We are not the experts, you are !
Every organization is different. That is why, at Unbox, we believe that no one knows your organization, and its challenges, better than you. Therefore, in our consulting engagements, we do not believe in giving ready-made solutions to our partners. Instead, we aim to understand and bring out their organizational challenges to the forefront, and then provide support with solving them.
The first step towards solving any challenge is understanding its true nature.
However, this process is not as straightforward as it seems. Many of our partners take steps to understand their organizational and learning development challenges, but still, they find it challenging to find effective solutions.
A few years ago, we were approached by an omnichannel furniture and décor retailer who were looking to personalize and improve their customer experience. When we interviewed the leadership, we were told that their field design consultant team is in need of communication skills training. This was a good starting point and a hypothesis for us to work with.
To understand the challenges faced by the field design team, first, we reached out to its members , and individually spoke to them about their experience. We used these interviews as an opportunity to validate or invalidate the leadership’s assessment of the challenge.
We conducted ethnographic interviews which is one of our most useful tools. It helps us in having open-ended conversations with the teams to gain insights and understand their challenges.
During these interviews, we learnt that most of the team was able to communicate quite fluently with their clients. However, they also agreed with the leadership’s assessment–they were unable to build a good rapport with their clients.
Then, we started looking for the “unsaid needs” of our customers (in this case, the field design consultants). So, we decided to observe their day-to-day activities and interactions with the customers in real time. To achieve this, a few team members from our Experience Design team shadowed the field design consultants on their customer visits as “interns”. We also immersed ourselves in the customer’s experience by anonymously hiring our partner organization’s services for a home décor consultation.
This was a game changer for us!
While work-shadowing, we realized that some field agents were underprepared for the meeting. One even showed up to the customer’s house with a completely discharged i-Pad, and asked them to provide him with a charger. Others were unable to find the location on time, and often showed up late to the customer meetings.
This challenge now started to make more sense to us, and we communicated it to the leadership. Based on our insights, we suggested a communications training program that was split into 3 sections – before the meeting, during the meeting, and after the meeting. This captured the thought that perfecting the conversation with the customer is not enough. Instead, what you do before and after the conversation is equally important.
By the end of this 9-month long engagement, the leaders began to see real growth and change within the organization. Even the business impact was evident and return on investment on this program was over 20x.
At Unbox, you, our end-user, are at the center of what we do. The problems, and to an extent the solutions, are all you. After all, no one else knows what’s best for your organization. Our goal is to deepen your understanding of the problem and design learning programs that can solve them.