The following list represents the Key Service Objectives (KSO) for the Appleton Greene Value Innovation service.
The purpose of this service objective is to help companies rethink marketing, and rethink customer. Marketing is one of the most misunderstood management disciplines; it is often equated with selling and advertising. Traditional marketing views customers as essentially a source of revenue and profits. As a result, companies tend to focus more on their products, services, and technologies, and are more inclined to conduct business on their own terms than make allowance for customer preferences. In today’s interconnected, digitally empowered, global world this company-dictating-to-customer attitude could have deleterious consequences on a company’s long term health. Today’s customers are more educated and increasingly unwilling to be passive recipients of what companies decide is best for them. They have a voice and want to be heard, they want to have a say in the types of products, services, and communications that are targeted at them. Consequently, there is a need to rethink marketing from being product-centric to customer-centric. The goal is not push products and services at customers but to serve them. Customers are not mere wallets who have to be won at the expense of competition but collaborators and co-creators of value. A number of case studies and examples will be provided from a variety of companies, industries, and countries to help illustrate how the leading exponents of marketing treat their customers as assets, and how they actively invest in listening, engaging, and responding to their customers.
The purpose of this service objective is to help companies understand the importance of seeing the world from an external, customer-centered lens, as opposed to an internal product/service-focused lens. Customer value and experiences are always designed for specific market segments and target markets, never for a general market, because one size doesn’t fit all. Consequently, value innovation must begin with a deep understanding of customer needs and behaviors. Companies need to step out of their own operating frames and step into the shoes of the customer. The crucial issue is not what products and services companies can offer, the crucial issue is how customers use the myriad of products and services offered to them to make their lives better, easier, and simpler. Consequently, value innovation focuses on how companies can make the lives of customers in selected segments and target markets better, easier, more convenient, and more satisfying. Concepts, methodologies, and frameworks that companies can use to step into the experiential world of the customer will be presented and explained so that participating executives can put aside their own biases and preconceived notions and focus instead on understanding the broader context of customers’ lives and/or business customers’ enterprises.
The purpose of this service objective is to help clients relate to the strategic management of customer value and customer experience as a structured business process. Compelling customer value and experiences do not happen by accident; they are intentional, the result of investments in time, money, effort, and people by companies to fulfill a wide variety of functional, economic, emotional, and aesthetic customer needs. In order to achieve this goal, and as with any business process, a structured, systematic framework is necessary. All companies have aspirations concerning how they would like customers to perceive them and their products and services. Customers in turn have experience and outcome expectations. The two, company aspirations and customer expectations, can often conflict. Consciously and systematically designing value enables companies to engage with customers in such a way that potential conflict is either avoided or minimized, and instead customer delight, satisfaction, and loyalty are maximized. Inputs from the rethinking marketing and customer insights service objectives will be used as inputs to help design targeted value and experiences that can meet, or exceed, customer expectations, and deliver on company objectives.
The purpose of this objective is to impress on clients that investment in ongoing innovation of customer experience is a non-negotiable business necessity for the future survival and well-being of the company. Today’s business world is often described as a VUCA world – volatile, uncertain, ambiguous, complex. In such a world, where the pace of change in markets, technologies, nature of competition, and customer needs and preferences has quickened dramatically, it is impossible for any company to take business success for granted. Being best at something today is no guarantee for future success; the only thing that #1 guarantees a company is a bigger target on its back. Given this scenario, the most prudent options is to invest in continuous innovation to constantly renovate, augment, and enhance customer experience, so that companies can not only keep pace with emerging competition and changing customer needs, but be one step ahead. Getting there early where customers and markets are headed is an enormous competitive advantage in today’s VUCA world. Concepts and strategies used by the world’s leading customer experience innovators will be presented and explained to inspire participating executives to embrace and adopt continuous innovation of customer experience in their own workplace.
As the old saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating; companies can claim all day long that they are delivering best in class customer value and customer experience, but at the end of the day what customers believe and perceive they have received is what really matters. Consequently, the purpose of this objective is to acquaint clients with major vehicles of value and experience delivery, like platforms, brands, customer service, digital interfaces, apps, websites, and content, so that there is minimal loss between what value and experience companies want to deliver and what value and experience customers actually receive. Even delivery vehicles can be the object of value innovation as we see so readily in banking (digital wallets), healthcare (tele-medicine), and education (hybrid and online courses). There is also the need to establish perspective concerning the roles played by humans and technology in the delivery of customer value and experience. Despite the phenomenal increase in digital disruption and how technology is used to engage customers and drive business transactions, humans are not irrelevant in the value innovation equation, especially when it comes to delivering and executing. The issue is not of replacement – technology vs. humans, it is one of augmentation and coupling – how best to combine technology and human beings to deliver the optimum customer value and experience, either remotely or proximally, across all touch points and through all phases of the customer decision making journey. A variety of concepts and case studies from several companies, industrial sectors, and geographies will be used to illustrate leading edge thinking concerning how customers consume and use value in their daily lives, and how they engage with and experience companies and their offerings. Participating executives will also be exposed to contemporary methodologies like customer touchpoint analysis, customer journey mapping, service blueprinting, brand equity assessment, and four quadrant analysis to analyze how their companies are delivering value and how best to build on current strengths and fix/eliminate weaknesses.