The product life cycle is getting reduced year by year. Customers crave for new products and features. Brands are on a constant race to create newer and newer such products and features which would help them stand out in the market. But within all this race if we could step back and think if there is any other way to differentiate ourselves. Can we find a new competitive ground? Yes we can! And that is – being customer centric.
Customer centricity is the most important goal of any organization. But the change comes from within, hence one of the first and foremost things to achieve is to get your employees and organization culture to be more customer centric.
Net Promoter System (NPS) can be your guiding compass throughout this change process. It is very important to break through the perception of NPS as a tool and enforce it as a change agent. Net Promoter System is a leading indicator of an organisation’s customer experience heath and requires shift in culture of an organisation. To help your team cope with this shift its important to have a change management process in place. It helps your employees adapt, succeed in their careers and also emerge as the next line of business leaders in your organisation.
Cultural changes within the organization take time and is one of the most time taking, challenging tasks that any leader can face. But here’s a 8 step process suggested by Dr. John P Kotter coming to our rescue:
Let’s see how we can align the 8 proven steps suggested by Dr. Kotter to Net Promoter System:
Create a sense of urgency:
Sensitize your team on the importance of customer experience and imprint the essence in their minds.
Every employee in the organization should realize that this is not just another management fad and everybody in the organization is serious about it. And the best way to go about it is to start from the top. It is important for everyone from the top management to involve in this cultural change process to reiterate how important the process is.
Build guiding coalition:
Install a Steering committee and a process team.
Change cannot be brought in individually, but by individuals working together with united mindsets. A governance structure needs to be in place which ensures that the team is on track.
A steering panel that deals with the general strategy, a process team to execute the plan and ensure a cross department collaboration to ensure everyone is moving towards the common goal of better customer experience
Use customer journey mapping to identify touchpoints to understand which teams are involved at each touchpoints directly or indirectly. This shall provide clarity and provide good guidelines for interdepartment collaboration.
Form strategic vision and initiatives:
A vision is the compass that your team needs.
People who are at an execution level are usually burdened with tasks and they need to be given an understanding on how to prioritize that comes onto their plate. A vision helps the team do the exact same thing. It gives the team an understanding of what is important. Zappos.com did something spectacular by having such a vision. Read how Zappos.com transformed itself by having such a vision here.
Enlist volunteer army:
Back your employees who are excited about this task. And make them the drive the change.
Excite your team to be a huge contribution to the change you want to infuse. Convince them that this is for the better good and their initiative and support can impact immensely to the common goal they want to pursue.
“A brand is defined by the customer’s experience. The experience is delivered by the employees.”
Enable actions by removing barriers:
Give the freedom, time, resources and confidence to your team to experiment and take the vision forward.
This is something you gotta learn from Southwest airlines. They have an organization structure called a loose-tight design. To ensure the operations run smoothly they have a very tight system in terms of processes but they give their front line employees freedom to delight the customers. One of their flight attendants offered to take care of a passenger’s do until he returns from the trip. That’s how fluid they are with their frontline employees. The employees that take such initiatives are personally given a special mention by the CEO on the employee radio.
Generate Short term wins:
Grant Cardone rightly says, the only reason for laziness is lack of success
At the beginning, you will enter the phase of quick wins. Take good advantage of it to boost the morale of your employees and watch them slowly buy into the idea and actively reciprocate, only this time, more motivated. This will build them for bigger initiatives and bets in future.
Capitalize on the increasing credibility to change the processes and systems which are not aligning with the goal of customer centricity.
A team might initially not ready to accept change but rewarding for all those small wins helped you gain credibility and the belief in the system is slowly growing. Now that you have a motivated team, driven to progress towards a common vision, you are well equipped to move on to bigger bets. With the experience of quick and small wins, the team will be fully ready to adapt to major changes and decisions such as product design change, process change etc.
Show the teams about the organization success and the recent changes that were responsible for it and ensure means to continue such progress.
Make Net Promoter System the DNA of your organization and the language of communication. Both action and performance of the organization should be measured on its impact on customer experience and departments should be clear how their actions impact the customer experience. So embrace the change and adjust the sails as that is what will help you realize your vision.
Let’s end this with this brilliant thought from William Ward:
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”