Most everyone has heard the old adage that you can’t really understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. This is so very true when it comes to working with people to influence change and to create better outcomes for your customers - both internal & external. A key aspect to keep in mind is that what you might envision as a successful outcome is not necessarily what your customer envisions. In this article, we will explore how you can gain better insights to more holistically understand your customer’s experience.
In order to know what is working well and where there are opportunities for improvement, it’s really essential to collect feedback. Without clarity on what’s important to your customer, you could try to solve a variety of challenges that really don’t matter much in the grand scheme while overlooking the top concern your customer might have about you, your team, your product, or your service.
In Lean, we always talk about “going to gemba” - gemba being a Japanese term for “the real place” - or where work gets done. This is an incredibly important concept and essential to seeing opportunities for improvement. The US show “Undercover Boss” exemplifies the concept of observation quite well as it affords company owners to experience what it is like to be a customer or employee of their own company. What better way could there be than to go and experience firsthand how your team interacts with their customers?
Use an Empathy Map
This is a useful tool for helping analyze the experience for your customers as it pushes you to look at the engagement from 4 lenses: What do they SAY, what do they DO, what do they THINK, and what do they FEEL. By empathizing with your customer through this analysis, it truly improves the relationship as it helps us focus on what matters most to them.
By listening to your customer, observing their experiences, and empathizing with them, you’ll start to embark on a journey of continuous improvement that will result in more positive outcomes built on solid relationships. Here at Adonis, we do our best to live by this philosophy as we aim to continuously improve in all of our customer interactions and we’re happy to share this perspective with you.
Adonis Partners strives to provide excellence through continuous improvement for its clients. Now that many of us are working remotely, we are placed in a position where we must learn how to improve and create excellence virtually. In this article, we will provide some tips on how to work with your teams virtually.
Take advantage of technology
Definitely put cameras on & mute off to see reactions and hear voices. Also - while it might be easier to simply focus on using Zoom, Skype, or Teams, you shouldn’t limit yourself to these tools. Look into other options such as file sharing, virtual whiteboards, and survey tools to improve virtual interactions.
Keep connecting on a personal level
While there’s no place to go physically for coffee in-person and catch-up on life beyond the professional realm, make the time to connect for a “virtual coffee hour” or use internal social media to share pictures of #myhomeoffice or #myfamily.
Clarify who does what but be careful about the “how”
Make sure you get crystal clear on who’s doing what when you wrap up your virtual meetings. Know your outcome and what “good” looks like but avoid the tendency to micro-manage individuals and teams by letting them decide how to get work done.
Engage authentically and realistically
Strive to do what you would do if you were in person - engage in productive conflict, have tough conversations - just do so in a way that people feel safe. Stick to your corporate values and continue to live by them. Always be real and be as transparent as you can with what you know about circumstances.
According to a Gallup survey conducted from late March to early April, 62% of employees in the United States said they worked from home during the COVID-19 crisis. The survey also said that three in five workers who are working remotely would like to continue working remotely. Based on these results, implementing sustainable strategies for working virtually will become crucial going forward.