“We are organizing a 2 day event with our Change Team. We would like to bring them on board our new way of thinking about customer experience so we can set out concrete actions to bring this to life.”
Tirza Schmidt, CCXP and Manager Customer Experience at T-Systems Nederland, approached us with this question.
The Change Team was reestablished in 2019 and their tasks include working on more structure and awareness around customer experience. They are ready for the next step: putting thoughts to action. The questions they had at the time included:
- What does customer experience actually mean to us?
- What do we need to reach our goal?
- What can we do ourselves to improve the experience of our customers?
- How can we enthuse others?
In order to answer these questions, we have developed a Customer Experience Day Program.
Increase knowledge and awareness around CX and find solutions for the identified problems.
Keywords: Fun, Customer Experience and Action
The program consisted of 4 parts:
- Keynote “Great Customer Experience does not happen by accident”
- Workshop “Customer and Employee problem areas”
- Playing the CX Game
- Workshop “From Problem Area to Solution”
Good preparation is half the job
The Change Team got together with the MT in September in Kijkduin, the Netherlands. This was a group of 40 people, so it was a big challenge to keep everyone focused. Rigorous preparation and planning ensured that, in combination with tailored materials and fun elements as part of the program, everything went well.
Learning from others and from customers
In her inspiring Keynote speech, Nienke explained how an organization can develop a consistent and distinctive customer experience in cooperation with their employees, using various examples from companies like Kramp and Emirates. This keynote provided the foundation for part 2 of the program, where the Change Team started working in 8 groups on problem areas from 2 perspectives:
- Inside-out: What is hindering us in providing customers with the best experience?
- Outside-in: What are the problem areas for our customers?
This brainstorm session delivered the first output: 5 inside-out and 5 outside-in problem areas.
Bring Customer Experience to Life
After a short break, we started playing the CX Game.
This Game brought huge competition and a lot of fun, as usual. And of course, great insights, stories and ideas. In both rooms, the game heated up and a shoot-out was required to decide on the two winning teams. Both teams received a box with various products of their own customers, true to the motto: “Know your Customer”.
Following completion of the Game, all participants wrote down their most important insight on a postcard. A few examples:
- We all need to place the customer at the center, but we have a long road ahead of us. I’m going to regularly ask myself: Why/for whom is this important?
- CX goes straight through all people, roles, channels and services we are delivering.
- Focus and creativity can deliver really smart ideas within a short period of time. It actually isn’t difficult, but we make it difficult ourselves.
- Pay attention to small things AND the customer journey starts much sooner than you’d think.
- Ideas may also come from colleagues you don’t know, so more interactions with colleagues about their customers.
Experiencing problem areas: Do we really understand the customer?
The most intensive and challenging part of the program was the second part: “Experiencing problem areas and finding solutions”.
Using a form with 10 questions, step 1 consisted of really understanding the problem area.
After this step, most problem areas were rewritten, in order to clarify what the problem area actually entails.
Step 2 was a brain storm session: finding specific solutions.
Each group had to choose 3 solutions (based on impact for the client and feasibility) and then started step 3: making action plans.
We observed that thinking from the customer’s perspective, but also from your own potential, was really tricky. The most challenging aspect was to be specific. Who is going to do this? All us us… No, who is going to do this? Our team? Ah, you mean a name. Yes! That is specific.
They made progress, working together and using the instructions.
Results: Understanding, Actions and Connections
The day delivered a lot, from stronger connections and fun, to the following:
- Better awareness and knowledge about CX
- Specific insights at 3 levels:
- The 5 most important problem areas outside-in and inside-out
- 3 specific solutions for each problem area
- An action plan for each solution
The participants found it was quite challenging to comprehend the problem areas and to be specific. Sometimes, the action only existed of talking to customers in order to actually understand their problem. After all, that is key to finding the right solution for the problem and to improving the customer’s experience.
Specific agreements were made about finalizing action plans and about the timings for feedback to each other, because following that, it is time for the best and most important step: GET STARTED! Working together to improve the customer experience.
We had a great day and would like to thank everyone for their fantastic commitment! We understand from the participants that, from all program items during their 2 day event, they valued Nienke’s Keynote speech and the CX Game the most, due to the practical approach, the specific insights and the fun they had.
Tirza looks back
“In order to get to a client centric culture and to bring this to life, it is important to get a basic understanding of Customer Experience. Also, always start thinking with the customer – both external and internal – in mind. By talking with people instead of talking to people (let alone about people), the first captivating steps can be made.
You have developed and achieved a strong and clear program, which has resulted for us in increased awareness of Customer Experience, Client Centricity and Employee Experience.
The triangular relationship between our brand, our Employee Engagement and consistent delivery of the Customer Experience has ignited an inspiring and motivating flame. In addition, understanding the cause of the problem area and arriving at a targeted and result focused action was a powerful step for us.
You achieved this with a lot of passion, humor and clear communication, during the preparation and implementation and also following this process. So we will continue our journey with a lot of energy and passion to not just place the customer at the center of everything we do, but also to achieve an unforgettable customer experience. Thanks to our customer experience of your program, we are fans now: I can wholeheartedly recommend your program around the CX Game!”
Nienke Bloem and Babs Asselbergs are CX Professionals – CCXP certified and owners of BlommaBerg – The Game Company. They assist organizations in improving their performance for customers and employees. In 2016, they developed The Customer Experience Game, followed by The Employee Experience Game in 2019.