Canada Post delivers with data
“Trendsetter” isn’t a word you normally associate with a company that’s been around more than 150 years. But for Janet LeBlanc, Director of Customer Value Management at Canada Post, it’s a daily part of the job. She and her team take a magnifying glass to the customer experience, identifying and measuring how customers interact and perceive their relationships with Canada Post.
Canada Post has made a turnaround the past few years from an internally focused, efficiency-based logistics organization into a flexible, dynamic, customer-focused company that competes with the likes of FedEx and UPS. Efforts from the top down have shown results, and the people behind the processes – like LeBlanc – make it happen.
LeBlanc has led the charge to create and evolve the customer value management program at Canada Post over the past five years. She created a customer value index composed of three customer value metrics – overall quality, overall value and likelihood to recommend. Customers also rate Canada Post on overall quality for product offerings (features/benefits), product delivery, price competitiveness, service culture, and reputation and image.
The customer value management program clarifies for employees what customers expect, as well as what Canada Post is particularly accountable for: delivering a consistent and predictable customer experience from its 70,000 employees across Canada. Each employee has a role in that, from being timely in customer responses and creating the right marketing message to offering appropriate pricing and service delivery. As a result, customer value index scores are included in employee performance scorecards throughout the company.
In fact, what’s most important to LeBlanc is accountability among employees for improving the customer experience. “Everyone is accountable to the customer,” she says. “It’s my job to make sure individual employees know what they can do in their role to improve the customer experience.” She explains that this strategy is much less daunting than throwing out the broad idea of being customer-centric without relating it to specific roles.
LeBlanc continues to grow the program by leveraging deeper customer insight and tying metrics back to the bottom line. “My main responsibility is advocacy at the executive level to make sure that the company recognizes the benefit of the program and will continue to support it,” LeBlanc says. Members of her team put together customer-advocacy action plans for certain employee groups – marketing, sales, service, postal carriers, operations, IT, etc. They meet with field employees on monthly phone calls to keep local office results, best practices, action plans and other vital information flowing. And LeBlanc has a dedicated person responsible for communicating internally customer-focused education programs about the insight the group collects.
“We need to understand what value we bring to the customer,” LeBlanc says. “That’s why I have been passionate about driving this program through and helping the organization understand what value is, what value we provide and what additional value our customers want.”