Season 2 - Episode 6 of our Podcast series has arrived and we were thrilled to have Adam Peden- Director, Customer Development AU/NZ at Ingram as our special guest.
In this episode Adam shares how they've created true B2B partnerships using MirrorWave. Tune in today. The full interview transcript is also available.
Below is a transcript of Ray's interview with Adam:
Hi, Ray Poynter here and welcome to another Potentiate Powering Human Experience podcast. Today, I'm delighted to welcome Adam Peden, based in Auckland, New Zealand. He's Director of Customer Development at Ingram Commerce Lifecycle Services. Hi, Adam!
Today we're going to be talking about how you've used MirrorWave to enhance business processes. Perhaps you could start by telling us a little bit about the context for how you use MirrorWave in the business?
We've been using MirrorWave since 2015. Down here in New Zealand, we have a key customer that we've worked with since 2009. And we're looking at how do we get a really good insight to actually what's the state of our relationship? So, when we looked at the programs back in 2015, we looked at a number of different options. A lot of them were kind of anonymous. MirrorWave allowed us to get a pulse and get a check on that relationship, and actually took that secrecy away. We knew who the respondents were, and we actually got their feedback. The value that we took out of using MirrorWave was the ability to go back and communicate with each participant individually, and make them feel heard. We've been using it since 2015, we wanted something to give us a pulse check on the state every six months, and MirrorWave allowed us to do that. Hence why we chose that partner and it's been successful.
Great. Now 2009, that's quite a long time ago. Sometimes people can't see the value from getting structured feedback from clients that are already well known to them. What do you see as the key benefits of having a formal system of communicating?
Personally, I see two key benefits from a formal system. One is having a regular cadence. And then it's what you choose to do with that feedback from those participants. The great thing about MirrorWave is that it provides a way for us to track the progress of a respondent over the life of participation through the surveys. Every wave, we get a new group of respondents, some will stay consistent all the way through but, like any business, people move on. So, it enables us to add new people as relationships change.
But I guess the value we're getting out of it is it's consistent. So, somebody scores us an 8, we get that feedback from them, both positive and negative. Or I should say constructive. We look at how do we build on that? And we respond back to them and ask why did you score us an 8? And what would it take to give us a 9 or a 10? And it gives us a way to work on something that's actually tangible for that individual? Or, is there a group of participants that are all saying the same thing? Or having the same sort of feeling? Is there an undercurrent in our relationship, we might be thinking everything's rosy, and our customer’s thinking it's not, or vice versa? Customers looking at us and going, we're doing an absolutely stellar job and everything's positive. Where internally, my staff are feeling like they're not being heard or respected. So it gives us a good pulse on what's the state of our relationship, or partnership.
That's great. And you started to explain this to me, but perhaps you could just tell us a bit about how this program enables the diagnosis of internal and external gaps in sentiment.
Yeah, it's a very simple program. That's the other reason why we really enjoy it, it's 3 questions for the first time you use it, and then it's 2 ongoing. So, what would you have rated us 6 months ago, out of a score of 1 to 10? How would you rate us currently? And then why did you give us that rating, you know, positive and constructive feedback?
What we've done is used a cross-section of staff that are engaged regularly with our key customer. Likewise, on the customer side, we've used a cross section of their staff that are regularly engaged with my team. And it allows us to get a really good feeling on what's working well, what are the areas that we need to focus on and make sure we resolve, or fix before they kind of flare up? So, from an internal perspective, it gives us a good feeling on how the staff are actually looking towards the relationship of the customer but, equally, the internal feeling of what's going on, are we putting in the focus too much on operations, but not enough in the system development? So are we creating too many processes, or are we putting too much emphasis elsewhere? So it's really good for me and my direct team to work out where we need to put our focus.
That's great. You said you do the pulses twice a year. Account management, I guess goes all year round. So how do you mesh together the feedback you're getting from the system and your general account management processes?
When we kicked this off, we took it to our customer and said here's a tool that we really want to get a say on both sides of the fence. So, we got buy in from their leaders. And they were very interested to get the feedback as well. Whenever we conduct a wave, we actually talk it through, covering the key sentiments both on our side, and on their side of the business, including where the overall score came from.
We talk through the key call-outs. Myself and my direct team work out what do we need to action? What do we need to work on, and then that becomes our focus over and above what our core business elements are, and our focus, but it becomes an additional focus for us for the next six months to work on that relationship. You know, business, you can either continue to go and get new customers, which we all need to grow. But it's easier if you've got an existing customer, it's easier to work together and build a good, healthy relationship, like a normal relationship and understand what's going well, and what's not going well, and what are the areas that we need to work on.
Ultimately, what we've done over the 6 years is build a lot of trust between the two businesses. And to the point that I would say it's, it's gone from being, they are our customer, and we are their supplier, to actually becoming a true partnership. A large portion of both sides of the staff can ring each other and say, Hey, this needs to be fixed, or this isn't going well, rather than things festering on in the background.
So that's my long-winded way of saying, our account management has actually become embedded in the way that we work together.
Fantastic. So that's 6 years. That puts you in a really good position to offer advice to anybody who's looking to use a system like this to get longitudinal feedback, which is going to be actionable. What would your advice be to people like that?
I'd suggest working with someone like MirrorWave and the reason for that is taking the anonymous surveys is great, because it allows people to put comments in, but there's no substance, there's no follow up post. Whereas using a program like MirrorWave, it is really what do you do with that feedback. And then how do you engage with the participant. And as soon as a participant gets a call, it's not an email, either it's we personally ring every participant or, with the internal team, we'll sit down and talk with them. And that's across all of our levels of the business. So I'm ringing a lot of different people within the customer’s business. And I'm talking with our internal staff, and it's always thanking them for participating. How could we improve? Or even thank you for mentioning that. How do I pass it to the wider team? And how do we build on top of that, so it's a positive? Once people realize that it's not just a friend and a comment, and it's gone on to score somewhere, and it's actually being acted on? Basically the true value comes.
My recommendation is working with a program like this gives you the insight to who's responded, and then acting on it, following them up saying thank you, getting in having those qualitative discussions, really pulling out the value, and then acting on that value and building it into your fabric of how you run your business together.
Adam, that was fantastic. Many thanks for your time today. I'm sure that our listeners are going to find this really interesting and useful. So from all of them, thank you.
Thank you, and I appreciate the opportunity.
About Adam Peden- Director, Customer Development AU/NZ | Ingram
Adam is responsible for driving consistent growth across Australia and New Zealand for Ingram Micro Commerce and Lifecycle Services division of Ingram Micro.
Adam is an experienced senior manager holding leadership and management roles in sales and operations representing some of New Zealand’s largest retail and telecommunications brands. Adam has a proven track record in change leadership, process improvement and setting strategic direction to achieve positive outcomes for both customers, staff and shareholders.
*Please note, Platform One was formerly known as Potentiate