Recently my team and I met with a healthcare organization to discuss transformative change around their consumer experience practices. Their CEO handpicked the attendees – and they represented all aspects of the company. Each one, in their own unique and specific way, held responsibility for consumer and employee experience. It was this CEO’s hope that by bringing everyone to the table at once, collaboratively, they would begin to understand where they are, as opposed to where they should be – as an organization.

We met for three half days and worked through unique, thoughtful experiences designed to open eyes and hearts around what it truly means to meet the consumer “where they are’” – what does that look like, feel like and how do we and our organization measure up?

At times, you could hear a pin drop as they watched short videos around empathy-driven, consumer focused care delivery. There were inspiring moments of revelation when they connected the dots between what they do now and what they need to be doing to improve inspire-phototheir consumer’s experience.

For myself and my team, witnessing this connection can only be described as INSPIRING.  I believe that all employees are committed to being the best they can be. Often, and especially in the healthcare industry, people consider their work a “calling” – and with this comes strong passion and focus on making a difference. Herein lies the sweet spot – a gold mine of opportunity for an organization.

Unfortunately, over time business units within well-meaning organizations can become siloed – they unconsciously disconnect from one another in the process of achieving their department specific goals of creating, managing and delivering the customer experience. The fall out is that the customer experience becomes lost or convoluted as the focus become more on meeting a goal than meeting their customer where they are. As well, employees can begin to lose sight of purposeful, meaningful engagement with their work.

As part of the week’s events, we met with key stakeholders identified by the CEO. This is when we recognized where the exciting potential for transformation lies. This company holds a wealth of passionate visionaries, extraordinary talent and invaluable experience in its people. Some have been with the organization for decades – some are new. They all offered candid and thoughtful insights into the barriers, possibilities and strategies they believe are necessary to enact a successful organizational pivot. More importantly, they all are ready to take the next step toward innovating and transforming their customer’s experience – both internal and external. What is needed from this point is where a great many companies fall silent.

If an organization seeks to pivot their strategy, refocus a mission and find their own “secret sauce” that will catapult them ahead of the pack, I believe it requires three key tenants:

  1. Tap into your talent goldmine – KNOW THEM:
    1. Identify and empower your key stakeholders within each business unit. What are their insights? What are their strategies for breaking down the communication and process silos? What do they need from their leadership to ensure success?
  2. Communicate  – SURPRISE THEM:
    1. Build out a solid, strategic and cohesive communications plan for the transformation – “One voice” – for both internal and external customers. Set up a governance whereby all messaging, both for your consumer and your staff, is reviewed and approved prior to distribution.
  3. Engage – MAKE IT EASY FOR THEM:
    1. Meet with the people. Walk the halls. Encourage open collaboration. Tear down the siloes. Require transparency and partnership across all business units.

Transformation can be daunting. Transformation is disruptive. But the only way you can improve your consumer’s experience and build up your brand loyalty – is by embracing change and keeping your eye on the consumer.

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