Challenge

NeXT Computer hired great people and then let them do what they do best. This approach enabled a great deal of creativity. However, it did not provide the guidance that allowed teams to be as productive as possible and to replicate their results. NeXT Computer needed to become more process-focused. With the right process, NeXT could leverage their highly skilled, innovative work force to perform at the highest possible level while also creating consistent, predictable outcomes.

Solution

Vicki Amon-Higa provided coaching for the effort to develop a new product introduction process. The new offering in question was the 68040 chip pizza box. The new process needed to touch the entire end-to-end customer experience. It needed to begin from the early stages of the customer’s awareness of NeXT’s products, to the support, service and training required to get the most out of them.

As Director of Hardware Quality, Vicki worked as a coach and a catalyst to build a new product introduction process. She worked closely with a cross-functional team dedicated to this task. The goal was to develop the right process, which would develop the right product, with the right customer experience – and then to ensure that NeXT could repeat their success.

Results

The process designed through Vicki’s coaching and consultation was a cross-functional new product introduction process that proved to be repeatable for all future offerings in the NeXT pipeline. When the customers received the product, the support, training, service and all aspects of the go-to-market effort were at-hand and well-designed.

When Apple Computer acquired the company, NeXT came equipped with a formal, high quality new product introduction process. Apple incorporated NeXT’s process into its own new product development process in order to enhance Apple’s ability to address the entire end-to-end customer experience. Vicki successfully led an initiative that had moved NeXT Computer from a reliance on great people alone, to a formal process that leveraged NeXT’s top-flight talent to create superb customer experiences on a consistent basis. 




Challenge

Working in a B2B context, Intuit’s small-business division needed to get a better grasp on their customers’ end-to-end experience. Intuit wanted to dive deeper in order to help the customer to grow their businesses, while growing Intuit’s.

Solution

Vicki Amon-Higa’s role at Intuit was as a customer experience leader serving as an internal coach and catalyst. She engaged a team to understand what was really important to customers by building listening posts. These were communication touch points where Intuit’s team could understand what customers were saying about their experience with the company and its products. The Intuit small-business division team gathered and analyzed customer insights and responses to understand how Intuit was performing in terms of meeting customer needs and expectations. Vicki also focused the leadership team to draw up a set of priorities for improvement. She helped to build operating mechanisms to ensure that the right priorities received the focus and that the improvements the team made were sustainable.

Results

Intuit succeeded in transforming customers into promoters. The team measurably improved its net promoter score, a metric that gauges customer loyalty and that is correlated with revenue. Intuit also augmented their share of wallet, which enhanced Intuit’s corporate growth. The initiative also engaged a wider cross-section of the company in Intuit’s efforts to improve the customer’s experience. 


Challenge

This healthcare organization faced several related challenges. The first challenge was to engage their care teams (physicians, nurses, assistants, and administrators) to deliver the highest quality, most affordable, and seamless patient experience. They also aimed to engage their leadership team to work as a team. This meant building operating mechanisms to ensure that leaders remained focused on the highest priorities that would help to deliver the best quality patient experience.

The organization also wanted to better understand the experience of patients living with chronic disease. Rather than focusing only on the 10 minutes that the patient sees his or her health care provider per quarter, leaders wanted the health care entity to respond holistically to the end-to-end customer experience beyond these occasional, face-to-face encounters.

Solution

As an internal consultant, Vicki Amon-Higa imported the customer innovation mindset from industry into the healthcare space. She facilitated and coached internal teams to conduct ethnographic research. Team members followed patients home gathering rich insights into the patient’s experience. The team also worked with panels of patients. They engaged patients as permanent members of an improvement team so that patients’ voices were represented in the improvement process.

Results

The cross-functional improvement team worked to fine-tune the care experience while keeping sight of the fact that healthcare is very personal. They successfully decreased or eliminated waste in the process of rooming a patient, decreasing the cycle time of this process from an average of 30 minutes to 9 minutes. This meant that patients spent more time with their healthcare provider.

The improvement effort also put in place clear priorities for leaders of the organization and the care teams alike. The new processes insured that team members were working at the top of their scope – that means the right person doing the right job. The improvement initiative ensured that leaders worked together as a team and were focused not only on the day-to-day fire fighting, but also on the most important priorities to ensure that improvements were sustainable. 


Other Clients