In his presentation from the Customer Experience Innovation & Tech Fest 2017, Neal Ross, Director of IT & Services at Konica Minolta spoke about his idea of what a customer centric culture is, and where to focus if you want to turn your company into one that customers love doing business with. He shared excellent insights into Konica Minolta’s journey towards customer centricity and gave tangible tips to apply in your own organisation.
Here are his 3 key elements to customer centric success:
“To achieve true customer centricity these are the things you need to focus on and the order you need to do them in. People first. Educate your people, empower them and get out of their way. There’s no point in you employing someone if the first thing you’re going to do is tell them what to do; you’ve employed them because they’re good at what they do. Process. If you can improve your processes, make them available for your customers and make them actually deliver successful customer outcomes, you’ll have happy customers. It doesn’t mean you’ve got to go too far and give them free stuff – it’s about doing things right every time. Finally, you can enable both of those by adding some good technology. With technology, don’t overthink it, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. There’s some amazing technology out there, but before you leap in, think about the other two things, because technology on its own will solve absolutely nothing.” Neal Ross, Director of IT & Services at Konica Minolta.
- Empower your people
- Invest in your people. Train them well and then get out of their way and let them use their skills. Trust them to do the job they’ve been trained for.
- Hierarchical company structures don’t necessarily serve the customer best. Think about the way your company is structured and put the customer at the centre. This can be achieved by having cross-functional, agile teams and real collaboration.
- Cut all the hierarchy out wherever you can, let the people work the way they want to work. Konica Minolta’s customer facing field service force is self-directed, they are totally self-managed, they’re divided into teams and are empowered to make their own decisions. They’re trusted to do the right thing and the result is a very efficiently run field service force, and great customer service.
- Look at the KPIs you’ve set and think about them differently. Ask yourself what behaviours you want to deliver – the KPIs will drive behaviour.
- Check and improve your processes
- Break bad processes and do sensible things instead. In business, we’re all happy doing things right, but are you doing the right things? If you think about that in relation to every process you’re involved in at work, then consider who created that process and why are you doing it? Most of us spend our lives just blindly following processes just because they exist.
- Who is your process for? Processes should exist to deliver a successful outcome for your customer. if your processes don’t add value for your customer, or they’re not required for compliance, stop doing them, they’ve got no value.
- Allow your people to create their own processes in the language they’re used to
- Empowerment in process says: “Let’s change this to something that’s meaningful, something that’s going to be efficient and something which crosses functional boundaries.”
- If your process only lives inside one function or business unit, it’s not a real process; it needs to be enterprise-wide.
- Konica Minolta have insourced their call centre. These people have the biggest touch point with your customers, bar none. 81% of people now prefer self-service, if they can get it. This means that customers are now solving their own problems where they can. So when your helpdesk gets a call, the problem is a lot more complicated than it used to be. Make sure that you invest in contact centres so that they have good staff.
- There are amazing technology options, but before you leap in, think about the first two things, because technology on its own won’t solve anything.
- NPS: If you’re going to use it, integrate it into your systems so it’s fully closed loop. When you loop back into your service and sales system you can really act on the comments you get back.
- Knowledge management: have you documented your people’s tacit knowledge on all things customer-facing? This is important so that your helpdesk people coming into the organisation can pick that up and use it.
For more insights and to listen Neal’s full presentation synced with slides click here.
About the Speaker
Neal Ross is the Director, IT & Services at Konica Minolta.
He is passionate about transforming business through customer centric people, process and technologies. An IT & Services business leader with over 20 years’ experience of delivering successful customer outcomes, business improvement & value.