IT retail support division of a large international credit card company.
When a retailer’s credit card services are down, they’re losing money – by the minute. In addition, retail hacking events are on the rise and covered heavily by the press. It was established that customer expectations were not unreasonable, but communication was vital to manage expectations. When techs had no power to make decisions, they hesitated to contact customers. This lack of communication drove frustration. This client needed to streamline its cumbersome IT service systems to better meet the needs of retailers around the world. Where did this company turn to for ideas? Their customers. And their employees.
Rather than focus solely on IT services, Helicx first help the client establish a detailed map of the every touchpoint between the customer and the retail services group. From inception through regular usage. This map highlighted several areas outside IT services that were opportunities for customer experience enhancement.
Then we isolated the full Ecosystem of touchpoints once a ticket entered retail services, focusing specifically on crises management.
Organizational transformation had to start with leadership. A strategy workshop created a departmental promise that aligned directly with the overall corporate promise. These standards were set at the top and communicated throughout the organization so everyone was working to the same values.
From this, an organizational employee development program was launched, first with management who then trained the employees. Honesty was the first platform instructing employees to be honest with customers – even if there was a problem. A policy of not over-promising was established. Then the teams were trained to consider each case as a personal friend and treat them as such throughout the process. This mindset created “protective” activities where employees worked hard to look after their cases. Employees were trained to be “intrapreneurial” and seize opportunities to exceed customer’s expectations. All are encouraged to make decisions for themselves (based around documented procedures and values), rather than wait to be told what to do, providing a faster response time for customers.
Since this new customer experience focus was established, results have been strong:
Customer: A manufacturer of large emergency vehicle equipment primarily sold to municipalities across the country and soon to be expanding into export markets.
Our client’s main competitors were much larger companies with more resources and higher efficiencies of scale. Since their product was well known for higher quality, they were often invited to pitch RFPs, expending substantial effort into winning the business. A political or management committee, based on the recommendation of an RFP process owner, made the final decisions. Since these owners had little RFP process experience, often the recommendations were being driven by price. Soon they realized they were being included for the purpose of rounding out the RFP field. So significant sales effort was being expended with very little chance of winning—and more often resulting in a loss. Low morale and above average turnover dominated the sales force.
Starting with an understanding of the pressures and obstacles the RFP owners were under, we recommended a campaign to become a resource for this influencer. Soon, coupling a Purchase Funnel Map with the use of inbound and content marketing, the client slowly became the source of the RFP specs for many RFP owners, making their jobs easier.
Sales increased 125% over a four-year period, sales teams became more effective by adopting a helping strategy and retention rose dramatically.
Customer: Overseas operations for a large quick service restaurant chain.
Customers expect more today. This is true around the world. A major quick serve restaurant discovered they could see substantial increases in sales, higher customer satisfaction as well as employee engagement simply by engineering that experience at every customer touchpoint.
Customer Experience Design is not just changes in how employees interact at the store level, it’s a revolutionary transformation in how an entire company thinks and acts.
Like most companies, the client was focused on store-to-store operations and systems in their UK markets, dynamics in menu offerings and marketing efforts. As a result, customers were often placed into general demographic age categories and no single experience stood out from the competitive options available in fast food.
We began by helping the management team realize the entire organization’s focus needed to shift from inside out to inside in: starting with the customers’ needs. This was easily accomplished once they heard what customers had to say. A series of in-depth interviews with customers began to reveal that customers were actually satisfied buyers, but they had developed no emotional connection with the individual experience of dining in these restaurants. The client began to understand customers’ unconscious behaviors and the emotions and attitudes that drove these behaviors.
With the customers’ perspective, we also conducted a Customer Ecosystem Workshop to identify gaps in customer experience in order to design processes to reinforce the key emotional needs the customers felt, while at the restaurants: fellowship/closeness, good cheer and positive energy.
This understanding brought alignment and clarity to the company’s direction, allowing them to create a vision all employees could get behind.
To consistently evoke the emotions customers needed, the team began to adapt existing processes toward being real with the customer, delivering food customers crave and a warmer, cozier décor.
We trained employees to leverage the customer motivations to begin to connect on a personal level. Menus were slimmed down, but additional varieties were added among favorites.
Restaurants reported a 46% increase in sales and a 22% improvement in customer satisfaction. More importantly, employee engagement and satisfaction also started to rise.
Due to the complexity of their product offerings, this client has an extremely long sales cycle. To make matters worse, the purchase channels are complex and varied for varying sized hospitals. Their goal was to influence the sales cycle by leading the scientific conversation, improving brand recognition, and converting more leads online.
Two different types of buyers. Administrative Buyers seek to lower costs. They are measured by how much they save. Director Buyers seek to optimize outcomes and are driven by value.
Two different approaches messaging platforms. Education was required to help Administrative Buyers learn the advantages of buying value to move client away from discounting. Directors were educated in the higher level outcomes for patients.
Blogging became the backbone of the inbound tactics, providing thought leadership in a non-biased manner.
We developed a content calendar and leveraged our blogging writers to effortlessly create optimized blog posts for approval by the client. Blogs were then shared through social channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
In combination with the blog efforts, we utilized our keyword software tool and strategists to help boost search rankings. Eventually this allowed Client to shut down the AdWords campaigns, where they’d been paying upwards of $5,000 a month.
Email became another driver of traffic, especially from trade editors, publishers, and influencers.
Other tools used:
|of marketing qualified
leads generated through
|increase in organic
within 8 months
social media following
within 8 months
Client: We were selected by this business services organization to help bring a new approach and professionalism to their 40+ sales team.
This company invested in a traditional sales training program over several years, yet the tactics seemed to produce lackluster results. In addition, industry sales people turnover in this highly competitive market was nearly 60%. This company was growing, but needed to ramp up new reps more quickly while developing specific sales skills for the existing reps more productive in a changed industry landscape. Under pressure to produce, many of the branch managers had attempted to implement their own different training programs, cobbling together techniques from books and seminars.
The traditional efforts were to spend time and energy on lowest performing sales people to try to make them more effective. As a result “so-so” sales people were slowing beginning to lag, with the mindset: “If they don’t have to do it, why do I.”
Top performers quickly became disengaged due to the nature of the sales organization and turnover was highest among this group.
Experience has shown us a Customer Experience driven sales effort, continually reinforced, not only effectively increased sales productivity but also resulted in a decrease in rep turnover.
We spent time in the field with sales, operations, and the marketing department within the company to understand the current processes. Then we spent time with a few of the company’s customers gaining a understanding of their current needs and obstacles to purchase, so we could understand whether there was value to the services offered.
During a three-year period, revenues increased over 40% with at least some portion being attributed to the Story Selling changes. While retention was still difficult, the client’s numbers were significantly better than the industry averages.
Transitioning from an insurance and annuity provider to a comprehensive financial services organization, this financial services company needed to restructure the sales process used by the field representatives.
Most consumers have very little knowledge of the differences between financial services companies. They are inundated with messages from a variety of wealth advisors, insurance sales people, mutual fund companies and even banks. Only a rare few consumers understand the differences and those have been educated.
With more than 1,500 field representatives, this client needed to create a new selling process that incorporated the newly minted Customer Avatars™ created by Helicx. Not only did they need to inform existing insurance customers that they now provided a more holistic approach to financial services, but they also needed to appeal to a very different market of high wealth individuals. The current sales approach was successful for transactional sales, but it did not encourage a deeper understanding of what people wanted to do with their lives and how that impacted their financial decisions.
We rode along with field sellers in order to better understand the purchase behaviors of customers. Using our proprietary methodology, we built stories that touched on the issues that drove customers to change providers: the issues that concerned them, rather than built to the client’s product offerings.
Then we built out a program with the sales leadership group and a plan for roll out to the field. We worked closely with corporate and field leaders together to develop the tools, training, communication and workshops to transfer the knowledge to the field and those who responsible for teaching new sales teams during onboarding. To increase buy-in and reinforcement, the actual training was conducted by the company’s sales management with our coaching.
Customer Avatars™ — Included in-depth understanding of how customers perceived finances as well as what they were looking for from an advisor. It was recognized that reaching a high-wealth individual with wealth manager education would not be cost-effective, however, reaching a upper middle class market largely ignored by the wealth manager population was ideal.
Customer Ecosystem™ — To gain an understanding of the behavior a buyer demonstrates as they move through their buying decision.
Story Selling Marketing — Rather than run traditional advertising, the marketing group became story writers, developing relatable stories in stages for different Customer Avatars, then leverage those stories into highly targeted content messaging.
Story Selling Implementation — Then the sales management helped train the field reps, further reinforcing their own expertise in coaching the process. Videos were created to help show role-playing situations how reps could overcome obstacles while leading their customer “to” their solution.
The company was successful in rolling the program out nationwide and the building of a referral network became easier for the field team utilizing the library created by marketing for consistent drip messaging. Since the representatives built comprehensive profiles of customer need, they became much more knowledgeable about the customer’s complete picture. Now they offered a more comprehensive financial solution, portfolios grew nearly 37% through incremental service sales. Referrals rose by 29% and new customers hit a ratio of 3:1.
Client: As a technology solutions company becomes more fragmented operationally, they needed to rely on more localized leadership to carry out the overall organizational strategies.
As leader in technology solutions, this organization had always been a high-performing organization. However, as markets began to expand, a more localized leadership became necessary. Top leadership remained responsible for the development of the strategic direction and implementation, this high level team relied on localized manages to interpret their organizational strategy at the regional level.
The challenge was that this mid-level leadership showed gaps in their individual capabilities. The managers had great experience, but new market dynamics required a more expansive shared vision in order to have the capacity for transformation and growth.
To manage critical organizational challenges including international expansion, ever-changing technology needs and constantly changing customer expectations, the Client needed to improve abilities in:
We combined a overall organizational transformation strategy development with individual leadership development. First, we executed an full organization employee engagement assessment, then assessed individual strengths, individual skills challenges, and long-term organizational behaviors. We then tailored individual training stages with accountability metrics to create multiple three-day trainings and workshops. Leaders across the organization learned strategies for communicating, providing and receiving actionable feedback, powers of persuasion, diversity development and team development principles, leveraging social behaviors as a leadership tool. Individual coaching and action steps helped to customize the program and drive individual results. Participants learned in real-world scenarios along the way.
Individual leaders saw significant improvements in:
Overall the teams showed measurable increases in risk-taking and their ability to set priorities, lead teams, and develop their direct reports.
Non-leadership employees also became more effective with 77% feeling more empowered to be a part in the organizational improvement.
The program also boosted leadership’s ability to influence others, not through negative reinforcement but by leveraging social behaviors to improve productivity.
Every manager saw positive change in the establish measurements for influence as well. They felt they had improved in their ability to influence co-workers, even if they had no authority over that person. They also noticed an improved ability to inspire, motivate and promote action.