In our previous blog on Customer Experience, we explored the impact of process optimisation on service quality. We highlighted the value of waste reduction and the need for bespoke customer journeys, but the focus of your efforts should not stop here.
The people within your processes, and the way they perform, are equally as critical in delivering a great customer experience. Getting this right can drive significant improvements in employee morale and satisfaction, helping to develop a high-performing culture that delivers greater bottom-line results.
In the second edition of our CE series, we look closer at the role of people and performance, outlining considerations for action in the most impactful areas.
To facilitate high-performance, your standards as a company must be well communicated to everyone, across all teams and departments. A clear and consistent message is crucial, otherwise you may face unmotivated teams who aren’t aligned with your strategy.
Although low morale originates internally, its side effects could filter into the quality of your service, damaging customer perception, and detracting from any gains made during process optimisation.
If you use KPIs as a metric to set standards, does everybody understand what’s expected, and feel comfortable with their role in achieving objectives? This understanding will also influence the effectiveness of performance dialogues, whether these are individual one-off discussions, or regular structured meetings.
When expectations are well communicated from the start, these interactions will become more productive, protecting the final customer experience.
Additionally, KPIs should be attributable to customer outcomes where possible. Suppliers are often guilty of adopting a narrow internal focus when measuring performance, failing to quantify the external impact, such as with customer satisfaction.
Performance is driven by people, who represent another layer of your customer experience model. Leveraging skills and attributes, in the right areas of your business, should be a major strategic priority when looking to improve operational performance.
From the top-down, consider whether you are structurally equipped to deliver on your aims. Do you have the right teams, roles, and internal relationships in place to truly satisfy customers?
Use a mapping exercise as an opportunity for reflection, assigning clearly defined responsibilities to teams and managers. If any overlaps are visible, think about how your structure can be refined for greater efficiency. With managers, focus on driving their time and effort towards added-value activities, rather than lower-level firefighting.
You should also assess whether you have the right skills in your organisation. As businesses grow and needs change, it’s common to encounter skill gaps, but this should be supported with regular opportunities for development and capability building.
Case study: Cultural transformation for a large B2B supplier
We supported a large B2B supplier with transforming its culture, aiming to improve lead times for tasks in the Pricing team, where performance was having a negative impact on customer experience.
Through a root cause diagnostic, we identified gaps in organisation design, customer management, and leadership quality. The supplier also had no performance reporting in place, contributing to a lack of accountability across its operational teams.
We mobilised an improvement plan to address these problems, driving a 23-point increase in Employee Net Promoter Score within six months. At this stage, the Pricing team’s task backlog had reduced by ~70%, creating efficiencies for shorter lead times and a better customer experience.
How can we help?
Work with our Operational Excellence team to empower your people and create a sustainable, problem-solving culture, which delivers a better experience for your customers.
We can help your teams to become more engaged and motivated, instilling a mindset that promotes sustainable progress, long after you’ve finished working with us.
Lauren leads our clients through Operational Excellence, Lean Transformations and Continuous Improvement activity.View Profile