What started as a brief to help Wirral-based Magenta Living review its complaints process, ended up completely transforming its approach to customer-centricity. With Golden Marzipan’s help, this 13,000-unit LSVT took a fresh look at customer and colleague experience and the results speak for themselves. Here, Fiona Astor, Assistant Director at Magenta Living tells us more about this journey of discovery that has left the organisation more confident, upskilled, and ready for the future.

“We initially approached Golden Marzipan as we had to quickly change the way we responded to complaints in line with the new ombudsman complaints handling code. We had a good structure, but Golden Marzipan helped us examine our end-to-end processes through interactive workshops that engaged people from around the business. Complaint’s resolution is an organisation-wide issue, so we needed that buy-in from around the business to fundamentally improve things.”

The workshops brought people together to focus on the desired outcome and as Fiona says, “we never looked back.” Within days the team at Magenta had identified areas for improvement, and as a result, they’ve dramatically reduced the time it takes to resolve complaints. Fiona adds “we thought it was going to be a battle and people might be resistant to taking on additional work. But what we found is that Golden Marzipan facilitated the conversations in a way that helped us to understand we were all coming at this together and this took all the barriers away.”

But the transformation doesn’t end there …

Having been impressed by the impact that Golden Marzipan could have in a short space of time, Fiona was keen to get the change advisors to work with colleagues to establish where the organisation should be focusing resources when looking to improve customer and colleague experience. “I very much believe that colleagues hold the answers to the problems they face each day, so we needed to allow them to express these challenges to move us forward.”

Golden Marzipan held several workshops with volunteer panels for both a customer experience and colleague experience. Introducing the business to tools such as Mural, which Magenta have since adopted in-house, the panels each established some effective transformative projects they could own and deliver as Fiona explains: “The empowerment felt by the colleagues involved in these workshops has really transformed their perception about their ability to make change within the organisation. These projects have been vital in transforming our culture to one that’s more customer-centric, high performing, focused on efficiencies and doing the right thing.”

Some of the initiatives already delivered include a new leadership development programme, a new intranet that has facilitated improved communication across the business and something called ‘How do I …’ which is a series of videos for colleagues explaining some of those things that you would have traditionally leant over a desk and asked. Magenta has also developed customer personas that they are using to influence service design, but importantly the workshops have also helped to inform and equip the senior team to develop a new customer experience strategy.

“Golden Marzipan has helped develop our confidence around rapid sprints and how to structure the conversations so we can start to take charge of these things ourselves,” says Fiona. “We sometimes feel like we need to come up with all the solutions, but they’ve shown us how to effectively gather all the information together and then shrink it down to establish what we’re going to tackle, it’s really helped us to focus.”

Maintaining an open mind

Fiona’s advice to anyone about to undertake a similar journey is to not have a pre-defined destination. She feels that it’s important to go into workshops with an open mind as you’re asking everyone to go with an open mind and to really listen and understand what you’re hearing. “If you do that, you’ll come out of it with something really sensible rather than your view, where you’ve listened to other people but imposed what you think regardless.”

“They’re not a management consultancy, they are a critical friend business”

When asked what it is about Golden Marzipan that makes them different, Fiona is clear: “They are not a management consultancy, they are a critical friend business. We still turn to Golden Marzipan for big-ticket strategic items as they’re a trusted partner, but the real benefit is that I feel very psychologically safe with them. I know they will positively challenge me, and I’ll get open, honest, and experienced feedback and advice. They genuinely care about our organisation and its success, and they feel personally invested in us.”

Are you looking to transform the customer-centricity of your organisation? If so, Golden Marzipan can help. From facilitated workshops through to strategy development with our CX specialist, Lynne Mills. Get in touch today for a free informal chat about how we can help make your transformation vision a reality.

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