Customer Strategy Services
I’ve been in the Customer space all my consulting career. Learnt lots designing and running transformation programmes over two decades. I now prefer to provide oversight and mentoring to others on those journeys. Thus I’ve been providing workshops on Next Generation Customer Service and Customer Experience for the last seven years. They work as a means of accelerated learning and decision-making for busy leadership teams. Sometimes these are just to provide market updates. Other times they are woven into a strategy development process I co-create with you.
These are the Next Generation themes that I’m experiencing are in demand right now.
‘One Agenda’ Customer Strategy
Given the sum total of all market trends, Customer Strategy ought to be as well figured out as Product Strategy. It is not though, and the potential value of focusing an organisation this way remains hugely under exploited. Only a few shoots of genuine post-industrial behaviour have popped through thus far. But the seeds of transformation are sown.
The evolving mashup of Social, Mobile, Cloud and Big Data will keep causing outbreaks of new cultures. This is no passing phase. And as the resulting wave of new business models impacts everyone, the need to re-organise customer facing functions grows. Suggesting an unprecedented unity of effort.
This can be crystallised into an initial milestone within what will prove a much longer cultural journey. But even forward leaning organisations have to start somewhere. The goal is to bridge the behavourial and cultural silos that exist between these teams. The means is to provide a common point of focus to begin a process of operational alignment.
This is no insignificant task. These silos extend into the partnering networks of each of these functions. Thus we can readily find Sales experts. Marketing experts. Customer Service experts. But very rarely an expert able to thread together One Agenda that draws the three equitably together.
I’ll admit the span of experience and expertise required to facilitate a ‘One Agenda’ competency milestone means that I have teamed up as Brainfood Consulting with some like minded organisations to bridge my own silos.
As a taster I introduced aspects of this approach at The Social Customer 2012 conference which can be viewed here. Or for a more thorough exploration see this post Social Business: The “One Agenda” Milestone. If you want to explore these ideas some more and get your own organisation experimenting with this version of ‘Next Generation’, let’s talk. Please use the contact form at the end of this page.
Next Generation Customer Service
Within the domain of Customer Service, there is still a tremendous volume of change to absorb, prioritise and ultimately operationalise. The demands on this environment become ever more sophisticated and interrelated. In other words, ‘People, Process & Technology’ are deeply interwoven ‘in action’ and must be conceived as such ‘in plan’.
I believe this is why ‘Next Generation Customer Service’ remains a popular lens. It naturally generates a joined up perspective for people and makes dependencies obvious in a way that tactical upgrading of single comptencies never facilitates.
In addition to the usual format of a highly visual style of of story telling peppered with the latest best practices, I’m proud to say Brainfood Consulting brings some pretty cool innovation to this process of mapping next generation competencies.
Leveraging this site’s ongoing focus of ‘Listening For Anything About The Customer’, I’ve distilled what Next Generation Customer Service specifically means into twenty two competency areas. Yes it’s a big map! Like sequencing the Genome, but incredably useful once done.
You can use it to self assess, debate priorities and define your own roadmaps in an engaging and collaborative way. The idea is to make it much easier to identify which ones you need to operationally improve service. Or if you are feeling strategic, to build a full roadmap that charts how you evolve into your ‘next generation’ of Customer Service.
As a side benefit it also facilitates a much more informed discussion between ‘Business’ and ‘IT’. And for that matter between the call centre and e-service. Universally popular outcomes!
Some organisations use the Next Generation Customer Service topic as a regular strategic update when their leadership teams convene for quarterly sessions. Others use it as an input for their three year customer service strategy which I mentor their team through. Conference organisers might shave off a topic to cram it into a thirty minute slot. The choice is yours.
PS. A snippet on Service Culture competency is included in the slideshow at the top of this page if you want to zoom in on some detail. Scroll through to the third slide using the sidebar navigation.
Social Customer Service
The first outing for the Social Customer Service workshop was at the CC Expo conference 2011. Most recent was the Professional Planning Forum 2012 annual conference. Pleased to say the event was one of the few to be a sell out. In other words, this is an emerging topic in the minds of Customer Service leadership teams.
However it may surprise you to know that few current deployments are being run by the Customer Service function. It remains a Marketing owned and managed operation.
Discussing the way forward between these ad hoc teams and the incumbent Customer Service resource and infrastructure is one of the key aims of the Social Customer Service workshop.
A full description of this Customer Strategy service can be found in the downloadable pdf on this page.
Mobile Customer Service
Mobile Customer Service also demands its own focused debate and design. Much activity to date has been around technology issues such as web versus mobile apps. However the issues are much wider in scope since consumer behaviour is being reshaped rapidly as smartphone use reaches 50% in the UK and continues to take market share.
Already consumer purchasing behaviour is reshaping multi-channel retail strategy as the sector currently at the sharp end of this deeply significant trend. Pretty soon we are going to have figure out how Customer Service is adapted to smart phone culture. This workshop is designed to start that strategic planning.
A full description of this Customer Strategy service can be found in the downloadable pdf immediately above.
Find Out More
Workshops and strategy planning assigments I’ve run for the likes of Direct Wines, Burberry, LV, BAXI Heating and TSYS Managed Services EMEA are all referencable events.
There are many ways to engage. For instance, you can go with an entry level one day workshop format to kick start alignment. Or extend the number of events and scope of the deliverables to end up with an upgraded Customer Strategy, co-authored by your team under my mentorship.
When you are ready please get in touch. Just fill in the form below then we can start talking. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
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