Anytime an executive embraces the concept of customer-centricity and adopts it as the basis for progress, however small, we raise a cheer. But when you have tens of thousands of employees, serving millions of subscribers in dozens of countries, the potential for inconsistency and inefficiency is high. Strongly championed by Head Office, customer-centricity had been gathering momentum in certain pockets across the business. Some country managers had moved ahead with projects in the name of customer-focus; others had been less proactive. Futurelab was invited to help roll out customer-centricity on a wide scale.
We recognize the work you’ve done
Along with executives from the organization, Futurelab’s senior advisors formed a joint customer-centricity unit. Our first step is always to listen. We reviewed existing projects and recognized the efforts made so far in the name of customer-centricity. We wanted to engender a sense of involvement among employees in the regional offices and start building commitment. This meant getting people to co-build the strategy, rather than having it presented by ‘some consultant’.
From argument to commitment
Most regional offices were agreed on general cellphone customer lifecycle stages like pre-purchase, purchase, honeymoon, enquiry, complaint and exit, but deeper levels of granularity revealed differing opinions. Futurelab helped them debate the detail of the customer journey over a series of workshops in which we created a hypothetical journey for everyone to enhance, until it matched the highest common denominator.
Group and country units agreed a truly customer-centric, detailed, 75-step customer journey, a set of customer promises for each step and a set of KPIs for each customer promise.
Voice of the customer
Customer-centricity is actually most vulnerable just as it’s being implemented. Operational barriers and practical realities are so immense and immediate it’s easy for people on the ground to lose strategic direction. Futurelab played a crucial role throughout this project as voice of the customer and guardian of the strategy. When the client team was about to prioritize an issue of internal importance but of little interest to the customer, we would speak up.
Opportunities for operational excellence
Once the customer journey is mapped, trying to address all the customer promises at once is a good way to achieve none of them. Armed with a universal view of the customer journey, national managers were able to choose which steps were of local priority and develop their own tactical roadmap. Futurelab reviewed those plans to see where activity overlaps and duplications lay. Where multiple countries were working on the same areas we encouraged them to form mini hubs, exchanging knowledge and sharing insights.
If you’re scaling up your customer-centricity nationally or internationally, please get in touch for an informal discussion.
- Stefan Kolle
- Alain Thys
- Juan Alegre