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Digital Experience Scorecard: A Product Conversation

Digital Experience Scorecard: A Product Conversation

Digital Experience Scorecard: A Product Conversation

You’ll discover how customizable scorecard-based feedback from customers can help you evaluate and improve services on digital channels. This 12-minute video conversation features client-specific insights from D.G Markwell of Max Credit Union in Montgomery, Alabama. 

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com.

Rebuilding Customer Confidence Post-Pandemic

Rebuilding Customer Confidence Post-Pandemic

Rebuilding Customer Confidence Post-Pandemic

In the months since the health crisis shuttered the country and the world, business leaders faced unimaginable service challenges to keep their operations open when physical doors were forced closed. This called for clear thinking and operational creativity, especially for those businesses providing ‘essential’ services.

With service continuity well established, the hard work has only just begun. 
The customer mood is shifting. Customer confidence is low. Impatience and frustration are high. Customers are feeling the angst over service limitations and compromises, which they feel forced to accept. Will their patience expire? Is their loyalty at risk?

Meanwhile, your competitors are busy planning ways to meet their needs. Absolutely nothing could be more important right now than renewing your commitment to service quality and customer experience.

We offer business leaders the following three service-centric tactics to begin the process to re-prioritize commitments to customer experience:

  • The first is called Care Queries. Employees on the front lines of call centers, drive-up services and even limited in-branch locations should be trained to ask at least one service query, and to relay customer comments to management; i.e., ‘I hope you know we care about you! We’re asking customers if there is one thing, one need, one suggestion that would ensure we keep your trust in us through this time?’
  • The second is Electronic Scorecards. It goes without saying, service quality is going to need new definition, new priorities and new delivery mechanisms in 2021. Scorecards are a type of development insight that seeks to know whether you’re getting it right, getting it wrong or getting into trouble. Scoring your digital experience, uniquely from your branch experience, delivers channel-based discoveries.
  • The third is Virtual Focus Groups. If your customer insights efforts, to date, have never used focus groups, now is certainly the most video-conference friendly time to attract customer participation. Best of all, development of focus group research can be highly customized to your business needs and priorities. Virtual focus groups present endless possibilities for collecting customer insights.

Qualitative research has never been more relevant and valuable to business leaders. Center for Practical Management can help with custom development solutions aimed at helping leaders achieve alignment to new customer-experience priorities.

Call your Performance Partner today, or visit www.cf-pm.com/contact-us/

enter for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

The Relationship Between Adaptability and Age

The Relationship Between Adaptability and Age

The Relationship Between Adaptability and Age

​Multiple generations in your workforce can create challenges around communication, especially when communication is now remote and dependent on technology. How many generations do you have in your workforce? Have pandemic-driven changes made you curious about the relationship between adaptability and age? 

We define the generational segments, their willingness to adapt, and their comfort level of technology and communication in the following way:

  • Traditionalists: For the most part they are Foreigners in a Foreign Land when it comes to technology. They prefer communication face to face, in-person and adapting to new technology (like video conferencing) may prove overwhelming. 
  • Baby Boomers: They can be described as Digital Immigrants. They have adapted quickly to technology, albeit with some struggle. They know to keep up with younger generations, they need to be willing to adapt. Their preferred method of communicating is usually by phone or in person. 
  • Gen X: We refer to them as the Second Generation of Immigrants in the digital age. They weren’t born with the all the technology available today, but it was introduced to them at a young age and they know the language. New technology is second nature at this point. Email is their go-to communication option.
  • Millennials: Essentially, they are Digital Natives. Technology has been a part of their lives from birth and they are able to adapt to the “newest” and best when offered to them. Their preferred communication is text and instant messaging.
  • Gen Z (Zoomers): What about Gen Z? If Millennials are Digital Natives, what does that make Zoomers? Let’s call them Womb Zoomers: born with a cell phone in their hand. They prefer to communicate through social media platforms and FaceTime.

How are you acknowledging and supporting each generation as it adapts? We recommend that managers demonstrate empathy and use these questions during touchbase meetings with employees:

  • What is your preferred communication method?
  • When some or all of us are remote, what challenges do you personally experience?
  • Which of our technology solutions do you enjoy using? How did you learn to use this solution? 

Be sure to keep as many communication channels open as possible when managing remote teams.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Why I Write in Pencil

Why I Write in Pencil

Why I Write in Pencil

Recently, while on an airplane traveling to a client, a seatmate (before the times of social distancing) asked about the #2 pencil in my hand. Why don’t I use a pen? What about a mechanical pencil? What’s the deal – are you just a “kid at heart?” 

I pondered these questions for several days. The truth is I write with a pencil because of the following: 

  • I make mistakes. I often do.
  • I can be wrong. I sometimes am.
  • I change my mind. I get to do that.

In the year of 2020, using a pencil was certainly an advantage. None of us could have anticipated how our organization’s strategies and tactics would have to adapt and shift, and how rapidly.

A nimble company can be defined as one that reacts and responds appropriately to a changing environment and remains viable and successful. Consider the following three aspects for your leadership and agility: 

  1. Technology and Tools – Are you able to adapt your use of technology and tools to deliver customer value quickly and incrementally when the current delivery models change? An agile leader invests when and where it’s appropriate to meet the needs of customers and colleagues.
  2. Systems and Processes – Are you continuously evolving and improving the work group, even when nothing is changing? A nimble leader makes quick decisions (even if he/she needs a pencil later) to support the prioritization of projects that continuously improve systems and processes.
  3. Culture and Leadership – Are you leading your work group in ways that are consistent with your values and that of the organization? Does your team know what you stand for? And, most importantly, do you trust the team’s ability to do the work based on the understanding of vision and values? You won’t know if you’ve made a mistake and you won’t know if you’re wrong, unless you make it safe for team members to speak their mind. 

Writing with a pencil allows you to live out truths about your leadership. The pencil allows you to correct mistakes and to shift your course when changes occur. 

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Finding Clarity After Business Disruption

Finding Clarity After Business Disruption

Finding Clarity After Business Disruption

Organizations face business disruptions on a regular basis. These disruptions commonly occur in the form of mergers, acquisitions, and organizational restructuring. Sometimes they occur as a result of a natural disaster, or even a global pandemic. The key to rebounding from a business disruption is having skilled leaders who can effectively shine a light on expectations.    

The first thing leaders discover during any business disruption is that their employees crave an insatiable thirst for information. They want to know that what they’ve been told is still current and accurate. They want you to know that not knowing is stressful. Above all, they want to know the performance expectations during and after the disruption. 

As managers, you have the responsibility of guiding team members through a disruption with positivity for growth and development of skills like resiliency and resourcefulness. Your priority role through the disruption is to return your team to peak productivity and performance as quickly as possible. 

Transitioning from a state of business disruption to a state of productivity and performance can be achieved with best practices for Clarifying Expectations:

One-on-One Touchbase conversations. Workforce surveys consistently say that employs value time with their manager as the most important factor in their performance and engagement. Consistency of these conversations must continue through a business disruption. Managers need to be ready and willing to field tough questions in times of increased worry, stress, anxiety.

Performance priorities and goals. Employees tend to rally during a disruption that is communicated effectively. However, if the duration of the disruption extends beyond anticipated duration, without clarification of priorities, employee engagement and performance will suffer. Short-term performance priorities and goals are recommended, updated regularly at team meetings. 

Team inclusion in solutions. Open dialogues about challenges and impacts of the business disruption become a tool for engaging employees in being a part of the organization’s success story. A team brainstorms should follow the productivity model of a) identifying opportunities, b) prioritizing solutions, c) creating an action plan. Including employees when preparing for the next business disruption is essential. Employees feel valued when they are utilized in crafting strategies and solutions to return to productivity and performance after a business disruption. 

Clearly, one of the most valuable outcomes of any business disruption is discovering talent on your team who demonstrates remarkable resiliency in times of stress. Future leaders emerge. A pleasant surprise for many organizations during business disruption; employees step up to encourage others and focus teams on service over stress.

We encourage managers to embrace the role of lighting the path that helps employees stay focused on growth and development. Something that only a business disruption uniquely creates.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Staying Connected While Staying at Home

Staying Connected While Staying at Home

Staying Connected While Staying at Home

Many of us are well into our second month of social distancing, which may include working remotely. While expected to complete job duties in new ways and continue to manage our teams effectively, we may now have other responsibilities on our plate. We may also be responsible for  homeschooling, meal prepping and entertainment for our family, children and pets. While working from home can be successful, it takes a skilled leader to stay connected to their team members and keep them engaged and motivated.

Understanding the benefits and pitfalls of working from home is important when communicating with our teams and supporting them remotely. Effective managers recognize everyone’s situation is different. Here are some questions to ask when gauging how productive individuals on your team may be while working from home:

  • Does the employee have the technology to work remotely? (equipment and access)
  • What distractions might hinder the employee’s ability to complete his/her job duties? 
  • What does the workspace look like?
  • How will the employee stay emotionally connected to the team?

Center for Practical Management offers the following tips for managers to engage employees and connect with them:

  1. Visual is Vital
    • If members of your team are expected to video conference with clients or peers, it’s important that their background be minimal and professional, their audio and video capabilities sufficient, and that you practice with them before they are deliver a meeting to a client or prospect.
  2. Virtual Socialization is Imperative 
    • Many of your us  have close friends at work. Encourage your team to virtually connect to these people and do this with your team also. This could be a virtual coffee break or happy hour, or lunchtime “meetup.”
  3. Preparation is Critical  
    • A virtual meeting requires better preparation and more skilled facilitation. Send out an agenda and any pre-work in advance of the call. Print your materials. Create a list of participants so that you can take a “roll call” at the beginning of the call.

Social distancing doesn’t have to lead to emotional distancing. We can keep our teams connected, engaged and productive even when we aren’t all working in the same location. We’d love to hear what you’re doing with your teams to ensure they feel supported and connected while working remotely?

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com