Be A Transformation Agent

original_the-secret-of-change-is-to-wall-stickerIt is a well documented fact that most people are not very fond of change and avoid it whenever possible out of fear, but as much as people dislike and fear change, they practically abhor the thought of transformation because it goes against the basic human instinct to want to protect, defend, and preserve what it already in existence.

Driving transformation is different than simply driving change because true transformation requires more than incremental repackaging of the old… it requires being willing to evaluate the current state, being willing to start over from scratch if necessary, and charting a course to the preferred future. True transformation cannot happen unless there is a willingness to do whatever is needed to be successful… that means that nothing (or at least very little) is sacred.

I have worked for large corporation and small startups and although there are numerous differences in these companies… there is a commonality on wanting to rely on what has already been done, rather than what could be. I have heard “but we have always done it this way” more times than I care to remember and I have had to have those difficult conversations to help move people from their embattled positions… to being willing to entertain how transformation could actually improve things.

The bottom line is… I don’t want to be satisfied by just being a change agent… I want to be a transformation agent!

If you want some steps to begin a transformational work. Here is a  link to one of our other posts Getting Back To Basics

The Inner Workings of EMC…

Recently there have been numerous rumors flying around about EMC… shocking… there always is! The danger of any type of speculation (a theory or conjecture without firm evidence) is that it distracts you from the present… and as the 2014 Superbowl Champion Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson says… “There’s no time to sleep!”… Well, theres no time to be distracted either!

I have worked at EMC for six years and have been responsible for managing the global Customer Loyalty programs for one of our largest divisions. I have worked with dozens of high ranking executives and hundreds of managers, teams, and individuals. Do you want some insider information on EMC? Do you want to know the inner workings of EMC and what makes us tick? Well, it is really quite simple, it’s called TOTAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.

EMC’s Total Customer Experience is a companywide program committed to consistently exceeding customer and partner expectations as they engage, enable, and evolve with us. I can personally attest that our employees are passionate about the customer experience and find ways every day to go above and beyond to ensure that we are investing in areas that matter most to our customers.

On Tuesday, October 7, 2014, our company will hold celebrations around the world in observance of what we are calling the Total Customer Experience Day, a special occasion to reinforce our commitment to providing customers and partners with the very best experience in our industry. The day will include 10+ onsite events at EMC offices in 7 countries, as well as a virtual celebration with an interactive online discussion.

DURING THIS EVENT YOU WILL:

  • Hear from customers on their end-to-end EMC experience
  • Learn about EMC’s holistic approach tomeasure and act on customer feedback
  • Hear from passionate employees and leaders about why they are committed to the customer experience
  • Tour the brand new Experience Analytics Showcase—an interactive demo that highlights diverse aspects of the customer experience and will be available to everyone on emc.com on October 7th!
  • Ask technical experts your questions during a live Q&A session

We hope you will join us!
https://community.emc.com/docs/DOC-38953

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Getting Back To Basics

Corporations obviously believe in the fundamental concept of re-inventing themselves to become more effective in reaching their customers. Even the mighty Coca-Cola Company has done it multiple times… some of those efforts flopped, but some of them were very successful too. The ideas of re-tooling, re-purposing, and re-energizing are not new at all, but sometimes re-inventing is more about “getting back to basics” than it is about the “latest greatest new and snazzy”!

In-order to “get back to the basics” for your organization, you will need to:

  1. Identify and/or  know what your fundamental beliefs are
  2. Determine where you are today
  3. Identify what the gaps are between those two positions
  4. Devise a strategy on how to get from “where you are” to “where you want to be”
  5. Map out tactical steps that are aligned to the strategy
  6. Start executing the tactics and strategy
  7. Be prepared for things to go wrong and compensate the tactics and strategy as needed
  8. Dont’ do it alone… the more “buy-in” you have before you start the better!
Re-inventing an organization is a lot like taking a root bound tree out of a pot and planting it in the ground… your not changing the fundamentals of what the tree is, your just making sure it has room to grow! If you don’t transplant it it will eventually die… if you transplant it… it might die! So you must be willing to “transplant it with care” by having a good plan and strategy to do it. When you transplant a tree it will always go into some shock, and sometimes the tree will not survive… but if it does it will thrive!
Last but not least… “Getting Back To Basics” is not a demobilization or dismantling of what is already in place. People will need to be reminded of this fact continuously to avoid un-needed churn and distractions!

The “Magic Bullet” Survey Methodology…

I was recently talking to some of my loyalty industry colleagues about different methodologies and metrics that we use to quantify customer loyalty. There were many different approaches, opinions, and thoughts on the matter of course, but there were 2 universal beliefs among all of us:

1) There is NO “Magic Bullet Survey Methodology”
2) Taking “real” actions based upon the data is most important

Let me expound a bit…

Yes there are some methodologies that are better than others because they are more statistically accurate and/or they are easy to communicate with those who are going to consume and put into action the data… but in the end there is no magic bullet methodology.

Let’s take the Net Promoter Score(NPS) methodology for instance. I “like” NPS because it is easy to understand, measure, and communicate to a broad audience.. people easily get and understand what it is.. but NPS is not “the way, the truth, and the life” either. The score is like a fuel gauge… it is something you should obviously reference to see what the gauge says, but don’t fixate on it either… because you will lose track of the road and crash!

The most important function of a loyalty survey is your ability to take strategic and tactical actions based upon the data and drive real change in your organization. If you are not able to take real actions and deliver real change… why even bother doing a survey… just do a marketing campaign instead!

Net Promoter, NPS, and Net Promoter Score are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld.

You Say Survey… I Say Program!

I constantly hear people talk about launching their new “survey” and how they are convinced it is going to help their business be a huge success… but when I scratch the surface and ask them what they are going to do with the data… they often do not have a clear answer to that question… or they say present it to executives.

It is rare that I hear a lot about the actions being taken on the data collected from these survey’s and governance of those actions being followed through and held accountable. Increasing Customer Loyalty is not one team’s or one persons responsibility and building loyalty requires both Tactical and Strategic improvements… we must execute “Key Improvement Area’s” in our business in-order to have a “program” instead of a “survey. I have actually told people before “we are in danger of having this be just another survey, let’s make sure we have a program!”… to me one of the differences is making sure that you have a well defined Governance Structure that cover three main things:

Executive Strategy
Company-Wide Action
Full Organization Accountability

Here is an example of a Governance Structure:

So, if you want to make great PowerPoint’s… run a survey… if you want to make real changes and increase customer loyalty… run a program. You Say Survey… I Say Program!

Loyalty Fortune Cookie #004

“Puppies and Customers both thrive off the same thing… Undivided Attention!”
~ Chris Antonelli | Fantasticfailures.com

 

Thank you to Jennifer Combs @JCPhotography for inspiration!

Loyalty Fortune Cookie #003

“Dis-Loyalty is like a distant lightning strike… you might not see what it is impacting”
~ Chris Antonelli | Fantasticfailures.com

Loyalty Fortune Cookie #002

“Running a survey without a program, is like riding a rollercoaster without a seatbelt!” 
~ Chris Antonelli | Fantasticfailures.com

Loyalty Fortune Cookie #001

Loyalty Fortune Cookie #001
“Failures are  inevitable, but the recovery is a choice.”  ~ Chris Antonelli | Fantasticfailures.com

What Motivates Employees: Required Training for Business Leaders

“Engage Employees to Engage Customers to Engage Customer Loyalty!” ~Chris Antonelli

I have had a long standing belief that “engaged” employees are one of the main keys to customer loyalty. When we are truly and fully engaged in something we tend to apply all of our cognitive skills to it… rather than just going through the motions and doing the bare minimum to complete the task.

We have all been “served” by someone who is not engaged and not really there to serve us… they are there to make their money and apply the least amount of effort in doing so… but we have probably all experienced the inverse of that too where the person serving us is really engaged and seems to be “on their game” going above and beyond… so what is the difference and how do we “Engage Employees to Engage Customers to Engage Customer Loyalty!”

“Freedom from Command and Control” is a great book and business philosophy going around right now… this concept basically boils down to empowering your employees to do the right thing and encouraging them to utilize their cognitive skills to do their day to day work. One great example of this business philosophy in action is Zappos:

  • In 2001, Zappos more than quadrupled their yearly sales, bringing in $8.6 million
  • In 2003, Zappos reached $70 million in growth sales
  • Over the next three years, Zappos doubled their annual revenues, hitting $840 million in gross sales by 2007
  • In 2008, Zappos hit $1 billion in annual sales, two years earlier than expected (one year later, they fulfilled their other long-term goal, debuting at #23 on Fortune’s Top 100 Companies to Work For

Why has Zappos be so successful? Most would agree it is because their Customer Loyalty is second to none. CEO Tony Hsieh of Zappos believes “Empower and trust your employees. When you take care of your employees they take pride in the work they do, which helps to provide the ultimate customer service.”

So, What Motivates Employees to perform at these levels? Well, here is a video that I believe best articulates this business philosophy and should be Required Training for Business Leaders

The surprising truth about what motivates us:

References:
http://comment.rsablogs.org.uk/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zappos.com
http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/4912-q-a-zappos-jane-judd-on-customer-loyalty