10 Principles for Implementation of Sustainable Practices

I’m always looking for principles to guide change…  the International Council of Mining and Minerals developed 10 Principles to guide implementation of a Sustainable Development Framework.  Test these as you start to build a more “sustainable company”.

The 10 principles

  1. Implement and maintain ethical business practices and sound systems of corporate governance.
  2. Integrate sustainable development considerations within the corporate decision-making process.
  3. Uphold fundamental human rights and respect cultures, customs and values in dealings with employees and others who are affected by our activities.
  4. Implement risk management strategies based on valid data and sound science.
  5. Seek continual improvement of our health and safety performance.
  6. Seek continual improvement of our environmental performance.
  7. Contribute to conservation of biodiversity and integrated approaches to land use planning.
  8. Facilitate and encourage responsible product design, use, re-use, recycling and disposal of our products.
  9. Contribute to the social, economic and institutional development of the communities in which we operate.
  10. Implement effective and transparent engagement, communication and independently verified reporting arrangements with our stakeholders.
By |October 20th, 2014|Business Design|0 Comments

Money Can Buy Happiness – 8 Principles

OK.  Normally I don’t think about the notion of “money can’t buy happiness” but I was doing some research on top level executives and “money motivation” and discovered this paper, “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Then You Probably Are Not Spending It Right,” written by Elizabeth Dunn, Dan Gilbert, and Tim Wilson.  While focused more on individuals I pondered how these same 8 principles might apply to executive pay and compensation:

  1. Buy Experiences Instead of Things
  2. Help Others Instead of Yourself
  3. Buy Many Small Pleasures Instead of a Few Big Ones
  4. Buy Less Insurance
  5. Pay Now and Consume Later
  6. Think About What You Are Not Thinking About
  7. Beware of Comparison Shopping
  8. Follow the Heard instead of the Head

Go figure…read the paper for more insight.



By |July 2nd, 2014|People|0 Comments

Design methods for developing services

infoThe folks over at UK’s Innovation Connect (a free service) have put together a great overview of the tools used for service (and customer experience) design.  You can read the PDF here.



By |December 22nd, 2013|Customer Experience|0 Comments

5 Steps to Better Customer Experience Management

I was cleaning out my computer basement when I ran across a picture of a whiteboard I was working on a few years ago…

So the five steps often overlooked when setting up a customer back CEM program…

1.  Service Segmentation – This marketing adaptation focuses on understanding how various sub-segments of your customer base chose to interact with your business throughout the customer life cycle.

2. Net Promoter System connected back to the service segments “critical to quality” attributes.  The thought here is to use product based tools such as Kano or quality function deployment to set up service delivery attributes and then us NPS as an early warning radar of CEM course correction changes.

3. Use a framework like Service Profit Chain to better engage employees in service execution.

4.  OK, here is where I go customer experience guru geeky… develop customer journey maps and service blueprints to identify no less than 10 key touch points and then create customer performance delivery dashboards (performance management tools) using the concept of customer connected KPIs.

5.  Track the linking of 4 to profitability (aka CX profit outcomes).

Just shake and bake….




The Branded Customer Experience

Customer experienceWhile at Capital One I was working on a thesis about how to improve the retail customer experience… a continuation of the work I did improving the De Novo experience at Bank of America during the Fleet merger (which was the basis of my Master of Science Thesis).   This  was the interview  to tee up my talk at the IQPC conference on the CES_Branded Associate Owner – placing employees at the core of experience delivery in retail.

My work at Capital One had evolved significantly from the work I did at Bank of America.  At the time it seemed “revolutionary” to apply Six Sigma and basic product development concepts to re-engineering the customer experience by working back from a “target brand promise” and translating that into service delivery requirements via a Kano Chart to train employee and help prioritize projects.  An example of my team’s work is the kano chart included in the attached presentation on the Six Sigma Enabled Merger.

I should also mention that the foundation of branded customer (and associate) experience thesis is really rooted in the service profit chain model and that the folks at Joe Wheeler’s Service Profit Chain Institute were invaluable resources during my decade in banking.



By |September 22nd, 2013|Customer Experience|0 Comments

Service Design and Innovation from The Guardian

Design Golden MeanA while back, the British newspaper The Guardian released a ten page supplement in co-operation with the Service Design Network.   The Guardian has produced a supplement themed on Service Design and Innovation in partnership with organizations from the Service Design and Innovation markets. Included are many interesting case studies and best practices with perceivable business impact but also enjoyable and easy understandable examples. 10 Pages,  350.000 copies…. great stories!

Here’s the link to the content.

Show me the money!

Bad service goldenmeanOne of the challenges in executing a great customer experience program is to translate gains in customer satisfaction to profit. My past experience is that there is an appropriate optimization between driving net promoter scores and cost-to-serve and lifetime customer value. I believe the best CX transformers blend art, science, and profit understanding to make the choices needed in where to focus and by how much. I was looking for a primer on the profit mechanics of a great customer experience and ran across Brett Whitford’s white paper – Measuring the Financial Cost of Bad Service is a great read on how to approach the value and ROI of a customer experience program. Enjoy!

What Santa Can Teach You About Leadership

Santa goldenmeanWow… I never knew that Santa and I had so much in common – in terms of leadership philosophy. What Santa can teach you about motivating employees. Check it out!

7 Insights on Customer Love

Love GoldenmeanI was having a deja vu moment yesterday. I’m on the road this week helping a client out with a customer experience transformation and we were chatting about two new powerful tools in the transformation arsenal – customer experience mapping (aka experience flows) and service blueprinting. Both of these have their roots in classic business process design with a little user centered experience and market insights thrown in, but there is a danger…

The dark side of these tools is that folks forget that experience = emotion. Have you ever tried to map emotion?

Back about 10 years ago the folks at DuPont asked me to develop an six sigma framework for improving product innovation, sales, and marketing by integrating systems thinking and creativity tools. Why? To get back the art and soul of the work.

So, as you apply new tools to designing a great customer experience transformation, consider asking the empathetic, “how does it feel”. Bring the art along with the science.

I was reminded of the great article by Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi, called “The Law of Love”.

Brands have become victims of the ‘Attention Economy’, where everything competes for attention and nothing gets it: too much information, repeated too often and broadcast too loud.

The relentless process of commodification is turning what we truly value about products and services into the commonplace. It is a process that
erodes distinctions, rapidly cycles through innovations and pushes for higher standards of performance and quality because that is what everybody else is doing.

When Starbucks sold more than 25 percent of the US$1.3 million total sales of ‘Genius Loves Company’ with Ray Charles, it started a landslide
of copycats. Vive la difference for Starbucks as a non-traditional music retailer? Only for as long as it took Kmart to push its own runaway hit, the R&B gem ‘Usher Rarities’. And others are in hot pursuit.

The inevitable result? Pressure on margins and on price at the very time consumers are proving more demanding, less loyal, profoundly cynical and tough to convince of anything. Young moviegoers text thumbs-down before the final credits roll. The result – empty seats.

Most people know there’s a problem, but not what to do about it. My advice is to get your nose out of reports and statistics and start creating emotional connections. And the four letter word for emotional connections? L-O-V-E.

Here are seven insights that show the role Love was born to play…

Read the rest of the article and learn more at the online self-development course. If you only have a few minutes, look at the “Lovemarker” framework on page 4 of the article and think about how well your brand, customer experience, and sales and service delivery match the language of intimacy, the senses, and mystery as well as the “classic” language of performance, trust, and reputation.

Forget “like” on Facebook… go for the LOVE!

The recipe for a CX project

I’ve had my head down focused on documenting new workshops for NPS implementation, customer journey mapping, service blueprinting, and using SERVQUAL for service performance management.

As I mentioned in an earlier post , I have a backbone framework I like to use for doing a CX or service improvement project and I like to think it’s pretty solid. However, if you are a small to medium business and want to get started on improving customer experience what can you do. There are literally hundreds of books on the topic – which encompasses the subtopics of customer experience, service design, and delivery, and touches on business process improvement and user centered design. Whew, I get tired thinking about it.

However, I’ll let you in on a big jump starter of a secret. The folks at Smart Cities (Belgium) have created a customer profiling guide that walks any non CX person through the steps of identifying how to transform their customer experience. To make it even easier they have compiled all this into a new “Customer Insight Profiling and Service Design Guide“, that in fact does guide you through a well done sequence of activities to transform your CX. Grab the pdf and also be sure to click the introduction section as there are even more valuable CX resource links.

Happy CXing!

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