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In today’s business environment, management consulting firms must be ready to address client challenges and needs that will transform their Focus group picbusiness by 10 or 100 times. Tools and methods must be scaled up to ensure applicability to the widest possible audience globally.

The Consulting Workshop Series provides a good understanding of the 10 Methods of conducting Workshops that are custom designed to fit specific workshop objectives. Different methods are developed for the purpose of providing organizations the most appropriate tool necessary to support organizations to achieve their strategic goals and targets.

If it is the management’s goal to allow participants to question each other and to elaborate upon their answers, then the Focus Group is the perfect method to undertake.

Understanding the Focus Group as a Consulting Workshop Series Method

Focus Group is a Consulting Workshop Method that exposes different groups’ opinions on an issue and why these are held. It is a planned discussion among a small group of 4 to 12 stakeholders facilitated by a skilled moderator. It aims to expose different groups’ opinions on an issue and why they are held.

Conducting focus interviewing is effective in obtaining information about various people’s preferences ad values pertaining to a defined topic and why these are held by observing the structured discussion of an interactive group in a permissive, non-threatening environment.

Its application cuts across various agenda. It can gauge the nature and intensity of stakeholders’ concern and values about issues. It can obtain a snapshot of public opinion when time constraints or finances do not allow a full review or survey. Likewise, whenever there are proposals, it can be used to get detailed reaction and input from a stakeholder or client group. Additional information or modification may be gathered to develop the proposal further.

In an overall context, the Focus Group can be seen as a combination of a focused interview and a discussion group.

Starting a Focus Group in a Systematic Approach

Undertaking a Focus Group must be done in a systematic approach. While the method may be relatively simple, it is an effective tool in generating opinions in a more natural, social context.

  1. Pre-Focus Group Planning. This is most critical of the 3 phases as it sets the initial stages of planning the Focus Group. It is at this point where the direction and purpose of the Focus Group are determined and established. Sufficient time must be allocated for preparation and planning.
  1. Conducting of the Focus Group. Phase 2 is the main event – the Focus Group Discussion. It is in this phase wherein different groups’ opinions are exposed on an issue and explained why these are held. For narrow topics, Focus Groups normally last for an hour or two. But when the discussion is more policy-oriented, it can be organized into multiple sessions with each session not exceeding two hours.
  1.  Post-Focus Group. This is the final stage. The Post-Focus Group phase ensures that there is a proper analysis of results and that reports are properly developed. A most important element of the Post-Focus Group is the analysis. When the analysis is properly done, conclusive responses to topics raised can be done.

The Great Advantage

Is there a power differential existing within your organization? When the power differential between the participants and the decision-makers is great enough to discourage participation, the Focus Group is the best method to use.

It provides the security of a peer group. Furthermore, the method is particularly useful when one is interested in complex motivations and actions.

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In today’s business environment, management consulting firms must be ready to address client challenges and needs that will transform their expert panel picbusiness by 10 or 100 times. Tools and methods must be scaled up to ensure applicability to the widest possible audience globally.

The Consulting Workshop Series provides a good understanding of the 10 methods of conducting Consulting Workshops that are custom designed to fit specific workshop objectives. Different methods are developed for the purpose of providing organizations the most appropriate tool necessary to support organizations to achieve their strategic goals and targets.

If it is the management’s goal to have specialized input and opinion undergo evaluation, then the Expert Panel is the perfect method to undertake. An Expert Panel is a consulting workshop method that synthesizes a variety of inputs on a specialized topic and produces recommendations

Understanding the Expert Panel as an Effective Consulting Workshop Method

An Expert Panel is an effective tool in clarifying complexities in organizational issues. The method uses a broad range of subject matter experts on various fields thus enhancing its effectiveness and depth.

Once, consultants have a good understanding of the Expert Panel, it can be used in various applications. An Expert Panel is effective in addressing appropriate issues that require highly technical knowledge and/or those that are highly complex. It is useful when a conflict exists that opinions are necessary to provide credibility and resolve these conflicts.

At times when there is a variety of opinions, an Expert Panel can provide a credible alternative opinion based on credible expertise. Most importantly, it is best used when there is a possibility of legal ramifications.

The Expert Panel and Its 3-Phase Approach

The Expert Panel is designed using a 3-phase approach.

  1. Preparation. The Preparation Phase is the most critical phase as it is the defining stage of the project. It ensures that there is a proper understanding of the project supported by a well-composed and technically qualified panel.
  1.  Conducting the Expert Panel. This is the main core of the event. This is where the Expert Panel is expected to investigate and study the topics assigned and set forth their conclusions and recommendations in written reports. A typical First Meeting Architecture is often composed of 6 sessions.
  1. Presentation of the Panel Report. The presentation of the Panel Report is the final phase which includes the issues, conclusions, and recommendations of the report. Upon completion of the report, it may be disseminated to appropriate persons and to the entire organization. However, prior to its dissemination, it is advisable to submit it initially for peer review for comments and further improvements.

When Quality Matters in Selecting the Expert Panel

The use of this method requires a careful selection of the members of your Expert Panel. Even prior to recruitment and selection, careful consideration should already be undertaken. One is the development of the Nomination Package. Next is having the right guidelines for proper selection. Most importantly, is understanding the 5 Key Elements of a Panel Profile.

The 5 key elements essential to the organization of your Expert Panel are Project Scope, Degree of Controversy, Technical Support, Uncertainties, and Disciplines. Each of these elements will guide consulting firms to have a well-composed and balanced profile of their Expert Panel.

As mentioned earlier, the Expert Panel is expected to investigate and study the topics assigned and set forth their conclusions and recommendations. Hence, diligence and thoughtful selection is needed to have an effective Expert Panel for the organization to achieve the results expected during the event.

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Companies face increasing pressure from governments, competitors, and employees to play a leading role in addressing a wide array of CS sources of value pic2environmental, social, and governance issues in a company’s supply chain. It could range from climate change to obesity to human rights.

For the past 30 years, companies have responded by developing corporate social responsibility or sustainability initiatives to fulfill their contract with society by addressing these issues.

However, gathering the data needed to justify sustained, strategic investment in programs can be difficult.  Yet, without this information, executives and investors often see programs as separate from a company’s core business or unrelated to its shareholder value. While there are companies that have made progress tracking operational metrics or social indicators, they have difficulty linking such metrics and indicators to a real financial impact.

Needless to say, there are companies that are creating great value through environmental, social, and governance activities.  Increased sales, decreased costs, and reduced risks are being achieved.  Environmental, social, and governance programs can create value in many other ways. We just need to know where and how.

What is Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or sustainability initiatives are undertaken to fulfill contracts with society to respond to environmental issues. Environmental, social, and governance refer to a broader set of CSR Programs.

 Sustaining strategic investments in CSR Programs can be a challenge but there are already leading companies that are generating real value through environmental, social, and governance activities.

The Dynamic Ways of Creating Value

CSR Programs can create shareholder value. It is just important that companies must broaden their legitimacy in societies where they operate.

 

  1. Growth. As a source of value, Growth can be expressed in terms of New Markets, New Products, New Customers, Market Share, and Innovation. When this is created, it can deliver higher brand loyalty, reputation, and goodwill with stakeholders.
  1. Return on Invested Capital (ROIC). ROIC is generated when there is operational efficiency and workforce efficiency. When this is achieved, it can result in better workforce skills and increased productivity through participation in ESG activities.
  1. Risk Management. Risk Management is a source of value. It can be achieved when risk is lowered when compliance with regulatory requirements are achieved.  Public support is achieved and the ability of your company to secure consistent, long-term, and sustainable access to safe, high-quality raw materials and products are established.
  1. Management Excellence. Management Excellence can have an impact on leadership development, adaptability, and long-term strategic view. These are 3 key areas that investors consider most important when evaluating potential partnerships.  With Management Excellence, a value can be generated from these areas.

A Look at IBM: A Clear Example of CSR as a Source of Value

IBM has been recognized globally as one of the leading companies when it comes to Information Technology.  In creating new markets, IBM used Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Toolkit to develop a track record with local stakeholders, including local governments and NGOs.  Free web-based resources on business management were provided to SMEs in developing economies. A total of 30 SME Toolkit sites were developed in 16 languages.

As a result of this initiative, IBM’s reputation and relationships in new markets improved.   Likewise, the relationship with companies that are potential customers was developed.  The strategic approach of IBM in creating markets through its CSR has provided IBM much value in creating and developing relationships which are essential in new markets.

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In today’s business environment, management consulting firms must be ready to address client challenges and needs that will transform their Citizens Jurybusiness by 10 or 100 times.  Tools and methods must be scaled up to ensure applicability to the widest possible audience globally.

The Consulting Workshop Series provides a good understanding of the 10 methods of conducting Workshops that are custom designed to fit specific workshop objectives.  Different methods are developed for the purpose of providing organizations the most appropriate tool necessary to support organizations to achieve their strategic goals and targets.

If it is the management’s goal to solicit informed input for policy decisions, then the Citizens Jury is the most appropriate method to undertake.

 Understanding the Citizens Jury Method

The Citizens Jury is one of the methods in the Consulting Workshop Series that derives a decision that is representative of average citizens who has been well informed on the issue.  It is most applicable when one or more alternatives to a problem need to be selected the various competing interests are arbitrated.

The Citizens Jury can lead to concrete action when this is directly linked to a decision making process.

The Citizens Jury Approach

 Making the necessary preparation is the initial step towards organizing a Citizens Jury. While it may not be the main event, it is most critical as it contributes highly to the successful conduct of the event.

  1. Preparation. The Preparation phase sets the groundwork for the effective conduct of the Citizens Jury Event. Each step in the Preparation is essential, extensive it may be. The Preparation includes recruitment of personnel and setting the tasks, jury selection, juror recruitment, establishing the charge, developing the agenda and selecting and recruiting the expert witnesses.
  2. Citizens Jury Event. This is the very core of the over-all undertaking – the Citizens Jury Event. It is the main event where deliberation and people’s participation in policy decision are undertaken. Facilitated by 2 moderators, the event is done in 3 stages – the Introductory Day, the Hearing Days, and the Deliberation. The Deliberation is the heart of the Citizens Jury Model.
  3. Follow-up. The Follow-up is the final phase of the Citizens Jury. It focuses on measuring the results of the event. It also ensures proper documentation and dissemination of the final output. This includes the evaluations, the final news conference, the debriefing, and the dissemination of the final report.

The preparation of the Citizens Jury is extensive. To ensure a systematic flow of the Citizens Jury, timelines are essential.  Timelines begin after a contract or agreement has been signed and funded for the conduct of the Citizens Jury. Being able to select the appropriate timeline in structuring the Citizens Jury can contribute much to its successful conduct.

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In today’s business environment, management consulting firms must be ready to address client challenges and needs that will transform their delphi picbusiness by 10 or 100 times.  Tools and methods must be scaled up to ensure applicability to the widest possible audience globally.

The Consulting Workshop Series provides a good understanding of the 10 methods of conducting Workshops that are custom designed to fit specific workshop objectives.  Different methods are developed for the purpose of providing organizations the most appropriate tool necessary to support organizations to achieve their strategic goals and targets.

If it is the management’s goal to expose all opinions and options regarding a complex issue, then the Delphi Workshop Method is the perfect approach to undertake.  By using Delphi, organizations can gain the benefits of pooling and exchanging opinions to learn from other’s views.

Understanding Delphi as a Consulting Workshop Series Method

Delphi is a structured communication technique originally developed as a systematic interactive forecasting method that relies on a panel of experts. Its main objective is to expose all opinions and options regarding a complex issue.

Delphi is most effectively used in technology forecasting, as well as business forecasting such as sales of new products.  It is used in the implementation of multi-stakeholder approaches for participating policy-making.  It is also effective in patent participation identification and public policy issues such as economic trends, health, and education.

A dialectical process, it has been designed to provide the benefits of pooling and exchanging of opinions to learn from other’s views.

Discovering the Delphi Approach

 Delphi can be approached in 3 different angles. Depending on the objective of the activity, we can determine which is the most strategic way to approach Delphi.

  1. The Conventional Delphi. Called a pen and paper Delphi, it is aimed at a consensus of the most probable future by iteration. It has three main characteristics: the anonymity of the participants, the structuring of information flow, and regular feedback. These three key characteristics help participants focus on the issues at hand.
  2. The Policy Delphi. The Policy Delphi is a tool for analysis of policy issues. It is employed to generate the strongest possible opposing views on the potential resolutions of a major issue. Generating a consensus is not its primary objective and survey questionnaires are given greater emphasis.
  3. The Delphi Conference. A Group Delphi, it allows for more discussions and debate. In the Delphi Conference, participants forego anonymity. Time constraints may require a fixed number of cycles and consensus can be increased from one to two rounds of voting.  The Delphi Conference often takes less time than the traditional Delphi.

In undertaking the Conventional Delphi, the Policy Delphi, and the Delphi Conference, organizations must be keen on following the right procedure in undertaking any of these Delphi.  Because of its different approaches, the steps that are undertaken also varies. Taking the right step is necessary for better understanding and clarity of flow, as well as optimizing the use of Delphi in achieving the appropriate results at the end of the activity.

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In today’s business environment, management consulting firms must be ready to address client challenges and needs that will transform their charrette pic2business by 10 or 100 times.  Tools and methods must be scaled up to ensure applicability to the widest possible audience globally.

The Consulting Workshop Series provides a good understanding of the 10 Methods of conducting Workshops that are custom designed to fit specific workshop objectives.  Different methods are developed for the purpose of providing organizations the most appropriate tool necessary to support organizations to achieve their strategic goals and targets.

If it is the management’s goal to cultivate creativity and innovation with their organization, then the Charrette is the perfect method to undertake.

Understanding Charrette

Charrette is one method of conducting consulting workshops that can generate consensus among diverse groups of people and form an action plan. Charrette provides time for a deep intellectual exploration of matters significant to the success of the firm. Charrette allows people to work not only at their own pace but also on projects that matter most to them.

This is one method that can effectively assemble practical ideas and viewpoints at the beginning of a planning process. It encourages input and collaboration from a wide range of participants.  When the process is mature, it can facilitate decisions on difficult issues and resolve indecisions or deal with dead blocks between groups.

Charrette can effectively lead to developing feasible projects and action plans with specific practical steps. It can be applied to development, design, and planning projects and identify potential funding sources for projects.

The 3-Phase Approach to Charrette

Charrette must be done in phases with each phase directed towards attaining a specific objective.

 

Each phase is undertaken following a specific number of steps. These steps are necessary to achieve the specific objective of each phase and reach the ultimate goal of the entire workshop using Charrette as one of the methods in the Working Consulting Series.

A Purview on the Pre-Charrette Phase

 The Pre-Charrette Phase focuses on developing and working with a Steering Committee. A Steering Committee is vital as it serves as the coordinator of Chafrette activities. The committee will be the one to establish a timeline and meeting schedule, as well as a preliminary list of issues the Charrette will focus on.

Once a Steering Committee has been organized, the organization is now ready to take on the 5 specific steps underlying the Pre-Charrette Phase.

  1. Issue/Problem Identification
  2. Identify and invite Charrette participants (team)
  3. Develop community relations and public awareness
  4. Assemble support information
  5. Logistics

Before undertaking these 5 specific steps, there are preliminary preparations that must be undertaken. First, there is a need to hold an organizational meeting with the Steering Committee and the Charrette facilitator to set the goals and arrange a basic schedule. It is essential that the Steering Committee must hold a regular meeting to ensure that all necessary preparations are being made.

A well-executed Charrette will set the pace towards a fun and productive opportunity for the organization to build and visualize its future.

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In today’s business environment, management consulting firms must be ready to address client challenges and needs that will transform their consensus conference pic 1business by 10 or 100 times. Tools and methods must be scaled up to ensure applicability to the widest possible audience globally.

The Consulting Workshop Series provides a good understanding of the 10 Methods of conducting Workshops that are custom designed to fit specific workshop objectives. Different methods are developed for the purpose of providing organizations the most appropriate tool necessary to support organizations to achieve their strategic goals and targets.

If it is the management’s goal to generate consensus and options regarding a controversial topic or issue, then the Consensus Conference is the most appropriate method to undertake.

Understanding the Consensus Conference

Consensus Conference is a 3-day intensive program that provides a vehicle for organizations to meaningfully influence policy decisions. Strategically, its application spans a broad range of uses.  It can be used in the development of new regulations, generating new debate and understanding, consolidating politics, building bridges between interest groups and perspectives, and removing organizational silos.

Consensus Conference is also useful for combining many forms of knowledge and a method for obtaining informed opinions.  Interestingly, the Consensus Conference provides a vehicle for organizations to meaningfully influence policy decisions, conflict assessment, clarification of attitudes, and assessing the relevance of an issue.

Approach to Consensus Conference

The Consensus Conference starts with Planning and the Recruitment & Selection of Panel. Thereafter, significant issues relevant to the topic of concern are discovered, drawn, and documented during the first 2 weekends prior to the Consensus Conference.

Consensus Conference

  1. Planning. The primary objective of the Planning stage is to determine the Management Staff and Advisory Committee. This also includes defining the scope, topic, and allocating budget.
  1. Recruitment & Selection of Panel. At this stage, the planning team starts screening and onboarding members of the Panel. Potential members of the Panel are qualified in accordance with established criteria.
  1. First Study Weekend. The First Study Weekend is the start of a steep learning curve for the members of the Panel. It is the beginning of relationship building between the Project Management Team, the Facilitator, and the Panelists.
  1. Second Study Weekend. The Second Study Weekend takes on the agenda planned by the Panel during the First Study Weekend. At this stage, there is further development of competence for the final week and shifting of control of the process decisions and facilitation to the Panel.
  1. Consensus Conference. The main event, the Consensus Conference provides the avenue for discussion on topics and issues of great importance and impact to the organization. Its primary objective is to influence policy decisions and assess the relevance of issues undertaken.
  1. Dissemination and Evaluation. One month after the Consensus Conference, a Final Report is prepared and disseminated to policy-makers, departments, and individuals in the organization. A debriefing is conducted 1 to 2 months after the conference. An evaluation is conducted 1 to 12 months after the conduct of the Consensus Conference.

Conducting a Consensus Conference is intensive. Hence, it is necessary to gain mastery of the approach to allow organizations to effectively use Consensus Conference as a tool for assessing an identified critical topic.

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Whether the focus is a strategy, operations, tax, finance, HR, or IT, management consulting firms have become a staple of corporate life. FromConsulting Workshop Series pic1 defining strategic directions to simply serving as an additional pair of hands for outsourced work, management consultants have become inextricably linked to the success of most large organizations.

However, festering underneath the myriad consulting offerings, methodologies, and tools, management consulting firms are exposed to vulnerabilities that are unraveling the consulting business model. It is the same kind of dramatic disruption that is affecting other companies and other industries.

An industry becomes susceptible to disruption when it becomes entrenched in its longstanding solutions and financial structures. Management consulting firms are not immune to the dynamics of disruption. In an industry where the basis of competition becomes efficiency versus innovation and new solutions, disruption is just around the horizon. While many consultants and consulting firms have established practices advising clients on strategies to leverage disruptive trends and technologies, only a few apply these to themselves.

In today’s business environment, management consulting firms must be ready to address client challenges and needs that will transform their business by 10 or 100 times. Tools and methods must be scaled up to ensure applicability to the widest possible audience globally.

The Consulting Workshop Series 101 provides a good understanding of the 10 methods of conducting Workshops that are custom designed to fit specific workshop objectives. Different methods are developed for the purpose of providing organizations the most appropriate tool necessary to support organizations to achieve their strategic goals and targets.

The Importance of Mastering Consulting Workshops

Consulting Workshops are tools used to maximize performance, align strategies, and actualize potentials of organizations. Management consulting firms leverage workshops as an effective way to rapidly reach decisions within client organizations.

Workshops usually last 1 to 5 days. They are typically used to gather stakeholders who normally don’t cross paths–e.g. stakeholders from different departments, different business units, and/or different regions. Within the workshop, the consulting firm plays the role of both facilitator and external subject matter expert.

The 10 Primary Workshop Methods

The 10 Primary Workshop Methods promote the conduct of a consulting workshop that is strategic and systematic to achieve its purpose and objectives.

  1. Charrette. The primary objective of Charrette is to generate consensus among diverse groups of people and form an action plan.
  1. Citizens Jury. The Citizens Jury method leads participants to come up with a decision that is representative of average citizens who has been well informed on the issue.
  1. Consensus Conference. Its primary objective is to come up with a consensus and a decision on a controversial topic.
  1. Delphi. Delphi is a method that exposes all opinions and options regarding a complex issue.
  1. Expert Panel. The Expert Panel synthesizes a variety of inputs on a specialized topic and produces recommendations.
  1. Focus Group. The primary aim of the Focus Group is to expose different group opinions on an issue and why these are held.
  1. PAME. PAME is Participatory Assessment, Monitoring, and Evaluation. PAME is basically used for evaluating and learning.
  1. Planning Cells. In Planning Cells, participants are made to learn about and choose between multiple options regarding an urgent and important action. In the end, an action plan is developed.
  1. Scenarios. Scenarios are used for planning and preparing for an uncertain future. This is basically vision-building.
  1. World Café. World Café is a consulting workshop method that is used for generating and sharing ideas.

Each method of conducting workshop differs in terms of objective, topics, participants, and time. Understanding the differences and purpose of the Consulting Workshop Series Methods will allow organizations to conduct the workshop with the greatest impact where one is desperately needed.

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Customer presents cardThe constant advancement in technology has raised the expectations of customers in terms of their interaction with companies. This digital disruption is also forcing businesses to develop new capabilities and explore innovative ways and means to deliver improved Customer Experiences.

Organizations can overhaul their Customer Journeys by embracing latest digital insights and practices. To develop a truly exceptional, breakthrough Customer Experience, organizations should work towards adopting 7 key imperatives:

  1. Develop Customer Empathy
  2. Design the Complete Customer Experience
  3. Reinvent the Customer Experience
  4. Lead the Way with Industry Rules
  5. Become an Agile Organization
  6. Continuously Improve and Iterate
  7. Foster a Culture of Collaboration
No alt text provided for this image

An organization does not need to execute all 7 of these imperatives—it varies from case to case depending on the circumstances, market, and customer requirements.

Let’s, now, discuss the first 4 imperatives in further detail.

Develop Customer Empathy

Many firms use surveys and face-to-face interviews to gather firsthand customer insights to enhance their Customer Experiences.

However, when designing Customer Journeys, in addition to customer data, companies need to understand their customers’ behaviors deeply and put themselves in their customers’ shoes. This entails knowing the complexities the customers face during various journeys and developing new ways to understand Customer Journeys—for instance, by making researchers accompany customers while shopping, by asking customers to report their activities and provide feedback as they interact with various offerings, and involving customers to provide their input on early versions of proposed offerings.

Design the Complete Customer Experience

Most people consider that design pertains only to good artwork, outlook, and appearance of products. However, it involves not just the look and feel of a product but also the way it operates. To render breakthrough Customer Experience, companies need to fundamentally shift the way design is perceived—not just the user interface design rather designing the overall Customer Experience.

Great Customer Experience design encompasses crafting every interface the customers have with the provider from the minute they consider a purchase. It warrants enrolling all people that can make a difference to the customer (especially from the operations and IT units), mapping out customer touchpoints, and transforming fundamental systems and processes.

Reinvent the Customer Experience

Improving current Customer Journeys enables achieving incremental cost reductions and quality enhancements. However, to improve Customer Journeys there is a need to shift the way Customer Journeys are perceived—from merely addressing the issues in a Customer Journey and streamlining a process to completely transforming the entire Customer Experience.

This should be done by carefully deliberating on and thoroughly analyzing all journeys from a customer’s perspective, drawing inspirations and studying benchmarks from other industries, and addressing customers’ needs.

Lead the Way with Industry Rules

Financial institutions are, to this day, quite cautious of utilizing technology to verify customers’ identification documents for deposit account opening. Compliance teams at these institutions often resist the efforts to transform customer account opening journeys, as they exercise extreme care to ensure regulatory compliance. Some banks make the customers fill their applications online but ask them to visit a branch with the completed paperwork, resulting in a cumbersome Customer Experience that is no longer acceptable as we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Leading organizations strictly adhere to laws but demonstrate to the regulatory authorities how technology has helped them break the status quo surrounding regulatory compliance and develop innovative solutions to manage risks and compliance better.

Interested in learning more about the other imperatives key to developing a breakthrough Customer Experience? You can download an editable PowerPoint on Breakthrough Customer Experience (CX) here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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customer buyingDigital-savvy startups are disrupting markets and threatening conventional businesses.  They are doing this by utilizing technology to offer new products and services and providing tailored yet uncomplicated experiences for their customers.

Likewise, large traditionally-run firms will have to keep evolving their Customer Experience approaches to secure additional avenues of revenue and to stay competitive.  To accomplish this, they will need to develop capabilities to effectively utilize insights on customer preferences and design offerings as per the customers’ preferences.

Many organizations, today, are undertaking Digital Transformation programs to improve their Customer Experiences.  However, a majority of these Digital Transformation initiatives fall short of securing their maximum value potential due to focusing only on improving specific touchpoints instead of confronting the entire customer journeys—spanning across several departments and channels.

To make their Customer Experience sustainable and to become Customer-centric Organizations need to clearly transform their ways of doing business, operations, and employee behaviors.  It is critical to improve these fundamental support processes before embarking on initiating any Customer Experience optimization initiatives.

Customer Experience optimization facilitates in gaining more satisfied/paying customers, additional value, and better retention rates.  Research reveals that the companies that have higher Customer Satisfaction levels can achieve four times growth in value compare to those that rank lower in Customer Satisfaction.

Customer Experience (CX) Approach to Value Creation

The following pragmatic 5-phase approach to Customer Experience Management and Value Creation is of great benefit to organizations aspiring to enrich their Customer Experience, achieve clear-cut differentiation, and capture the most potential value:

  1. Understand What Customers Value
  2. Simplify and Streamline Offerings
  3. Link Customer Value to Operational Drivers
  4. Focus on Most Important Customer Journeys
  5. Adopt Continuous Improvement (CI) Thinking

Let’s now delve deeper into the first 3 phases of the approach.

Understand What Customers Value

Ascertaining the key drivers of Customer Satisfaction is the foremost step in improving Customer Experience.  A flawed approach—that many companies still employ—at the onset of a Customer Experience optimization initiative is to reduce costs associated with internal processes and exploring customer pain points.  This doesn’t assist in maximizing Value Creation.

Customer-centric organizations, on the other hand, devote their time in developing a clear understanding of what really matters to their customers.  This helps in deciding where to focus, rationalizing their processes, and creating new experiences for the customers to generate additional value.

Great Customer Experience necessitates much more than just satisfactory interactions.  Customer Satisfaction should be mapped along the entire customer journey—spanning multiple functions and channels—as customers use various channels to communicate with companies before making a transaction.

Simplify and Streamline Offerings

Alongside rationalizing the processes, it is equally important to carry out a detailed analysis of the brands, offerings, and price structures is essential to tap value from Customer Experience.  After all, even the most pleasing Customer Experience cannot offset an unpredictable or exorbitantly expensive product.

Once these fundamentals are in order, organizations should investigate which interactions and Customer Journeys carry the most significance in a Customer Experience; evaluate how the organization is rated in each journey; identify and focus on the operations that need to be overhauled to improve the overall Customer Experience.

Link Customer Value to Operational Drivers

Technology and customer input provides the stimulus to streamline offerings and Customer Experience.  However, the real value comes from linking the Customer Experience to core operational processes.  Seeing journeys from the customer perspective aids in focusing on what they need and linking internal processes, structures, and KPIs to customer facilitation.

This necessitates deeper insights on elements that are of most value to the customer across a journey, pinpointing drivers of business costs and revenues, and—most importantly—inculcating the right mindsets across the organization.  This detailed evaluation of customer journeys facilitates in determining operational improvements that bear the most positive effect on Customer Experience.

Interested in learning more about the other phases of the approach to managing Customer Experience?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on the Customer Experience (CX) Approach to Create Value here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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