Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?
Helping organisations identify and address their customers’ pet peeves has become the cornerstone of invention for Australian management consulting group, Inventium.
Inventium was recognised with the Best CX Organisational Leadership Award at the inaugural Best CX Companies List event in Sydney on 5 December, and also secured second place after CGU as Australia’s Best CX Company 2014.
The consultancy is seven-and-a-half years old and has a team of 10 staff. As well as providing management services, Inventium works with BRW to produce its annual 50 Most Innovative Companies List.
The two CX awards were based on organisations completing and securing strong results in Fifth Quadrant’s CX Maturity Audit assessment, as well as making recent investments into a number of customer-led initiatives across the business. The Best CX Companies List was supported by CMO and sponsored by Oracle.
Inventium head inventiologist, Amantha Imber, told CMO putting customers at the heart of everything is part of the group’s DNA and what it helps its clients to do.
“All the frameworks and strategies we teach clients in terms of putting customers at the heart of things and implement with them are core to what we do as a business,” she said. “We use our own IP on ourselves.”
One of these is an innovation methodology Imber called ‘peeve points’.
“This process is designed to understand what customers’ biggest frustrations are in areas we are researching for them, and quantifying them in terms of the largest opportunities for innovation,” Imber explained. “We do a lot of customer observations, interviews, and we teach our clients how to do that. We always use that methodology on our own customers as well.”
From there, the organisation crafts these points into challenges, then employs ideation, decision labs and prototyping processes to come up with solutions for itself and its clients. Inventium also recently launched ‘pay what you want’ workshops for the not-for-profit sector.
“Our pricing is at the premium end of the scale, so many not-for-profits couldn’t afford our services. But there was a strong desire for many people in the team to give back to people and organisations they believe in,” Imber said.
To do this, the consultancy adopted a philosophy much like that behind the Lentil As Anything restaurant, located in St Kilda, Victoria, and Newtown, NSW, which is about everyone deserving a good meal. Rather than set meals at a specific price point, customers can pay what they want to.
“We applied that to our innovation training lab, which is one of our popular offerings so that in Melbourne and Sydney, those not-for-profits can pay what they want,” Imber said. “It could be baking a cake, giving us a present – one client made us a sculpture – but not paying the full premium price of the program.”
As a way of keeping the focus on customer centricity, Inventium has also started using overall customer satisfaction measures.
“As we have grown as an organisation, we have put more formal strategies and initiatives in place,” Imber continued. “It’s a more organic process when you’re a smaller business, but as we become larger, there are more formal processes to help us understand where innovation and focus should be placed.”
Imber said Inventium doesn’t enter many awards programs and was delighted to be recognised among Australia’s most customer-led companies.
“It’s nice to get the recognition, particularly given it’s about putting the customer at the heart of the experience,” she added.
Check out our other in-depth profiles of inaugural Best Customer Experience Companies List 2014 winners
- Best CX Company 2014: CGU personalises SME services
- Best CX Leading CX Initiatives: Bupa's Voice of the Customer project
- Best CX Company People’s Choice, Human and Animal Health: RSPCA makes people, not animals, the centre of attention
- Best CX Company People’s Choice: CBA’s customer feel-good factor
- Best CX Company People’s Choice, Government and Education: TAFE gets personal with education
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