How an Italian multipartner loyalty program involved its customers in co-creating new initiatives with the biggest ever virtual focus group.
“Synthetron has proved to be extremely effective in listening to our customers and in getting feedback and new ideas from them. I would have never imagined to collect so many insights in real time, directly from our customers in just 60 minutes!”
Bruno Coletta (Head of Marketing & CRM, PAYBACK Italy)
PAYBACK is a multipartner loyalty Program active in Italy since 2014. With its 12 million consumers and 80+ partner is the largest Italian consumer loyalty Program with a very active CRM program.
The marketing team wanted to identify new insights for new initiatives and to improve the user experience and was looking for a way to actively involved their customers in this.
The team came across Synthetron online dialogues and decided to use this innovative form of virtual focus group to actively involve their customers, listen to the ideas and suggestions and co-create with them new initiatives.
The Synthetron Italian team organized one session with 1300 customers – the biggest (virtual) focus group ever! – and carried out an in-depth analysis of the results.
- The discussion enabled the Marketing team to validate quantitatively some of the actions already in their pipeline and to identify other new initiatives to put in place.
- The discussion also confirmed the relationship and the expectations clients have towards the Program – not just from a rationale / features point of view, but also from a more insightful perspective.
- And, last but not least, consumers really appreciated the Program’s willingness to listen to their thoughts:
“I appreciated the possibility of giving advice to improve the program”
“I enjoyed to be able to express my ideas and see what others think about it”
“I like being an important part of business decisions”.
How a financial institution used Synthetron’s Customer Mindset Profile method to understand more about the customers’ mindset and adapt its language.
The financial world has been through a very rough ride in the last 5 years. Many financial service companies have gone under, been re-organised or taken over, or only survived thanks to state interventions.
In that context, a leading European financial service company wanted to regain customer confidence by aiming for a respectful, meaningful and honest relationship with all their customers based on a truly customer focused approach and behaviour linked to the core values of the company.
The management team wanted to go one step beyond the usual insights on customer needs and wants to understand more about the customers’ mindset and relationship with financial service companies.
We set up two Synthetron on-line dialogues: one with a group of frontline financial advisors (employees) who are in daily contact with the customers, the other with a group of representative customers. The topics for the discussions were carefully selected to enable the employees and customers to have free flowing and rich dialogues with an appropriate level of interaction between the participants in each on-line sessions.
Such a set up also allows for a gap analysis on the language used by the two groups.
The linguistic analysis revealed some interesting insights.
For instance, the customer mindset is very much focused on the avoidance of any financial risk, with clear implications for the communication strategy of the financial service company:
- more focus on security and stability of the company and less on innovation or being different,
- more focus on what the customer wishes to avoid (instead of what they want),
- more personal, less business-like communication,
- more new financial service opportunities proactively pitched to customers.
Based on these findings the financial service company could put more emphasis on the concerns of the customers, what problems they have, what risks they want to avoid and how the company can help to avoid them.
How a large consulting company engaged high level experts using Synthetron online dialogues.
A large private sector management consultancy wanted to develop knowledge and expertise around the treatment for depression.
McKinsey & Company commissioned a synthetron session where a high-level panel of more than twenty academics from Harvard, Yale and Oxford discussed issues around the treatment for depression.
Synthetron and the internal pharma project team jointly developed questions about treatment pathways, how to address challenges and how to formulate effective answers to improve care in depression.
Engaging participants for more than an hour, the moderators collected around 500 statements of substance. Nearly 21% of those achieved a collaborative support. From the instant report at the end of the debate participants learned immediately about their level of consensus on major issues.
McKinsey partner Dr. Jorge Santos da Silva was quick to congratulate the team – not only for careful preparation but also for the momentum achieved in this highly interactive format.
To inform experts around the world about insights from the panel, McKinsey published an in-depth research paper on the topics.
How a multinational oil company engaged journalists on hot topics using synthetron online dialogues
A multinational oil company wished to work more openly with journalists on their issues and objectives.
They ran a quarterly Synthetron online dialogue session on key topics of the time such as sustainability, community development, globalisation.
Because the session were online, they could be attended by more journalists more easily than a live event. The methodology enabled lively and inclusive debate – no voice could dominate.
The sessions led to clear and unequivocal conclusions, with quantified qualitative input that provided guidance for decision makers and material for external communications.
How a large consultancy leveraged Synthetron to enhance its annual Partners conference
A large private sector management consultancy wanted to make sure its annual Partners conference was focused on the right issues.
They ran a Synthetron online dialogue session with all the delegates a few weeks before the conference.
The senior partners used the outcome of the session to determine the overall theme of the conference and set the agenda.
This process was useful as an Early Warning System for the leadership to know where concerns were building in the organization and also served to motivate and engage the Partners around the event.
How Synthetron helped the senior management of a multinational corporation to prepare a Top 100 global conference
Senior management of a multinational corporation wanted to prepare and improve the agenda for a Top 100 global conference focused on the implementation of a new strategy.
We set up two synthetron online dialogues to identify priority actions for the conference. All employees were invited and the debates were segmented by seniority and geography.
The analysis of the debates showed that a significant number of the employees were not aware of the strategy, and even those that were did not necessarily support or even understand it. This Early Warning given to senior management from the online brainstorms helped them realise that the first job was to clarify and communicate the strategy, then build alignment before asking employees to get on and implement it.
The conference was postponed and hundreds of thousands of pounds of travel expenses not to mention the implications of disengagement or an unexpected rebellion on site were saved.
“Of course they all understand the strategy, this conference will be about how we implement it” – This was what our client said before the discussion.”We can’t have a conference about strategy implementation now” The client after the discussion.
How Synthetron helped engage all stakeholders in an IT project roll out process. To facilitate its implementation.
An organization needed to launch a major new IT project that required key stakeholders engagement.
A set of systematic online Synthetron discussion of the plan with different stakeholders before the launch and during the implementation.
Before launch a first session was set up with local management to understand what would make them real change agents. Despite the all faced the same change and came from the same MO, their in-going position was very different.
During implementation Synthetron sessions were organized to conduct a series of review with different stakeholder segments: management, implementation team and floor.
The first round of discussion with local management uncovered that, despite the fact that they all faced the same change and came from the same MO, their in going position was very different. Understanding this helped the change team engage all as change agents with a specific adapted approach.
The reviews with different stakeholder segments not only increased engagement of participants, but gave the PMO and change team clear insight in issues and levers on how to improve and accelerate the roll out.
How a Multinational aligned the 100 top managers on a strategic change program leveraging Synthetron online dialogues
The leadership of a multinational decided to investigate the alignment of its top 100 managers with the strategic change program launched 4 months earlier via a cascading communication process.
All 100 managers were invited to join a one hour online, anonymous Synthetron online meeting to respond, discuss and validate their views.
- How urgent was the change programme?
- How far had the change programme been adopted, and translated into action?
- What were the bottlenecks?
Finally, they were asked to identify how the strategic change could be accelerated and suggest improvements.
The outcome was richer and clearer than any classical interview round and generated new and actionable insights.
How a pharmaceutical company involved frontline staff to shape its R&D strategy.
A pharmaceutical company needed to make more effective use of its R&D budget for a high-selling drug.
They wanted to get input from people on the ground since they have a lot of knowledge about the customers’ needs. However those views were difficult to gather and analyse, often distorted by one or two more vocal individuals.
By running an online brainstorm with front line sales representatives, wisdom was collected from every corner of the market, processed and prioritised.
The result was a clear ranked requirements list for for development (these included the drug itself as expected, but also generated valuable and actionable ideas for packaging, communications and distribution).
The salesforce were motivated by their inclusion in the decision-making process and the priority changes identified by them were cheaper and easier to implement than the developments the R&D function had in mind.
The peer review of the ideas during the online Synthetron session takes everybody ’s view into account, including those who never speak up at a meeting. Nobody has to wait for their turn to speak, or be embarrassed at expressing a “silly” point of view.
How a multinational company used Synthetron to develop a shared vision
A multinational energy company was at a turning point. They had grown by acquisition and had a fragmented corporate culture. There was no shared view of what they stood for.
We organised a series of 6 Synthetron sessions during a year to consider the mission, the corporate story, the values and how to bring it all to life.The gap between discussions allowed information to be analysed, assessed and incorporated before the next session.
The approach addressed the feeling in some parts of the organization that they didn’t really belong, or that all the decision were made in HQ.
It also helped build team spirit as every month staff had the experience of working with global colleagues on an important question.
How a global business consultancy harnessed the wisdom of its own top brains to shape its business development strategy using Synthetron online dialogues.
A global business consultancy was under pressure to identify the best sectors and approaches to develop new business
They decided to harness their own top brains to solve the problem. They ran a Synthetron online brainstorm with top performing consultants from around the globe.
The Participants identified best practice, prioritised target sectors and gave some excellent ideas on how to communicate effectively with those targets.
A strategic leap forward in new business development from a single one hour session.
How a financial institution translated its values into do’s and don’t for branch personnel using synthetron online dialogues
A financial institution wanted to translate a set of global values into meaningful do’s and don’t for everyone “on the floor” in their retail branch network.
Synthetron took a segmented approach, organising 8 sessions catering to different languages and split by size and by level (branch director and branch personnel inviting for each around 200 employees).
In the discussions, participants were first asked to share their enthusiasm for the values so as to understand drivers and hesitations.
Next, the focus lay on the meaning and translation of values in behaviours. Meaning in the sense of what do we stop doing? Start doing? or keep doing?
Finally the participants engaged to share what they can do to make things happen.
All participants that were invited did participate. They were very enthusiastic that they could contribute their views. The discussions created an instant buzz within the network on the values .
The analysis yielded some surprising insights in terms of do’s and don’ts, in the deep understanding of current mind-set of participants and in the change forces.
The content analysis was the basis to produce a small booklet with do’s and don’ts using participants’ own words. The MindSet (language and motivation) profile was used to adapt the communication style. The roll out plan was based on the analysis of change forces.
The do’s and don’ts were rolled out successfully. They were perceived from the beginning “as ours” and two years later are sticking well