Vantage Blog

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21
Nov
2017

Winning through Resilience

There’s no doubt that to succeed in today’s challenging market requires a great deal of resilience. Personally and organisationally. Strategically and operationally. And, of course, most critically in leadership.

The Vantage Leaders Forum (a group of CEO’s, GM’s and business owners brought together by Vantage Strategy & Marketing) met again in November to explore this topic, and what it means for their teams and for themselves.

The forum kicked off with a focus on organisational orientation; in particular customer centricity. But not just in terms of the normal narrative which just about every business trots out via their values. The group instead explored the whole concept of Customer Success versus Customer Service. Is the organisation set up to engage with customers proactively or reactively? Is the focus around ensuring customers achieve real value from your product or service, or merely ensuring that they are satisfied? The concept has grown from SaaS or subscription based businesses but has a lot of resonance in how we could approach customer management.

Several of the CEO’s reflected that maybe their balance wasn’t quite right; too much time spent on servicing customers and sorting out problems, rather than ensuring that they are achieving ‘success’ in terms of the value they are extracting from the use of the business’s product or service.

We then added to this idea the concept of building emotional connection with customers, and the potential value that could deliver. The HBR article The new science of customer emotions generated a lot of discussion. Especially given the research data indicated that customers who were ‘emotionally connected’ were 52% more valuable (on average across 9 product categories) than those that were merely highly satisfied. 

This of course raised the question as to the customer data businesses are using to drive their customer engagement strategies – satisfaction research, or insights as to how to engage and connect with customers at a deeper level. Not all organisations have the capability to do the sort of in depth research espoused in the HBR article. However, determining how best to uncover the key emotional motivators, and then using those to structure your customer journey and critical touch points, is something in reach of most…and now on the action list for a few of the group. 

The second half of the forum collaborated on what was required to build a strong and tenacious team – a key requirement for organisational resilience. We brainstormed all the key attributes, and then ranked them based on impact, with our final six being…

A good discussion then ensued around where the strengths and weaknesses were for each business, and the strategies they should undertake to close key gaps. 

Additionally, we explored avoiding blind spots when developing strategy, in particular when using scenario planning. We finished the day with an exercise aimed at enabling some personal reflection on how they behave and present to others as leaders.

All up some fantastic and practical collaboration across the group saw a number of new insights and ideas for the business leaders to take away and apply in their businesses.

As one of the participants said afterwards… “today’s workshop, was engaging, insightful and provided thought provoking content as we continue on our transformational journey. The networking was also very valuable!”

The Vantage Leaders Forum will next meet in February 2018 to kick of the first of four workshops for the year. If you would like to know more please contact James Atkins via email on jatkins@vantagemarketing.com.au

James Atkins

Vantage Strategy & Marketing......Powered by Mindshop

The Vantage Leaders Forum (a group of CEO’s, GM’s and business owners brought together by Vantage Strategy & Marketing) met again in November to explore this topic, and what it means for their teams and for themselves. ..
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29
Oct
2014

Clarity from simplicity - the customer point of view

“I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” Mark Twain. I was reminded of this saying last week when I received my new credit cards from CBA.




Normally these types of communications are long on complex instructions and unnecessary promotion largely written from the perspective of what the bank wants, not what the cardholder needs. Far from being simple or clear for the reader.


This letter, however, was a pleasant surprise.

Two sided letter – a short introduction on one side (which I actually didn't read - and didn't need to when I looked later). It was the flip side where the cards were that struck a chord.














Three simple boxes:
  1.  "What you need to know"
  2.  "What you need to do" (which I read first), and 
  3.  "Important PIN Information".

It was clearly structured making it easy for customers to quickly absorb. Often you are required to plough through lots of meaningless verbiage, which is not a great customer experience.

I could find what I needed to do quickly and painlessly. In fact what I needed to do was follow four simple steps - took no time at all to understand, and less to actually action.

Distilling communication to its essence, as the CBA have done in this instance, is simple in concept, but hard in practice. Quite often brands attempt to stuff so much other information or brand messages into what should be a transactional instruction. The irony of course is that in taking this design led, customer focused approach the CBA are in fact delivering a positive customer experience. This will build the brand so much more than the insertion of ‘key brand messages’ ever will.

I think this approach owes a lot to Apple and their approach to user experience. It's a real opportunity for all businesses to apply this mindset in how they communicate with their customers - in line with their needs and aligned with the sort of brand experience you are trying to build.


by James Atkins, Vantage Strategy & Marketing.
This article is linked to James' Google+ profile 


“I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” Mark Twain. I was reminded of this saying last week when I received my new credit cards from CBA. ..


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