2012-08-27

You are richer than you think part 2

Eric Fraterman

In my previous blog entries I have argued about the validity of the People > Service > Profit idea, the importance of Hiring Right and the fact that often good people are stopped by bad processes or bad management.  I am obviously of the view that the road to success for great customer service and experience excellence goes through People Management that is aligned with strategies that make customer service and customer experience into a sustainable strategic differentiator.


This is a continuation of my previous blog entry that put forward the notion that as many of 70% of change initiatives fail and that many companies are not engaging their people enough on customer-driven (or other) change and are thus getting a poor return on their payroll investment. I was so bold as to think often organizations are not getting one third to one quarter of what they actually pay to their people.

 

In this second entry on the topic I will cover some pragmatic suggestions on Communications that can help address such low return on payroll/benefit investment.


Affecting change successfully is admittedly not an easy thing. There are many models, approaches and philosophies. In addition to a clear vision and capable leadership, among others, there is one critical element which I want to highlight here: Communication. Yes, how hard we try, there never appears to be enough of it. It shows up as an improvement opportunity in virtually every employee survey, doesn’t it.


One of my standard recommendations to my clients is to undertake making Communications a forethought rather than the afterthought it so often ends up being. That means they could benefit from appointing a member of a change steering group as Communications Advocate. At each and every turn, decision, new project etc. this person raises the question of What and How for Communication. Of course having a strategy to guide the process always helps...


I would like to share with you how impressed I was by the use of an off-the-shelf technology that is cloud based (and does not interfere with or depend on IT infrastructure), to act as enabler and catalyst of customer-driven change. Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is known for its exemplary service. Just like award other companies competing successfully on a sharp customer focus such as South West Airlines, Ritz-Carlton, Zappos, USAA and Costco, it understands the value of hiring the right people and enabling and empowering them to do right by the customer. Four Seasons decided to employ a Social Intranet (with very similar features to Facebook and LinkedIn) to carry and facilitate its customer service / experience strategy. This platform was simple and quick to deploy technically, but of course needed to be populated with thought and efforts. However, once Redwood eLearning’s BOOST was up and running it took very little effort to manage it. Who did manage it then?  Their people of course... A sure way to ensure that they get from their people what they paid for, and more...


What stops you from harvesting your richness and getting what you paid for? 


I welcome comments and debate on both entries.


Eric Fraterman is a Customer-Focus transformist with a wide and deep customer service consulting experience in more than twenty industries and six countries over 25 years. He helps organizations create a Customer-Focus advantage for gaining and retaining business through exceptional customer service and experience.He can be reached at Eric@CustomerFocusConsult.com .Websites: www.CustomerFocusConsult.com  & www.CustomerExperienceWorkshop.netLinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/440216ericfraterman

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