2022: Customer relationships face increased uncertainty

We witness sometimes helplessness, sometimes indifference, sometimes standing up against all the hardships to major riots that affect organizations, these riots are not without accompanying promises made to employees, to the team driven at the customer relationship front! The stakes are high. Whatever the changes, solutions exist, however, they still need to be effectively implemented… or: “when the saying is done!” »

By Yannick Chatelain: Associate Professor Digital / IT, Head of GEMinsights Grenoble School of Management (GEM), Laurent Mandica: Associate Professor of Customer Relations and Management, Grenoble School of Management (GEM).

Managers and tools!

Analytical tools make it possible to understand the stakes of these changes, these turbulence zones that are sometimes predictable, sometimes overcome … like VUCA, for Variability, Uncertainty, Complexity and Confusion, a “use” born in 1987 then published in 1992 in a research paper by Herbert F. Barber entitled “Developing Strategic Leadership: The U.S. Army War College Experience, Strategic Leadership Primer”, the latter will be on this occasion a new- an “official tool” in the service of managers that allows them to understand a world of infinite motion. A movement after more than two years of health crisis continues to accelerate that has now added a geopolitical earthquake in Europe that has never been so strong in this century of “peace” …

If this tool – both analytical and multiple choice – remains topical and should allow quick and effective decisions to be made, decisions that make an entire organization around a movement are necessary. has meaning. In addition, this changing world is accompanied by new changes that companies need to integrate into their thinking-disruption is an example-changes initiated by their part in concepts such as “uberization”, “Service»… far from it, however, this basic tool should combine new paradigms and simultaneously consider the five major achievements.

Five major breakdowns have occurred – among other things – in the customer relationship.

Inevitably – with an accelerating effect associated with the crisis we are going through – services have become an integral and major part of the new “images” we are talking about (cf. “Services” …) As physicist Marc Halevy explained in 2017 five major disruptions affected companies and ipso facto relationship management and the customer experience:

  • Ecology: ecological rupture simply translates to the fact that the scarcity of natural material resources the rapid acceleration under the double pressure of crazy global growth, both demographic and consumer
  • Economic networks plague all dimensions of our lives. Not just because of social networks, but especially because the network is the emerging model of all our social organizations and community, professional and entrepreneurial.
  • The Organization: it signs to ending the economic model born of the industrial revolution from 19and century, and was nurtured and formalized by American managers and economists throughout the 20th century. The two pillars of this model may live around mass expansion and price fall (debatable now).
  • Technology: the third information revolution, after those who made the transition from oral to written, then from written to printed, is now making us transition from print to digital.
  • Philosophy: Marc Halevy invites us to respond with Spirituality. Spirituality is undoubtedly far removed from the monotheisms of past and established religions, undoubtedly more contemplative or meditative, more practical than theological, more east than west.

Due to multiple impacts, the entire service repository was shaken. This requires organizations to ask themselves in depth … In fact, to support its promises, to fulfill its commitments, it is still necessary – more than ever, no doubt – that everything contributors are united, concerned and concerned about client satisfaction, whatever their position, their role, their mission. If in the context we describe a brief summary of the dynamic system of Culture of a company we only see it in the “end of the chain of creating employee / customer values” attitudes and postures that can translate to course changes, changes in rhythms, rituals, and so on. The culture and the collective are now the alpha and omega of service improvement.

To “new” ways of managing service culture.

Who says that agility, made to change direction, rhythm, ritual, manners, posture, as we can arouse it, requires from our point of view, new ways of managing Service Culture. In these times uncertainty is at its peak, in terms of health, geopolitics and therefore … economy. If there is a search for the holy grail of customer satisfaction, it can not ignore the rise of the power of the collaborator’actor of the company, of the organization “in the service” of its customer …

At the center of this reflection, in our opinion, companies would benefit from putting Servant Leadership back at the center and at the center of their reflection as Robert Greenleaf envisioned in 1970… for later ” ‘the servant-leader is a servant who is first (or in the service of)… this person is very different from the one who is the first leader… the difference can be seen in the care taken by the servant-leader to ensure that the need the most. it is important that other people are served. The best test, which is hard to do, is to ask the question; will those served grow into people? Have they become, through service, healthier, wiser, more independent, more independent, more likely on their own to serve others?

We naturally understand that around this model change, the entire system becomes irritated or can be restored to working order… even more so in the current context that is sensitive to all purposes even before attention. Thus we moved from a “service offer” to a real “service relationship”; from an “ego-system” to a form of ecosystem that is more meaningful and meaningful, servant leadership is more than ever “a lever of management but also of profit for the company” as Vincent points out Giolto in 2020.

From delivery, from delivering an offer to a customer to a real service posture, around ethics, manners, attention and purpose are at the heart of the concerns of those who make and deliver them. . Thus, ‘‘ more action ’’, one that allows for an attitude of service, which the leader-no longer charismatic self-sufficiency-causes the quality of the customer relationship and who should do everything possible to:

  • Resolving the irritants of surgery, all “these pebbles in the shoe” are all sources of resistance to change, which definitely helps to keep going, but sometimes leaves some of the pain resolved.
  • Give meaning, while respecting and offering legitimate recognition to its employees to maintain motivation, joy and commitment
  • Allow autonomy in a relationship of trust and exchange, for example “one more move” in accordance with the requirements of service quality, customer satisfaction and profitability in an indelible customer/collaborator experience.

As Robert Greenleaf said: “Good leaders must first be good servants“In these very turbulent times…. this phrase is never as important.

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