Written by: Kushal Dev | Co-founder, Customer Guru
The world business environment is constantly changing and with that the customer expectations. Established businesses are used to protocols which have helped them achieve results in the past. They strongly believe in these methodologies and their effectiveness. These may have worked in the past but the winds of change make it mandatory for the organisations to adjust their sails. Organisations either adjust to this new environment or risk the chance of losing track or in the worst case scenario perish!
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.
Managing change can be a daunting task. Dr.John P Kotter’s 8 step process for leading change is our saving grace here. It equips businesses with the means and method to transform themselves quickly, continuously and with powerful results. Over four decades, Dr. Kotter observed countless leaders and organisations as they were trying to transform or execute their strategies. He identified and extracted the success factors and combined them into a methodology, the award-winning 8-Step Process. Lets see Dr. Kotter’s 8 steps process to leading change and my take on how it can be aligned to implementing Net Promoter System® successfully
Create sense of of urgency
Craft and use a significant opportunity as a means for exciting people to sign up to change their organisation.
Sensitise your team on the importance of Customer Experience. Show them how the business environment is changing faster than the company and the need to adapt to this change. A change is successful only when it is driven from the top. The message should be loud and clear that this is not just another management fad but the company is serious about and strongly views good customer experience as their biggest differentiator.
Build Guiding Coalition
Assemble a group with the power and energy to lead and support a collaborative change effort.
Customer Experience is not an individuals responsibility. It is the guiding principle of the entire organisation. You need to establish a governance structure which ensure that the team is on track. A Steering committee that manages the general course of action, a process team to execute the plan and cross department collaboration to work towards a common goal of customer delight. Mapping the customer journey with the steps a customer takes in doing business with you, identifying the touch points and the teams that are directly and indirectly involved at each touch point provides good guidelines for inter department collaboration.
Form Strategic vision and initiative
Shape a vision to help steer the change effort and develop strategic initiatives to achieve that vision.
Defining the company’s vision helps you to take steps everyday to realise that vision. Evaluating each step tells you if it is taking you closer to your vision or away from it. Zappos has the vision that one day 30% of all retail transaction will be online. People will buy from the company with the best service and the best selection. Zappos.com will be that online store. Zappos takes steps everyday to realise this vision, even if that means having an army of customer support executives taking calls from customers directly and the support number easily accessible on their website. Maybe this does not help them achieve operational excellence but takes them closer to their vision of becoming the online retailer which people buy for the best service and the best selection.
Enlist Volunteer Army
Raise a large force of people who are ready, willing and urgent to drive change.
Success with customer experience comes when the culture of an organisation is of customer delight and the team works towards this common goal. Excite your team to be a part of this initiative. This provides them the platform to evolve as individuals, get visible across the organisation and to groom themselves for career advancement opportunities.
Enable action by removing barriers
Remove obstacles to change, change systems or structures that pose threats to the achievement of the vision.
A successful initiative requires time, resources and money investments. Show the belief in your team and empower them with the required resources. Processes and beliefs need to revamped with changing times. Your existing process may be a barrier in providing an experience to your customers which is aligned to your business goal. Take an objective look at them and get rid of them if required. Here is an interesting story by Shep Hyken on how some companies create bad rules that are based on a very small percentage of customers taking advantage of the company. Be vary of getting caught in this trap.
Generate Short term wins
Consistently produce, track, evaluate and celebrate volumes of small and large accomplishments – and correlate them to results.
One you have created the buzz its important to show some quick results. Your team has put in the effort to kickstart Net Promoter Score in your organisation and focusing on some early wins helps keep up the morale and instil faith in the system. It build the team’s confidence for bigger initiatives in future.
Use increasing credibility to change systems, structures and policies that don’t align with the vision; hire, promote and develop employees who can implement the vision; reinvigorate the process with new projects, themes and volunteers.
Implementing Net Promoter System® is a long term goal so keep up the tempo. Having proven that Net Promoter System® works, it’s time to move on to bigger bets. Early wins should have developed the confidence and respect of management so business case for big bets like product design change, process change etc get approval easily.
Articulate the connections between the new behaviours and organisational success, and develop the means to ensure leadership development and succession.
Make Net Promoter System® the DNA of your organisation and the language of communication. Both action and performance of the organisation should be measured on its impact on customer experience and departments should be clear how their actions impact customer experience.
So embrace the change and adjust the sails as that is what will help you realise your vision.
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.William Arthur Ward