Employees often have experiences with and ideas about customers that can be valuable to the employee’s organization. Often these experiences and ideas go undiscussed. Often these experiences and ideas don’t get shared with other employees – both the good and the bad. Employees often deliver service in the best way they know how. Hence the delivery of the organization’s services can be inconsistent from different employee service providers.
The purpose of these exercises is to allow the employee team to talk about what does and does not work, capture the best ideas, and turn the best ideas into a process that more consistently supports the organization’s customers.
The challenges are to:
- Assemble the employee team with management
- Set the mood for objective data collection vs. subjective opinion sharing Help employees and management to think in terms of the customer experience from the customer’s point of view.
- Collect the information
- Identify the best ideas
- Prioritize the best ideas
- Incorporate the best ideas into an improved customer support process
- Proliferate, monitor, and maintain the improved customer support process
- Help employees to continue to think “How can we continue to improve our organization?”
- Help management lead an organization that helps the employees improve
This learning can be promoted by effective collaboration approaches, techniques, and tools that help teams develop effective dialogue. Dialogue is an effective approach that helps participants consider options. Dialogue is a conversation that generates new knowledge.
The following exercise provides the valuable process and questions to develop valuable dialogue, to help employee team members and leaders discover and discuss the ideal customer experience, and how can to provide it.
Use this exercise to help you and your team identify customer expectations as they experience products and services. . The purpose of the tool is to support product and service specification and discussion through better development-team understanding. Use to differentiate product and service offerings. Requires benchmarking and research to support tool development with data, not just opinions.
The notion of “moments of truth” comes from Richard Normann, who argues that a service company's overall performance is the sum of countless interactions between customers and employees that either help to retain a customer or send him to the competition. The customer judges your process a number of times as they experience your process, not just once at the end of the process.
- Assemble the people on your team who know most about your customers interaction with your product and/or services.
- Use a Process Flow Chart as a format for your data collection and discussion. Example below.
- Row 1: Customer experience process: Choose the start point and end point of the process you want to focus on. Represent process steps in boxes and describe with nouns and verbs. ex: “Customer orders from menu.”
- List each process step as the customer would experience them. Choose as many steps as the customer would think of; the customer judges the experience differently for each of these steps, for each the customer has a “moment of truth” (like it or not…)
- Develop a matrix with as many columns as you have process steps, and four more rows.
- Row 2: “Voice of the customer”: Include under each row 1 entry the prioritized list of the customer's expectations.
- Row 3: Our performance: Under each row 2 entry, list objective data that documents our performance to customer requests; can include both + and –‘s
- Row 4: Our competitors’ performance: Under each row 3 entry, list objective data that documents your competitor’s performance to customer requests; can include both + and –‘s
- Row 5: Our improvement plan: Under each row 4 entry, brainstorm, rank, and enter your plans to improve your performance for those row 1 entries that need the attention first.
Example: McDonalds (simplified, fictitious data. Actual chart would be far more detailed); best done on a white board and/or with Post Its to allow for easy modifications.
- Good Thinking Series – Part 2: Collaborate – includes about 50 collaboration tools
- Good Thinking Series - Associated Videos
- Upcoming public seminars:
- Ann Arbor: University of Michigan: Strategic Planning, October 1, 2015; Scenario Planning, October 8, 2015. For details and registration call Jazmin Williams, UM, 734-647-0533
- Ghana: World Class Strategic Planning, October 19-21, 2015
- Singapore: Process Improvement and Strategic & Scenario Planning; November 3-6, 2015
- Chicago: High Performance Teams and Strategic Thinking & Decision Making; November 17-20 4
- Websites: www.johncanfield.com and www.goodthinkingseries.com
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