Every company, be it for profit or not-for-profit wants to grow, and grow profitably. The only way companies can grow is by enlarging their pool of profitable customers. Peter Drucker, a world-famous management guru, captured this dynamic succinctly when he declared, “The only goal of a company is to get a customer (customer acquisition), and keep her (customer retention); marketing and innovation.” In most instances, companies can acquire customers by promising to deliver value in the future. But the only way they can hang on to their customers is by keeping that promise and by delivering customer value, and by engineering and delivering compelling customer experiences, which are kept relevant and meaningful over time through innovation. Value innovation is the key driver that makes this possible.
This assertion stands up to common sense scrutiny and is also rooted in hard data. When customers receive value and have a positive experience they tend to share that with others, either through word-of-mouth (WOM), or through social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Formal research, both academic and commercial, indicates that for today’s social, connected, digital savvy customers peer reviews and opinions are a significant input into their own decision making. Additionally, for several years now, marketing thinkers have been urging practitioners to move away from historical product-centric performance measures, like market share, share-of-wallet, and customer satisfaction, to forward-looking customer-centric performance measures like customer equity (CE) and customer life-time value (CLV), which are more closely related to the future growth and profitability of a company. The backbone of these forward looking, contemporary performance metrics is value innovation, since it enables companies to acquire customers, retain them, and grow their business over time.
In short, continuous value innovation is a strategic core competence of a company that significantly affects a company’s growth, profitability, and future well-being. This service operates at the intersection of marketing, strategy, and innovation. It is equally relevant for customer facing and customer support functions, such as marketing, sales, advertising, customer service, product development, marketing research, e-commerce, website and content development, information technology, and business strategy to name a few. Since the customer is a corporate asset, this service can benefit all levels of executive seniority and experience, including C-level leaders and executives.
Service methodology comprises 4 distinct steps. The first step is a pre-consulting client engagement with key company executives to understand the principal dimensions of customer value and customer experience being currently delivered. The focus of this step is to understand company aspirations – the kind of value and experience the company would like to deliver; gaps in customer value and experience delivery – where the company feels it’s doing well, areas it thinks need improvement; competitor analysis – which competitors are delivering enviable customer value and customer experience; and target markets – the nature and characteristics of customers who will benefit from the specific value and experience the company wants to develop and deliver.
The second step will focus on developing a solid foundation of customer value, customer experience, and value innovation. Several processes and frameworks currently being used by leading value innovation companies will be presented and discussed. These processes will focus on the two principal dimensions of future growth; customers – current and new, and markets – current and new. Additionally, both continuous and discontinuous models of value innovation will also be shared. Examples from a number of companies operating in different industries, countries, and/or market environments will be provided to enrich the training experience.
In the third step, participants will apply innovation thinking through the processes and frameworks discussed in step 2. The goal being development and design of next generation of customer value and customer experience for select target markets, so that the company can meet/exceed customer expectations and also fulfill its own aspirations and goals. The fourth step will focus on organization and implementation – how to deliver the next generation of customer value and experience to select of customer experience designed, and measurement of the customer experience actually delivered and received by customers in the target market. The service will be delivered in three 4 hour modules to groups of 8-12 participants.
Companies can elect whether they just require Appleton Greene for advice and support with the Bronze Client Service, for research and performance analysis with the Silver Client Service, for facilitating departmental workshops with the Gold Client Service, or for complete process planning, development, implementation, management and review, with the Platinum Client Service. Ultimately, there is a service to suit every situation and every budget and clients can elect to either upgrade or downgrade from one service to another as and when required, providing complete flexibility in order to ensure that the right level of support is available over a sustainable period of time, enabling the organization to compensate for any prescriptive or emergent changes relating to: Customer Service; E-business; Finance; Globalization; Human Resources; Information Technology; Legal; Management; Marketing; or Production.
Dr. Bhalla is an experienced marketing, innovation, strategy professional with over thirty years of global experience as a multinational corporate executive, business consultant, entrepreneur, academic, and executive education specialist. During his professional tenure he has worked with companies in over thirty different countries to help them win customers and grow their businesses by excelling at delivering memorable and compelling customer experiences through the co-creation and innovation of relevant and meaningful customer value. His rich and varied experience working with diverse functional groups within companies operating in diverse cultures coupled with his academic and commercial credentials is a powerful asset in enabling companies navigate customer experience and customer value innovation challenges in highly competitive global markets.
Known as a thinker, doer, and teacher he inspires his clients to adopt adaptable mindsets to routine and strategic business problems by listening, engaging, and responding to the market place differently than they have in the past. His leading edge thinking is reflected in his HBR article, “Rethinking Marketing,” and his book, “Collaboration and Co-Creation: New Platforms for Marketing and Innovation,” and is recognized by leading MBA schools around the world, like Duke, Indian School of Business, Georgetown, and University of Maryland, where he serves as adjunct faculty. Additionally, with his passion for collaboration, application of cutting edge knowledge to real life decision making, and continuous learning, he knows how to encourage companies to ask and solve the right questions that have the potential of changing their future well-being. He uses a variety of facilitation, consulting, teaching and coaching approaches in his programs, and is equally comfortable working with small to medium-sized groups. By enabling companies become proficient in designing and delivering winning customer experiences he helps them acquire, retain, and grow customers to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage in today’s VUCA world – volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.
“Dr. Bhalla invests time in open listening and observation, and quickly absorbs critical information and details. Once having formed thoughts and opinions, Dr. Bhalla is a thoroughly engaging communicator, whether addressing a large group or an individual. He effectively shares his ideas and recommendations with a personalized and customized approach that is always on target, leaving a listener inspired! A few examples follow: By leveraging Dr. Bhalla’s professional expertise at integrating qualitative and quantitative data into insightful findings, I was able to bring added value to my larger team. This greatly benefited my organization from a business perspective, and allowed me to grow personally. Dr. Bhalla also worked effectively with senior leadership, and staff at all levels, to collaborate and advise on effective solutions to problem issues as an internal advisor. His sought-after counsel was a key input in organizational decisions.“
Robert H. Smith School of Business
“Dr. Bhalla is a leading expert on customer value innovation. I have been fortunate to have him teach modules on customer value innovation in several executive education programs offered by the Center for Excellence in Service (CES) here at Smith. Managers in our programs rave about the high quality and relevance of his course content and his vivid, timely examples of how firms innovate to offer continuous value to their customers. Dr. Bhalla practices what he preaches. He continuously updates his course content to offer the latest information on best practices in customer value creation. He receives the highest ratings of any of our consultants and trainers on the practical implications of his content. Perhaps the greatest compliment is that managers leave his sessions planning to take back what they have learned from him to their firms.“
“In the 12 years I have known Dr. Bhalla we have discussed a wide range of topics. In particular, I enjoy how during those conversations even poetry becomes relevant to business strategy. In helping me with management issues, his advice not only leads to a positive outcome, it comes with suggested readings well suited to my background to help me fill the knowledge I was lacking. In my recent startup, his experience has helped us mold our marketing strategy. Two months of planning were completely changed by a few sharp questions from Dr. Bhalla. We had not considered the need to incorporate features that, while not necessary for the product’s functionality, would help better sell it to a large corporation.“
“I had the wonderful opportunity to meet and get to know Dr. Bhalla as a professor during a professional leadership program at University of Maryland School of