Don’t innovate…

… If the fundamentals of your business are not respected!

Anecdotes:

How to fail a new concept?

The French National Mail has made in recent years a real effort to modernize its offices : a new layout, new in-store signaling, new services, a new organization of flows and work … The whole is intended to improve traffic flow, deduce waiting time, increase customers’ satisfaction and prepare the French Mail to the opening of European competition.

But:

  • Problem of staffing / signaling: two counters opened, only one employee present.
  • Problem of behavior / training: the only employee stays at her usual workstation, without looking elsewhere, not aknowledging the queue forming at the other desk..

And:

  • Customers of the « ignored » queue then ask the employee  when her colleague will arrive, only to be told they must join the queue at « her » position … and wait again for about ten minutes!
  • Complaints and nervousness appeare: « It’s always the same thing here at the post office; nothing changes » …

How a new technology kills the customer relationship?

Take the case of this company based in Paris: a number of cumbersome procedures are automated as part of a large IT project, the objective is to secure complex transactions during meetings with clients to accelerate processes and avoid costly complaints and litigations.

But:

  • Lack of involvement of sales staff early on in the specifications.
  • Only technical training (and no behavioral evolution) of sales staff on the new technology.

And:

  • The staff are confused by the pace and the new rules imposed by the new system.
  • The staff are sucked into a « tunnel » as their attention, supposedly turned towards the customer and his needs, is captured by the technique. They are not listening!
  • 20% drop in sales after one year …

When a truly innovative technology falls asleep in a corner of the store?

Two distributors decide to set up new points of sale (POS) on their sales surface; the objective is for the first company to provide staff access to more information away from their usual work position, the second is to give clients (touch screens) access to a broader catalog and staff live incentories

But:

  • No training or explanation of the value of this new POS; no inscription of the POS in a new staff behavioral policy (to make them more mobile).
  • No registration of the touch screen terminal in a real-client relationship, so no specific and truly intuitive merchandising (terminal placed in a cold spot) and a failure to take into account the human factor (staff unpaid for transactions processed on the touch screens, thus effectively in competition with them!).

And:

  • POS always »down » (sabotaged by creating false contacts, eventually removed).
  • Unused terminal and touch screnn innovation found to be ineffective …

A real differentiation for the best:

The conceptual and technological innovations do not implement simply: making a copy-paste of the competition is bound to fail if the change does not really reflect on the DNA of the brand and its relationship with its customers; this reflection must of course be communicated well in advance to teams and a strategy of appropriation set in place.

If not, innovation will only increase the shortages of the brand and promote the competition.

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