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HR Strategy: Fast Forward 2022

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My latest published article is on HR Strategy. Entitled Fast Forward 2022 it outlines some possible scenarios for recruitment and compensation in the context of empowered employees.
Find it at:
http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/hro/features/1074272/hr-strategy-fast-forward-2022

Written by petersfuture

August 14, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The impact of technology from a consumer centric perspective.

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With so many applications, websites and built-in technology at consumers’ fingertips through mobiles, tablets, games consoles and TV, brands have multiple opportunities to connect but consumers’ needs should remain front and centre.

Read my latest Insightgraphic.

The impact of technology

Written by petersfuture

May 14, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Strategic lessons from Apple and Ryanair…and the role research could have played but didn’t

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AppleRyanairInsightgraphic

Open up and read my 3 page Insightgraphic on Apple and Ryanair and the role research could have played but didn’t and how research could have been used.

Let me know your thoughts, email me at: p.shreeve@btinternet.com

Written by petersfuture

April 20, 2012 at 10:41 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Love your bank? You can’t be serious

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Love my bank You cannot be serious.  Article now attached!   Featured in Argent, the journal of the Financial Services Forum. Dec 2010. True today as it was then.  If banks want to be loved they need to turn to mobile technology and making our lives simpler.

 

Written by petersfuture

February 28, 2012 at 9:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

My energy supplier is trying to build a relationship with me – what can it do better?

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Electricity and Gas is not very interesting. So how can a supplier really engage with me and make my life and my relationship with them better?


Online billing provides an opportunity for my supplier to engage with me via email for the first time and potentially to engage in a different sort of dialogue. Its first attempt misses an opportunity by not using the customer data it holds on me to make the email relevant – I pay the same amount by secure direct debit each month. Rather it appears on the surface to be a standard email to those new to online billing. It tells me the following:
• I can view my bill any time. (Why would I want to do that? My direct debits are set, based on usage from the last year).
• I can chat to an advisor using live help web chat. (Not sure what I really would need to talk about. If there is an electricity cut I cannot use the internet to contact them and that is something I would like to talk to them about)
• I can make quick and safe payments (I already do, it’s called Direct Debit)
• I can give meter readings at any time (as I am on direct debit the chances are I will do this once a year).


Why does this matter? If the category is intrinsically mundane and holds little interest then the supplier needs to try that bit harder. My supplier is able to monitor my household’s energy behaviour for both electricity and gas. What can it tell me about my usage to my advantage? I had to ask them to repay me for the money it owed me as my Direct Debits were more than my bills. Could it have sent me a letter (or now an email) indicating this discrepancy and recommend I reduce my direct debits? Moving my billing online would allow me to see the disparity more regularly than the twice yearly paper bill but this puts the onus on me, and remember I want to spend my time on more interesting things.
Banking is also rather mundane but we tend to interact with our banking services on a much more regular basis. The opportunity to inform a customer they are about to go overdrawn via their mobile is a perfect example of using technology combined with customer data to mutual advantage. It helps build a relationship for those who regularly go overdrawn. Better still customer data can be used to drive a highly targeted and proactive direct marketing campaign. This makes the bank look responsive and responsible for its customers’ well being.
So, the quick and simple lesson is to use the customer and behavioural data to mutual advantage especially where the category is not one that consumers want to spend time and energy on!!!

Written by petersfuture

February 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Researching how both category reputation and category engagement interact will help Marketers establish growth opportunities.

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Introduction
Believe it or not, consumers do not find every category engaging whilst category reputation may be positive, negative or plain neutral. Brand owners and research agencies tend to focus on corporate reputation but what about category reputation? Brand engagement is measured through brand equity studies but what about category engagement?
Time poor consumers are more likely to seek out and react differently to categories that engage than those that bore or confuse. Understanding the categories you work in from the two perspectives of reputation and engagement, and how close your brand is to the average for the category, could help define strategy. Are consumers feeling “hot, hot, hot” about your category or are they as “cold as ice”?
Click Category Reputation and Engagement Article January 2012   to read full article. PDF format. Save target as… if it does not open automatically.

Written by petersfuture

January 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm

How can you make employee understanding of your customer experience strategy less like Chinese whispers?

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Is the delivery of your customer experience strategy like Chinese whispers? The end result bears little resemblance to what was intended and its intent diluted, distorted and service delivery potentially dysfunctional. This scenario is an extreme version of what could happen but adopting the principles of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) could increase employee engagement in customer experience strategies.
NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) references the processes by which humans communicate through the five senses – mainly visually, auditory or kinaesthetically, but also olfactory (smell) and gustatory (taste). It references the fact that there may be a preference to seeing, listening or doing for how we take in information, how we internalise and then communicate through language, and how we learn. Whilst it may not be possible to understand the individual communication preferences for each employee – communications that act on the three main senses will likely improve the chances of the Chinese whisper becoming as clear as a bell! Do you see what I mean? Can you feel this making sense? Do you hear what I am saying?
For customer experience strategies to work employees must understand their role in the context of the strategic vision of the company, be equipped with the skills and tools to deliver the strategy (the two are not the same), understand and receive feedback on whether or not their performance is aligned with customer experience goals, and finally, be motivated to achieve and potentially go beyond what is required. Perhaps there is nothing new here but bringing a strategy to life for employees could involve the integration of the three senses. The points below are relevant to front-line staff in call centres, shops and branches but require the buy-in, understanding and onward communication from senior staff. An internal communications work plan could look as follows, applying the principle of the senses to each area. Consider how the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic support one another.
Purpose and connection: Understand their role in the context of the strategic vision of the company
• Work with employees in the development of the vision to ensure buy-in further on in the process. This could involve workshops that focus on all three senses.
• Once the vision is constructed, create a video that can be watched by any employee – set aside time for employees to see it; create a link that employees could use at home on their own PCs.
Hear line managers explain their team’s specific role in the vision.
Physically take part in an event designed to communicate the importance of a quality customer experience journey.
• Provide materials on the strategic vision that can be read.
Competencies: Be equipped with the skills and tools to deliver the strategy (the two are not the same)
• Teach customer service through manuals, videos and active training sessions.
• Remind and encourage through posters.
• Create internal informal discussions to discuss how people feel about the skills they have and the tools they are given.
• Invite customers in to talk about how they use products/the service to highlight the positive and negative experiences they have.
• Where relevant, explain how the organisation’s processes work so employees understand and appreciate their role in the process and any complexities involved e.g. necessary delays in the availability of stock or quotations.
Performance: Understand and receive feedback on whether or not their performance is aligned with customer experience goals
Show employees examples of exceptional performance linked to how employees felt about delivering the experience.
• Provide mentors to support employees and show employees how to perform.
• Use written customer feedback at the most relevant and accessible level to support the right behaviours.
Motivated: Be motivated to achieve and potentially go beyond what is required

Hear from employees about how they feel about working with the organisation.
Hear from senior management on where the company is going and how employees need to be part of it.
Read about career opportunities and how employees have succeeded in the organisation.
• Bring complaints to life. Listen to customer calls of complaints and show letters to staff to encourage empathy with customers when things go wrong.
• Provide video vox pops of customers demonstrating the impact of a positive customer service experience.

 

With all of these things in place there is a greater chance for success; however, there is one critical piece missing. Providing employees with the tools to deliver the strategy can be a problem and a bone of contention. If you are asking employees to go above and beyond the call of duty but the processes and systems are not in place to enable to them to provide information to customers, process their orders or transfer them between departments efficiently, then it can damage motivation and performance. Customers expect a seamless interface and a consistent experience.
And of course the vision and strategy itself has to be sustainable and suitably differentiating to retain customers and grow the business.

Written by petersfuture

December 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm