Thank you very much. So hopefully everyone can see my screen. Can you see?
Yes, we can.
Perfect. Thank you very much. So I picked out that, that image there, just to, just to, to fit in with me, represent me, I'd probably be very dangerous on a skateboard actually, but I do love all things that have a bit of speed behind them. Muscle cars and fighter jets in particular. I just thought I'd put that there. So I'm thrilled to be here. I'd love it. If you added in your, your LinkedIn details, as you go through, I'd love to connect with people. So let's get in. So I'll tell you a bit more about what I do. So I'm the chief customer officer for MKL innovation, which is an internet of things house in the UK. I'm also the lead for the customer experience consulting arm of MKL as well, which is MKL CX. So when customers hear the term IOT or internet of things, they often don't understand it. And an important aspect of what we do is really to simplify tech. And that is a key part of our strategy. So to bring the real world application into the customer's minds and their business, and to remove all the technical jargon and the complexity.
So I've designed the CX strategy for MKL. And today I just wanted to talk to you about the steps that I followed to reach where we are now. So I've got a top tip there for you. And now this is a really key piece that I do think is very important, because if you do have the right people on board from the very start, you're gonna be halfway there to landing a CX strategy that fits your business and really makes inroads into you being successful. So strategies, firstly, if you are truly customer driven, your company strategy and your customer strategy should be one and the same thing, or at least very strongly connected. So do ensure that your CEO and your CTO are on board
And that's, that's one of the most, the single most important things that you can do to make your strategy land. If you've got sponsorship behind you, you can really get some momentum going and customers need to be part of every conversation across your business. So our own MD mark, he's a strong advocate for CX and that's why we are really successful in, in, in the tech business. Cause CX touches everything we do. And it's very clearly driven by our company strategy. Now, often you aren't starting from scratch with a strategy. So if you do have one already take the opportunity to review it, what aspects of the current strategy already work and are well embedded? What made them successful? You can build on these. You don't need to just throw them away. So take the time to think about the data that you already have, what customer insights you have, what are your competitors up to think about the economic climate? Look at the tech trends. All of this will give you a really rich picture that you can then begin pulling together and pulling those threads to start making up a strategy. And you might choose to pull some of this into a SWOT analysis, either way, ensure that you've got the time and the resources and the buy-in, that's really key the buy-in to build your strategy, cuz this is gonna shape the future of your company. It can't be a side of the desk job.
So work out where you are and where you need to be. The gap between them is really important. So do run some gap analysis. This will form your plan to, to reach your future state, bring this to life with as many practical ways as you can mock something up, be inventive, be visual. People need to be able to get excited about the future plan. And I know I just mentioned that in the panel, that is really key to me. If people can see and visualize and get on board with what the future will look like, you can really build that momentum behind you and people will become advocates in your business for what your future looks like.
Participation. This is another key part of your strategy when you co-create, you need the right people along with you. So don't skip the step of trying to work out who needs to be in the room with you. As you do this, you can't sit in a room by yourself and bang out a strategy as much as you might want to. It really does need to be a group effort. So who you include will impact the success of the strategy. And when you pick the people that need to be alongside, you do think about their, their outlook because it needs to be far enough and wide enough to be able to build a future strategy. If you've only got people in the room who maybe think weeks or months ahead, they're gonna struggle with a long term strategy. So do make sure you've got the right people along with you.
And sure you have those who are customer driven and accountable for customer delivery in the room. Bring those who might be back of house, but affect customers and operations in what they do. Now that could be a legal team for instance, or compliance, or maybe it's it. It could be anybody across your business. It doesn't maybe be isn't maybe frontline, but actually has a huge impact on customers by what they do. So do make sure that those people are also well included because they need to understand where you're going so that they can support you with the processes that they put in place. Okay. So concept so often in technology and innovation, we get excited about the shiny, the cutting edge. The next buzzword, of course we do because breaking, breaking technical barriers and being first to the market, it's invigorating, but why do the tech products fail? So often there needs to be a partnership between CX and tech. And I can often be heard spouting about how they go hand in hand. And today I just want to talk more about that because I just believe it's so important. So in the concept stage, think about the customer mission, the problem that they might want to solve. What does that look like? What does it feel like? Why is it so important?
Think about what brings delight or what will make your company indispensable in your company's lives, then design the tech. It's very much not a build it and they will come. That is a very risky strategy. Of course, sometimes it works but many times it doesn't. And if your competitors are building a product around a customer and it's similar to yours, they're gonna be the ones that win and yours will become obsolete. So if you get the product right, customers buy and then the commercials begin to stack up and then you'll achieve a higher market share and the business will become much more resilient. And that's what you want to be. So, which is more important inside, out thinking where you design it inside and then put it out there or outside in thinking where a customer or customer group gives their own insights and you build and design around them.
So just a few examples. Did customers know that they needed Airbnb? How did that come about or an iPad? Where did that come from? Did customers say, oh, I just want a bigger phone that I can do something on or did apple come out with that and say actually inside out thinking, we think you're gonna need this in the future. So I think personally, and what we find in our business is there's a place for both. And you need a balance between the two because customers often know that they have a problem or they need a solution, but they don't necessarily know what tech is available out there to make it happen and to deliver. So there definitely has to be a balance and you need both
So onto the design phase. So you need to listen, listen, listen, listen some more and design very much with the user in mind, we talked about prototypes in the panel just now. And I, I think they are immensely important. So for our own IOT business, we have a, what's called a, a sandbox, which is basically a digital platform that customers can play in. So they can see how things would work, where the data would flow in how the grass work, what their data will actually eventually look like and what power they can have with the system. And once they have their hands on something or a product customers will often then tell you that they really understand it and their brain start firing and they can help you then move forwards with your idea and your design to create something really amazing that customers want to buy.
So create prototypes, allow time to be creative and be brave and, and a way to kind of capture all of those three pieces and really get into design is either to run a hackathon or an idea athon. Since I'm talking to, you know, in the technology world, I'm sure there's many people who know what a, a hackathon is, but for those who haven't participated in these, these are events where a mixed ability team comes together with the sole goal of either fixing a problem in a creative way, which ends in a crude prototype or to come up with as many possible ideas that could bring a strategy to life. And these can work so well in the tech world, but I've also run them in an airline. So it doesn't have to be when you've got developers in the room, it can just be people who are creative and want to solve a problem together. And they're fantastic at builds an engagement and creativity. Do you remember to keep a list of the ideas that you've discarded, cuz you may want to come back to them?
Okay. So a plan and the build stage. So I often see strategies built and then stuffed in a drawer or, or just put on a wall and you do want them visible. You need them to see the lighter day. So it's not make sure this isn't a tick box task. Take time to plan out how your CX strategy will land, what deliverables it has, who personally will keep it on track. You need someone to be accountable. Will you have a pilot? What does the rollout look like? What challenges are on there, who's gonna be responsible for removing obstacles and the existing strategy material. What's gonna happen with that. How does that go away? What bits are built on? How does that stop? If you cuz here you need to remove confusion. If you've got several different strategies or missions or visions around the place, how does someone new coming in know the, the current direction? So do remember to think about the old stuff too. Think about how you build your company structure around your CX strategy. Everyone should be responsible and empowered to deliver for the customer, but who is truly accountable end to end in your business.
Okay. So we're about halfway through now. Success factors. How will, you know, if you've been successful, your strategy needs to build the right and drive the right behaviors. So think about simple and clear success measures and share them upfront. Ensure again that someone is accountable for measuring them and for collecting those insights and sharing what progress you've made on them with everybody. People need to know that as you progress that you are actually moving through them culture. So every business tech or otherwise has a culture. Ours is a really strong work, hard deliver and laugh, a lot type culture. And we built the strategy with that culture in mind, the elements that we built around the strategy use the language that we use, those who see our external presence or meet us in person or see our strategy would very much see a consistent message and should be able to recognize that it's MKL when they see our strategy.
So do make it individual to you. Don't be tempted to copy or pull on off an internet. It needs to be all about you. So play with a format. Doesn't need to be a word document. Doesn't need to be a PowerPoint. It can be whatever you want it to be. It just needs to live and breathe. Think about each level and area of your business. Think about how your engineers work, how your developers engage with your customers, if at all, how your HR or your legal etc. Get to hear what the customer needs and wants. Each of these teams are very different from each other and they may all have different pockets of culture, but they should all understand how their roles impact the customer. This is really key. Anyone in your business at any time should understand what part they play for the customer, because if they don't, then there needs to be a very good reason why they're still employed in MKL.
We spent a lot of time thinking about each of our teams and then the employee journey we recruit for customer empathy and centricity. So it doesn't matter who that person is, whether it's a system architect or a technical engineer, I still want to hear all about how they think about customers. We also spend time thinking about vulnerable, vulnerable customers MKL. And for this reason, all of our team will be aware of dementia and be a part of the dementia friend program. This means if they do come across vulnerable customers, they're equipped. And that is part of our CX strategy. If you need to tweak your strategy for each team, do it with the team, not to the team, co-create collaborate, do it together. Take the key CX strategy and make sure it's applicable. For example, a UI developer knows that they code and design in a way that's completely user intuitive and make everything simple, colorful. And with the end goal for the customer to need no support when using it and that they make sure that everybody gets to see all of the customer feedback, especially it's around what the, that person has actually delivered.
So on to communicate people learn in very different ways. Life is busy, people are remote. So don't assume that the first time that you've put a message out there, that it is actually been it's it's heard and has landed because quite often it won't. We do need to repeat things. So use different channels, different methods, different times. The key point is that you are very consistent with your messaging and you can use a theme. You can use a brand, you can brand up your CX strategy so that every time it goes out there, people connect and go, ah, that's what that is. This is where we're at. Now. This is the next stage, along in the journey. Be open for feedback and make sure that people know where to go so that they can say this part of the CX stress year. I'm not entirely sure I understand it. Can you help me? Or actually I've had this fantastic idea. Who do I speak to? And can we add this in and use the tech? If you are in a technical world, use the tech to launch or communicate your CX strategy, get it into people's hands or customer's hands employee, hands, use images and videos, make it prominent and visible.
So test and learn very much a technical term, but you don't have to go full PT or big bang with your strategy. If you've got a big business with different pockets of culture, you can try a test and learn approach. You can pilot in areas. Then you collect the evidence and learn from what you've put in. So when you try a pilot, check your success measures, gather your stakeholders and run a go no-go session. Exactly. As you would, if you were putting in a piece of tech, there's no reason why you can't do that with strategy by running a go, no go. You, it brings everyone along with you. Those people have to say yes, they have to give the physical thumbs up and say, yes, I'm with you. I'm behind this strategy. It's a go for me. And if they say no, you know that those things would've tripped you up anyway, if you'd just gone, gone ahead.
So you address those and then try with your go. No, go again. Exactly. As you would, if you were putting out a product and think about those who are forgotten now, this isn't always particularly easy, but if you do forget a key area of your business or a key party, it could be that those rebel against the change and that's gonna make things harder for you. So just bear that in mind, Kate, last few slides execute. Once you've worked out your mini, your winning formula execute. This is a really key slide. And I shouldn't need to say much here apart from put your plan into action. Make sure you handhold when you first go live exactly as you would. When you put out product, you have early life support, you can do exactly the same with a strategy, make sure it lands and do and make sure that customers understand, sorry, your users understand the why the how and what they need to do to make sure it lands properly and is executed seamlessly. Remember to remove the old stuff
And onto embed. So this is really the last stage. This is where your strategy has to embed properly. So use music, use little characters, use slogans, gifts, just keep reinventing, but never lose the true meaning of the strategy. Don't go so gimmicky that people don't know what's going on. Keep it simple, memorable and smart. And again, if you are all about tech, use the tech and keep your leaders talking about it and measuring it as you embed your CX strategy. Remember to tie in with everything that you do across the customer and employee lifecycle, including the reward stage, keep that spark okay. And flex tweak your business. Sorry, tweak because your business will change your customers. Change. The landscape will change. Tech moves on. Don't be afraid to flex your strategy and to keep it relevant and real. Don't just put it in a draw, make it visible, keep it current customers, employees and suppliers should all know your strategic direction or a minimum. Be able to find it easily. And that's it for me. So I hope that wish whistle stop tour of a CX strategy and how we've done it in our own tech business is useful to help you understand the journey and some of the pitfalls and some of the tips to help you to get you started. Thank you.