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Despite its double-digit growth, the company faced customer loyalty challenges that threatened its continued growth trajectory. The customer loyalty issues stemmed largely from product, process, and channel complexity that prevented the delivery of a simple, consistent, high-quality customer experience. The company’s objective was to view the experience from the customer’s standpoint and understand how different customers use their products and interact with the company directly.
In 2006, the company launched an enterprise-wide program to identify solutions and strategic change initiatives that would help drive innovation in the customer’s experience and improve customer loyalty. In order to achieve this goal, the company was committed to driving a new “spirit and way of thinking” within the company, leveraging its employees to help generate ideas to identify and support these initiatives.
Accenture began the engagement to help the company achieve high performance by identifying an exhaustive list of highly visible symptoms of customer disloyalty through a comprehensive set of diagnostic activities, including key stakeholder interviews, end-to-end process mapping, executive working sessions and analysis of customer verbatim comments. Based on this analysis, the team developed a set of hypotheses on the customer experiences and corresponding processes that had greatest frequency and impact on loyalty.
The team then tested the hypotheses through robust data analysis, which involved working with the company’s analytical team to build analytical models that helped distinguish customer “moments of truth” that either contribute to or erode loyalty. Customer “moments of truth” were defined as events that have a significant impact on the customer’s feelings about a company, and hence loyalty, and met a strict set of criteria related to timing, level of emotion or commitment and perception of fairness, among others.
Another key aspect of Accenture’s work involved the design and rollout of the Accenture Collaborative Innovation Solution—often referred to as the “innovation grapevine.” This patent-pending innovation sourcing process allowed Accenture to engage the company’s employees in generating additional insight around the envisioned customer experiences and supporting processes.
During the active pilot phase, the innovation grapevine generated a pipeline of more than 40 unique ideas that highlighted specific product and process issues, as well as broader ideas for improvement in the end-to-end customer experience. Many of those ideas corroborated analytical findings, and were selected for implementation planning as part of the recommended list of go-forward initiatives.
In addition to generating ideas for the program, the innovation grapevine fostered real-time collaboration and employee engagement and broader awareness for the company’s enterprise-wide customer loyalty program.
Through a combination of process analysis, customer interaction data insights (highly correlated to loyalty) and crowd sourcing for innovation solutions via the innovation grapevine, the team identified a list of 16 potential future projects. Additionally, 26 longer-term change initiatives—aimed at standardizing, simplifying and reducing the complexity of these key business processes—were identified thereby enabling the company to begin the transformation to a customer-centric model and improving customer loyalty.
To position the company to achieve high performance during the change journey ahead, the team developed a high-level loyalty scorecard tied to a customer-centric business architecture. This preliminary loyalty scorecard outlined four key outcomes linked to distinct quantifiable metrics that tied back to the envisioned customer experiences, allowing the company to track its performance in driving customer loyalty going forward.
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