Excellent CX as Reputation Management Strategy

Why Strategic Customer Experience is a Gift for Reputation Management 

While studying for my first degree, the theme of better customer service (not customer experience yet!) was a recurring theme, concerning earning customer loyalty and market share, although not so much explicitly in the context of reputation management. There was a massive upsurge in the 90s of paying lip service to customer service as a competitive vehicle. That ethos seems to have waned considerably as service seems to be decaying in places we used to expect it, and yet it’s never been more important.

These days, the focus goes, rightly, beyond customer service to consider the entire Customer Experience, how the customer or client of your business experiences all of the elements that make up your brand at every stage of any transaction with your company. These transactions accrue into positive building blocks for favourable brand reputation and strategic reputation management. Identifying all the touchpoints your customer can possibly have with your brand, products and staff and having a strategy for influencing and planning how every interaction is handled is the very essence of it. I think of CX as CXE – Customer Experience and Engagement because the opportunity for engagement, to get information, feedback and ideas from the customer are where the magic really happens.

Why Leaders show care about Client and Customer Experience

We build brands to differentiate but also to build a reputation, against which hopefully a premium can be applied and repeat custom and advocacy can be extracted. The brand sets itself up, makes a promise, delivers it, delights and builds and reinforces a reputation for quality, reliability and other great things. More than ever the opportunities that lie in fostering and nurturing great customer experiences should not be squandered. With more choice than ever available to customers in some domains, CX is ever more relevant and the thinking behind how CX is implemented can make it transformational. It can make it a gift for reputation management.

Transactional to Transformational Thinking – the value of CX

Transactional thinking would limit the scope of CX. Clients and customers when purchasing are not purely acting on calculated algorithms for buying into an offering. There is a great deal going on in hearts as well as minds. However, viewed logically, the purest person to person service element, usually post a purchase or immediately preceding it, and generally as an aid to that sale, actually occurs quite deep within the relationship/purchase funnel. The added value is in everything else leading up to the sale, and after that, you ideally want to exercise some influence over. You want to have the privilege and access of speaking into the spaces either side because when you factor in desirable brand love and loyalty, it’s instructive that conversion does not end with the person who has bought, as they can help you convert others. This is the power of favourable reputation and an opportunity for reputation management.

 

why cusomer experience is a priority for business leaders

The goal of CX is delight – attract, engage, nurture and delight

Putting CX at the heart of Projects

Leaders and staff should have a clear view of their roles and responsibilities in sustainably and successfully delivering customer experience (CX), but it should be ultimately driven by brand strategy. CX can be the arbiter of your brand values and perception. Bearing out and translating the purpose and the values the business espouses through CX buttresses and validates your customers’ perception of your business. Reputation Management starts here. Credit is gained and credibility advanced that indemnifies a brand in terms of sustainable brand reputation and reputation management. Now, it’s been my experience through numerous Change Programmes, that there is generally limited consideration of the programme’s risks and impact to the brand and the business’ ability to consistently meet customer and clients’ expectations. This is because they are often driven entirely by internal, operational factors, external triggers tend to be obligations to and duress from regulators and monitors but I believe customer experience is an equally legitimate driver. Reputation Management is not something that’s only addressed in the event of an adverse event, like savings, reputations must be shored up against rainy days.

I think this should change. Even when it isn’t the causal factor for a programme, it absolutely should be part of the standards and metrics by which that programme is deemed a success. It, therefore, follows that demonstrable improvements to the processes and operating models delivering high-quality customer experience, or at the very least, strong evidence that it is not put at risk or degraded, should form a primary part of the business case.

If projects were incepted with an eye on the customer and transformation focused on making things better for customers and staff, that is if PEOPLE were actually valued and central to the impetus for projects, very possibly, less oversight might be needed as businesses would be policing themselves according to their own stated purpose and values. Hmm!

So…..where is the problem? What could go wrong? Ahhhh, yes. Of course.

When there is no visible commitment to those stated values.What an indictment that is on the way we do business – it means that whenever a customer’s experience of your brand fails to bear out your values, you may be seen as only paying lip service, as inauthentic. The worst of it, of course, is that your customers can see and sense the disconnect. Of course, they can, they get it a sense of it through the entire experience! That’s it – the whole point.  If you are talking about customer experience but not really considering satisfaction of customers and motivation of those who deliver the services that form the experience, you are just paying lip service to customer experience, much the same as people did in the 90s. And your customers can tell!

Reputation Management - Secure your brand's reputation through exceptional customer experienceCX Matters

If you don’t think this matters, I give you Aldi and Lidl. If the leading supermarkets were listening, they would have known and acted on the customer data that Aldi and Lidl have exploited, as Tesco have only just recently started to do hence this update to the blog. It’s taken several years to mount this offensive, but apart from anything else, the customer experience at Tesco was obviously not sufficient to sustain the custom of those with an option to go elsewhere. Tesco’s reputation has also suffered considerably in the past decade an effort to refocus on customer needs might have aided their reputation management. As it was, it appeared to make them more vulnerable to incursions by the challengers.

Other sectors are not exempt. The banking sector sees challenger banks popping up. I give you Tide and Monzo, reported to have deep satisfaction amongst customers. They are starting with a commitment to the customer experience and meeting needs that the existing banks do not, even though they say they want to. It’s amazing when you think about it.

So, dear business case owners, sponsors, C-suite people, transformation programmes should not lead to a deterioration in staff morale and customers’ perception of the brand. Therefore, business strategy and change should absolutely have dependencies on your business brand imperatives and benefits realisation must be within the context of meeting or exceeding customer brand expectations. Even if it is not the causal factor for the programme, it should be in there somewhere! There should be, on every programme board and Steering Committee and Executive Committee etc., somebody who has responsibility for Brand Standards and CX. There, I have just created that brand new role. Feel free to use it because it’s critical, now more than ever, to focus more on people – both in and out – and ultimately serve your brand better.

Change Management

Stay dynamic and responsive to compete
Change Under Control

Managing change effectively is a source of competitive advantage, but it can be challenging. We uniquely focus on brand purpose to driven by our clients’ most critical issues and opportunities, in our change management approach. We deploy proven methodologies to manage business and IT change that delivers and enhances brand strength. With our decades of experience in planning, tracking and delivering large scale change management we can help you with your challenge. Call us now to get planning and changing.

Stakeholder and people management are key as is adjusting expectations, reducing resistance and winning trust. We do this by enabling participation and co-creation, and is a point of difference in our approach. We are real people who like people and have had lots of experience managing change and we are ever mindful that it affects people, their peace of mind and their productivity. We never lose sight of the fact that how well purpose, practice and process work is directly linked to people, differentiates our Change Management Practice. People are central, pivotal and vital and how well we influence external people is dependent on how much we reckon with and move internal people and enables control, from purpose to process.

We provide extensive project and programme management services with experienced practitioners and can work as part as part of an in house  framework too.

 

Change the record, Sam. It may still work but is it the best use of time, space and your capability? Change Management helps you explore and achieve your organisation’s full potential and keeps you ahead of the competitive curve.

Change Management
Transformation keeps your business responsive and your brand fresh and appealing.
Programme Management
Linking strategy, planning, budgeting and execution to increase capabilities so you can keep your promises.
Business Analyisis
The quality of the project deliverables, is inextricably linked to the quality of analyses undertaken and levels of engagement.
Data Analysis
Strategy experience and analytical expertise combine to enable decision making and create value.
Information Technology
An integral and potentially differentiating component of your business that both enables and shapes your brand.
PMO
Plan, organise and embed governance transparently and rigorously to track execution of strategy.

Change

PURPOSE DRIVEN CONSULTING
Business Transformation Consulting
Hybrid Capabilities

Iconify is a business transformation consulting firm that provides change management advisory to small businesses who need to make key changes to execute on their competitive and growth strategies and to elevate their brand.

We are a hybrid business transformation and branding creative agency that undertake business change consulting using a range of disciplines,  because building a resonant brand is a multifaceted process. We believe that any internal business changes you make is an opportunity to solidify your brand position and improve yor brand reputation. Just as missing an opportunity to make necessary changes can represent a risk to your brand through losing opportunities for gaining brand equity.

Iconify Consulting help clients create and recover brand resonance through brand strategy and transformation. We provide assistance in optimising the business processes that deliver your offering and the technology that powers your business and its operations. Finally and critically, we help to manage the training and enhancement of the skills of the people and processes side of change.

Developing innovative technology and bespoke business tools, we know we need to ready your organisation to use the new system and take full advantage of its benefits from day one, and so we implement innovative Target Operating Models that are aligned with the business strategy, as well brand purpose, values and identity.

 

Making sense of the creative consulting puzzle and changing the brand equity game through business transformation consulting, change management and business change consulting for small to mid size businessses.

Customer Experience and Engagement

We believe that CX is the ultimate driver of brand power and sustainability and that the quality, resilience and responsiveness of your operations determine how great your CX can be. We believe that your staff are your closest customers and that whatever you can do to empower them to do their work better and the best for your business is a priority, and that’s why your operations matter. We believe we are unique in looking at your brand and business holistically and we do not stop at what is skin deep. We have seen transformation programmes that never refer to or consider the brand’s purpose, values and ideals and we decided to find a transformation process that bakes that all in.

Integrated Transformation

Connect with Iconify Consulting to discuss your aspirations, your plans and challenges. We will put together a roadmap to build the capability, a positioning strategy to drive your communications or help you identify weaknesses in your current or proposed business model and we will do that, all with your brand’s health in mind. Getting these critical things right, and taking a long term view, iconifies your brand.

We provide innovation consulting and guide leaders through Digital Transformation , key in the digital era to take a business to the top and keep it there, but there is a lot to think about. We want to help clients understand how best to improve existing technology platforms to enhance processes and reach out to customers at every stage in the buying and consumption process.

Business Change Consulting

Brand Strategy Development

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Business Transformation

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Risk Management & Architecture

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Transformation & Brand Assurance

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Innovation

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CX Remodel

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Business Change for Small to Medium size businesses

We are passionate about ensuring that small to medium size businesses enjoy some of the advantages that large corporates take for granted. This starts with having access to the knowledge, expertise and tools that we can provide through our change management advisory to help guide your business.

As a business owner, you may be aware of a myriad of potential changes that should be made to your business but it is important to identify the changes that will make the greatest impact for your business’s ability to compete, reach and satisfy your target audience.

With plentiful opportunities to increase efficiency across process and technology, a clear and targeted strategy will ensure you can adopt digital transformation for example, as one key area in which business change consulting can crystallise benefits and clear plan for implementation, in adance of those changes.

Strategy to Implementation

Business change consulting allows your business to strategise, prioritise and plan the changes that will deliver the best benefits for your business.

Ambition is fundamantal of course as is a clear vision but all business benefit from the guidance a business transformation consulting firm like Iconify can bring to part or all of your organisation. Transformation harness impacts and capabilities that will deliver improvements, benefits and capacity to take advantage of opportunities into the futire and that is where your business should be ideally.

We are uniquely positioned to help align your business strategy with your brand strategy simply because we are deeply committed to the idea that the should be inextricable, and that greater and more meaningful synergies can be realised in your business transformation if it is linked to your brand imperatives, and the goal being to ensure that your business becomes a highly visible one. This is our key difference as business change consulting firm.

Work with us

To achieve the full potential of your business, your internal capability, culture and ability to innovate are key drivers for your business performance and brand positioning.

If you’re looking for experienced business change consultants or business transformation consultancy, start by asking how much they will do to ensure you get a service that focuses on all key aspects of your business. Experienced professionals providing full business change services, across your business lines and IT and people capability, give us a call. For help with IT and Technology Transformation and Digital Transformation.

With experience spanning a range of industries and experienced gained working with household names, you can have confidence that we are prepared for the the urgency of your requirements, and the importance of managing risk, building consensus and taking account of a range of stakeholders.

Business Transformation Services

Making your business better
Business Transformation
Change for the better

If you have come to the realisation that some part of your business needs to be undergo fundamental change, and you require business transformation services, bear in mind that the overwhelming majority of business transformation projects fail. You may already know that it’s a long term plan to build a sustainable and responsive business. One that is able, not just to grapple with the scale and daunting pace of change, but also to contend with and increase business and brand power not just now, but at an ever increasing rate in the future. You also need to know that when searching for business transformation services, that you need more than a provider or just project managers, you need partners. People who will be invested and interested in impacts on your whole business and who will consider every aspect that will be touched on or that is dependent on the business transformation services we provide. We provide solutions that are holistic, in-depth and complete.

Projects are not easy and we do not expect them to be. We value and respect the investment you will be making and are determined that you will meet the objectives set out. Your business is different, as are your challenges, and you need a consultancy that acknowledges and embraces that your business is unique and approaches challenges with that view.

Transformation X

Leaders understand that transformation is an investment in your people, processes and technology and in the future and aspirations of your business. Businesses are beginning to realise, therefore, that transformation is necessary and indispensable, not a nice to have. Complexity, volatility and speed of changing customer tastes and expectations means that formulating a transformation solution, ideally across the spectrum of your business is not a choice so much as an urgent service to your business and its stakeholders. All business goals boil down to winning, thriving, driving in business. Transformation gives your business the capability to confidently perform and keep doing so.

Iconify Y

Understandably, given the rate and prevalence of failed projects, beset by ever increasing issues, many leaders are at a loss about where to turn for the help they need with business transformation services. We can understand this and are happy to walk you through how we could help you and manage these types of risks, having delivered several successful transformation programmes in several sectors

We recognise that successful approaches to transformation depend upon and are led by your business’ values and ideals. Consequently, we do not advocate or seek to implement myopic strategies, bringing instead long term lenses to potential solutions.

Effective transformation mandates strong, multidisciplinary teams like ours who take a holistic view. We come alongside your teams, with proven skills in programme/project management and who understand the challenges of Change Management and how to overcome them.

For all or some of the following – changing your business model or architecture, tech and digital, operations and structure, or realising operating model efficiency – all change should be solutions based. Embark on your change journey with us, explore our business transformation services and starting even from the discovery process, we’ll strive for true transformation. Transformation that elevates, propels and compels, for a more responsive, powerful business that lives and promotes its desirability and difference consistently and authentically.

Stakeholder management and people management are key for us in deivering successful business transformation services to our clients.  Adjusting the expectations of stakeholders, reducing resistance and winning trust, gaining and enabling participation and co-creation are the fundamentals, we believe, of successful change management. This is a point of difference with us. We are real people who like and sympathise with people. We have had lots of experience managing change and we are mindful that it affects people, their peace of minds and their productivity. We never lose sight of this and this does differentiate our Change Management Practice.  Purpose, practice and process – how well these work are linked to people. People are central, pivotal and vital. How well we influence external people is totally dependent on how much we move internal people. This way you can keep control, from purpose to process.

We provide extensive project and programme management services, with experienced practitioners and can work as part of an inhouse framework under certain circumstances.

Stakeholder engagement, sponsorship and sign off being so crucial to a project, we ensure there is clarity on governance structure, roles and responsibilities from the outset of the programme. Transparency and control are critical to progress and success and we work with you to work out this through the PMO structure as early as possible in the project.

Transformation projects are naturally fully of risks, most of which can be anticipated at the outset and others as the project unfolds. We are experienced in running transformation projects under risk management controls and frameworks for mitigation, through a Project Management Office as well as understanding interim risks to the brand health, in the case of phased rollouts, for example.

Business consulting at Iconify is always approached with brand imperatives at the forefront of considerations in helping leaders plot a strategy.  That is how we ensure the safekeeping of your values and ideals as we go with you from purpose to process.

It all matters – your people, set practices, operational and functional process, tools, your culture, training – no elements are overlooked in articulating the change your business needs to thrive again. We align your brand strategy to your business strategy and then align that with the transformation strategy to ensure that there is continuity and internal consistency through all potential outcomes.

Many weaknesses and faultlines in operational models are to do with integration. Either there is little to zero integration in areas where this would be of benefit by creating efficiencies and transparencies. Or the integration is poorly executed, poorly supported and does not add the requisite value. There is also the element of enabling collaboration and we work with you to identify where, when and how, to uncover the best ways of working and the tools that support that.

The magnitude of analyses in all spheres on a myriad of consideration on a transformation programme is immense but the analysis does underpin the quality of the solutions proposed as well as the quality of what is implemented. It makes sense to spend the time, do the research and test the data, the sources and look with fresh eyes at how processes flow and integration points, and what determines these.

Where issues have been identified, we will conduct root cause analyses but we then apply brand values lenses to strategies for transformation, to  remediate the causes and drivers of these issues, gaps in systems, the procedures and support procedures that will need to be tightened and future proofed, through adopting innovative technology, wherever possible.

The prevailing business and technological environment is one of constant change and expectations. This requires businesses to innovate, identify and adopt technology ahead of the curve, in order to thrive.  Digital Transformation is one key area where there is absolutely germane.

The speed of change and the plethora of technologies available and the fact that your competitors are adopting them, really changes the competitive landscape and makes it important to identify the areas of greatest priority and urgency to adopt digital transformation. We can help you investigate the best available options available to be not just in the game but holding your own.

So we’ve done it reinvented the wheel and some roads – now what?

Well, we put it to the test in real time.

Operational Readiness allows us to map the processes and defined functioned flows to a timeline and test the process designs against the timelines, with full integration across the business and IT estate, with all involved parties. This stage complex, with potential for chaos and so is about the planning for this and ensuring all possible prerequisites across the whole piece are in place. This is a key tool in our risk management strategy.

Embedding transformation is dependent on clear, proven and integrated target operating models and we have experience of doing that at large and complex organisations for mission critical functions.

Iconify strive to align your brand efforts with your purpose and your brand strategy with your business and transformation strategy, and deliver innovative Target Operating Models.

Ops Models  matters because this where we work with you to consider and review how your People, Processes and Practice  and your tools and technology overlap,  integrate and collaborate. We aim to build out improvements or change the flow of information as part of the transformation, and map out operations integration through process, automation and innovation. Your business’ full business will be designed along functional and logical lines, integrations and hand offs mapped and appropriately annotated, to several different levels of decomposition.

Contact us now to plan out your Target Ops Model formulation and discuss dependent and ancillary processes like Ops Readiness, Testing and Training

Transformation projects give rise to a plethora of tools, platforms and software, but how can you be sure that the tools and platforms adopted are the right ones to provide the support required by each line of business? We will be driven by the fundamental purpose of your business, the promise of your brand and the strategic pillars running through those to the business case for the transformation.

We take the time to really get to know your business and understand its unique language and the terminologies and dialects, used in common or in different business lines to harmonise our understanding.

Understanding the drivers of the change and developing a functional view of your processes and the points of ntegtation, allows us to recommend the functionalities a tool will need and run proof of concepts to choose them or build them, dependent on what is required.

Our strong People orientation is evident in our framework for transformation implementation. Training and knowledge transfer is crucial to this. The training phase therefore ensures that the different categories and levels of users  are appropriately trained and given  access and credentials to the tools they need. As part of this process, coordination of the knowledge trasfer required for new processes, tools and platforms is completed.

This where the rubber hits the road. We do all the necessary risk management and assurance processes  to ensure that the business has adopted the elements of the transformation – the new operating models, changed operations and restructured organisations and updated business architecture.

We ensure there is a feedback loop and incident process during the initial live process or pilot to capture issues and uncover any still existing gaps in knowledge or process or integration issues.

A highly collaborative phase of the transformation process and rightly so, this is where all value chain stakeholders can begin the business as usual use of the transformed elements.

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