- How much inside knowledge you really have?
- How deep you know your customer?
- How strong is your delivery to deal with the real issues?
The digital transformation journey is complex and you can easily lose yourself looking for alternatives and going back and forth without results.
Let’s start first on what is what everybody calls digital. The business is business and this has not changed, what has changed is the context, and by that reason we have to look at it continuously.
The consumers have the control, they can change of product, brand or service as soon as they can. So to become “digital” means that you put this as first priority on the whole cycle.
How can we do that? Well the answer is complex, but one of the elements you have to take clear is the fact that you need an ecosystem or platform that enables you to:
So, user is under control and to have a platform that enables you to learn and react to it are, simplifying a lot, the two key things.
These steps are the typical steps the companies are doing, for sure in different ways and with different styles. The culture is an important component and the organizations with an innovative mindset are crossing the river to digital easily.
For all these changes we have defined:
Reporting consumers are very hungry about the data, the details and the different perspectives they want to have on a single topic. I have not objection on the existence of reports for management, but there is a limit on all of this so we should be focused on the customer and not just doing internal reports.
Back-office employees, do not use to meet the customer, so it’s important to establish a direct link between then and the customer. Ok, you have the software, the products… but in a big organizations you also have people doing management stuff and they do not deliver software, they produce reports. These guys are part of the team, they are part of the E2E value chain delivery and they are part of what your customer see from your company.
Same picture, same feelings , is a sentence I use when I look at the perspective of the reports my customer is receiving. Having the same reports internally and externally ensures me the team is aware of what the customer is seeing, and they react when some trend or data is unusual or out of context.
I do not use to ask for new reports if they are not for my customer. If I find a set of data that can be valuable for the customer, I ask the creation of such report and I send to my customer with a question:
After some months I ask again if receiving that report is valuable or not. If it is not, then I stop sending it (time is gold).
(Den Haag, Netherlands, passion by bikes)
IT consulting companies provide a wide portfolio of solutions where there are basically a discovery phase and an implementation phase. I’m referring to consulting areas, not to products that reproduce reports based on input information.
Some companies give it for free. The two main arguments are simple:
Nothing is free in this world; and you can say that a good salesman will sell this discovery phase for a good bunch of dollars simply because is able to convince the customer about the value of working with him.
Value is a perception, your clients see you by the value you provide, not by the amount of hours you work. I’m not inventing the wheel but I have repeated this basic statement more than I thought.
Look at the things you do from the “value” point of view, in short term you will deliver a better work, in long term it will enable you to model a reputation (that is a long term perception).
Concrete the terms on the abstract concept of “value” : when you save your clients time, when you make your clients to earn more money, when you reduce the risk your client faces, when you teach them; you are providing value, your client has a problem and you conduct him to the solution. This perception is built during the journey, once you reach the solution, the journey ends and the experience is evaluated by the customer. It’s About the Journey, not the deliverable.
You are evaluating an opportunity and all the different components of the opportunity are there.
The customer has a pain, you have the right solution and some technical people understanding the issue working for them. You know you can build the solution in a couple of weeks, that you are competitive in that niche.
You talked to the business buyer, s/he agrees with the solution approach and the business case is strong: with a good ROI and aligned with the investment strategy approved by governance.
Then, why you should not go ahead with this opportunity?
there’s no compelling event.
(Last week I used a the cover of a wood box of wine to build a place to store knives, recycling!!! )
A customer did that question to me; very simple question, no bad intentions behind it. He was looking for the basis.
I remembered him something so as old as the wheel: how the data to turn into information is really a repeated cycle.
BPOs and IT staff is really used to work with a volume & complexity of data that they manage with a lot of maturity, being productive information that drives them to make decisions with enough confidence.
The appearance of more complex data structures, the ability to handle the data in new manners and perspectives, the fact that things that were not measured now you have data about them, etc.
The information cycle continues running, and this new paradigm of solutions make you to be again on the start line of the cycle, so you will have to walk again through it. Consulting services will accelerate the way to walk on it.
Some notes for reminding when you are dancing with your customer procurement department.
There are thousand of more things to remind, any suggestion?
But with respect your customer, do you have the necessary credibility? has your customer confidence on your acquired commitments?
The capabilities of your company can be bad or good, but they will be there for a long time, your credibility is being challenged everyday.
I, as part of a management team and lead of a Line of Service, am in the service delivery management escalation.
In the ITIL books you can read a lot of pages about what does means, your responsibilities, expectations around the role, typical actions….
But, does the books talks about how your customer see this fact?
Your customer knows what this process means, he bought it, and he wants to be sure that he is receiving what he is paying.
So, he is going to ask you about major incidents, RCAs, improvement actions and a good list of questions to see if that fantastic escalation process works.
So, for the formal escalation, we have reports, meetings and things like that.
But I also like the informative escalation specially before meet a customer. In a nutshell:
“hi Peter, I’m going to visit John, how is everything going on?”
If you are asked by a customer about what’s going on with a problem and you do not know anything about it, his reaction will be in the second or third time: he is not aware about what’s going on. He is going to have a negative image of what you do.
But, if you are aware and you are able to inform about it with some details, his reaction will be different. He is aware you are not going to resolve any problem, he knows you can support your team, and he knows that at the end of the day there are SLAs that cover the agreement between both sides and that it does not matter if you are aware or not of this issue, but at the relationship level, his reaction and attitude about you and your proffessionality is going to be positive.