Propel CX Momentum With Quick Wins

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I’ve been writing about how to apply John Kotter’s change management work to CX. This week, I’ll tackle Step Six: Generate Short-Term Wins.

The good news is that CX programs frequently excel at this. Many organizations have focused internally so much that they can easily find areas where they can develop quick wins.

Whether they have the infrastructure in place to execute them? Well, that’s another story.

The ripest opportunities for quick wins often come from digital efforts. Shortening a process here, improving communication there – these changes can make a real difference. Even when you need to take more comprehensive action, break it down so that you make an impact in the short term. This often paves the way for the success of your longer-term initiatives.

Action in the now builds enthusiasm, reinforces the benefit and value of more significant programs, and gives teams a taste of what the improved future-state experience might look like.

Heart of the Customer recently worked with a financial services company to map their claims journey. The product was credit insurance, sold through banks and credit unions, and the feedback from these organizations was that the claims process was broken. Our client knew the process was too manual and set a goal to digitize and transform the experience.

Our work confirmed that the journey was ripe for digital transformation. Customers were frustrated with the length of time it took to complete the claims process, as well as by the lack of operational transparency.

“The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist.” 

– Zig Ziglar

Unfortunately, digital transformation is a long-term fix, and it’s hard to keep up the momentum – both internally and with customers – over a one- to two-year (or longer) transformational effort.

That’s where quick wins come in.

They may not be the ultimate solution, but they show you’re focused on improvement. And signs of progress can make the difference between keeping or losing a customer. To quote Zig Ziglar, the motivational guru: “The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist.” Doing so shows customers that you care, and builds the trust and confidence they need to stick with you while you fix it. It also helps the teams currently frustrated by that broken process to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

For our financial services client, this short-term win was analog. But it helped pave the way for an improved, more efficient, and more satisfying digital experience.

We also analyzed our client’s communications and found that they were difficult to comprehend. It wasn’t hard to make that case: When we brought a member of the client’s leadership team out to observe interviews firsthand and meet with customers, one customer asked her to read his claims paperwork to tell him what he was supposed to do next.

She read it. She reread it. Then she read it a third time. Then she handed it back to him and said, “I’m sorry. You’ll have to call your claims rep.”

When we looked at their Welcome Packet, which should be a company’s simplest communication, we found it was written at a tenth-grade reading level. That was just too dense for most of their audience to read quickly. Other communications were even harder to understand.

Why? Because they were written to be compliant, not easy to follow.

The quick win there was obvious. The company brought the claims team, a legal representative, and a copywriter together to rewrite the communication. Not only did this show both internal and external teams that our client was focused on change, it also helped the digital transition, since now there was clearer messaging.

In our work in journey mapping, we find that the most important factor in driving change is assembling a broad cross-functional team. In the scenario above, our client was able to move quickly to act on our findings because they moved slower when planning their journey mapping initiative, taking the time to lay the proper foundation for success.

They went through a very deliberate process to determine who should be on their journey mapping team. Eventually, they included representatives from digital, claims, product, and legal. When it came time to ideate, they had the right people in the room. They could commit to the communications change, and then quickly follow through to get it done.

Our client also made sure to tie the results back into their overall change management effort. To read more about that, tune in next week, when I’ll address Kotter’s seventh step: Sustain Acceleration.

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