J.C. Penney Co. – Start With People
Posted on: April 17, 2013
The Wall Street Journal today reported on the low employee morale inherited by J.C. Penney’s returning CEO, Myron “Mike” Ullman, after the chain slashed its workforce by tens of thousands over the past year. Retail is not just a business of merchandising and discounts, as it has been portrayed by the media in the last week since the department-store chain ousted its former chief executive Ron Johnson. Retail is a people business as well, which Mr. Johnson clearly did not understand.
Creating a new retail platform, as was attempted with the “JCP” branding platform, requires the organization to lean on its brand ambassadors. If the transformation from J.C. Penney to JCP was executed as I’ve seen so many in the past, regardless of executive’s intentions, it probably sounded to employees as “Everything you have done so far was wrong, this is the new right.” Or perhaps, “Even our name is old an outdated, so we’re changing it.” Even without thousands of layoffs, a poorly planned and executed transformation will quickly create low employee morale. Now imagine the thousands and thousands of employees who face customers every day. What expression do you think they have on their face? How keen are they to help their customers? What is their attitude towards confused customers who are looking for a discount?Read more / Comments
“Service is Broken” at McDonalds – Ideas to Exceptionalize It
Posted on: April 11, 2013
The Wall Street Journal reported today about a recent webcast McDonalds executives delivered to its franchisees discussing the deterioration of the customer service quality as delivered by their employees. The article describes the fast-food giant’s strong position on fixing these issues and addressing the customer service issues. Comments on the web echo the same feelings, recognizing the rather apathetic - and sometimes even outright rude - attitudes received from McDonald’s employees.Read more / Comments
Interview with Lior Arussy on Exceptionalize It!
Posted on: November 14, 2012
Lior Arussy’s recent book, Exceptionalize It! is a wakeup call to stop accepting mediocrity and average performance; to stop accepting mediocrity and average performance; to stop simply knowing what we should do and instead to start doing those things.Read more / Comments
VoC is not Customer Experience Management
Posted on: October 26, 2010
Imagine a husband who tries really hard to listen to his wife. He watches What Women Want, reads Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and sets aside dedicated "quiet" time each week where he listens to his wife as she pours her heart out and tells him whatever is on her mind. He would appear to be the quintessential husband. The problem is that our quintessential husband does nothing with these conversations. He simply listens, nods his head, files what he’s heard in that back of his mind, but doesn’t act upon anything he’s heard to improve the situation or comfort his wife. He asks but will not act. His wife now calls him “idiot.” I know that many vendors and CE practitioners may take offense to this article’s title. Yet as the saying goes “the truth will set you free.” A Voice of Customer (VoC) program is but one important component in a customer experience management strategy – but it’s only a component. Too many executives see VoC as something they need to do, but not something they in which they will truly invest the requisite time and resources. Practitioners and executives should be cognizant of the fact that VoC is not the pathway to delivering great customer experiences. While such programs are critical to understanding customer needs and employee performance, there needs to be follow up action with respect to employee training, and product and service offerings to ensure that customer needs are met.Read more / Comments
Creating Effective Leadership Sponsorship For Customer Experience Strategy
Posted on: March 17, 2010
In preparation for a customer experience strategy launch, I sat down with the senior leader sponsoring the initiative ad briefed him on the need to demonstrate commitment. He in return stood up at the beginning of the meeting and announced "we are going to do this. If you disagree consider yourself fired. Any questions so far?" This is an extreme case of change management attempt. But variations of it exists in every customer experience effort.Read more / Comments