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Our client is a market leader in their service user-based industry, with 300 physical sites and 3,000 people employed. The business is profitable, with a client base of 115,000 people and three principle competitors.
Their strategy had been to offer their clients 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 clients and service users was not as good as that provided by some of their competitors. They realised that they needed a more client - centred approach and that this would require a change in approach and attitudes. In the words of one of the directors “ our clients 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 service user experience and re-focus their culture on the creation of an excellent user experience.
Key Project Activities
The programme comprised of the following activities:-
The analysis phase looked at the competition, service user requirements, current service proposition and organisational culture.
The key findings were that clients felt processed, the service interaction lacked any personal engagement and as a consequence only three out of ten clients appreciated the brand. Interestingly, staff felt constrained and wanted to improve the 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:-
Service user strategy team – facilitation of the senior team to develop the customer strategy, plans and communications.
Service user experience team – facilitation of the multidisciplinary team to determine the desired client 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 client 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 13%
*The client is a UK based not-for-profit organisation funded by the government requiring tendering for services on a regular basis.