Business Design. Evolved.

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 2)

Mac Air SN C02MX774F6T6

Hi. If you were on Delta Flight 1054 Thursday Feb 8 from Hartford to Atlanta… and happened to find you had an extra computer in your bag (mine perhaps – Mac Air) with SN C02MX774F6T6 I’d love to hear from you…

A Matter of Trust

Recently, a B2B client asked about the relationship between trust and customer experience and how to win back clients after a breaking trust “event” [Major foot-in-mouth disease].  Listen, it’s easy to laugh about it now, but I’ve been there more than I care to admit… say it again… “Think before you speak”…

Regardless, banks, and most enterprise B2B companies, want to be the “trusted advisor”, without REALLY understanding the mechanics of trust (and root causes of distrust).

The World Economic Forum published a paper that is one of the best I have read in the past few months on the topic.  In The Evolution of Trust in Business – From Delivery to Values the authors delve into such areas as the drivers of mistrust, why businesses often have a mismatch in the business’ contribution and the perception – good or bad – of that contribution.

The business case for trust really emerges in 5 areas, which the authors dive into:

  1. Better business terms, processes and conditions
  2. Enhanced innovation and entrepreneurship, which contributes to competitiveness
  3. More loyal, productive and engaged employee relationships
  4. Stronger external relationships up and down the value chain
  5. Greater resilience to withstand shocks and crises more effectively.

Finally the last sections of the paper provide insights into “A New Approach for Trust”…

Given the misalignment of some companies today, it’s a great read.



Leading from Why

Simon Sinek presents a simple but powerful model of how great companies and leaders inspire others to act {in this Ted talk], starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” The video below demonstrates the power of how truly exceptional companies communicate:

A bit of fun…brilliant machines rock

We’ve all seen the boring, soaring, all about me B2B ads… and I was interested in who was driving more word of mouth… a possible winner…GE’s Brilliant Machines Rock:


I recommend NPS about half the time as the key CX outcome metric (dealing with mainly SME companies), but there are about 8 other approaches/measurement systems I also recommend depending on the business model and organization CX maturity.  Having said that, I went back to this 2013 talk by Rob Markey and noted that starting around the 6:15 mark he goes beyond why NPS into a discussion of why many companies fail to get results from their CX spend.  Even if you are NPS agnostic – start there and listen to what he is saying from the perspective of answering, “How do I get greater return on CX spend…”



Money Can Buy Happiness – 8 Principles


OK. Normally I don’t think about the notion of “money can’t buy happiness” but I was doing some research on top level executives and “money motivation” and discovered this paper, “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Then You Probably Are Not Spending It Right,” written by Elizabeth Dunn, Dan Gilbert, and Tim Wilson. While focused more on individuals I pondered how these same 8 principles might apply to executive pay and compensation:
1 Buy Experiences Instead of Things
2 Help Others Instead of Yourself
3 Buy Many Small Pleasures Instead of a Few Big Ones
4 Buy Less Insurance
5 Pay Now and Consume Later
6 Think About What You Are Not Thinking About
7 Beware of Comparison Shopping
8 Follow the Heard instead of the Head
Go figure…read the paper for more insight. Cheers! Rick

The Right and Left Brain of Customer Experience

I’m updating a talk “Branded Associate Owner” from the 2010 CX Forum… Surprisingly my predictions held up pretty well.  Let me know if you’d like to collaborate on the research.  The talk was born out of watching the great “customers matter approach” that John Kanas, CEO BankUnited, and the North Fork Bank team had created [NOTE – it was VERY targeted at a few segments in small business!!!] morph as Capital One overlaid a much more analytically driven approach in the branches – after the merger – in pursuit of credit card consumers [It’ll be interesting to benchmark the new BankUnited vs. Capital One in the NYC market].

The Right and Left Brain of Customer Experience

By Peter Merholz, Adaptive Path

Last week I attended the three-day Customer Experience Summit and became acutely aware of a left-brain/right-brain divide in the field of customer experience. In my practice and writing, I discuss customer experience as an evolution of user experience, and is largely addressed through customer research and design activities. At this conference, customer experience was seen primarily as the evolution of customer service, the majority of attendees had call center backgrounds, and the conversation was very “business-y” in tone, dominated by discussion of metrics, customer satisfaction surveys, and Six Sigma Voice of the Customer.

I was dismayed at the lack of vision and heart displayed in most of the presentations. “Customer experience” is seen as something you simply engineer into a system, and when you have “breaks” in your customer experience (identified through surveys conducted ad nauseum), you isolate the problem and address it. The discussion was very bottom-up, and the importance of a big picture vision for these activities to roll up to was never stated. This is an approach that might raise the metaphoric floor, but will never raise the ceiling.

That said, I realized that as the design community increasingly addresses the broader customer experience, designers need to get more comfortable with this level of analytical rigor. Designers are often satisfied to come up with the big picture and let others figure out the details. Designers need to recognize that they are not just designing the experience at touchpoints that customers have with a company, but they also need to appreciate and design for the internal realities within companies. The “front-line” is perhaps the key component in delivering a great customer experience, and if our design work neglects this, we are missing a sizable component. This is something that service designers have already been grappling with, and UX folks who find themselves crossing channels would do well to seek out their ideas.

My single biggest positive outcome was hearing and meeting Rick Otero. He is currently Executive Vice President, Services and Customer Experience at Capital One Bank, and definitely gets the left- and right-brain aspects of CX. He’s posted the slides of his presentation, “The Branded Associate Owner”, on his personal blog – CoreCX_Employees are the Brand – which has a bunch of his thoughts “in pursuit of the great customer experience.” He, too, cites Southwest Airlines in his presentations, and showed this SW Airlines – Day of a Ramp Agent being able to articulate Southwest’s customer value proposition as evidence of the importance of everyone in a company feeling responsible for the customer experience.


The New Retail

In 2011 I did a study for BAI’s Retail Delivery Conference, which is coming up in October.  The theme of the study was to explore the range of options as the world shifted from branch-centric to omni-centric channel distribution.  I am in the process of refreshing that study – which explored  best practices in retailing – largely outside of banking.  However, to hold you over I have included the notes version of the 2011 presentation – CXX_BAI_To Branch or Not to Branch_Otero .

Surprisingly, it holds up well today.  My chief concern is the Millennial system shock that all retailers are starting to feel – as the channel preference differences between Boomers and  Millennials are EXTREME…. hold on!



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