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Building a customer focused organization (january 2015)


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Atlee Valentine Pope on January 21 presented to 20 senior executives at a food and beverage meeting on Building a Customer-Focused Organization. Atlee’s presentation provided illustrative examples of how other companies have made the cultural shift to creating a customer-focused organization and included lessons from best-in-class, customer-focused, B2B organizations.

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Building a customer focused organization (january 2015)

  1. 1. © 2015 Blue Canyon Partners, Inc. JANUARY 21, 2015 Building a Customer-Focused Organization
  2. 2. © 2015 Blue Canyon Partners, Inc. What behaviors have separated the “winners” from the “losers” in other industries? Winners:  “We just focus on responding to our customers, not trying to change them.”  “They understand our main source of profits is parts and service, and they help us with that part of the business as much as with selling new equipment.”  “I like our strong dealer relationships and like knowing who our customers are. That gives us a good ear to the market.”  “… really good at listening.” Many Firms:  “Our focus has been on cut-backs and layoffs.”  “…on acquisition assimilation”.  “… on rationalizing our supply base.”  “I spent more time negotiating with [supplier] than I do with my customers.”  “I used to be on the Customer Council for [ XYZ Manufacturer]. The last meeting that I heard about was four years ago. Maybe they didn’t think we had anything useful to say?” 2 Building a Customer-Focused Culture
  3. 3. © 2015 Blue Canyon Partners, Inc. B2B Customer Experience 3 Discover Evaluate Buy Receive Use Get Support The Customer Experience R&D Marketing Sales Operations & Supply Chain Customer Service Corporate Functions: Finance, HR, IT, etc.
  4. 4. © 2015 Blue Canyon Partners, Inc. Lesson Promote customers to think…. Avoid situations where customers say…. 1. Be proactive and build trust with customers “…helped us get out in front of [some situation]…” “they left us hanging…” Lessons from Best-in-Class Customer Focused B2B Organizations 4 2. Connect your people to the right people in the customer organization “We should have our marketing team work with XYZ Company’s marketing group to learn about the company’s knowledge.” “XYZ Company marketing came with a salesperson for one meeting and then we never heard from them again.” 3. Interact with customers to focus on the future. “Our meetings are interesting and exciting…we talk about the ‘what if’ and I am sure XYZ Company will help us introduce something new.” “All we talk about are ongoing operational problems or contract terms. I can’t wait to get these meetings over with.” 4. Bring clarity, energy and purposeful protocol to these interactions “XYZ Company asked us-- what can we accomplish together? And from this simple question we have jointly build a blueprint of actions that will push both of our organizations forward.” “We tried it once, but it really didn’t work…”; “We do have an annual executive meeting with XYZ Company, but it’s largely ceremonial.” 5. Establish meaningful measurements “Planning is done together. We know what we need to do, who needs to be involved, and how to ensure there are no unhappy surprises…” “Working with XYZ Company is confusing, complex, and is just too hard.”
  5. 5. © 2015 Blue Canyon Partners, Inc. 1. Set the Foundations for Success 2. Design the Implementation 3. Deploy Building a Customer-Focused Culture What is the vision for the future? What best practices help companies shift toward a customer focused change? What is the current state for customer focus at my company? What is missing and what needs to be changed and how? Upon deployment, how will my company’s leaders know that change is effective? What can be learned? How will course correction take place when needed? How will we measure success? Who will be accountable for this transformation? Which customer-focused initiatives are critical and why? When and how will this transformation take place? 5
  6. 6. © 2015 Blue Canyon Partners, Inc. 6-Step Approach 1. Develop Framework 2. Prepare Leadership & Organization 3. Assess Impact of Framework 4. Plan & Organize for Implementation 5. Deploy Implementation Plan 6. Learn & Course Correct Goals: Set the Foundations • Create a case for change • Build a framework for transformation • Prepare leadership and organization to receive and participate in the transformation Goals: Design Implementation • Define and mobilize teams • Test, resolve and refine initiatives • Build initiatives into a master implementation plan • Communicate plan Goals: Deploy • Roll out master plan • Course correct, as needed • Celebrate successes • Learn to continuously improve customer-focused culture I. Set Foundations for Success II. Design Implementation III. Deploy 6
  7. 7. © 2015 Blue Canyon Partners, Inc. Vision: Better Serve the Customer Transformation Framework To describe the story line and drive the Transformation: Build One Bold Underlying Initiative: Customer-Focused Culture Create audacious, massive customer- focused / customer care training to change the organization's mindset, culture and infuse “customer first” into the organization’s DNA. Initiative 1 Initiative 2 Initiative 3 Priority Initiatives Initiative 4 Initiative 5 Initiative 6Secondary Initiatives Illustrative 7
  8. 8. © 2015 Blue Canyon Partners, Inc. Role Description Assignment Sponsor Individual with highest line authority; “owner”, influencer of values / culture; has veto power over all decisions Executive Team Makes strategic decisions for transformation with sponsor; reports to functional leaders, coaches team heads Project Steering Committee Leaders and key stakeholders authorized to shape the transformation process; focuses on the vision, strategy and planning of transformation activities; assures adequate resources Customer-Focused Project Leader Individual authorized by sponsor to lead the customer-focused project; facilitates the process of defining and planning the transformation strategy; clarifies scope, outcomes, pace, constraints; advocate for key initiatives; shapes how the change is led, designed, implemented and corrected. Responsible for communicating quick wins and successes Sub-Project Team Heads Sub-project leaders who brings business know-how to lead the specific initiatives outlined in the master implementation plan. Sub-Project Heads work closely with the Project Leader to plan and deploy key initiatives Sub-Project Teams Sub-project team members who are organized to implement the initiatives. Team members to work under the direction of the Project Team Head. Team members bring a mixture of cross- functional expertise, project management, change management and communication skills Customer-Focus Project Leadership Illustrative 8
  9. 9. © 2015 Blue Canyon Partners, Inc. Master Implementation Plan 1Q 2015 2Q 2015 3Q 2015 4Q 2015 1H 2016 2H 2016 2017 2018 Priority 1 Priority Priority 2 Priority 3 Priority 4 Secondary Priority 5 Priority 6 Priority 7 Design Plan Deploy Design/Plan Design/Plan Deploy Design Design Design Design Design Plan Plan Plan Plan Plan Deploy Deploy Deploy Deploy Deploy Deploy Illustrative 9
  10. 10. © 2015 Blue Canyon Partners, Inc. The best companies thoroughly understand their customers and fully incorporate customer insights into their plans and priorities. The challenge is implementing that vision. It’s far easier to profess the desire to be a customer-facing company than it is to actually build such a culture. Source: Building a Customer-Facing Culture Published November 2011 in Business Excellence Magazine George F. Brown, Jr. Co-Founder, Blue Canyon Partners 10