© 2008 HARDING & YORKE not quite as good a joint ( with almost as much crackling). Here is his dilemma: to which customer should the butcher give the perfect joint and why? BUSINESS BRAINS? I once posed this particular conundrum to a group of three eminent consultants and two business leaders. They discussed it for two hours and calculated and re- calculated everything from the re- sell value through to the life expectancy of the existing customer versus the new one. They could not agree on a unified answer. What would you do? THE BEST POLICY Remembering Tom Peters and his ' every Board should have a 10- year- old on it' comment, I went to Sienna ( my 10- year- old daughter) and asked her the same question. Needless to say she thought it was a trick question and, at first, refused to answer. Interestingly she thought it was a trick question simply, because to her, the answer was so easy. Eventually, after much cajoling I managed to get the answer. ' It's the first customer,' she said. ' Why - how do you figure that?' I came back quickly. Looking at me as if I was some kind of weirdo she says: ' Because he promised!' The really sad part of the story is that no-one ( not even me) had thought about the promise that had been made and about putting our integrity ahead and in front of pure commercialism. Interestingly ( even if you got it right) I would challenge any individual giving the perfect joint to the existing customer to confirm that that is what their organisation would do as an organisation! Food for thought! Imagine a butcher in a small market town. He is an excellent butcher with a loyal customer base and profitable business. This story concerns two customers of his. THE LOYAL CUSTOMER The first customer has been coming to him for the past seven years and has become accustomed to ringing the Butcher either on a Wednesday or Thursday to place their order for meat for the weekend. The Butcher then wraps up the meat and gives it to the customer as they swing by in their car on the Saturday morning. The customer is invoiced monthly and is a prompt payer. On this particular Thursday morning the customer rings the Butcher and explains that they are having lunch party on Sunday for eight people and would like a really nice joint of pork with lots of crackling ( they love crackling). The butcher asks the customer to hold the line while he checks the cold store. He goes to the store and there, on the left middle shelf, he sees the perfect joint of pork ( with lots of crackling). He goes back to the customer and tells them that he has the perfect joint and he will prepare it for them for Saturday. So far no problem. THE NEW OPPORTUNITY The dilemma occurs when a new customer comes in the next day and says: ' Now, Mr. Butcher, you don't know me but you come highly recommended by a friend. I am having a lunch party on Sunday for eight people and would very much like a nice joint of pork with lots of crackling." The butcher says he will be back in just a moment and heads off to the cold store. As he opens the door he immediately sees the perfect joint from the day before and next to it a good, but " Tom peters once said that every Board should have a 10 year old on it for the simple reason that they have yet to learn how to lie and manipulate a situation the way we do in later life. The Retailer's Dilemma exemplifies this wonderfully – remember he has a split second to make a decision whilst we have all the time in the world." 19
YOUR EMPATHY PROPHET ™ - ISSUE 2/ NOVEMBER 2008 CASE STUDY 20 Graeme Hemsley has been an employee of WMS for 11 years, starting in the mailroom as a floor assistant and working his way up through the ranks. He obtained a CeMap and Accredited coaching qualification and has been in a management role for four years and in his current position as manager within the New Business dept for two. ' The department is responsible for the processing of additional loan, porting and transfer of equity mortgage enquiries for existing customers who had their original mortgage introduced by a broker,' Graeme explains. ' As the original mortgage interaction was driven by a broker, and the majority of subsequent enquiries are instigated by the customer, it is critical that we provide a great experience to help the customer feel at ease in what is a challenging period in their life.' The department undertook a complete review of its processes during 2007 and part of this review involved creating an environment in which a deliberately positive experience could be provided. ' We completely ripped apart the way that we dealt with and handled our initial enquiry element of the call from both a business and customer perspective in terms of feasibility, realism and also cost effectiveness. ' The " pilot" was a long and painful process to begin with and one of our primary objectives was to focus on our people and provide the tools and awareness to help them understand the impact that their beliefs and behaviours had on the overall experience. The key being that an experience is always delivered, we have the ability and responsibility to ensure it is a positive one.' As with most operations, the call process was very transactional and the first sampled calls provided feedback to confirm this. ' Whilst not a negative experience, few - if any - triggers were being acted upon to generate a positive interaction,' Graeme says. ' Overall it was a neutral experience that was being delivered.' Three months - and two reviews - later, new tools and techniques had been embedded and new staff had joined the team. However, not all was rosy. ' Unfortunately, we received the presentation confirming that the experience was still neutral and had actually reduced by a few points overall,' Graeme says. ' We were very disappointed with these results as we felt that we had put sufficient time and energy into developing the behaviours and the new script had been specifically designed to invoke a better experience!' HELPING RULE THROUGH GOOD EXPERIENCES When the New Business department of Britannia Group's subsidiary, Western Mortgage Services ( WMS), were selected to pilot a Customer Experience initiative, Harding & Yorke provided GRAEME HEMSLEY and his team with invaluable help.