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Customer-Centric Culture: Why it Matters and How to Measure it

Flickr_-_paul_bica_-_interiorPhoto by paul bica

“A great customer experience can only be delivered by someone who wants to give it.” – Ian Luxford, Learning Services Director, Grass Roots

During last week’s Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, Bill Barnes, Senior Vice President, Client Services and Jaci Jarrett Masztal, Ph.D, Vice President, Practice Leader from Burke Inc., presented “Customer-Centric Culture: Why it Matters and How to Measure it.” Bill and Jaci contend that the employee engagement process and the customer experience process, which are usually separate management processes in many organizations, be brought together to improve organizational performance.

The premise of this approach is that a high level of employee engagement is critical to creating and enhancing positive customer experiences leading to customer engagement. To improve employee engagement, organizations should focus on ways to:

  • Improve job performance
  • Provide more job growth opportunities
  • Enhance Talent Management
  • Better serve various internal stakeholder needs
  • Improve commitment and retention
  • Enhance customer service

A customer-centric culture that actively focuses on what is best for the customer is a critical factor in improving organizational performance. Customer centricity is a part of all organizational aspects including leadership, strategy, decision-making, operations and in ongoing job functions. It’s also important to remember that culture is:

  • Broader – it’s more than an initiative
  • Cross-functional, enterprise-wide
  • Long-term strategy
  • Motivation, focus, behavior
  • Multi-dimensional

A challenge for most organizations is determining how measure a customer-centric culture. Measurement allows a true gap analysis and a baseline to track change and assess impact. At Burke, Bill and Jaci help their clients to measure their culture with The Customer Centricity Index, which measures across these six important dimensions:

  • Leadership & Strategy
  • Messaging & Modeling
  • Employee Understanding & Commitment
  • Product & Service
  • Excellence Support & Tools
  • Recognition & Appreciation

Leadership drives the strategy and culture which sets the foundation for Who, What, and How, all of which drive and support customer engagement and business success. Employees believe the products and services are worthy and are equipped to deliver. Employees are recognized and rewarded for the customer-centric behaviors reinforced and repeated. Full customer centricity is achieved when the organization has a collective mindset of doing what needs to be done to the benefit of the customer.

Does your organization have a customer-centric culture? How do you measure it?


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Begin with the End in Mind: Communication Measurement Best Practices

Photo: Chesapeake Finish Line Tower, commons.wikimedia.org

Photo: Chesapeake Finish Line Tower, commons.wikimedia.org

Begin 2014 with the end in mind. Every successful communication plan is supported by an effective measurement strategy. Here are the top posts on communication measurement you helped make successful in 2013:

1. Six Sigma Project Ideas for PR

2. Measure What Matters with a Communication Scorecard

3. How to Calculate the Value of Organizational Communication

4. Reflecting on the Right Questions for Your Readership Surveys

Thank you for your readership and support of sharing corporate communication best practices in 2013. As we continue to build on our collective masterpiece of Starry Blue Brilliance, I’m inspired by the words of Vincent Van Gogh: “I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.” (goodreads.com)

Have a very happy, healthy, prosperous and brilliant new year!


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Reflecting on the Right Questions for Your Readership Surveys

Photo: Paul (Dex) Bica,  Toronto, Canada

Photo: Lake Reflections, Paul (Dex) Bica, Toronto, Canada

As 2013 comes to a close, it may be time to conduct a readership survey on your organization’s publications. Employee communication expert Steve Crescenzo, of Crescenzo Communications, http://crescenzocomm.com/, says that when it comes to readership surveys “it’s not about readership numbers; it’s about outcomes.”

In the attached article from IABC’s Communication World, Steve shares his recommendations for questions to include in your readership survey that will show the value of your publications to the organization. Steve Crescenzo_IABC CW_Readership Surveys

What questions do you include in your readership surveys?


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Award-Winning Case Studies: Improving PR with Six Sigma

Photo: Sunset at Lake Success, Patrick Mackin

Photo: Sunset at Lake Success, Patrick Mackin

As a follow-up to last month’s post, “Six Sigma Project Ideas for PR,” here are two recent award-winning case studies provided by Mark Weiner, CEO of PRIME Research, weiner@prime-research.com.

2013_PR Platinum Award_Best Research, 2012 CMS Open Enrollment Research Program_case study

Mark shows that research-based PR requires discipline and focused application from Six Sigma thinking. These case studies demonstrate positive business outcomes, reduced waste and greater efficiencies.

What are some examples you’d like to share?


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How to Calculate the Value of Organizational Communication

© Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar / CC-BY-SA-3.0

© Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Communicators know that effective communication delivers value to business in many tangible ways, but how can you show this value in a quantifiable way that is easy to understand?

Lorenzo Sierra of LoSierra Strategic Consulting, lorenzo@losierra.com, created a solution to this dilemma:

V=(c+e)p

That is, the value of communication is equal to the costs plus the efforts of what you’re communicating to the power of perception.

This equation is further explained in the attached article from the June/July 2003 edition of IABC’s Communication World. Sierra’s Theory of Communicativity_IABC CW

This concept was also applied to calculating the value of total rewards communication as detailed in the attached article from WorldatWork’s 2004 edition of Workspan. Lorenzo Sierra_Workspan_0204

How can this equation be applied to show the value of communication at your organization?


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Six Sigma Project Ideas for PR

Six Sigma

What is Six Sigma and how can it help you improve your organization’s communication processes?

According to www.isixsigma.com, “Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects in any process – from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service.”

I earned my Six Sigma Green Belt certification in 2004 by improving our employee newsletter. Six Sigma can be applied to all of your communication processes to help improve costs, engagement and productivity.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your public relations efforts, here is a list of “Six Sigma Project Ideas for PR” created by Mark Weiner, CEO of PRIME Research, weiner@prime-research.com

This list was published in IABC’s January/February 2004 Communication World. See attached article.
Six Sigma PR_IABC_CW 2004.

Six Sigma Project Ideas for PR

  • Reduce time for press release approval.
  • Improve media targeting (identify media that have proven reach among your target audience).
  • Assess journalists’ preference and satisfaction with current PR initiatives.
  • Assess “internal client” preferences and satisfaction with current PR initiatives.
  • Improve the ratio of releases sent versus releases used.
  • Improve the ratio of placements featuring critical messages.
  • Improve the ratio of placements featuring a company spokesperson.
  • Improve the ratio of stories featuring visuals or graphics.
  • Improve the ratio of stories that are either exclusives or feature-length.
  • Improve the ROI of events and event sponsorships.
  • For agencies, improve percentage of billable hours.

How do you use Six Sigma principles to improve communication processes at your organization?


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Measure What Matters with a Communication Scorecard

An effective measurement method supports a successful communication program. A communication scorecard can help you efficiently measure, track and show the results of your communication efforts.

For many years, I’ve used a highly successful measurement method and communication scorecard developed by Bill Quirke, Managing Director of Synopsis, at www.synopsisonline.com.

The attached slides from his presentation, “Gaining Bottom Line Impact from the Communication Audit” explain this method. I am grateful to Bill for giving his approval to share this information with you. Be sure to check out the chapter on measurement in his book “Making the Connections: Using Internal Communication to Turn Strategy into Action.”

Communication Measurement_Bill Quirke

I developed the attached communication scorecard (modeled after Bill’s template in the last slide of his presentation) for measuring the effectiveness of our integration communication program following an acquisition.

Integration Communication Scorecard_Peggy Bieniek ABC

What are some of the ways you measure your communication programs?