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September 14, 2021

Customer Experience Excellence Live - SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT: Discovering Growth through your Customer Needs and Priorities

Courtesy of Enhance International Group's Jim de Vries, below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'Discovering Growth through your Customer Needs and Priorities' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at the Customer Experience Excellence Virtual Conference.

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Session Information:

Discovering Growth through your Customer Needs and Priorities

  1. The Customer Experience Marketplace
  2. Building Proactive Customer Life Cycle Accounts to Drive Growth
  3. Simple but Powerful Ways to Align your Performance (Variance-to-Want)
  4. Enabling the Voice of the Customer
  5. Customer Loyalty – Building Trust

Session Transcript:

I'll be presenting on discovering Growth through your customer needs and priorities. So again, welcome back. Just to give you a bit of background at myself.

I've been in working with customers since the nineties, as a, started in sales, and then became a sales black belt. And then moved on up to be a master black belt in Asia.

Then what we found was using a lot of these practices that we're talking about, the journey maps, and understanding what the customer really needs, and linking that to our offerings, has made a great impact on the company I was working with back in the nineties, GE, as well as all the other companies have been able to work with since that time.

So, today, we'll talk about a few different things. And we'll kick it off with a little bit of background on my overall philosophy. It all starts with PayPal.

If you don't know who the people, and you don't have the attitude, and you don't know who, who to be working with, you're not going to be focused on the customer.

So, it all starts with people and exchanges of information. Then the process, the journey maps, then the data and then the technology. But it all starts with the people.

So today, we'll talk about the Customer Experience Marketplace first. And then we'll talk about building proactive customer life cycle accounts to drive growth.

one of the best practices that we've, uh, implemented over the years, simple, but powerful ways to align your performance variances to want, sometimes, we forget, we make it very complicated.

And we don't measure what the customer wants.

Then, enabling the voice of the customer. Then, just a tad.

Bit of information on customer loyalty.

So let's get started.

So we're all in this coven ah: Crisis Here.

And a pandemic.

And we all have supply demand imbalances across the supply chain.

This is something that one of my partners and I developed for supply chain risk management, but it applies even when the customer Because as the customers are seeing supply demand imbalances.

What are, what's your loss to somebody else's opportunity?

So, being able to rescale, re-invent yourself, re-invent your portfolio to meet the given demand today, those are the companies that are going to be most successful. So are you listening to your customers to find out what their needs are, and then adjusting your portfolio to meet their needs.

Then, the other message I have for you is, is let customer experience excellence be your brand, Wear it on your slate.

So what I mean by that is, if you are truly listening to the customer, then the, the your company's brand will be what the customer sees, what your employees see, what your suppliers see.

That's your brand image.

And if they're all the same, that's pretty good. If they're all different, you have gaps.

So let's make our brand image our customer experience.

So when we've been able to do that and companies I've worked with and for over the years, we're seeing exponential amount of sales.

So open up the kimono so to speak.

Be, in the beginning, it's tough because, you know, you got to face face, it face some things that you don't want to.

really look at it from the customer's perspective, of how they view you are your employees view of you, how your suppliers view you, to the company to drive your brand image. If you focus on your brand image, you will be successful.

So, a poll was put out, not too long ago by a super, super office of 1920, business professionals, and customer experiences clearly, outranks. Everything is a top priority.

Jim de Vries.So, to show a differentiation in the marketplace, and it's been said over and over, over the last 2 and 3 days, is that no customer experience is where it's at, so no argument from anyone here.

And there are a few quotations and some statistics out there, others, quote, a couple of them, that, you know, there's 80% increase in revenue for businesses that focus on improving customer experience.

I've definitely seen that in my tenure over in sales and working with customers.

We've been able to double the revenue of our businesses in 36 months.

That's not, it sounds like it's a crazy number, but it can be done.

If you work with your customers, then, the very common phrase that all of our presenters have been quoting is, 86% of customers say they are ready to pay more. If it is getting a better customer experience.

So, that's a little bit on the marketplace rehash. Now let's get into building a proactive customer life cycle accounts to drive growth.

So do we really know what our customers want?

Do we really understand their needs? Can we deliver on those wants? Or do we change those want's to our promises?

Very often I'll come into a client and I'll look in their ERP and I'll have Promise dates and I'll ask the first question I'll ask every time, is that a customer promise date, or is it our promise date? and the ration is oh it's our promise state to them.

Well what did the customer want? Oh, we don't record that.

So you never record what the customer wants relative to what we promise.

And if you keep doing that over, and over and over again, eventually those customers are going to be leaving.

So even in our systems, and how we set them up today, are they even set up to capture what our customer wants? That's just the day. What about the product? What about the service? Do we ever capture what the customer actually wants in a transaction? We may think we do with our ERP easy Salesforce dot com and so forth. But we're probably not even capturing what they really want and their desires. And that's why we have attrition.

And because, or we don't get those customer signs.

So, you know, we're definitely leaving money on the table because we're not addressing what they want, And there are some things that they want are very easy to do, but maybe not correct in our policy today, but they're very easy to do. They don't cost much for us, but deliver big dividends for the customer. So, how do we make our customer win by buying our products, and how do we differentiate ourselves from our competitors? Who aren't listening to the customers?

And that will change, have our customers view us and, and increase our presenter wallet within the customer.

So, when we say, Understand the Customers perspective, just like our company, we have our processes.

Every company in the world has these main processes that was online many years ago by Mike, Michael Porter.

So, Every company has these: where are your services and products fitting within their value chains?

Understand the customer's value chain, and understand the value of your product or service within there, their journey.

So, the better you understand that, the more you can put a value on your product and service that you're providing that.

So, you need to walk the walk, not our walk. We gotta walk the walk, so we can talk the talk.

Then, when you do our customers, and you're trying to grow them, which customers, or are profitable, how do we drive customer tenure?

Btog CTASometimes you may have customers that you're not making money with until they do so many transactions, or if they complain so much, you're losing money because your margins are so thin.

So roll up your total cost of managing a customer, which is in our next slide, is, we're getting into all the different folks that are supporting that one customer. We have all our external.

You'll see on the left and right everything from sales and marketing to, to obtain the customer that's sunk cost into the company.

Then on the right, you have all all the things that are necessary to maintain the customer, To build all that infrastructure.

Then you have what the customer sees, which is your agents', your salespeople, and your installation, or service folks, so they're seeing those.

But behind the scenes, you have this whole infrastructure, but do you really understand how much it cost to manage that customer on a day-to-day basis? Some customers costs more than others. Do you know who you're profitable? Customers? Are? Few.

Who are your customers that are not profitable?

Very often our most profitable customers are the customers we never speak to.

And if we never speak to those customers, how are we going to grow those customers so they will feel ignored?

Because they're not using our services, all these exhilarate services for their problems, they're not complaining, so as a non complaining customer, good customer, because they're profitable, Or are they a good customer?

Because they don't complain. So, so, again, understand, how do you find that balance?

So we need to look outside in an inside out. So outside in the customer's perspective, they're looking at you relative to everybody else. They're benchmarking. You are looking at the competitor today with the internet and e-commerce where it is, as we just discussed with Tori.

It's plentiful, There's tons and tons of competition.

So they're seeing a lot of things.

The customer is very busy. They don't want to change providers because that's more time out of their day.

So, how can we understand where our customers are feeling?

So, we developed moment of truth indicators, we're seeing this by a number of our presenters as a way to drive customer needs. It's a very common way.

two drive to drive the customer, and we can do that in focus groups, surveys, life cycle, account, management, financials. So, there's a number of different things that can be done to drive the customer.

So let's talk a little bit more about what that looks like.

So when we're talking about life cycle accounts, there's a lot of different transactions with our customer, everything from, the ...

installation.

The billing, the time to install, any, any follow up issues that they have.

Your competition rating, forced disconnects that they may have in your product, or service, that it's not providing, any customer interactions that they've had. Where you're writing is, from a business perspective, A better business bureau perspective. Usage patterns.

So this is your risk rating.

So wouldn't it be nice to have a life cycle account risk rating for each one of your customers?

Then what does that customer value to you?

How much money did you spend bringing them on board? What is the risk of them not paying their invoices?

Do they always pay 10 days late every month?

There's data, risk, orders, or is that customer good?

Whereas another customer sometimes pays early, sometimes plays late, which one is higher risks.

The customer who pays the same, and time period every time or the customer who, who pays sometimes early and sometimes late?

So, all those things roll into your customer value.

because every time you have to call out, two, contact that customer to pay you, You're spending money Or you could be spending your money and time in other places, then, is it? Is it the customer?

You know, what kind of order type as a direct indirect, or you're working through a third party?

Is it, are you getting reefing, all your margin back, that you've invested in the customer, during the installation, or you depended on recurring revenue, to recover all the money you're sunk upfront to install it, to bring the customer on board? What does that time to profitability?

What's the time to profitability for that client?

Then section your customers into different groups, small, medium, and large customers, All of them are going to have different characteristics as you walk through this process.

So then you can build your proactive, collaborative growth strategy with those customer, and develop that, those upsell potential interactions.

Very often we have campaigns, campaigns don't link to the customer, what they have within their therefore walls.

So you sold them something, then you're asking them to upgrade.

two months after, they just bought something brand new.

So make sure you, when you do campaigns like that, that they're very targeted and smart.

So whether you're visiting the customer, or you're doing it through social media, watch out for social media, launching your campaign, that isn't in in conflict with what you've already agreed with, with the customer.

All these things confuse customers and make them want to leave.

So assessing the customer touchpoint experiences.

Again, we have our moment of truth indicators, sales, billing, monitoring, service, installation, et cetera.

All those touch points that you have with the customer, in that moment of truth, on how they feel about you.

And what are those expectations? In simple terms, the Kano model is often used to saying, Are we meeting all? There must be.

First of all, then is, Are they? faster is better? Is one dimensional?

Then, the LIDARs Do we know what the LIDARs are?

So, some for some clients, I must be, is a delight or for another.

Do we understand that?

Do we understand how that is different within, in the United States or around the world, in Singapore, in Belgium.

All of these things are different. Because your competition is different. So you need to understand that.

And then, you need to develop a must be moment of truth indicator to make sure you are at least achieving that minimum acceptable level of performance of what your customers want. It needs to be written again in the customer's terms.

So building a system like this, we'll help you and in dealing with them.

So every time the customer touches you, whether it's sales, installation, billing, dispute, it could be a good experience, Or a bad experience, If you have too many bad experiences, then the customer is going to leave.

So you can have a few good experiences up until billing. And then billing dispute service dispute billing dispute, if you have too many of those interactions. And some people say, that could be five interactions, three interactions.

What we found is between 5 and 8 of these bad interactions, you're going to lose that customer. So these are at risk customers.

So when you see yourself going in there into that around and we have that information, the customer complains the tone of their voice on the call. You can tell that they're not very, very, they're not very happy.

So, put together a proactive tutt strategy to identify these at risk customers before you pass that threshold level of no return of when the customer is going to leave you.

And we end today, again, 96% of customers will leave for bad customer service.

So don't take this lightly. This is a key to maintaining and growing your customer base.

And don't rely on just surveys. We'd love surveys. Welcome calls, even dashboards. These are all nice things but these are reactionary.

That's why I call them short-term reactions.

Because, by the time you find out, it may be too late.

So, put together collaborative approach of identifying at risk customers and develop back end saves, resale, upsells.

Proactively work out in the marketplace.

When we've done this for our customers, that we're not doing very much business with us, We turn them around for customers who've never contacted us, for the last four years, repaid.

They're retiring, and then we contacted them.

We were able to upsell those customers for new services, because they're getting knocked on the door by our competitors, and so at all times, you need to have a proactive touch strategy, especially for your at risk customers.

You can turn your at risk customers, into your growth for your company, and we've done that many times with many different clients, so that's building and proactive.

customer life cycle.

Next is, that I want to share with you, are some simple but powerful ways to align various to one.

And this saw this, another McKinsey forest or paper recently on what customers expect.

Event Email Graphic Virtual Conferences (17)-4They expect remote sales, easy re-ordering process and e-commerce models' everything we've discussed. This week.

Then, what are organizations?

Focusing on, this is in the B2B world, Lidl focused on the customer. We just deliver.

We think we've started ability to deliver customer solutions and limited digital tools for their customers.

So, that's what our customers are saying, This is fairly recent.

This isn't few, you know, 10 years ago. This is a recent survey.

So, you can look at this in two ways, You can look at it as, Oh, we're behind, or, oh, we have a lot of opportunity, And in our marketplace, if we are better than our competitors, we can get our own fair market share.

So, how do we impact that customer intent?

And I would bring it down to something that we did over 20 years ago, is start looking at what the customers want when they want it.

So, we started measuring customer want dates.

It took a massive change in our ERP because we had to start tracking one dates and promise dates.

And it was a cultural change, because everybody says, Hey, my job is to do the promise state, though, our job is to meet the customers want.

So, that was a big change in our company.

And so, we would say, we don't want it delivered early, but the customer says, Well, I don't want to buy it.

So, there's this, this trade off, immediately, you know, how early and hollie, so, we call that to span, so 90% of the data is within what we call the span, and 5% of the transactions on the left, and 5% transactions on the right.

And, so, what we come up with is what we call a probability plot for, For the statistician's out there, It looks pretty familiar.

But the point of this is, is that each one of these little circles here is a transaction.

It's a customer event, it's there, personal experience with getting what they want, when they want it. So, how late is it, or how early it is?

Being too early is not good for a customer, because they, if you're delivering product and they have no place to put it, just like Wal-Mart, if you deliver too early, you're penalized just as much as you are. Sure.

Deliver too late, so, do you need to make it in both the lower spec limit and the upper spec limit, so 5% of the orders are 15 days early to the request, and 5% are 25 days later than the request.

So, you know, that leaves is 40 days fan, so that's it gives you an example. When we talk about span reduction, what we're looking to do?

We want to reduce that, for instance, down to No, 10 days.

Now, what would that do to your bottom line if your customers saw you delivering the difference of, from 50 days down to 10 days, you know, 40 days to 10 days with a customer, think, but, when we did this in three of our businesses, What we saw in a commodity business, complex engineered business and construction business.

But what did we see in market share.

Our market share jumped, why?

Or, because we were delivering better than our competitors.

And we delivered one week to the customer want.

We built a relationship to understand that, because you can't get a customer a true customer, or one without a relationship.

And so we were able to significantly increase our market share over 2 or 3 years, from where we were in the past. We're already, in some of these markets, we are already close to being number one.

In another markets. We were, we're just starting to grow.

And now, those businesses, as I'm seeing, those companies have even grown, even higher market share, because they understand the power of measuring customer want, and reducing the spam of the end, and deliver. So this is an example of where we started on plants.

We were starting up plants, and we were late.

And these light, these lights were driving a desire to invest in capacity. So what does that mean?

That means because we're delivering late, went up to the CEO. Hey, we need to build another factor.

So we have to double our size of our factory because we can't deliver on time.

That's one way to make it work.

Well, what if we just worked on ways of reducing that span over time?

What happened was there was an investment.

There was a plan for an investment for three more lines, which would be a completely different factory.

We were able, by reducing this span, not have to move anything.

We didn't have to build anything new, we're able to do it all within our own four walls. So this is a win-win. This is a win for us, because we don't have to expand capacity.

Number one, it's a win for the customer, because the customer is getting it when they want it.

So these are the things that can really drive your customer wants. So this isn't fancy digitization. This isn't fancy Anything. It's just everybody getting together with a single focus on that overall delivery.

How do we reduce the time to variance between what the customer wanted and what they received?

Goodbye!

Over one, we were able to drive it even further.

So, these types of examples are plentiful or we focus on variants to want and with what we call it, stable operations.

So that's an example of variance to Y So these are all things that any company can do if you measure it and you focus on it and everybody in the company is behind it, each of the things that can be achieved and get everyone involved. So, remember, we are talking about brand. We started about brand. Is everybody in the company?

The person on the factory floor, the, the CEO, your customers, your suppliers, do they all see your company the same way.

What you're about? Who you are about.

So, the next topic we're going to talk about is enabling the voice of the customer.

So, ah, I would be remiss not to talk about a lot of the common themes that we, we address, customer, issue, resolution order, status supply, and supply chain, inquiry, response.

All these types of things are the typical customer thing, games, to make improvements and voice to the customer.

We are also starting to see more in the more innovation type areas are providing alternate offerings and are new products, safety, new product development, customer savings, or the adaptability. Do we measure ourselves on how well we save our customers money.

How do we enable that?

That's what that is about.

So there's a lot of different tools out there. We've been talking about them all week.

We have digital twins, process simulation, machine learning, OCR, deep learning, sentiment analysis, all sorts of computer vision. All these types of things can be helping us in here.

Screenshot (4)And our sponsors, and so forth, have given us great insight to how those things can help in these areas, and definitely a very good area to start in your company, but don't forget, that there's a lot of other areas that you can make improvements on, and the new product introduction area, for development, And I'll develop, think of alternative offerings, safety. And again, these adaptability, there are a lot of different tools out there.

There's, you know, there's digital ethnography, there's simulations. There's CAD, there's Internet of Things.

All these things are instances are bringing data and information to the forefront through a digital twin, so that we can see the day in the life of the product being created for the customer and ensuring that it meets that customer's needs.

So, just wanted to go over that and share that best practice with you.

Um, the next is on, this goes back, I don't know, 30 years now. We started doing quality functional deployment, which is all about listening to the customer. So, understanding what's important.

What makes them run, what makes them tick, then, putting together criteria and performa that meets their, their criteria.

So, when we did this, we built joint performance with the customer, in their world, in their journey.

We were able them, too.

Take that information to see how our products and services map.

Now, if we do that, with our top 20 customers, across the world, or top 50 customers, look what, what a wealth of information that is to help us understand what, where are we need to focus?

So, very exciting type of it, opportunities. I've done hundreds of these workshops, and change completely changed the way that we want to work.

So, this is our old old style, so to speak, and we develop packaged solutions for our clients.

Then, over the years, we've made it a little bit fancier, a little bit more complicated.

Maybe, But, you know, we want a large, we want, you know, for your large customers, for your existing customers, for your strategic accounts, your large accounts, We want to win and grow, and retain and sustain their growth.

We want to increase, are profitable win rate. And we want to increase our percent of wallet with those clients.

So, we've come up with the process, us, with the Aim Institute. You know, we were, of course, we do the research and the customer. We do discovery interviews and preference interviews.

We'll cover those in a minute, and we'll develop that next best alternatives.

Ben, once we do that, we understand our customer objectives. And the customers are telling us this. We're not, it's 100% free form, they tell us.

If it's a product line, Well, we'll survey, make surveys with a number of our customers.

And if it's, if it's tailored for them and it's built for them, then we'll we'll tailor the objectives to that particular solution for them.

Then, we'll come up with alternative ways, and this is the win-win.

How do we get to that win-win with our customers, where they're going to win?

And we're going to win.

And it was amazing over the years when we did this, that, how much the customer appreciated it, and we made them stars, we're making them the rock stars of their company.

And then, we help them build the business case.

So we are essentially building the business case for the offering, so that it makes them, it's easy for them to sell to their leaders.

Then, of course, know, after that, we're looking at customer relationship development, and then multiple, top, customer consolidator feedback. So, again, we're taking all that information.

Once you build that ecosystem of this information, it's, it's like Gold, and your sales folks that may not be willing to be sharing, are now gaining insights to the customer, that they had not been able to gain otherwise.

So, the customers through these meetings were able to gain quite a bit of insight with our clients, and to help them.

So, we can help us to help them, And so, we do what we call discovery interview. We ask them what their problems are, What is the end state? And, again, this is aligned to their journey map.

This is all centered around their customers journey.

Then, we asked him, through a preference interview to prioritize those challenges in a very standard method. We asked them how they important satisfaction of their current.

Those current attributes are deliverables.

Then we ask them to define, barely acceptable and totally satisfied. Sometimes, realistically, will only get one of those, but just having that conversation opens incredible insights.

Then, we grade ourselves.

So if it's a recurring customer, and we're offering different different things on a yearly basis, it's a large global account. We're always monitoring to see how are we doing. And then these dials can change at any time.

And the customer has, it has the right to change any of these dials. And then we measure them for them.

If they don't agree with the way we're measuring, or they have a way to measure, we use their measurement systems.

And so, it's a customer centric dashboard, and we'll review those.

There'll be published monthly, and quarterly, we'll have a review on, you know, a quick review, could be 15 minutes, 30 minutes, review with the executives to make sure that we're on track, to deliver on these. And then out of this, of course, when you have dial's like this, you have punch list. You have action items. That's where it really comes down to it.

Then if there isn't a coming upcoming RFP, it will help us develop that RFP so that that's a case study.

So, one of the things, this is a real-life example where we, we identified our high risk customers.

So, we took our customers that we, we were worried that were going to leave us, conducted the discovery interviews.

And the preference interviews came up with the critical customer, customer critical requirements and the targets that we just talked about, the spec limits, then we jointly improve on those.

Some of those, we have to change a little bit, and maybe the customer has to give it a little bit.

We both give a little bit.

Then we establish our customer cadence, and then we expand.

Then, for this particular customer, our goal was two to $3 million in revenue, and $450,000 in margin, and in to accommodate their to plant expansion that they were planning, we wanted to make sure we are part of that.

Tarek El Goweiny.So we wanted to maintain our 100% wallet.

Then we had with that client, we had not been talking to them lately, so it was, this is a very important thing we went through.

We identified what are things that they were most concerned about.

It's just, you know, a very simple meeting where we say, Tell us what's working. Tell us what's not working.

And you have to be a fly on the wall there. You have to let them talk and you need to make sure you have a cross functional team of them.

You can't just be one person, that needs to be the decision makers and the owners and the implementers of the process.

Then, after that, we came up with solutions that we both agreed upon, and, and then when we came up with those improvements, then we drove that.

So that customer had said, if we hadn't done this, they were truly not going to buy from us again, And we were able to maintain that 100% a wallet with that client, So that's just one example.

There's hundreds of these types of examples of going and talking to the customer and finding out what they really want.

And delivering, I'm just showing them a little bit of attention.

So, we're in our last section, this is pretty, just a very high level, look at customer loyalty and building trust.

So, you know, we're all talking about building trust, and, and we built this a number of years ago.

But I think it still applies, is, you know, when you're doing business with a customer, especially if you're moving equipment.

No safety is always clearly, du must be no. And then the other things that you know that the customer is looking for. Differentiated offerings that you're offering.

Do your your relevant in the current marketplace. And of course, E business, as we've mentioned, a number of times, e-business is, is a key area.

The next is, once you've attaining that, then no.

Then you have competitive pricing or you competitive price, you have low charge, know, are you, do you have a good re-occurring? All these things are, are key.

Then, are you kept informed of new offerings, and then, Are you meeting your quality specs because the quality specs are changing all the time or you're proactive.

Are you telling, telling the customer the latest steps.

Are you, is that a conversation, or is that somebody telling somebody else something then how do you deliver, how are you delivering When the customer has an emergency? Are you able to deliver?

No, is it really easy ordering.

Do do you always get, do they always get a fair, know, a fair value for their money.

Are there other meaningful and accurate invoices? Are your invoices always correct?

Those are all very important things, it's with customers.

Then, once you've got to that level, what we, again, this is an example, it's not saying that this is for you, you know.

If, then, it's, no, that treats me, that I'm in port, That they understand what time and four means to the customer. So that's not time.

When I see, oh CIF, report it out and I see 99 to 100%.

Then I, then you ask, do you measure the customer want, and they say, no? Then you're not measuring on time. And for your measuring.

You're internal processes. You're not measuring the customer's process.

How is your customers to your customers go to bat with you? Your customers want to work with you. The customer's always looking for that next thing from you.

Have you built that relationship With your customer?

That's the trust factor.

So, from taking a customer that's on the bottom, all the women at the top, it take a couple of years.

It's not going to happen overnight.

But if you are able to assess that, that's, these are the things that we had developed.

And again, I say this, and as an example.

Everyone needs to come up with their own trust pyramid for your business. That means something to everyone else.

So, just circling back to the metrics, you know, I just throw a couple more stats out there that, you know, AI and machine learning can handle about 40% of customer interactions. The customer is going to be expecting.

Customers are going to be expecting that we're going to see these customer AI in the in the marketplace.

So if you're not doing that, you're going to be left behind.

So, definitely need to be focused on that.

And, you know, again, 67% of customers said they preferred for self-service. So that doesn't mean they don't want to talk to you about. The most important things.

Event Email Graphic Virtual Conferences (17)-4Is, don't want to talk to you about the things that should be able to be handled through an interface.

Why do we need to talk to each other about this?

I want to talk to you about, what's important to me to help me grow my business. If you want to talk to me about me to grow a business, the doors open, if you want to talk to me about what you want to sell, it doesn't have to do with that. They don't want to talk to you.

So, custom. So I'm gonna wrap it up right now. Customer experience is wearing your brand on your sleeve. What is your brand?

Who are, who? Who are you?

What are you, and what will you be to the customer, Your customer?

Decide to your brand is that it shouldn't be the same as your employ in your everyone else.

So, with that, I end the webinar or myself.

It looks like I have a couple of questions, so thank you for asking me questions.

I appreciate it since I'm trying to multitask here.

Thank you, Joe.

Um, been just readers.

Say, He says, I have stories that are working on Federal contract side where many of the suppliers lost their shirts are refusing to bid for our team on new opportunities due to high costs of doing business?

Yeah. That's, that's a tough one.

Um, know that the federal government is a different beast when it comes to understanding your customer needs.

So every every I would say, you know, when we do federal contracts, you gotta be very careful on.

Um, no, how you bid in the type of contracts that you have. So, completely agree.

You need to understand what the federal government is actually.

Asking in federal bids. Now, federal bids are the biggest marketplace out there, so it's not something you can ignore today.

That's where most of, there's so much funding there, but you just have to be careful that not to get under.

Uh, and in doing business at the high cost.

For there, generally, you do federal bids to get into marketplaces that you may not get in otherwise.

Um, then the second comment is you need. You have to be careful on the technical engineering side because resource demands can really make commitments date's difficult.

Then you throw out pandemic shortages and unforeseen issues.

It can really make aggressive customer delivery dates difficult to meet.

And customer technical fields to supplier really almost has to be the date based on what, on what they know of how long it takes to supply the machine or the technology.

Unrealistic tastes can cause liquidation penalties.

So, big change must be cognizant of their production capabilities.

Absolutely.

That's a great point, Joe.

You have to understand what you can deliver and what you can't deliver in today's world.

I certainly don't believe in over promising and under delivering.

But, I think what you need to do is work intelligently about how you reduce if all your customers are asking for your products and services at a faster time than you can deliver.

You need to figure out, do I need another plant? Do I need to reduce my overall cycle time or building the products?

Where's the bottlenecks in my and my, in my internal processes?

So very often, we talk about customer impact as just what we interface with the customer, but it's everything you do behind the walls.

So are we really set up for success in delivering reducing that cycle time?

So, what are the things that we shouldn't be doing, and we shouldn't be doing?

Screenshot (4)And that goes to the tough questions.

So, if you don't have a program around some kind of continuous improvement program, a real one, not a fake one, that goes to the Board, and reports out numbers, but something that's actually working to reduce cycle times of delivery.

If you reduce the time it takes you to deliver something, your cost will go down, It doesn't increase your costs to reduce, the time to deliver something, you'll actually save money.

That's kind of a paradigm that seems to be difficult for, for businesses to undertake.

Shortening cycle time actually saves money.

And if you look at the most successful business people, and you look at our history, you'll see here that that was one of the key things that they did is shorten that cycle time.

So, those are great questions, Joe.

I really appreciate you chiming in there to help me round out the, bye talk.

I hope you found this informative. Again, you can contact me at any time. Be more than glad to chat.

This is an area I'm really passionate about, and again, customer experience, excellence is wearing your brand on your sleeve.

Think about that and internalize.

It's a lot to take in, but if you really wear your brand on your sleeve, who you stand for and what you stand for, everybody can stand up and be proud of who you are.

Then, your customer experience excellence.

Well, you will achieve that.

Thank you, And we'll catch up with you at the top of the hour.

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About the Author

Jim de Vries-1Jim de Vries,
Managing Partner,
Enhance International Group.

 

Jim de Vries is a skilled thought leader with more than 30 years of experience helping clients achieve their desired outcomes through his ability to facilitate teams and drive improvement. His experience encompasses financial, commercial, CRM, services, IT, call centers, security, transportation, automotive, power systems, oil and gas, nuclear energy, research and development, government, and electronics industries.

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