Never Stop Listening

produce shotNever stop Listening

As she’s scanning organic bananas or buckwheat kernels at the checkout the assistant at local health food store strikes up a conversation. She’s curious to know if the bananas are just for making smoothies and what the customer uses the buckwheat for. These seemingly insignificant interactions are hardly worth remembering and yet over time they spark ideas for new menu items to be introduced at the in-store cafe and give rise to opportunities to better serve her community of customers.

Good marketing starts with the customer’s needs and wants, not with the company’s emergency.

A great marketing strategy is geared towards creating lasting connections instead of simply being focused on reaching short term targets.

The gifted marketer doesn’t simply try to sell what’s in stock today. She strives to understand what her customer will want tomorrow and then creates the culture and momentum to deliver that.

If your success and profits are by-product of satisfied customers, it stands to reason that your priority is to matter, not simply to make and sell.

The challenge that many organisations have is understanding what matters to customers, and rapidly transferring that understanding into developing products and services that matter to customers.  Don’t get me wrong, being on the shop floor and interacting with customers is a critical part of marketers and leaders’ role. Good retailers still spend a day or two a week out in shops, and Terry Leahey in Tesco formalized this with every leader spending a week in store: TWIST, Tesco Week In Store Together, starting with himself.

Using Data-driven technology can harness the power of your colleagues and customers to listen intensively to customers and anticipate their needs at even more scale.

At Coop we starting a Listen Act and Fix programme where we gathered ideas from colleagues and used these to understand and prioritise problems to fix.

At Sainsbury’s “Tell Justin” was a colleague crowdsourced ideas generation programme where 150,000 colleagues could write to Justin King the CEO with ideas. He saw every idea and they were passed to senior managers to review. Every Idea earned a certificate for the colleagues and a simple thank you from Justin. The best ideas when they were implemented were celebrated through the company.

At Starbucks in USA they have taken this idea further to crowdsource ideas from customers. My Starbucks Idea created a digital portal and crowdsources suggestions to improve service/experience and lets users vote for their favourite ideas. Every idea is responded to by management and customers are kept involved in development, through digital media or you-tube style updates.  Ideas such as writing name on the cup, or even suggesting baristas taught the basics in sign language are being seriously reviewed.

Advertisements

Aligning Organisations around Transformation

data worldDigital mastery in an ever increasingly digital world is one of the key priorities of an organisation. The road to travel on the journey to making your organisation more customer focused in a digital world is challenging and one that requires alignment and commitment from the CEO, the Board and Shareholders down.

There are 5 priorities for a chief customer officer  / chief digital officer

1) Build a clear vision of a radically different future state and align it with Shareholders Board, CEO and Exec.  ensure that they are involved in co-creating the vision and understand the elements of how it works. If you need to train them on Twitter, facebook, what’s app or programming, do it so they understand a digital world.

2) Engage Colleagues in a 18m-36m Goal and develop a clear action plan. Ensure that you have a detailed and well managed transformation programme with agreed outcomes. Engaging colleagues in building this will be critical. It’s amazing how digitally literate teens and twenty somethings in a retail organisation are!

3) Breakdown fear of data and digital across the organisation. Board-> Senior managers-> middle managers -> Colleagues. Communicate widely and use storytelling to engage at all levels. Be very pragmatic and engage people in learning by doing rather than telling ( run Twittter workshops, small projects designed to deliver quick wins, training by doing.) Focus on small wins early and let people tell these stories across the organisation themselves as their wins. Align objectives and remuneration to deliver the goal from Exec down to all colleagues.

4) Foster stronger bonds between technical and business people. This is a two way process to ensure the technical teams understand the commercial imperatives, and customer solutions you would like to build, and the business teams learn to trust the expertise of technical IT teams. It will also allow you to improve data quality through showing the business impact.develop a data strategy aligned to business goals , build tools as required to deliver commercial goals.

5) Steer the course through strong Governance. Digital Transformation should be governed through the EXEC as well as relevant touchpoints to ensure continual alignment.

These 5 priorities along won’t drive the transformation but applying them is a start that many organisations who are now Digital Masters followed.

Clever Cars

clever cars 2

What can your driving habits tell us? A lot is the answer. In fact, where people drive can reveal a lot more than Google searches and this is what advertisers, startups, and car-makers are quickly realising.

For years car companies have been installing software and sensors that collect driving behaviour and location data from our cars. This is invaluable to advertisers & car companies alike.

 

Car companies argue this data will enhance the driving experience CX.  It could help to predict flat tires, find parking spaces or charging spots, alert authorities to dangerous crossings & even track criminals fleeing from crime-scenes.

Advertisers are even more excited. Israeli startup, Otonomo, cleans up and organises data for carmakers. They let drivers select the information they’re willing to share with companies in exchange for rewards & discounts – imagine leaving work late and a £5 Dominos discount coming up on your display 🍕

This is only the start. Ford estimates that by 2020 their vehicles will have 100m lines of code and Gartner estimates 98% of new cars in the US & Europe will have an embedded cyber connection.

clever cars

What about BIG data?

The real interesting part is when all this data is aggregated. With all this data, companies can see trends that are linked to other events. For instance:

  1. Hedge funds could use boot sensor data to see how much people bought when they went shopping which would show consumer spending
  2. Banks could see how many people had stopped driving to work, thus suggesting they’ve lost their jobs, and if this number began to rise they could anticipate an economic downturn
  3. 3rd parties could track trips to the police station, domestic violence shelters, STI/HIV testing centres and infer sensitive information about drivers’ health and relationships.

Autonomous cars won’t stop us… 

One of the most important big-picture outcomes here is that car manufacturers are not only hardware companies now, they’re also software companies. It’s often been suggested that traditional companies will die off with the coming of autonomous cars, but this shows they’re using tech themselves to find new sources of revenue.

People need to be aware of the level of privacy they’ll be giving away. Soon your car could know more about you than your family…

Starbucks data driven coffee

starbucks cup

Starbucks have adopted a data driven mobile first approach to making the customer journey simpler and easier in its coffee shops world-wide.

Innovating and transforming the Customer experience by leveraging data-driven analytics and technology is critical for success in a 21st Century convenient foodservice retailer. 21% of Starbucks transactions are now completed via mobile … in store at the till using Apple Pay via app or using Starbucks Mobile Order and Pay . What’s more is Starbucks processes more than 6million Mobile Order and Pay transactions a month globally.

Mobile Order & Pay is available on iOS and Android . It’s an established of the popular Starbucks mobile app that allows customers to place and pay for an order in advance of their visits and pick it up at a participating Starbucks location. Mobile ordering is emerging as the fastest and easiest way for Starbucks customers to order ahead , then pay and pick up their purchases, providing on-the-go customers a simple and quick alternative to get their favourite coffee.

The Mobile Order and Pay feature allows customers to choose a store from a (Google) map view , browse , select and customise drinks, view the estimated time the order will be ready and pre-pay the order. All within the Starbucks app, and integrated into the existing Starbucks app, and my-Starbucks Rewards loyalty programme. A simple easy way to sign up and earn Stars

PROBLEM: It’s Too popular….

The Mobile Order & pay is creating some problems, that Starbucks are working hard to fix. Customers expect not to wait at all, but at busy times the queue is building up and customers are waiting and creating a headache. Starbucks being Starbucks though is working it through operationally and using data driven technology ahead of its rivals to improve the customer experience

They have launched an AI driven Starbucks Barista where customers can text through their orders: Check out below

 

 

Starbucks are leading the way as Tech leaders in convenience foodservice, using data and technology in a way that McDonald’s , are starting to respond but need to respond rapidly if they want to meet customer needs.

 

5 ways hard-headed leaders promote innovation

retail leaders

I have known many CEOs and CMOs over my career. The best ones created innovative transformational cultures. Many tried. Some failed to comprehend the definition of the word itself; others lacked the vital leadership traits to inspire creativity and implement great ideas. Those who were adept at driving innovation and sustaining it over the long haul had one thing in common: they were hard-headed.

Their tough-mindedness came from an unshakable belief that innovation is critical to corporate survival, and that without powerful and constant change, innovation would be elusive. These trailblazers were innovative leaders, but surprisingly some of them weren’t creative, themselves. That didn’t matter because they were good a recognizing great ideas and welcoming change. No change, no innovation.

So, how do unshakable leaders create change and how to they sustain the innovation outcome?

  1. They unsettle the organization. There’s a host of companies that get things done, control performance, spot problems and deliver their budgets. But the structures, the processes and the people that keep things ticking along can snuff good ideas and block movement through the system. Innovative leaders appreciate that there is a difference between what’s needed to run a business and what’s needed to foster creativity. This ethic prevents excessive layering from killing ideas before they reach the top.
  2. They’re hardheaded about strategy.  Leaders who embrace innovation have a pretty clear idea of the kind of competitive edge they’re seeking. They’ve thought hard about what’s practical and what’s not. So the approach is not wishy-washy, but focused and driven. When this methodology brings results, employees become disciples of the strategy and the culture that facilitates execution.
  3. They make innovation a priority in the “walk” as well as the “talk.” When executive teams demonstrate innovative thinking and practices, the rest of the organization is clear on direction. This facilitates coherent cross-functional teamwork and an innovative modus operandi that encourages diverse viewpoints.
  4. They take note of what’s already going on with a view to balancing creative thinking with the discipline of assessing solutions and their implementation. The best backdrop for spurring innovation is knowledge – knowing the business cold. Good ideas often flow from the process of looking at customers, competitors, and the business as a whole.
  5. They appreciate that not many ideas work the first time, so they’re prepared to praise failure, move on, or try again until the company gets it right. From there, innovative leaders marshal resources behind a few winners and then execute like the SKY Cycle team

Innovative leaders are a special breed. They aren’t as interested in “minding the store” as they are about “opening new stores.” Nor are they shy to admit to controlling strategic direction, influencing the culture, and monitoring the process and practice that unleashes business’s most elusive success factor.

retail leaders 2

Data-Driven Customer Growth.

seven stepsAccelerating customer growth to drive commercial success through data is challenging and requires commitment and alignment from around all the organisation to be successful, but there are 7 steps that make the journey more successful

  1. Identify the commercial & customer Goals in next 18m-36m
  2. Build a clear vision of a radically different data-driven customer experience, working across digital & bricks & mortar and align across the organisation.
  3. Remove Silos of data use creating a single version of the truth, with a data strategy linked to business goals e.g. Unified View of customer data, GDPR ready and tools developed to meet commercial goals.
  4. Breakdown the institutional fear of data & digital at all levels through training & doing: it’s a tool that anyone can use to do what you have been doing better
  5. Use Data Analytics to Map & Prioritise customer journeys & personalised experiences across human & digital touchpoints and align organisation capability to deliver for customer.
  6. Identify & Build the capabilities (Process, Tools People) that will be required to transform process design from efficiency focused (cheaper) to customer focused (better simpler cheaper) , specifically putting in place an analytics capability to enable data-driven, personalised journeys
  7. Foster stronger bonds between technical and different business people. This is a two-way process to ensure the technical teams understand the commercial imperatives, and customer solutions you would like to build, and the business teams learn to trust the expertise of technical IT teams. It will also allow you to improve data quality through showing the business impact.

Using Data & Advanced Customer Analytics  to put the customer at the heart of an organisation is a transformation that future looking organisations need to start implementing now.

Transformation to ensure data is part of the DNA of an organisation takes time and a holistic approach.

Data driven Easyjet flys easy

easyjet4Data Pulse # 434

Removing Friction in the customer journey to make it easier is critical for future success, and is important as a way of telling your Brand story , particularly if you are called EasyJet. Digital transformation can accelerate this change if applied with a clear focus on the commercial goals combined with deep understanding of the customer journey .

Carolyn McColl at Easyjet made great strides at using digital technology to transform the organisation making it easier for their customers to travel, simpler for their colleagues and cheaper for the organisation. They started with a clear understanding of the commercial goal: More customers flying more often on Easyjet, and developed a series of customer propositions that made it easier to fly driven around the key hardware that most travellers provide themselves: The Smartphone.

Easyjet app developed with key functionality

easyjet2 (2)

 

1) Book Flight

2) My Flights Booked

3) My Flights Tracked

4) Mobile Check-in and Mobile Boarding Passes.

5) Option to book HireCare & Hotel.

All personalised through MyEasyjet traveller registration , that uses customer data held, (including passport, address credit card details ) geolocation of all data, previous flights searched and taken to make it easier for booking.

I have just headed off skiing flying Easyjet:

  1. The email alerts prior to travelled felt timely & relevant: adding personal information, and checking.
  2. The mobile boarding pass removes friction in finding a printer to print a boarding pass and then not losing the boarding pass as you travel through the airport .
  3. The Flight Status monitor is an easy way of seeing ahead of leaving for the airport if flights are delayed or reassurance.

Easier Self Serve Baggage Drop.

Easyjet now have self serve baggage drop in Manchester as well as Gatwick , which makes it easier and quicker to drop off baggage rather than queuing

What Friction Points Next?

TO AND FROM THE AIRPORT

I would appreciate Easyjet helping me get to the airport and then to my onwards destination. It would be easy to partner / connect with Google or Citymapper to provide live travel options on drive times, Trains/ buses to catch, or even a link to Uber to get a ride to and from the airport.

WALK THROUGH AIRPORT STRESS FREE.

I would really appreciate being walked through the airport with digital alerts that help me understand which gate to go to , the time to gate, and alerts on how busy it is at anyone time.  This technology is available and has been piloted in London City Airport by Dan Byles and the team at PlanetIT. So watch out for a digital concierge helping you through the airport and ensuring you have enough time and and not be rushed.

Eat, Drink and Shop at your pace.

I’ll even be able to order ahead and have my Starbucks coffee and porridge waiting for me as I arrive through security !

I am a demanding customer but I am really just like everyone else just more vocal.

Good Luck to Johan Lundgren , new CEO easyjet in accelerating the use of data even further to make easyjet even easier.