Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Outsourced Experience Comes Home

Recently, a friend of mine flew to Beijing to visit her son. A recent graduate of M.I.T., he chose to work there and was highly recruited to assist with the design and development of battery technologies.

China is investing billions in battery technology and, through companies like Build Your Dreams and more than thirty other automotive industry partners, preparing to launch a generation of Asian-designed automobiles built using advanced technologies, such as battery and electronics. India is not far behind, with increased ownership in corporate capabilities.

This is part of a larger transfer of knowledge and expertise that began at the latter half of the 20th century. As we move into the 21st century, Asian countries are taking on broader roles in product design and corporate ownership, in addition to manufacturing capability. The 21st century will be less about Western design (or design for Westerners), and more about Asian design and products designed first for Asian preferences. With this shift, it will be Western society that consumes primarily Asian-designed and owned services and products.

I think this is the beginning of a transformation that will have a profound impact the American live+work experience for many years to come.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Service Experience Scorecard

Here's 4-question checklist to begin dialog regarding the customer service experience:

1. Does our organization clearly define typical customer challenges (experience) so employees can anticipate them?
 In general, my team knows the type of experiences our typical (customer/audience/member) craves, and the reasons why.
 We clearly know why your customers prefer the experience we offer, versus those offered by other companies or brands.
 A typical customer experience within our (department/division/organization) is a positive event, for both employees and customers.
2. Does our organization map customer contact points and assign adequate resources to insure a great service experience?
 Everyone on my team knows what resources to use, and when, in order to deliver a great experience.
 We honestly and openly measure customer feedback at multiple contact points.
 We use customer feedback to improve our internal processes, staffing and learning within days, instead of months and years.
3. Does our organization provide ways for employees and customers to collaborate on new services or solutions?
 We support informal learning experiences (versus curriculum or LMS driven learning) for all team members and offer innovative leadership opportunities for every team member, within weeks of their arrival
 We routinely turn interactions into enjoyable learning moments for customers, members and/or clients
 We allow tremendous flexibility in how employees engage prospects and customers and use social media tools to help us draw customers closer.
4. Does our organization identify, grow and sustain service champions, both internally and externally?
 We know what motivates people to become one of our loyal customers.
 We know our champions (loyal customers that live, eat, breath our product) and can identify them, by name
 My team is given the resources to track, validate and sustain both internal (employee) and external (client) champions through programs that reward their loyalty and honest feedback.