By Damien Edmonds (3 minute read). iStock photo ID:887088424.

Most organisations know they need to innovate to stay relevant and maintain growth. However, what only a few realise is:

  • Organisations with customer insights grow 8x faster than global GDP (Forrester), and
  • You can innovate by improving customer interactions just as effectively as coming up with new ideas for services and products.

Organisations can go beyond having ‘competent’ services by fundamentally changing how staff interact with customers – encouraging more empathy (ie. having employees express concern, humility, charm and patience). This is true across many different industries; from health and aged care to the financial sector (including superannuation and banking). However:

  1. Not all people are adept at building and maintaining relationships
  2. The above changes in customer interaction need to occur at every level of your service and at every single touchpoint with your customer.

Achieving this depth and breadth of change for customers at service level requires consensus around an organisation’s purpose (ie. ‘why you do what you do’) and process (ie. ‘how you do what you do’). This is how facilitation becomes a very useful strategic marketing tool.

In short, Facilitation is a highly structured meeting led by a certified professional who guides the room towards a shared understanding and acceptance of a common direction. It also involves working to agreed steps or outcomes for all parties. 

Facilitation help to break down information silos within organisations. Facilitators establish the most pressing customer issues facing an organisation and then walk the assembled team through the proposed strategies to address these issues.

An effective facilitation exercise:

  • Holds onto the organisation’s vision, but withholds personal judgment. They accept input equally from everyone in the room to establish what they know, what they don’t know and draw out information they need to share.
  • Encourages the group to focus on their customers’ issues, all the while steering the group towards tangible learnings that they can take away and build upon within their own teams.

Edmonds Marketing has been facilitating workshops within organisations to establish an improved understanding of their customer – breaking down silos to improve consensus and effective decision making.

Over many years we have run various facilitated sessions for organisations looking to improve their service offering and change the way their brand is perceived in the marketplace. These include:

  • Brand management and positioning
  • Change communications
  • Customer segmentation
  • Customer feedback and complaint management
  • Horizon scanning
  • Innovation and continuous improvement
  • Internal communications: values, culture and engagement
  • Market research: brand perceptions, customer research and market analysis.
  • Marketing strategy for boards and operations, and
  • Messaging for clarity and consistency.

If you’d like to know more, get in contact: damien@edmondsmarketing.com.au.