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5 Key Ingredients of a Robust Omni-channel Customer Journey Design Approach

28 Nov

Businesses are getting increasingly complex and so are customers’ expectations. Digital organizations are digitizing their critical Customer Journeys at scale to outperform competition. These organizations are using Digitization to create streamlined journeys, which result in more agile IT units, quick delivery of new products, and improved Customer Experiences and Engagement.

But before embarking on digitization and streamlining Customer Journeys, organizations need to transform their products, processes, legacy systems and technology, and culture to become truly digital businesses.

Streamlining multiple Customer Journeys concurrently requires integration of existing systems, building new capabilities, and deploying existing competences in a different way. Specifically, it entails embracing the following 5-phase Omni-channel Customer Journey Design approach that is critical for improving Customer Experiences and accomplishing higher Customer Engagement:

  1. Develop Enterprise Customer Experience Story
  2. Prioritize Technology Transformation Projects
  3. Develop a Flexible Ecosystem of Technologies and Platforms
  4. Adapt Principles of Strong, Agile, and Lean
  5. Be Adaptive in Performance Management

Now, let’s talk about the first 3 phases of the Omni-channel Customer Journey Design approach.

Phase 1 — Develop Enterprise Customer Experience Story

Creating a Customer Experience Story calls for setting up a Customer Experience team. The Customer Experience team begins by identifying the critical factors and main concerns in their customer relationships. Around these themes, they, then, carefully outline the experiences customers may come across during each and every interaction they have with the company in the form of a story. The Enterprise Customer Experience Story is unique to every company and provides a summary of the strategy, brand, and positioning in workable terms.

Next, the team identifies the journeys that are able to effectively deliver the factors and features critical for the customers utilizing digitization. Each journey should be critically analyzed to assess its significance, cost advantages associated with scaling it, the governance and technical impediments, and the availability of adequate financial and leadership resources to manage it. Thorough analysis of Customer Journeys yields a plan of action that aids in creating prioritized journeys.

Phase 2 — Prioritize Technology Transformation Projects

IT Transformation is typically the most challenging and resource hungry among other change initiatives. For instance, designing a mobile app is simple, however, it’s the linkage of the app to all the channels customers use and its integration with the back-end systems that is complicated.

To undertake Digitization, companies should avoid digitizing each journey separately — as it fosters internal silos — and investing heavily in Internet or mobile-channel IT. A better approach for the organizations is to rather prioritize the IT initiatives to enable smooth transformation of IT architecture with the addition of more customer journeys. Standard IT components are reusable across different journeys.

Phase 3 — Develop a Flexible Ecosystem of Technologies and Platforms

An important consideration for digitizing core journeys and scaling digitization is to link your IT systems with the technologies and platforms working outside the firm. These external systems provide the organization several advantages, including quick access to new customers, data pools, and capabilities.

Next-generation integration architecture should be designed in such a way that it should support open standards, dynamic interaction models, and curtail security threats. Progress in cloud computing and technology infrastructure has made quick and easy access, management, and operations of infrastructure resources possible — including networks, servers, databases, programs, and services. The skills needed to manage these technology ecosystems include DevOps experts to supervise integration of development and operations, enterprise architects, cloud engineers to manage software and cloud-computing, data scientists, and automation engineers.

Interested in learning more about the other key phases of the Customer Journey Design approach? You can download an editable PowerPoint on Omni-channel Customer Journey here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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When Data is Not Enough: The Need to Understand Purpose-driven Analytics

27 Nov

The Data Analytics Revolution is here. It is transforming how companies organize, operate, manage talent, and create value. In fact, advanced data analytics is now a quintessential business matter. It is important for CEOs and top executives to be able to clearly articulate its purpose and translate it into action. Yet, this is not so.

CEOs and top executives are finding it difficult to articulate the clarity of purpose and act on it. It must not just stay in an Analytics department but must be embedded throughout the organization where the insights will be used. Leaders with strong intuition do not just become better equipped to kick the tires on their analytics efforts. They can capably address the many critical top management challenges by employing a range of tools, employing the right personnel, applying hard metrics, and asking hard questions.

Data Analytics is a means to an end. It is a discriminating tool for identifying and implementing a value-driving answer. It can unleash insights that could be the very core of your organization’s approach to improving performance. This, however, cannot be achieved if there is no clarity in the purpose of your data.

Data Analytics Revolution: Are We Ready?

The Data Analytics Revolution is transforming how companies organize, operate, manage talents, and create value. But are we ready for this? A number of companies are reaping major rewards from Data Analytics. But this is far from the norm. More CEOs and top executives are avoiding getting dragged into the esoteric weeds.

Data Analytics have complex methodologies and there is a sheer scale of data sets. Machine Learning is becoming increasingly more important. For us to be ready in the onset of Data Analytics Revolutions, we need to be capable of addressing many critical and complimentary top management challenges. We need to be able to ground even the highest analytical aspirations in traditional business principles and deploy a range of tools and people.

To be properly equipped on the proper use of Data Analytics, we just need to develop a mindset for Purpose-driven Analytics anchored on 4 guiding principles.

The 4 Guiding Principles of Purpose-driven Analytics

  1. Ask Clear and Correct Questions. The first principle focuses on generating impact the soonest. Hence, precise questions are asked based on the company’s best-informed priorities. Here, clarity is essential.
  2.  Identify Small Changes for Big Impact. The second principle focuses on generating gains even on small improvements. There is a need to identify small points of difference to amplify and exploit because the smallest edge can make the biggest difference.
  3. Leverage Soft Data. The third principle focuses on getting quality insights and generating sharper conclusions. It is at this point wherein the use of softer inputs such as industry forecasts, predictions from product experts, and social media commentary are given more emphasis. Soft data is essential when trying to connect the dots between more exact inputs.
  4. Connect Separate Data Sets. The fourth principle focuses on capturing the untapped value. This principle emphasizes the need to combine sources of information to make sharper insights. When different data sets are examined, the greater is the probability that problems can easily be fixed.

From Learning to Doing: Connecting the Dots

It is not enough that organizations learn about Purpose-driven Analytics. One also needs to be able to put these into effective use. Companies must take a multi-faceted approach to analyze data to minimize overwhelming complexity. There are 4 guiding principles for Purpose-driven Analytics implementation. Using these principles will facilitate the effective use of analytics and transform outputs into action.

Interested in gaining more understanding of Purpose-driven Analytics? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Purpose-driven Analytics here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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The Age of Digital Transformation Is Unstoppable: Why the Need for Workforce Digitization

25 Nov

In the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we are approaching the age of automation. Together with this is the impending penetration of digital technology into the labor force which can threaten to destabilize crucial aspects of how employees work by. This can undermine the stability companies depend on to be agile.

With the coming transformation, executives can resolidify their companies by developing a robust Digital Transformation Strategy. There is just a need for executives to adjust their leadership behavior, embrace digital workforce platforms, and deepen their engagement with digitally enabled workers.

Facing the Current Digital Landscape

Workforce Digitization and the powerful economics of automation require a sweeping rethinking of organization structures, influence, and control. According to a recent study made by McKinsey Global Institute, most industries have yet to fully digitize their workforce as these are lagging behind the leading digitized sectors. Organizations have to realize that in Workforce Digitization, automation can devastate established assumptions on stability.

The hallmark of an agile age is the ability to be stable and dynamic. The McKinsey research further showed that the workers’ roles and the processes that support them are the bedrock aspects of stability. These are the first and fourth most important factors that differentiate agile companies from the rest.

However, with the onset of automation, the workforce is destabilized. Jobs are disaggregated into component tasks and companies are forced to reassemble remaining tasks into something that makes a new kind of sense. On the other hand, job destabilization can have a dual-faceted impact. Organizations can either become more agile, healthy, and high performing or it can collapse into internal dysfunction.

The direction organizations will go will depend on how it can utilize Digital Workforce Platforms.

The Workforce Platform: Leading Organizations to Stability

Proper use of Workforce Platforms can help leaders restabilize the workforce and reconceive organizational structures to achieve stability. It has 4 core benefits of achieving stability.

  1. Collaboration. Workforce Platforms can be effective staffing coordinators with a multiplex of roles. It can maximize the visibility and mobility of the best people within the organization.
  2. Retention. It can bring science to talent management through the scientific process of retention. Workforce Platforms can help employees grow and develop as their career progresses.
  3. Succession Planning. Workforce Platforms are effective in increasing employees’ engagement in their work through Succession Planning. Through Success Planning, organizations are ensured that strategic capabilities, institutional knowledge, and leadership skills are retained within the organization.
  4. Decision Making. A vital core benefit, it can create conditions where employees feel valued by their organization and are happy in their environment. This is crucial as it can create conditions where employees feel energized and empowered.

Workforce Platforms are effective in leading organizations towards achieving agility. It moves companies to go beyond a one-size-fits-all approach to human resource and talent management.

Maximizing the Benefits of Workforce Platforms.

Benefits gained from Workforce Platforms can further be maximized. This can be achieved when there are appropriate support processes in place. There should be dynamic scheduling and appropriate leadership decisions. Our leaders are our organization’s architect. Being able to make the right leadership decisions can lead organizations to successfully maneuver their transformation in this age of automation.

Interested in gaining more understanding of Digital Transformation and Workforce Digitization? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Digital Transformation: Workforce Digitization here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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The 6 Core Capabilities of a Customer-centric Organization: Your Ammunition to Winning a Highly Demanding Customer

25 Nov

In this age of digital disruption, how can organizations engage customers, increase Customer Loyalty, and achieve profitable growth?

Today’s customers are better informed, better connected, and more demanding than ever before. CEOs are now concerned about Customer Loyalty and they recognize that mastery of the customer agenda is essential. In fact, global leaders of successful businesses recognize that creating a customer-centric, digitally-transformed business is a top priority.

Almost every market is experiencing a fundamental change. Consumer expectations have shifted and digital technologies are making the biggest impact on businesses large and small since the start of the information age. Ultimately, businesses need to navigate the challenges of digital disruption and find new ways to create economic value and drive growth.

The challenge today is what it takes for organizations to be a Customer-centric Organization.

Unraveling the 6 Core Capabilities of a Customer-centric Organization

A Customer-centric Organization must have 6 Core Capabilities to compete in the Digital Age. In this global time, customer-centricity ceases to be a differentiator. It has become a matter of survival.

The first 2 Core Capabilities are Customer-directed. These are Customer Strategy and Customer Experience (CX).

  1. Customer Strategy. The first core capability, Customer Strategy is focused on addressing changing customer needs and behavior. It involves the development of a clear view of customer behavior and intentions using data and analytics. Customer Strategy can be applied in several ways. It can be used to refine and develop a proposition or even inform major investments in new media content.
  2. Customer Experience (CX). Customer Experience (CX) is that core capability that generates a significant competitive advantage – a double revenue growth against industry counterparts. It is being able to respond to customer needs balanced with understanding the values customers bring to the enterprise. The world’s most advanced customer businesses often undertake customer journey mapping and experience design which are critical to executing customer-centric change.

The second 2 Core Capabilities focus on front office capability and across the enterprise value chain. These are Sales & Service Transformation and Connected Enterprise.

  1. Sales & Service Transformation. As the third core capability, Sales & Service Transformation is essential to becoming a customer-responsive business. This is a newly digitized and fully integrated front office capability that can attract, engage, acquire, and continually engage with customers. With the modernization and transformation of front office functions, Marketing, Sales, and Service teams get to have better ideas on how to work together more effectively. This leads to a full end-to-end Business Transformation.  A core concept to Service Transformation is the development of Service 4.0 capabilities.
  2. Connected Enterprise. Focused on delivering differentiated Customer Experiences, Connected Enterprise is an architecture of fundamental capabilities that work across the Enterprise Value Chain, from back office operations through customer-facing interactions. The application of Connected Enterprises has led to companies experiencing an increase in annual revenue and a positive return on investment.

The third 2 Core Capabilities are Data & Analytics and Digital Transformation — your company’s response to a highly demanding digital market.

  1. Data & Analytics. The fourth core capability is Data & Analytics. This core capability is focused on creating actionable insights that drive profitable growth. With the use of Data & Analytics, it can uncover patterns of customer behavior, relevant social media influencers, and channel preferences. It is useful in personalizing propositions, channels, marketing communication, and the experiences offered to customers.
  2. Digital Transformation. The sixth core capability, this is the core capability that can power new ways to engage customers, optimize operations, and transform products. Digital Transformation is delivering the right customer and digital technology. With the advent of virtual reality, augmented reality headsets, the Internet of Things, AI, and cognitive computing, it has changed the way customer-centric companies engage customers. Digital Transformation is not an overnight event. This is a series of incremental steps, each delivering a concrete business advantage.

Developing the 6 Core Capabilities is no easy task. It can be pretty challenging. Companies need to have a good handle of its key challenges and the right approaches to mastering the 6 Core Capabilities. When this is achieved, the high road to global competitiveness is achieved.

Interested in gaining more understanding of these 6 core Capabilities of a Customer-centric Organization? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about the 6 Core Capabilities of a Customer-centric Organization here on the Flevy documents marketplace. There is a series of 3 presentations – Part I, Part II, and Part III that discusses all 6 Core Capabilities.

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Just Too Many Processes? Gain Back your Competitiveness through Global Process Optimization

24 Nov

Management processes–everything from how a company manages risk to how it gets supplies for factories to how it manages and develops people–are some of the primary ways that global companies impose order and consistency on a diverse set of global operations.  Companies believe that processes can help share knowledge across divisions and regions. Likewise, seamless delivery and service processes can be central to meeting customer expectations.

In a world where the pace of competition is increasing faster than ever, best-in-class processes can create competitive advantages when it comes to innovation and risk management. However, researches have shown that companies are particularly poor at managing processes. Often there are just too many processes. Worst, executives often do not know where to begin.

Global Process Optimization is the strategic approach to building a real Competitive Advantage.  However, it can be a challenge and there are pitfalls that organizations must face.

The Pitfalls of Organizations

Global organizations are particularly poor at managing processes. Processes are considered one of the 3 weakest aspects of organizations and strengthening them is crucial.

Based on a McKinsey survey of executives, executives do not know what their processes are.  Inasmuch as there are just too many processes, these processes do not reflect new customer needs. In fact, there exists a resistance to change that can be damaging to an organization.

Organizations have to understand that processes can go wrong on a global scale and it can bring in a lot of challenges to an organization.

The 3 Core Challenges to Global Organizations

Organizations are faced with 3 core challenges when dealing with processes and transforming them to a global scale.

  1. A Plethora of Processes. When there are a plethora of processes, there are just too many processes and too little value.  This happens when executives are unable to differentiate between processes that are essential to creating global value and those that are inessential but offer benefits if these are consistent.  Executives also fail to differentiate between processes that are crucial to customers or those that create value and those that do not. A plethora of processes is also created when the operation is in various locations or as a result of M&A activity.
  2. Overstandardization. How do you know that overstandardization exists? It is when processes are so rigid that they are slow to respond to new growth. As a result, there is a dramatic decrease in local responsiveness. This core challenge often arises because there is just too much concern about maximizing control and reducing risk.
  3. Resistance to Change. This is the third core challenge faced when change is introduced and there is resistance. Resistance to change often occurs when there is difficulty in changing customer-facing processes until the organization is faced with customer backlash. Executives often fail to understand customers’ preference for standard global service. The thinking is often directed towards country-specific variations which are not often what customers like.

Overcoming the 3 core challenges can be done. Organizations just need to take on a 3-phase approach that will ensure that all global processes are enabling performance. These are Prioritize, Optimize, and Implement. A 3-phase approach is an effective tool towards approaching Global Process Optimization in a strategic manner where value is maximized at minimal cost and complexity.

Interested in gaining more understanding of Global Process Optimization? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Global Process Optimization here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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Which Work Areas are Going to be Affected the Most by Automation in Future?

12 Nov

Disruptive technologies are helping companies automate work. Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence are taking up jobs which were in the past earmarked only for smart humans. Driver-less cars, automated check-in kiosks at airports, and autopilots steering the aircrafts are just few instances of how automation is transforming our world.

However, automation presents unique challenges that organizations need to identify and mitigate appropriately. These include costs associated with job losses; confidentiality of data; quality and safety risks stemming from automated processes; and regulatory implications.

Other critical factors to consider before investing in automation are adoption, pace of development of automation, and readiness of organizational leadership in redefining processes and roles to support automation.

The key question is how automation will impact our work in future. Should we anticipate benefits — e.g., efficiency gains and quality of life improvements — or dread further disruption of established business and job cuts?

Research by McKinsey suggests that Robotic Process Automation will impact 4 workplace areas the most:

  1. Workplace Activities
  2. (Re)definition of Work
  3. High-wage Jobs
  4. Creativity and Meaning
https://flevy.com/browse/flevypro/impact-of-robotic-process-automation-rpa-3980

Now, let’s discuss the first two key areas in further detail.

Workplace Activities

Research findings (based on the US labor market data) reveal that the future does not likely hold complete automation of individual jobs, but rather automation of certain activities within specific occupations. The assumption that only routine, codifiable activities can be easily automated — and those that necessitate implicit knowledge will be unaffected — is misleading. Automation has already reached (or surpassed) the median level of human performance in some cases.

Capital or hardware-intensive industries — under stringent regulatory control — are slow and expensive to automate and need more time to reap return on investments. Whereas, the sectors where automation is mostly software based (e.g., financial services) may create value at a far lower cost and within rather shorter span of time.

(Re)definition of Work

The current level of automation can potentially transform a number of occupations to a certain level, but it requires redefinition of job roles and activities. Research reveals that only about 5% of occupations can be completely automated with the current level of technology.

In spite of this, automation can boost human productivity even in the highest paid occupations by taking care of repetitive daily tasks — e.g., analyzing paperwork, reports, data and evaluating applications based on criteria — and freeing up time for people to focus more on high value work that involves human emotions and creativity.

For instance, Automation and Machine Learning can automate diagnosis of common ailments, thereby enabling the doctors to concentrate more on acute or complicated problems. Likewise, lawyers can employ data mining tools to sift through piles of documentation to isolate the most relevant cases for their review.

Interested in learning more about the other key areas most impacted by Robotic Process Automation? You can download an editable PowerPoint on Impact of Robotic Process Automation here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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7 Key Imperatives to Design a Breakthrough Customer Experience

1 Nov

The constant advancement in technology has raised the expectations of customers in terms of their interaction with companies.  This digital disruption is also forcing businesses to develop new capabilities and explore innovative ways and means to deliver improved Customer Experiences.

Organizations can overhaul their Customer Journeys by embracing latest digital insights and practices.  To develop a truly exceptional, breakthrough Customer Experience, organizations should work towards adopting 7 key imperatives:

  1. Develop Customer Empathy
  2. Design the Complete Customer Experience
  3. Reinvent the Customer Experience
  4. Lead the Way with Industry Rules
  5. Become an Agile Organization
  6. Continuously Improve and Iterate
  7. Foster a Culture of Collaboration

An organization does not need to execute all 7 of these imperatives—it varies from case to case depending on the circumstances, market, and customer requirements.

Let’s, now, discuss the first 4 imperatives in further detail.

Develop Customer Empathy

Many firms use surveys and face-to-face interviews to gather firsthand customer insights to enhance their Customer Experiences.

However, when designing Customer Journeys—in addition to customer data—companies need to understand their customers’ behaviors deeply and put themselves in their customers’ shoes.  This entails knowing the complexities the customers face during various journeys and developing new ways to understand Customer Journeys—for instance, by making researchers accompany customers while shopping, by asking customers to report their activities and provide feedback as they interact with various offerings, and involving customers to provide their input on early versions of proposed offerings.

Design the Complete Customer Experience

Most people consider that design pertains only to good artwork, outlook, and appearance of products.

However, it involves not just the look and feel of a product but also the way it operates.  To render breakthrough Customer Experience, companies need to fundamentally shift the way design is perceived—not just the user interface design rather designing the overall Customer Experience.

Great Customer Experience design encompasses crafting every interface the customers have with the provider from the minute they consider a purchase.  It warrants enrolling all people that can make a difference to the customer (especially from the operations and IT units), mapping out customer touchpoints, and transforming fundamental systems and processes.

Reinvent the Customer Experience

Improving current Customer Journeys enables achieving incremental cost reductions and quality enhancements.

However, to improve Customer Journeys there is a need to shift the way Customer Journeys are perceived—from merely addressing the issues in a Customer Journey and streamlining a process to completely transforming the entire Customer Experience.

This should be done by carefully deliberating on and thoroughly analyzing all journeys from a customer’s perspective, drawing inspirations and studying benchmarks from other industries, and addressing customers’ needs.

Lead the Way with Industry Rules

Financial institutions are, to this day, quite cautious of utilizing technology to verify customers’ identification documents for deposit account opening.  Compliance teams at these institutions often resist the efforts to transform customer account opening journeys, as they exercise extreme care to ensure regulatory compliance.  Some banks make the customers fill their applications online but ask them to visit a branch with the completed paperwork, resulting in a cumbersome Customer Experience that is no longer acceptable as we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Leading organizations strictly adhere to laws but demonstrate to the regulatory authorities how technology has helped them break the status quo surrounding regulatory compliance and develop innovative solutions to manage risks and compliance better.

Interested in learning more about the other imperatives key to developing a breakthrough Customer Experience?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Breakthrough Customer Experience (CX) here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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In this Digital Age, Are You Ready for Digital Reinvention?

31 Oct

“All you need is your own imagination
So use it that’s what it’s for (that’s what it’s for)
Go inside, for your finest inspiration
Your dreams will open the door (open up the door)” Madonna

Madonna is a perfect example of reinvention. A very versatile actress, Madonna has the ability to adapt to new trends; someone that can send a lesson to companies struggling with their own digital revolution.

In this digital age, change is rewarded while being static is being punished. Companies must be open to radical reinvention to find new, significant, and sustainable sources of revenue.  Incremental adjustments or building something new outside of the core business can provide real benefits and, in many cases, are a crucial first step for a digital transformation. But if these initiatives do not lead to more profound changes to the core business and avoid the real work of re-architecting how the business makes money, the benefits can be fleeting ad too insignificant to avert a steady march to oblivion.

Discovering Digital Reinvention

Reinvention is a rethinking of the business itself.  Based on a Digital Quotient Research, reinvention requires significant commitment. First, the investment must be aligned closely with strategy at a sufficient scale. And second, digital leaders must have a high threshold for risk and must be willing to make bold decisions.

Digital Reinvention is not a throw-it-all-out approach. If you look at Apple when it moved from a computer manufacturer to music and lifestyle brand, it has reinvented itself while continuing to build computers.  Likewise, this is the case with John Deere.  John Deere is the brand name of Deere & Company that manufactures agricultural, construction, forestry machinery, and others. It continued to sell tractors and farm equipment while reinventing itself into a creator of online services for farmers.

Digital Reinvention is an innovative approach to laying the foundation for future growth while continually pushing improvement targets.

Approaching Digital Reinvention

Digital Reinvention will put new demands on leadership. Hence, an organization must have a strategic approach to Digital Reinvention: The 4Ds of Digital Reinvention.

  1. Discover. The primary goal of Discover is to develop a tight business case for change based on facts. Organizations must discover what your digital vision is based on where the value is. This will shape your digital ambition, strategy, and business case.
  2. Design. Designing, creating, and prototyping breakthrough experiences is the main focus of Design. It is reinventing and developing new capabilities and breakthrough Customer Journeys.
  3. Deliver. This is the third phase where organizations need to gather speed and scale necessary for reinvention. Its primary focus is to deliver and develop a network of partners who can rapidly scale your ambition. There is a need to activate an ecosystem to rapidly deliver at scale.
  4. De-risk. The 4th D, it is focused on structuring the change program, resources, and commercial model to reduce operational and financial risk. It is essential for senior leaders to focus on structural and organizational issues that can hamper the organization’s ability to manage cyber risk.

Having a good handle of the 4Ds of Digital Reinvention will prepare leaders towards Digital Transformation and new challenges.  It will be able to come up with the right answers to key questions that will arise in preparation for Digital Reinvention. Coming up with the proper answers to these crucial questions can guide companies to reinvent themselves ad stay in the game.

Interested in gaining more understanding of Digital Reinvention? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Digital Reinvention here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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Are You Able to Maximize Impact of Customer Experience on Value Creation?

30 Oct

Digital-savvy startups are disrupting markets and threatening conventional businesses.  They are doing this by utilizing technology to offer new products and services and providing tailored yet uncomplicated experiences for their customers.

Likewise, large traditionally-run firms will have to keep evolving their Customer Experience approaches to secure additional avenues of revenue and to stay competitive.  To accomplish this, they will need to develop capabilities to effectively utilize insights on customer preferences and design offerings as per the customers’ preferences.

Many organizations, today, are undertaking Digital Transformation programs to improve their Customer Experiences.  However, a majority of these Digital Transformation initiatives fall short of securing their maximum value potential due to focusing only on improving specific touchpoints instead of confronting the entire customer journeys—spanning across several departments and channels.

To make their Customer Experience sustainable and to become Customer-centric Organizations need to clearly transform their ways of doing business, operations, and employee behaviors.  It is critical to improve these fundamental support processes before embarking on initiating any Customer Experience optimization initiatives.

Customer Experience optimization facilitates in gaining more satisfied/paying customers, additional value, and better retention rates.  Research reveals that the companies that have higher Customer Satisfaction levels can achieve four times growth in value compare to those that rank lower in Customer Satisfaction.

Customer Experience (CX) Approach to Value Creation

The following pragmatic 5-phase approach to Customer Experience Management and Value Creation is of great benefit to organizations aspiring to enrich their Customer Experience, achieve clear-cut differentiation, and capture the most potential value:

  1. Understand What Customers Value
  2. Simplify and Streamline Offerings
  3. Link Customer Value to Operational Drivers
  4. Focus on Most Important Customer Journeys
  5. Adopt Continuous Improvement (CI) Thinking

Let’s now delve deeper into the first 3 phases of the approach.

Understand What Customers Value

Ascertaining the key drivers of Customer Satisfaction is the foremost step in improving Customer Experience.  A flawed approach—that many companies still employ—at the onset of a Customer Experience optimization initiative is to reduce costs associated with internal processes and exploring customer pain points.  This doesn’t assist in maximizing Value Creation.

Customer-centric organizations, on the other hand, devote their time in developing a clear understanding of what really matters to their customers.  This helps in deciding where to focus, rationalizing their processes, and creating new experiences for the customers to generate additional value.

Great Customer Experience necessitates much more than just satisfactory interactions.  Customer Satisfaction should be mapped along the entire customer journey—spanning multiple functions and channels—as customers use various channels to communicate with companies before making a transaction.

Simplify and Streamline Offerings

Alongside rationalizing the processes, it is equally important to carry out a detailed analysis of the brands, offerings, and price structures is essential to tap value from Customer Experience.  After all, even the most pleasing Customer Experience cannot offset an unpredictable or exorbitantly expensive product.

Once these fundamentals are in order, organizations should investigate which interactions and Customer Journeys carry the most significance in a Customer Experience; evaluate how the organization is rated in each journey; identify and focus on the operations that need to be overhauled to improve the overall Customer Experience.

Link Customer Value to Operational Drivers

Technology and customer input provides the stimulus to streamline offerings and Customer Experience.  However, the real value comes from linking the Customer Experience to core operational processes.  Seeing journeys from the customer perspective aids in focusing on what they need and linking internal processes, structures, and KPIs to customer facilitation.

This necessitates deeper insights on elements that are of most value to the customer across a journey, pinpointing drivers of business costs and revenues, and—most importantly—inculcating the right mindsets across the organization.  This detailed evaluation of customer journeys facilitates in determining operational improvements that bear the most positive effect on Customer Experience.

Interested in learning more about the other phases of the approach to managing Customer Experience?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on the Customer Experience (CX) Approach to Create Value here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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Finding Corporate Philanthropy a Challenge? Let This Primer Guide You

29 Oct

“To give away money is an easy matter and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter.” Aristotle

Corporations can be a source of grant funding. Corporations and local businesses donate grants because they care about some particular issue or issues to the point of wanting to get involved. They have the financial capacity and they want to contribute to the community or society and see positive outcomes.  Oftentimes, these efforts will be aligned with their Corporate Social Responsibility programs.

Corporate grant programs sponsored by large, multinational corporations may look identical to the grant programs run by foundations. This includes a formal application process and well-defined programmatic areas. Other companies choose to limit their giving to a handful of local nonprofits with support consisting of one-time cash gifts or in-kind donations of goods or services.

Organizing Corporate Giving Programs require serious study and consideration. Companies have to properly define their objectives and the reasons why it plans to come up with giving programs. Setting up a Grant Funding Program requires having sufficient understanding, knowledge, and systems in place to make it run successfully.

Corporate Philanthropy: Taking the Right Journey

Corporate Philanthropy is the act of corporation in promoting the welfare of communities through charitable donations of funds or time. Corporations must be clear on what type of support it will offer and the ways of promoting these programs. When this is done, it is most effective for the company to establish its Corporate Giving Program and set the right direction for its Corporate Philanthropic Journey.

Having a good understanding of the types of Corporate Philanthropy can better guide corporations to take a good start in its Corporate Philanthropic Journey. Corporations can have a choice of whether they provide cash gifts, non-cash or donations of goods and services.

Either way, corporations initiate giving programs to achieve specific objectives and reasons. Corporations differ from foundations. Foundations make grants to further a mission that has a social good at its heart. On the other, corporate donors make gifts to complement or advance business interests.

Jumpstarting the Corporate Philanthropic Journey

Every corporation dedicated to undertaking its Corporate Philanthropic Journey wants to give it a good start. Hence, it is important for corporations to engage in various ways to promote its Corporate Giving Programs. Creating awareness is essentially important as it creates interest from target beneficiaries and moves them to action.

Corporate Giving Programs can also be promoted through partnerships and collaborations. It is a tactical way of directly informing target proponents of the company’s Corporate Giving Program.

Creating awareness of the Company’s Corporate Giving Programs can be achieved using six strategic approaches.

Interested in gaining more understanding of Corporate Philanthropy? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Corporate Philanthropy Primer here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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