Vision & Strategy Development - How do you create an entirely new customer experience?
A retailer wanted to refurbish his high street stores to reduce ongoing maintenance costs and improve store image. Discussions with the Retail Director revealed that he actually wanted to re-brand the whole high street experience to deliver increased sales and customer satisfaction.
A new strategy, the ‘future branch vision’, was developed that clearly set out the new customer, employee and business objectives. This vision encompassed both physical changes including store layout and technology, and ‘soft’ changes such as how employees would behave in the new environment.
Extensive communication of this strategy ensured that existing company plans and spending fully supported the new retail vision. Investment of £175m was then secured to fund a six year delivery programme. The outcome of the branch vision programme included an increase in customer and employee satisfaction, improved business efficiency and a 17% increase in sales.
Innovation - How can I do business differently?
Queuing in banks is boring and irritates customers. Innovative research revealed that up to 50% of the people in the queue at busy times were not themselves customers waiting for service. For example friends, spouses or children were in the queue. This had two effects on waiting customers – it made the queue seem longer than it actually was, and it placed additional stress on customers eg entertaining bored children.
These insights lead to simple innovation in the banking hall – comfortable ‘waiting zones’ were created with chairs and newspapers, children’s toys and TV. Customer satisfaction increased as a direct result of these changes. An unexpected side effect was additional sales – friends waiting for the bank's customers were often so pleased with how they were themselves treated that they moved their own accounts to the bank!
Business MOT - Is your business fit enough to grow?
A new managing director was appointed to an insurance company. He had clear ideas about how he wanted to grow the business. However he had some concerns about the health of the ‘new business’ division and its ability to cope with increased business volumes.
A business MOT was conducted with the senior team of new business, focusing on the alignment and robustness of the operational processes. The business MOT revealed a very hard working department struggling to cope with complex, patched up processes. Staff morale was poor, customer complaints were rising and there was no capacity to process additional business without paying high levels of overtime.
As a result of the business MOT, the managing director changed his immediate business priority from growth to increasing operational efficiency and robustness. One year on, 30% more business was being processed by the same headcount, and staff and customer satisfaction had improved significantly.
Implementation - How do you get people to use new IT systems?
A bank wanted to roll-out new deposit-taking ATMs. The award-winning technology was installed in six test branches and appeared to work well. However the IT department could not understand why customers were not using the new machines. A review of the project revealed that staff were frightened of the new technology – unclear how it worked and worried that it would lead to job losses.
A new implementation plan was designed, showing the staff the benefits the new ATMs offered to them. New operational processes were then developed and behavioural training delivered to give the staff confidence when showing customers how to use the technology. As a result of the new change management approach, customer use of the deposit ATMs increased from 10% to 75%.
Efficiency Review - Is your sales team effective?
A retailer needed to get more productivity from its sales team. Sales processes were benchmarked externally against competitors. Internal benchmarking of sales staff was also undertaken. Analysis of benchmark data revealed significant inconsistencies in the way sales were being made.
An assessment of the cost and income per transaction identified further opportunities to improve the quality and profitability of sales activity. As a result of this efficiency review, a series of smarter working practises were introduced together with comprehensive retraining of both the sales team and management. Sales force productivity improved by over 19% following as a direct result of the project.