customer connection

customer connection

Carlos Castelan provides key steps that can be taken to improve disconnects and find opportunities throughout times of change and functional issues. 

In today’s world where change is one of the only constants, we often hear of companies undergoing a transformation to reinvent themselves and revitalize their customer offerings. This is a natural function of the organizational life cycle where companies grow and organize in a variety of ways along the way, including around services or products. However, in focusing on efficiency and processes to enable scale, organizations lose some measure of tight collaboration and team agility that comes from regular innovation. So, how can companies avoid having to regularly undergo transformations? One way successful businesses do this is through the identification of gaps in team collaboration through a Customer Correction tool that allows teams to find opportunities and cooperate to improve where disconnects may be occurring and resolve issues before they impact customers.

Functional issues cause established companies to have difficulty with transformations and innovation to meet their customer’s needs. As an example, we recently saw a team dedicated to measurement of new initiatives struggle to meet key milestones and deliverables due to the novelty of the project and complexity of data. This resulted in a high likelihood of failure for the business team to understand the customer benefits of the innovation.  The business team raised the issue several times to leadership but, over time, the business team had to accept the problem and figure out a work-around. The acceptance of the issue led to many hours of lost productivity and countless meetings to try to close the gaps which went unresolved.

To get ahead of functional issues within a company, we’ve seen forward-thinking organizations adopt a regular exchange of notes by each member of a group (team) to assess for the purpose of improving collaboration and performance. We have all worked with managers, co-workers or teams that affect others and we understand the impact that poor collaboration and communication has on each step of their process. So, how can concerns be raised in an objective manner for management to course correct before they become larger issues?

Key points include:

  • Team collaboration
  • Customer correction
  • Team feedback

Read the full article, Leveraging your company’s greatest asset to improve the customer experience, on



Ravi Rao recently co-hosted a webinar with Angela Thompson for the Columbus Retail Roundtable where they discussed the importance of emotional intelligence at all levels of the corporate arena.

I have a very weird background. Essentially, three chapters.  Chapter one was a decade spent in a science environment at Johns Hopkins and then Harvard, studying the brain, studying the science stuff of how the brain works, starting at the kind of individual brain cell, the neuron level up through the kind of broader structures, and about what do different parts of the brain do and how do we treat patients with diseases of the brain. That was chapter one. Chapter two was a short five years at McKinsey, so learning how to handle business challenges and use consulting services to help clients solve their problems. For five years in a variety of industries, not only retail, but then the third chapter, the one that’s lasted now for the last 15 years, is one where I, as an independent consultant focus specifically on the topic of how do organizations really work not only on the kind of broader structure process technology and talent level, but down to the individual. How do people relate to each other in this organization, how do they relate to each other on teams, how do they relate between different levels of the organization, the MID managers and the executives and the frontline but then also how to individuals within the organization have interactions with customers on the outside and that interaction and relationship basis is what we’ll talk about today, and how. Interestingly, a little bit counterintuitive for a lot of people, the brain has a big role to play and how we actually manage relationships so with that, I do have a few slides just as an introduction, but again they’re meant to be a dialogue starter, not a lecture for which you should have to take notes or anything.


Key points include:

  • The heart/head connection
  • How the instinct to connect is killed
  • Creating the emotional connection in retail


Listen to the full podcast, How Our Brains and Emotions Influence our Brand Experiences, on Community Roundtable.