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Ideekaarten Customer Innovation - Marion Debruyne


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Ideekaarten Customer Innovation - Marion Debruyene

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Ideekaarten Customer Innovation - Marion Debruyne

  1. 1. Extreme customer centricity with innovative power is key 16 small ideas with big impact The ‘small ideas with big impact’ are meant to inspire and to give ideas on how to turn strategy into practice. Implementing customer innovation can be a huge change project. These ideas will help you along in creating rituals, best practices and communication tools. Collect all 16 small impact ideas, put them together by discussing them to generate more impact in becoming a successful and innovative, customer-centred company. Customer innovation Customer Innovation is the new book of Marion Debruyne, Professor at Vlerick Business School and expert in marketing and strategy, innovation and competition. It presents a unique case for developing the outside-in organisation to drive your business ­success. The 3x3 framework gives you a practical guide to focus your business on the customer of today and the customer of the future. ORDER NOW!
  2. 2. Customer Innovation: small ideas with big impact Learn the language of the customer Customers leave behind text: whether it is in the emails they send to your service department, the calls they make to your call center, the replies they give to open-ended survey questions, or the tweets they share about your brand. By analysing the verbatim of text, we can learn a lot about the way customers word things: what are the exact phrases, ­terminology and words they use? This exercise can help you to transform your own communication and really talk the customer’s lingo. This can be used again in marketing messages and copy. 1
  3. 3. Customer Innovation: small ideas with big impact Personas Personas are fictional characters that embody your main customer segments. Personas help characterise different segments by developing a story around them. For every customer group you create a narrative: a name, a face, a picture, and a description of this customer’s day-to-day life. Personas help to put a face on the numbers and ­facilitate internal communications about the different segments a company is serving. Personas help to foster the conversation about customers within an organisation. They also help to identify different customer segments and narrate what makes them different on behaviors, attitudes, context. Do you use personas? Who are the personas in your market? 2
  4. 4. Customer Innovation: small ideas with big impact Reward for contribution When running an online community, reward participants for their activity rather than for the ideas they bring to the table. The purpose is to create a culture of sharing (and learning), a sense of affiliation (as well as identity and status), and perhaps even personal relationships among like-minded participants. To facilitate all of this, the extent of contribution and commu-nity- promoting behaviour of participants needs to be rewarded and put in the spotlight. At Adidas for example, there is the Insider of the month initiative. The winner gets a goodie bag from Adidas and a badge to say they were the Adidas Insider in a particular month and year. Nominees are chosen by the community, as well as the company. The company advertises their favourite by creating a story about the person’s contribution and posting it onto the community showcasing who they voted for. In turn awarded members usually ‘go public’ thanking Adidas for their recognition. Do you stimulate and reward contribution and community-promoting behaviour in your customers? 3
  5. 5. Customer Innovation: small ideas with big impact Say thank you! Participants in co-creation often do not find it important to get rewarded for their input. They are after openness and gratitude, the need to feel validated and respected for their contribution. Participants should get feedback on the results of the exercise, as well as information on what happened with the selected ideas and insights further. Hence, they evaluate the exercise as meaningful, having created real value for the company, and are likely to participate again. Some companies invite partners or customers to submit insights or ideas for innovation that disappear in a ‘black box’ after submission. The whole idea of co-creation is to foster a natural collaborative ideation process, because it leads to better and richer ideas. If precaution is necessary, companies should make sure they give feedback on each idea to the author submitting it (e.g. virtually in external online communities or face-to-face in small-scale ones) which yields further advantages. Do you make sure to thank customers for their ideas and keep them informed on what you did with their feedback? 4
  6. 6. Customer Innovation: small ideas with big impact Mirror, mirror on the wall There is no substitute for direct customer feedback, as the people manning the customer service lines at your company will testify. But why reserve the experience of getting direct customer feedback only to the people in the frontlines? Make it company policy to have everybody share in this direct feedback from customers. Raw and direct confrontation with customers removes the distance that occurs when you only read about customers in polished summary reports. So make it a rule to learn directly from customers. For example, everybody in the organisation should listen in to at least 3 customer calls every week. This serves many purposes: • it’s a signal of the importance of customers • it is a constant reminder of who we’re working for • it is a great source of inspiration How do you do this in your company? 5
  7. 7. Customer Innovation: small ideas with big impact Walk through the same door The aim of the ‘walk in through the same door’ exercise is to experience the customer experience you provide in exactly the same way as your customers would. It is an exercise to follow the same path as your customer would: when looking for info on your website, when looking for a product, when navigating through your store … Enter your retail location through the front door. In fact, search for a parking spot first. Go to your website and experience every click a customer has to make to find the information they’re looking for, without the shortcuts and passwords that are available to you. 6
  8. 8. Customer Innovation: small ideas with big impact Internal crowd funding IBM has been experimenting with ‘enterprise crowd funding’ where the company gives its employees a small budget and encourages them to commit it to each other’s proposed projects. There was a website that was inspired by internet crowd funding websites, where members of the organisation could propose projects, and members of the organi-sation could take their €100 and spend it on each other’s projects. The idea is to use the wisdom of the crowd and apply it within your own organisation. As a result, there was a grassroots effort, with people advocating their projects across the organisation, and all employees having a vote in which projects were going to get realised. One of the old IBM mantras goes: “None of us is as smart as all of us.” Internal crowd funding really uses that principle. Have you already embarked on the idea of internal crowd funding? 7
  9. 9. Customer Innovation: small ideas with big impact Customer Storytelling So often the informal communication inside a company only relates negative stories about customers. “Can you believe the stunt X pulled?” “Did you hear about the impossible demands Y is imposing?” “We just had a complaint from Z.” Customer storytelling aims to counterbalance this and change the narrative around customers. Essentially, it is internal content marketing about customers. Successes with customers, compliments from customers, problems solved for customers, … share them. How? By creating formal stories about them that can be used in multiple communication platforms. Think of customers in your company who would fit this shoe perfectly and start sharing your first customer story today. 8
  10. 10. Customer Innovation: small ideas with big impact Beware of the ‘BOHICA-syndrome’ Companies often set up a customer centricity initiative and are disappointed if they don’t see immediate results. The reason often is that the organisation suffers from the “BOHICA-syndrome”. In other words: Bend-Over-Here-It-Comes-Again. It means the employees are tired of working towards new temporary goals all the time, they’re traumatised by the fickle ever-changing stories by top management. And they see this new story on customer centricity as just the newest thing, before we move on to the next fad. As a result, they do the minimum they can get away with, waiting for this all to blow over. Building a customer-oriented culture requires time, commitment and focus. It’s not a short-term project, but a long-term vision executed across all layers and decisions. 9
  11. 11. Customer Innovation: small ideas with big impact 3-minute exercise When tracing end users’ activities and workflow, a useful approach is an exercise called “three minutes”. The objective is to learn what end users are doing three minutes before they use a product or service and three minutes after. We then look at what they do during the next three minutes in both directions. With 3-minute increments, you stretch this exercise until you have a ­complete view on the entire workflow of a customer. This approach usually combines interviews and observation. It allows you to see the context and the interfaces (in usage and time) your products and services have with others. So the focused observation is about: • What products and services are used together with ours? • What products and services are used immediately before and after ours? • How well are these products and services seamlessly integrated with each other? 10
  12. 12. Customer Innovation: small ideas with big impact Astonishment report When new employees join, they can still look at the organisation with a virgin eye. They are not hindered by the curse of knowledge and can look with a fresh perspective. The astonishment report tries to capture that fresh perspective. It is a report that new employees are asked to write up after just a few months within the organisation. It describes what surprises them, what they find odd, what was unexpected. It is a reflection on the things they would approach differently. Are you ready to have a mirror held up to you? 11
  13. 13. Customer Innovation: small ideas with big impact Reverse mentoring Follow in the footsteps of companies like Cisco, Ogilvy & Mather and GE. In an effort to school senior executives in technology, social media and the latest workplace trends, many businesses are pairing upper management with younger employees. The senior execs stay up to date on how the younger generation uses communication technology. At the same time, they feel the pulse of younger recruits within the organisation. The junior mentors gain access to a senior executive level where they rarely get heard. The benefits? Better workplace relationships, no different speeds in adopting new technology and employee satisfaction. 12
  14. 14. Customer Innovation: small ideas with big impact Wall of shame The wall of shame serves the same purpose as a wall of fame: to make a showcase in a public spot with a lot of passers-by. But it shows the failures of the company instead of the successes: the products that did not work, the projects that were killed, the early attempts of the company’s current products … The wall of shame is a way to celebrate failure, and not hide the projects and initiatives that were not successful. By showing them we demonstrate there is no shame attached to failure, there is only shame attached to a lack of trying. The wall of shame shows that success was inevitably preceded by failed attempts. It illustrates the saying: success is for 99% failure. 13
  15. 15. Customer Innovation: small ideas with big impact Post mortem analysis Jonathan Rosenberg, Senior Vice President of Products at Google, asks each of his teams to do a post-mortem analysis of a failure and publish it to everybody else. Mistakes should not be buried or hidden. There are more learning opportunities in mistakes than in successes. But the learning only happens if we are willing to take a closer look, understand exactly what went wrong, so we can prevent this from happening in the future. 14
  16. 16. Customer Innovation: small ideas with big impact Hire for diversity “Diversity is your best defence against myopia.” The way to break through a set mental model is to bring in different ones. Do you find yourself in an environment where all your colleagues have worked in the same industry (or even the same company) for years? It’s no surprise then that a common mental model has emerged, and that it is difficult to change. By hiring a diverse set of people, you can make sure new deviant voices are brought in. This can be done by hiring from outside the industry, by encouraging diversity in demographic profile, or even better, hire from the same profile as your customer is. In a B2B environment, this means hiring people who have experience in your customer’s industry instead of your own. Like a Trojan horse, they will make sure that the customer perspective comes forward. 15
  17. 17. Customer Innovation: small ideas with big impact Fake it till you make it A working prototype or producible product is not required to already do smart real-life experiments. Find ways to work around the problem of not having the actual product, and still doing realistic market tests. Why not gauge customer interest by putting a ‘keep me informed’ button on your website? Or create a fake prototype: a real-life user interface with a fake back-end. It looks like it works, but the back-end functionality is missing. The fake prototype can already be put in users hands to get feedback on. 16