In this brand new interview with FinancialForce, Adam Jones, Technology Strategist, Strategy, and CTO at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, discusses the importance of customer-centricity within the business and reveals the three key areas that build the foundations of true customer success.
1. Hi Adam, please tell us something about yourself.
I'm Adam Jones, Strategist at Pointnext Technology Services. We are an edge to cloud services company, ensuring we deliver outcomes to our customers through the solutions we provide.
2. How important is customer centricity to HPE?
Customer centricity is at the core at what we do at HPE and the company has changed significantly as a result. In the past, we were very much a product and a services business. We've now moved to become an experience based company, which means that we want to understand what customers require, how we can best address that through our products and services, and ultimately drive and achieve improved outcomes for our customers.
3. What are the foundations of customer success?
In my opinion there are three key areas. First, having customer context and data which can be used by your employee base. To drive customer success you must understand who the customer is and what they need. This requires clean customer data that can be easily accessed and consumed by everyone that engages with the customer. Second, the right organisational culture to be able to execute. To do this successfully you need the right management of change, ensuring employees understand who the customer is, what type of engagement they like and what they are trying to do as a business through your solutions. And finally, it's about having a technology platform that enables you to do that in an automated and seamless manner. It's critical to have a standard platform for anyone working with the customer to ensure consistency of experience and delivery. And our users need to have a place to share and collaborate wherever they reside, whatever they're doing, to drive that consistency and engagement and dynamic context sharing.
4. Can you tell us about your digital customer experience initiative
In the age of digital experience, it was imperative we transformed the way that our customers engage with us, providing a trusted digital platform where customers go first to get things done. This experience provides insight to action with intelligent search, self-serving capabilities and digital case management. We also have an augmented support experience with virtual agents that are able to help the customer provide guidance on whatever the customer needs to do, at the time of need. This is a huge strategic transformation for us to refocus all of our engagement activity through a customer centric digital lens.
5. What are some of the obstacles that you've had to overcome in moving towards a customer centric enterprise?
There were a number. First it’s about process execution and being able to drive that consistently which required a strong management change. Second, it was really around data. To build a customer centric environment, we've got to understand who the customer is, what they need, and to have the single version of the truth, the common system of record. It is crucial to remove any of that graffiti that's in place, which can be distracting. Finally, it was about process execution and adoption. Being able to measure the success of what we do every day and how we're driving better outcomes for our customers.
6. What is your biggest lesson in successfully delivering significant transformation initiatives?
To start you need a clear vision, a North Star and Executive sponsorship to describe what you aim to achieve and by when. This must be underpinned by a strong muscle of management of change. Humans tend to resist change, so you need to build up a team of champions to help you be successful in spreading the word, driving the understanding, awareness, and the adoption of the new strategic imperative. HPE built a deliberate global and regional management change team, with evangelists acting as change agents, helping to share the why, the what, and the when, so that we ensured that people across all organisations and countries were able to grasp the change and adopt it well. And finally it is about delivering results, in line with what you predicted, as business return or value will lead to further investment!