Client Experience Management CEM – Lessons from John Lewis and other consumer services (Law Society Law Management Conference 2017)

Posted on: April 25, 2017
Private client lawyers

I recently attended The Law Society’s Law Management Section conference (#LMSConf2017 https://events.lawsociety.org.uk/ClientApps/Silverbear.Web.EDMS/public/default.aspx?tabId=37&id=1428&orgId=1&guid=1155d437-8a7a-467d-87cf-2c38cfd6fbe3) There were lots of excellent presentations and this blog (one of three about the event) summarises the information relating to Client Experience Management (CEM) and what we can learn for professional services marketing.

Andrew McMillan (@EngagingService) was formerly head of customer services at John Lewis (@JohnLewisRetail). He showed a video where the client service at John Lewis had been mentioned in an episode of The Royle Family.

John Lewis Client Experience Management CEM

He shared his model for the branded client experience to show that the aim was to increase profits:

  • Random experience
    • Inconsistent
    • Unintentional
  • Predictable experience
    • Consistent
    • Intentional
    • Not differentiated
    • Not valuable
  • Branded experience
    • Consistent
    • Intentional
    • Differentiated
    • Valuable
  • Greater profit
    • The goal

And also his model of the evolution of the augmented and differentiated client experience:

  • Product or service
  • Process (how easy is it to do business?)
  • Channel (how easy is it to access?)
  • Engagement (how does it feel?)

He explained that the goal of Client Experience Management (CEM) was “Experience delivered by the employees that is so consistently good that the employees become the organisation or brand in the eyes of the client”. There are 30,000 staff partners at John Lewis.

His six steps to engagement included:

  • Define
    • What the organisation wants to be in terms of personality and behaviour for both clients and employees – this definition must be created by the employees that have to deliver it
  • Measure
    • Measure the outcomes of the desired behaviours to track progress and deliver improvement
  • Communicate
    • Internal communication to regularly reinforce the personality and behaviours of the business
  • Lead
    • Leadership focus to embed and develop the behaviour
  • Reward, recognition and appraisal
    • Recognition and appraisal to report on behaviours not just outcomes
  • Recruitment and induction
    • Based on the defined behaviours
    • Assessment centres
    • Competency interviews

Leadership of Client Experience Management CEM

He warned that sometimes people and their managers are working so hard to be sure that things are done right that they hardly have time to decide if they are doing the right things. He argued that just 20% of a leader’s role was about what you do (management) and 80% was about the way you do it (leadership).

He made a strong case for the role of leadership being to model the behaviours they want to see in their employees. He said that leadership is a performance and you have to be conscious of your behaviour because everybody else is. He showed a fabulous video – screened at a leadership psychology lecture at Harvard University – of a lone dancer on a hill at a festival who is quickly joined by many other dancers.

He described the various staff engagement surveys and focus groups that were run at John Lewis. He suggested that leaders should “Hire for attitude – Fire for attitude”. He also said that “I need great people when I want them, and great technology when I don’t”. He also shared a video from the John Lewis web site with comments from all manner of staff about their roles and providing “explainer” materials such as what to consider when designing and fitting out a child’s nursery.

To maintain momentum in the branded client experience management process he suggested

  • Tell legendary service stories
  • Allow each branch to take opportunities to do something out of the ordinary
  • Encourage random acts of kindness to occur almost daily by allowing staff to “do what you think is right”

Client Experience Management CEM examples from other consumer organisations

He used the Simon Sinek golden circle to consider the strategies of some leading consumer organisations

John Lewis

  • Why – Maintain the happiness of members/staff
  • How – Provide choice, value and service to customers
  • What – Operate department stores and a market-leading web site

Virgin Trains“Be bound for glory” advertising campaign

  • Why – Every second with us is awesome
  • How – Lovely staff
  • What – Run trains, punctuality, special offers, First Class lounges
  • He told a great story where a trainspotter tweeted a video where the Flying Scotsman train he had been waiting to see was obscured by a passing Virgin train. Within 45 minutes Virgin Trains had tweeted an apology and offered him a Virgin Atlantic flight to the US to see trains there. He used this to illustrate that delivering exceptional client service was a state of mind to which the entire organisation must subscribe,

He also mentioned the customer service at First Direct bank where the relationship with the operator was so personal it was almost like flirting.

Ritz Carlton Hotels values: Welcome, Wanted, Remembered, Cared for

It was interesting that he talked about his own experience of using a solicitor for a house purchase in Dorset and recommended the residential conveyancing solicitor because she was “tenacious – just a joy to work with – and even prompted us to think about our Wills afterwards”.

Other conference highlights can be seen at #lmsconf2017 on Twitter

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