upp ögonen för att kunden faktiskt är kung, menar han.
– Starkt bidragande faktor till att kunden har fått en allt större makt är teknikutvecklingen.

Först gjorde jämförelsetjänster att det blev en total transparens när det gäller priserna, och nu har sociala medier gjort samma sak när det gäller kundupplevelser.
– Enstaka missnöjda individer kan definitivt skapa stora problem för ett företag – och det går snabbt, speciellt nu när allt större del av kommunikationen sker via mobilen.

Vill signalera smart konsument
Å andra sidan kan tekniken användas för att förstärka kundupplevelsen, till exempel med hjälp av en egen app. Fast då är det tre kriterier som är viktiga att hålla koll på, enligt Oke Eleazu:
– För det första måste det vara enkelt. Sedan ska man vara medveten om att kunden är ombytlig, och bejaka det genom att exempelvis – som Amazon – komma med rekommendationer om alternativ eller komplement. Till sist gäller det att kunden känner att tjänsterna eller produkterna är prisvärda.

– I Storbritannien ser man allt fler kassar från lågpriskedjan Aldi på stan. Inte nödvändigtvis för att fler handlar där, utan för att det är ett sätt att signalera att man är en ”smart” konsument som ser till att få mycket värde för pengarna.

Det har skett olika förskjutningar när det gäller vad kunderna värdesätter, och nya faktorer spelar in.
– Tidigare har en bra kundupplevelse varit synonymt med att man har medarbetare som är vänliga mot kunderna. Det räcker inte längre. Nu förväntar sig kunden också att företaget och transaktionen ska vara optimalt användarvänlig och effektiv. I annat fall vänder sig han eller hon med några klick till en konkurrent.

Locka fram naturliga leenden
En nyckel till kundnöjdheten är dock fortfarande medarbetarna, och enligt Oke Eleazu handlar det i förlängningen om hur ledningen agerar.
– Det är alltid bra att utbilda personalen, men det går inte att skapa medarbetare som bidrar till goda kundupplevelser. Det måste genomsyra hela kulturen, så att medarbetarna blir engagerade och agerar på bästa sätt för att de gillar det, säger han och tillägger:

– Det är en sak att säga till medarbetarna att de ska le mot kunderna, men något helt annat att bygga upp en kultur där medarbetarna ler naturligt – alltså för att de är glada!

Källa:Telia.se, 30 november 2016

What it takes to understand your customers today

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Customer care / Kundvård, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete on November 19th, 2016 by admin

Companies that know how and when to use the wide array of research tools available today have a big competitive advantage in generating insights that lead to new organic growth.

What do Unilever, Philips, Amazon, and Netflix have in common? At first sight, nothing much. They compete in very different industries, and while Unilever and Philips are firmly rooted in the 19th century, Amazon and Netflix are unthinkable without the Internet.

What they have in common, though, is that they drive growth by meeting consumer needs better than their competitors do. Core to this consumer focus is a strong belief in insights, and in the active use of a diverse mix of insight tools—new and old, qualitative and quantitative, digital and analog—to get better answers.

Unilever, for example, has successfully engaged in consumer cocreation to launch TRESemmé, a fast-growing dry-shampoo brand that is now one of the best-selling mass hair-care products in the US. Philips has achieved major market-share gains in highly contested home-appliance categories through city-level growth analysis. Thanks to its data-driven recommendation engine, Amazon attributes more than one third of its revenue to cross-selling,
and Netflix saw its subscribers triple between 2011 and 2015, largely because of its ability to develop hit shows such as House of Cards, based on advanced analysis of subscribers’ past viewing behavior.

images-1Developing a better understanding of customers is increasingly a strategic necessity, because fast-moving markets, new technologies, and new business models are changing what customers want and how they shop. Yet many companies still spend the bulk of their research budget on traditional techniques (e.g., focus groups, interviews, and surveys), or treat insights as an afterthought, which leaves them with a limited and often incorrect view of what customers want. That is a recipe for obsolescence in today’s economy.

Market research has traditionally been a linear and sometimes slow process. In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for attitudinal research to take three months and innovation investigation as long as year. This is changing rapidly in response to demands to keep up with the accelerating pace of business and thanks to digitally enabled techniques, which are bringing greater flexibility, effectiveness, and speed.

Consumers have ongoing digital interactions with brands and about brands, which can be observed continuously. Online focus groups can be assembled in 10 minutes. Mobile ethnographies can be completed in a weekend. Rapid quantitative surveys can be fielded and analyzed in days or weeks, rather than months. These developments are allowing marketers to create more targeted and relevant insights programs, tailoring the technique and questions to the right consumers at the right time.

Such speed and targeting has made insights generation both faster and cheaper, allowing marketers to get to “good enough” insights before moving to real-time testing and iterating in their marketing pilots and campaigns.

While there is a vast array of marketing analytics and insights capabilities, this article focuses on those tools, techniques, and approaches that specifically lead to new commercial growth, i.e., new products, services, or markets. (An insight is defined as the discovery of a fundamental consumer need that companies can use to create value for the customer and the business.)
A new approach to insights

Getting to a level of understanding about what customers really want requires the ability to understand what motivates consumers, as well as how they shop and make decisions. Based on our work with leading companies and innovative insights vendors, as well as proprietary research, we have identified five research approaches that are best suited for generating the kinds of insights that lead to new growth opportunities.

1. Observe consumers ‘in the field’
Observing consumers as they shop or use a product is often deeply revealing about their behaviors and motivations. This kind of research is closely tied to behavioral economics, a school of thought that seeks to understand the way consumers actually make decisions. It’s also a pillar of design thinking, which puts the customer at the center of a system of interactions with the brand.

As business leaders think about developing an insight engine for their organization, we recommend reflecting on five questions:
• What modern insight technologies and sources have you invested in and developed over the past 24 months?
•ƒƒ What are the primary blockers that slow down the delivery of a relevant and actionable insight to the right decision maker?
• ƒƒWhat percentage of your insights are counterintuitive and lead to different decisions from those made in the past?
• ƒƒWhich business leaders, both inside and outside of marketing, are actively using customer insights to make better decisions?
•ƒƒ Which insights developed in the last 12 months have been used to accelerate growth and make efficiency gains?

John Kearon, the founder of UK-based agency BrainJuicer, a two-time winner of Esomar’s Best Methodology award and a leading provider of observational and ethnographic research, believes that “anything based on observation of what people really do is massively more accurate than what people say they do—or the reasons they give for saying it.”

One international food company, for example, was seeking to introduce European markets to a new product: a dip that could also be spread on bread. The CEO believed that countries like France or Italy would be ideal pilot markets, given the countries’ obsession with good food. To test this hypothesis, a team of ethnographic researchers conducted “dine-alongs,” where they joined subjects in five countries both in restaurants and in private homes.

Through observation and casual conversation, the team found that consumers in two other countries were actually more open than those in France and Italy to international cuisines and new flavors, and would be more receptive to the company’s product. Based on this research, the company changed their market-entry priorities and increased their launch targets to more than a 10 percent share in the category, which unlocked additional sales of more than $10 million annually.

2. Digitize the daily diary
While consumer diaries—literally a written record someone creates to track their daily decisions and purchases—have been around for some time, digital advances and mobile devices have made this kind of research much more versatile, accurate, and accessible. Typical applications include video recording, photographs, and blog posting of food or beverage consumption, media usage, patient journeys, or compliance with medical prescriptions and therapies. What’s more, the results are available within days, if not in real time, rather than after weeks or months.

In a pioneering case, a maker of pharmaceuticals and medical devices used digital diaries to better understand how arthritis patients self-administered injections several times a day. Participating patients used mobile devices to film themselves performing these tasks. Additionally, researchers observed patients at home. The research revealed that some patients skip injections because of the discomfort and pain they cause or the anxiety patients feel. Not all patients, however, admit such qualms to their physicians, who then will frequently prescribe higher dosages of pain medication. A member of the observation team said, “Until now, we have never seen how patients live in their day-to-day lives.”

To address this issue and increase patients’ compliance with the prescription regimen, the company is working on a needle-free drug delivery system as well as other ideas for new products and services that would make the life of arthritis patients a lot easier. The total opportunity has been valued at almost $100 million in incremental revenue.

3. Use advanced analytics to get much more granular insights
Today, the mass of data about consumer behavior allows marketers to get past broad and often deceptive averages to dive into much more granular levels of insight that can unlock new opportunities. Those who invest in big data and advanced analytics often achieve up to 10 percent sales growth, up to 5 percent higher return on sales, and a margin uplift of 1 to 2 percent.
A next-generation car-rental company with ambitious growth plans, for example, used advanced data-mining techniques to target new customers more effectively. It started by analyzing its database of driver profiles and trips to identify distinct groups of customer archetypes. The team then pulled in external data from a variety of sources to build a scoring model to identify drivers in a given city or neighborhood who fit one of the ten archetypes the business had developed. They then tailored offers and communications to each of those segments. Within one year, the company grew its customer base by more than 10 percent and increased its revenues by almost 20 percent.

Philips US applied advanced analytics to simulate the market potential for various combinations of price tiers, channels, and product portfolios—not at a country or even regional level, but city by city in dynamic markets.

With that information in hand, the marketing team created offers that targeted the most promising segments in each city. The market share in relevant product categories increased from 15 percent to 19 percent, and the EBIT for the company’s consumer lifestyle division jumped from 8 percent to 14 percent. Says Pieter Nota, CEO for Philips Consumer Lifestyle: “Based on the global growth analysis, we devised a plan to double revenues over the course of less than a decade without compromising profit margins, partly driven by product innovation in two highly dynamic categories.”

4. Better listening and learning with social media

Social media allows companies to listen in on unfiltered conversations consumers are having about their preferences, experiences, and habits. Many services exist, such as Hyve, Winkle, BrandWatch, Synthesio, or Google Analytics, to unlock insights from analysis of online discussions, consumer reviews, topical blogs, and keyword-driven trend analysis. Active listening enables companies to detect relevant buzz early on (be it positive, neutral, or negative), react swiftly, and unearth clues that can lead to innovations.

imagesBeiersdorf, the personal-care company and owner of the Nivea brand, tapped into an ongoing social-media conversation to develop a completely new product line. Using Hyve’s Netnography Insights software, the company found that consumers were complaining in multiple online forums such as beautyjunkies.de that deodorant leaves stains on textiles. Further analysis revealed that the issue was widely discussed and that users shared advice on how to remove various types of stains.

In response, the company developed a new type of deodorant that prevented yellow stains on white clothes. To test the concept, Beiersdorf turned to almost 2,000 dedicated followers of the Nivea brand. It turned out that consumers were not only concerned about yellow stains on white clothes but also about white stains on dark-colored clothes. Beiersdorf refined the concept and marketed it as “Nivea invisible for black & white,” stressing that “white stays white and black stays black.”

Ansgar Hölscher, in charge of consumer insights for the Nivea brand, says, “Thanks to social listening and online consumer cocreation, Nivea Black & White became the most successful product launch for Beiersdorf in ten years.”

5. Cocreate with consumers on digital platforms
Manufacturers of consumer products are inviting their customers to generate new ideas to advance their product development and gather feedback on new products, even before launch. This goes beyond just listening to customer preferences and bringing them into the creative and development process. When done well, cocreation can reduce market-research costs, increase customer loyalty, and develop the products and services that customers want. Leading vendors in this field include CrowdWorx, Innocentive, Synthetron, noo F/X, and Lunar, the award-winning design firm recently acquired by McKinsey. Procter & Gamble became a high-profile proponent of this approach when it launched its Connect+Develop program, which aimed to leverage external idea generation for future product development. One of the innovations that originated from this program was the Swiffer range of cleaning products that collectively contribute about a billion dollars in annual sales.
More recently, Unilever made headlines when it created a new hair-care range, TRESemmé Fresh Start Dry Shampoo, with the help of consumers. It learned that half of US women do not wash their hair every day, even though many of them feel insecure on the days when they don’t.

To learn more, Unilever engaged with women in My Beauty Café, an online community dedicated to hair care and beauty regimens. Community members contributed to every step of product development, from initial ideation and concept refinement to sample testing, packaging, and advertising. Launched in 2010, the new range generated first-year sales of almost $8 million. Subsequently, Unilever’s share of the US mass hair-care market jumped from 9 to almost 16 percent. Today, Fresh Start Dry Shampoo is one of the ten best-selling products in the overall styling category in the US mass market. Generating insights is a vital, iterative process. Testing and learning, adding innovative methodologies to your tool kit, and discarding techniques that no longer add value have become core insights disciplines. While reengineering how companies generate insights is crucial to finding new growth, how effective it is relies on an approach that is as dynamic as the market itself.

Source: McKinsey.com, November 2016
Authors: Jonathan Gordon, Volker Grüntges , Vicki Smith and Yvonne Staack
About the authors: Jonathan Gordon is a partner in McKinsey’s New York office, Volker Grüntges is a senior partner in the Munich office, Vicki Smith is a senior expert in the Chicago office, and Yvonne Staack is a senior expert in the Hamburg office.

Generation Z – hur kommunicerar vi med generationen som föddes med mobilen i handen?

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Customer care / Kundvård, Digitalisering / Internet, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Försäljning / Sales on October 3rd, 2016 by admin

Snapchat, Youtube, Musical.ly. Jo, det är viktigt att vara där målgruppen är! Hur många gånger har du inte hört det och hur många gånger har du inte känt dig stressad över alla nya appar och tjänster du behöver lära dig?
Strunta i det! Det var budskapet idag på ett frukostseminarium som Cision ordnade med antropologen Katarina Graffman och två representanter från generation Z, 11-åringarna Tilda och Linnéa. De tillhör en mycket integritetskänslig grupp som snarare flyr än följer dig tillbaka när du stalkar dem i sociala medier. De föddes bokstavligen med ipaden i hand. För dem har mobiltelefoner och ipads alltid funnits och de brukar allt det vi vuxna lite slarvigt buntar ihop sociala medier på helt andra sätt än vi gör.

Flyttar sig från medium till medium
Generation Z hänger mest på Youtube, Instagram och just nu på karaoke-appen Musical.ly. Instagram används inte främst för att posta bilder utan för att kommunicera med sina kompisar och chatta. Facebook och e-post använder de överhuvudtaget inte, eller väldigt sällan. Ibland har skolan eller idrottslaget en facebook-grupp som lärarna eller ledarna postar information så då måste de gå in där och läsa. I övrigt är Facebook ett medium för vuxna, där föräldrarna hänger och precis som vi inte ville hänga där våra föräldrar hängde, förflyttar sig generation Z från medium till medium när de vuxna hänger efter. Snapchat håller redan på att ebba ut nu när allt fler äldre hittar dit.
Alltid underhållen
Utmärkande för generation Z är att de alltid är vana att bli underhållna. De präglas av det Katarina Graffman kallar paus-beteende. De är vana att kunna sätta saker på paus för att ta upp tråden senare. Det gör att det ibland kan vara svårt att hänga med i en hel skollektion på 40-50 minuter. Det är inte helt ovanligt att barnen pausar för att en timma senare vilja lösa färdigt det där mattetalet men då är lektionen slut sen länge. Det här beteendet visar sig också då de ber sina föräldrar eller kompisar att pausa något för att kunna återuppta senare vilket kan skapa problem i relationer till andra människor.

Ombytta definitioner av utryck
Katarina Graffman har frågat barn och ungdomar i olika samhällsklasser och i olika länder vad medier och sociala medier är och samtliga svarar att media handlar om att ha kontakt med sina vänner och omvärlden. Att koppla appar och tjänster som sociala medier är inga uttryck de använder. I stället är ”sociala medier” när de sitter tillsammans och kollar på TV-teven, eftersom då är man social tillsammans.

Youtube före TV-teve

Att Youtube är den största sökmotorn hos generation Z är länge känt. Gruppen youtubar hellre än googlar. De följer personer som Beyoncé, Messi, Clara Henry, Hampus Hedström och Keyyo och har hög medvetenhet om sponsring och kan skilja på sponsrat material och icke-sponsrat och rör sig obehindrat mellan de båda.
40% av målgruppen definierar sig som gamers och kollar gärna när andra spelar Counterstrike eller Minecraft på samma sätt som vuxna kollar på fotboll eller längdskidor på TV-teven. Att Youtube är det första stället man söker på påverkar såklart också hur man upplever ord och text. Många ser till exempel gärna filmen först (om det finns en sån) för att få större förståelse när de läser en bok.

Stark integritet
Den här generationen har en stark digital integritet. Gruppen är väldigt medveten om hur de framställer sig själva på nätet och föredrar att skicka bilder och texter privat i privata chattar eller i tjänster som Snapchat där bilderna försvinner efter en tid. Den här generationen lägger inte ut särskilt mycket selfies. De hittar nya uttryck för att kommunicera. Ett exempel är smileyn som för den här gruppen är ett urvattnat sätt att kommunicera. Man skickar hellre en bild på sig själv med ett känslouttryck istället för att kommunicera via emojjis och de väljer aktivt tjänster där de får vara i fred och är inte lojala utan byter tjänster ofta. Att då ständigt följa efter dem gör att deras integritet kränks och då förlorar du målgruppen. De har större delen av sin identitet i den digitala verkligheten och istället för att springa efter bör organisationer och företag idag fokusera på hur de blir tillräckligt relevanta för att få dem att komma till dig.

Varumärket är viktigt
När Leksands knäckebröd ville marknadsföra sin knäckepizza och tog de hjälp gaminggruppen Ninjas In Pyjamas för att marknadsföra sin produkt som en nyttigare variant av snabbmat. Det var ett sätt att få målgruppen att identifiera sig med varumärket på ett nytt sätt istället för traditionell reklam. Ett annat exempel är Redbull som istället för att marknadsföra sin dryck, lyfter extremidrottare och extremsport som livsstil och lockar mängder av fans till sin sida. Var lyhörd för hur målgruppen använder just ditt varumärke och var öppen för hur de omtolkar det och gör det till sitt.

Slutligen, ha en inte en digitala strategi för samtliga plattformar. Varje plats eller app fyller olika funktioner och relationer för målgruppen. Våga välja bort kanaler och glöm inte att telefonen är deras viktigaste verktyg och den har de alltid med sig som en förlängd del av kroppen och hjärnan!

Källa:Linkedin.com, 2016
Av: Petra Jankov

A truly omnichannel customer experience

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Customer care / Kundvård, Digitalisering / Internet on October 3rd, 2016 by admin

Adding digital channels requires major efforts, yet payoffs can disappoint. Integrating digital and traditional channels into a truly omnichannel offering is even harder—but multiplies the rewards.

In sector after sector, companies are asking how they can adapt to the digital world—how they can build more digital capabilities, create more digital offerings, and even become “digital first” organizations.

But for institutions that have served customers for decades in person and over the phone, digital too often falls short. After the debut of a new app, for example, a jump in sales may not be as big as expected, while hoped-for operational efficiencies—such as a reduction in expensive call-center and in-store customer-support requests—hardly materialize.

Executives naturally wonder why: aren’t customers demanding digital? Without question, they are. But not to the exclusion of other channels, which remain critically important.

For example, as much attention (and fear) as Amazon may generate among traditional retailers, as of early 2016 about 92 percent of retail sales in the United States—the company’s home and largest market—were still taking place in person. Furthermore, our analysis of market research confirms that many customers (including large majorities in some markets and industries) want to move freely from channel to channel in an omnichannel experience. Accordingly, the digital end-to-end offerings and internal capabilities that companies are building are important not only in themselves but also in the way they support the other channels (see Driek Desmet, Ewan Duncan, Jay Scanlan, and Marc Singer, “Six building blocks for creating a high-performing digital enterprise,” September 2015).

omni-1Retailers have increasingly recognized this reality, with some folding one-time web-only subsidiaries back into their larger businesses. But in other consumer-facing industries, such as financial services or telecommunications, digital efforts often end up becoming just another channel—in effect, a whole set of subchannels including mobile, social, and chat. Given that channel conflicts have bedeviled large companies for decades, with competition among channels sometimes more intense than with the outside world, adding even more to the list is not ideal. The result? More complexity (and cost) for the company and a less-than-optimal experience for customers.

By contrast, integrating digital into an omnichannel experience breaks down barriers for customers—and for performance, allowing companies to hone their digital skills in a way that takes advantage of their strength in traditional channels. But first, companies must break down their own internal barriers, initially by developing a more sophisticated understanding of how their customers think about all of the channel options. Mapping out the journeys customers follow among the channels reveals the most important opportunities for channels to cooperate, forming a list of changes for the company to roll out. Finally, to ensure the changes last, each major journey will need its own leader and cross-unit team—supported by revamped incentive structures to facilitate cooperation, new performance dashboards, a road map for transformation, and clear communications and governance from top executives.

Getting these steps right provides new opportunities to make customers happy—for instance, by letting them start a loan application on their phone before bed and finish it at a branch the next day after asking a few questions via the call center. Capturing moments such as these turns omnichannel into a major growth platform.

After it tightened the links between its digital and traditional channels, a large regional bank increased sales of current-account and personal-loan products by more than 25 percent across all channels (Exhibit 1). And a European telecommunications company saw a 40 percent increase in usage of its online service channel, reducing its costs by more than 20 percent while increasing customer satisfaction by more than five percentage points.

The obstacles to omnichannel
Companies are starting to understand the omnichannel imperative. But getting there is proving unexpectedly difficult.

A bias toward bigness. Part of the reason is a misplaced belief that omnichannel’s massive implications require equally massive actions, such as an entirely new IT platform or organization structure to bring all channels together. Too often that “silver bullet” mentality leads only to a massive misallocation of resources. Instead, the companies that are most successful in making the digital and omnichannel transition concentrate on a long, prioritized list of pragmatic initiatives that, as they are implemented, unleash the value trapped in the intersections among poorly coordinated channels. Collectively these initiatives counter two larger problems:

Disregarding diversity. In our experience, most companies tend to build their digital and omnichannel experience believing that most customers have basically the same needs and follow basically the same journeys. In reality, customers are far more diverse, not only in their needs but also in how they want to meet those needs. For example, a recent survey of North American mobile customers showed that while approximately 35 percent would turn to digital channels first in dealing with an administrative issue, such as a change of billing information, only 24 percent would use digital channels for solving a technical problem. And, of course, even with administrative issues, more than half of customers preferred either in-person or phone resolution, illustrating how many different pathways are possible within the same basic journey. Accommodating these different behaviors will require organizations to understand their customers better while becoming more flexible in allowing for more options to reach the same end point.

Curbing cooperation. But the need for greater flexibility usually bumps into a hardened reality. Despite decades of discussion about conflicting channels, many companies still operate each channel as a separate organization, expecting it to optimize its own performance and service model while showing its own results. Incentives ostensibly designed to encourage performance unintentionally reinforce the channels’ isolation—such as revenue-generation targets that push each channel to increase its own sales volume regardless of any impact on sister channels. Competition becomes even more brutal internally than with the outside world.

The better breakthrough: Start small, from the customer

A better outcome is possible, but only by taking a more disciplined approach to understand how different customers think and behave at each step of their individual journeys. By revealing customers’ most important pain points, the resulting analysis helps the organization see which changes to make first, gradually making an entire process simpler and more effective for customers from beginning to end.

1. Discovering ‘personas’
The first step, describing how customers act, sounds daunting. But it’s actually less so because customers’ behavior usually coalesces around a few major variables. These become the basis for creating “personas” describing major segments of the customer population in a richer way than traditional demographic-based segmentation allows.

For example, in wireless services, the major variables could include customers’ comfort levels with mobile technology, the role mobile technology plays in their lives, their financialomni-2 sophistication, their occupation, and the way they shop—how much comparison shopping they do and what information sources they use. A “work and play” persona would be a professional who relies heavily on her mobile phone both for her job—communicating with clients, managing her calendar, and making travel arrangements—and for personal activities, such as paying bills, shopping for groceries, and making investments. Her busy schedule leaves little time for shopping, so for major purchases she relies on quick Internet searches to understand features and prices. Her ideal is to buy online and then pick items up in the store on her lunch break, rather than wait for delivery.

By contrast, a “social enthusiast” is a bit younger, less likely to have a job requiring a mobile device, and instead uses his phone mainly to keep up with friends and play multiplayer games. He may be more likely to be on a tight budget, so he researches purchases extensively, looks to social networks for a consensus on the best option, tests it out in person, and sends victorious tweets when he “scores a great deal.”

The same basic patterns repeat across industries—in small-business banking, for example, technology and financial sophistication both matter, as does a business’s size and its financial goals. Describing four to six major personas is usually enough to cover about 80 percent of the customer base.

2. Charting a journey’s map
The next step is to understand the personas’ different needs and follow the steps, both offline and online, that the each persona takes along a given journey. The crucial requirement is to identify the important (and often hidden) pain points that the persona encounters and the resulting areas of opportunity for redesign.

Some of the opportunities may be visible just by mapping all of the current journeys customers can follow across all channels and displaying them together (Exhibit 2). For the regional bank, two points showed particular problems. In the online channel, about 80 percent of customers dropped out rather than fill in a registration form. And in call centers, more than 98 percent of customers did not ask for an offer. A similar map for the European telco found that regardless of which channel customers started in, if they ended up on the online shop, they abandoned their purchases fully 99 percent of the time. Furthermore, across all channels, 30 percent of orders were never activated.

The reasons for these outcomes tend to differ by persona. The work-and-play user’s main challenges center on time: there’s not enough of it. She may grow impatient at sorting through too many options and give up when a form asks for information that she knows the company already has (“They know where I live—my statement arrives every month like clockwork. This is wasting my time.”) Meanwhile, the social-enthusiast user wants to get the best service and product he can get for the lowest price, without committing to a long contract in case a better option comes along later. He may keep getting timed out of his purchase while looking at his social feeds to figure out if the option he’s considering is really the right one.

3. Designing a portfolio of omnichannel initiatives for each improvement area
These findings lead directly to a multipronged improvement strategy comprising several dozen initiatives, ranging from better data links to prepopulate online order forms to revamped offers and new performance-measurement practices. The goal is for each of the initiatives to be pragmatic and achievable, while together they deliver profound and lasting change.

o-ni-3The most urgent changes typically concern the digital channel, where customers often face a vast range of choices with complex pricing provisions and business rules that make it almost impossible to find the right combination (see sidebar, “Becoming more agile—in IT and in processes”). Instead, a new structure would change the experience from the moment a user arrives on the page. Rather than show the same page for everyone, the new page would vary depending on the user’s persona, which typically could be assigned based on a combination of existing customer data and the user’s prior browsing behavior on the site.

The customer therefore has a much more customized experience. A work-and-play user would be taken directly to two or three simple product options based on phone features and service limits. After choosing one of the options, the user would see a second page of add-ons, such as purchase-protection plans and international coverage. Social enthusiasts, by contrast, would get a more detailed interface that allows them to make separate decisions for the phone and for the service levels, so that they can understand the trade-offs and feel like they’re getting the best bang for their buck. The page they see also would provide user-generated product reviews from other clients, social-network links, a chat feature staffed by sales representatives, and a tool to set up in-store appointments.

4. Enabling continuous refinement and improvement
The effort these changes require is too great for an organization to watch the returns fade away and then repeat the exercise a year or two later. Revisiting its internal governance, performance, and capabilities becomes critical to support essential cultural changes and ensure that the organization’s performance continues to improve as the market evolves.

Although difficult, restructuring the traditional governance approach—in which channels operated almost as separate businesses—is the best defense against the most immediate threat to the omnichannel model’s long-term health: the reemergence of silos. During the transformation process, the organization forms cross-unit teams with representation from each channel and from supporting functions such as IT, marketing, and compliance. Each team operates as a work cell, with accountability for the design and implementation of a set of initiatives. As the changes take hold, the cells become the basis for a new organization structure that continually reassesses how the omnichannel model is functioning, identifying improvement opportunities and translating them into new rounds of initiatives for implementation.

Accountability will also depend in part on new performance targets that encourage collaboration instead of competition among channels. That means, for example, deciding how to allocate credit for shared sales that start in one channel and end in another, and agreeing on performance indicators that provide concrete evidence the collaboration is occurring. Shared key performance indicators for digital, sales, and IT, such as the speed of change implementation or the level of digital adoption, help show whether the different functions are actually working together or whether they are finding reasons to block new initiatives.

Throughout the organization, people will need new capabilities at every level. Frontline sales and service personnel, for example, will need new and deeper skills in recognizing customer needs, understanding where the customers are in their journeys, and finding the most effective ways to help them depending on which persona they best match and which channels would best serve them. The greater complexity of frontline positions will require more coaching and support from managers, who will need their schedules freed up so that they can spend more time with their teams. And senior executives will need to play a more prominent part in role modeling behavior changes, such as in encouraging problem solving by people closer to the customer rather than imposing solutions from above.

What would it mean for your organization if you could promise your customers that they’ll get the service they need, however they need it? How much more effective would your people be if they didn’t have to worry about losing a customer to another channel? Becoming truly omnichannel is demanding for an organization. But the answers it provides to questions such as these make it worth the investment for organizations willing to make the commitment.

Source: McKinsey.com, September 2016
By: Raffaella Bianchi, Michal Cermak and Ondrej Dusek
About the authors: Raffaella Bianchi is a senior expert in McKinsey’s Milan office; Michal Cermak and Ondrej Dusek are partners in the Prague office.

Kundbemötande 2016?

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Customer care / Kundvård on September 8th, 2016 by admin

Styr stegen till Birger Jarlsgatan 5 i Stockholm. Här ligger nämligen #LouisVuittonbutiken i stan.

Har begränsat med tid, men det ska nog ordna sig. Vet precis vad jag skall inhandla. Det tar inte mer än ett par minuter. Eller rättare sagt var vad jag trodde.

lv-sthlmHinner precis innanför dörren när jag stoppas av en person i en otydlg funktion, men som av sitt sätt att agera upplevs som en traditionell dörrvakt.

Dörrvakt! Har jag hamnat på en av stans populära nattklubbar? Ja, det är i alla fall vad man kan tro när han frågar: “Står du på listan”?

Vilken j-vl lista, tänker jag.

Dörrvakten gör klart för mg att jag måste boka en tid. En tid för att besöka Louis Vuittonbutiken i Stockholm! Han måste skämta med mig! Inte minst då det inte är mer en en handfull kunder i affären vid detta tillfälle.

“Jag ska bara göra ett snabbt inköp ….” försöker jag. Det hjälper inte! Jag måste “stå på listan”. Och nästa lediga tid är om 70 minuter!

Nej, jag skämtar inte!

Vad tycker Du? Känns det rimligt att vi ska gå mot den här typen av bemötande i butiker (om än av de dyrare slaget)?

Jag hoppas att detta kundbemötande får ett snabbt slut!