Delivering culture change
Our client is a market leader in their service-based industry, with 80 physical sites and 5,000 people employed. The business is profitable, with a customer base of 13 million and three principle competitors.
Their strategy had been to offer their customers best value for money in a very competitive marketplace and to focus on operational excellence. Whilst this formula had driven success for several years, it was becoming increasingly apparent that the future required a different approach.
The client was beginning to recognise that the experience they were giving their customers was not as good as that provided by some of their competitors. They realised that they needed a more customer-centered approach and that this would require a change in approach and attitudes. In the words of one of the directors “ our customers are like guests in our home, their experience is a direct result of our culture…it will never be better than the way we treat each other.”
The client asked us to help them change their customer experience and re-focus their culture on the creation of an excellent customer experience.
Key Project Activities
The programme comprised of the following activities:-
The analysis phase looked at the competition, customer requirements, current service proposition and organisational culture.
The key findings were that customers felt processed, the service interaction lacked any personal engagement and as a consequence only three out of ten customers remembered the brand. Interestingly, staff felt constrained and wanted to improve the customer experience/service. The primary cultural barriers were around blame, an emphasis on control and a reward/recognition system focused on operational efficiency.
We designed a change programme focused on releasing the organisational energy to deliver an excellent customer experience. The programme was based on the principles of facilitated change as follows:-
- Customer strategy team – facilitation of the senior team to develop the customer strategy, plans and communications.
- Customer service team – facilitation of the multidisciplinary team to determine the desired customer service offering and how to implement.
- Employee brand/culture team – facilitation of the multidisciplinary team to determine how the business would need to change and how to implement.
Implementation has been undertaken via a mix of group initiatives and line management change activities. The key elements are:
- The executive team has a clear understanding of the customer strategy, the operational processes and cultural norms, which enable delivery. Management regularly review progress of the changes. The new metrics focus on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and the Employee Promoter Score (EPS).
- Operations. The focus has moved from operational efficiency to an effective customer experience. Process, customer interaction and cultural norms are continually measured and managed. Great customer service stories are celebrated.
- Employee brand. The employee brand and distinctive competencies of the business are incorporated into the recruitment, training, learning, reward and recognition processes across the group. Cultural reinforcement is around banishing blame, supporting coaching and promoting empowerment.
The programme has been a great success. The foundations of change have been firmly embedded in the business and the change agenda continues. The organisational values are now regarded as a key component/enabler in the delivery of the brand promise. Customers have been placed at the forefront of the strategic intent and operational delivery.
And the metrics demonstrate the success so far:
- Brand recognition up 40%
- Net Promoter Score up 40%
- Employee Promoter Score up 35%
- Turnover up 23%