Last autumn, a total of 40 Kiiltonians attended the Ambassador programme, which helps participants improve their customer experience and service design expertise. With this programme, Kiilto aimed to strengthen and expand its existing knowledge of customer-oriented operating models and service development. The participants found that the programme was a thoroughly positive experience. A new Ambassador programme was launched this spring.
The first Ambassador programme brought together Kiiltonians from the company’s construction and industrial adhesives & fireproofing businesses across nine different countries. The new programme will similarly consist of participants from around the world. The goal is to find more customer-centric ways of working and launch new, concrete solutions in the autumn of 2023. Once again, the programme was implemented in partnership with the service design agency Hellon.
”All organisations could be more customer-centric. In our day and age, developing this sort of expertise not only grants companies a competitive advantage, but also guarantees their competitiveness well into the future,” says Hellon’s Lead Strategist Emilia Gustafsson.
During the programme, which was launched in the autumn, the participants also got to expand their cooperation networks by working in international teams on projects that were later reviewed by Kiilto’s customers.
“This way, the participants could improve their customer understanding skills on an international level,” says Gustafsson.
New ways of finding meaningful encounters with customers
In addition to providing participants with concrete tools to help them work in a more customer-centric manner, the programme also helps them to communicate how important the customer experience really is and to highlight this within the company as well.
Gustafsson notes that it is always important that the Ambassador programme is connected to the organisation’s strategic goals. This ensures that the programme will help the organisation to reach its goals and serves to further commit the staff to the changes.
”This is not a one-off thing that you can simply strike from your to-do-list, but rather a shared journey towards real organisational change. The road will be long and consist of many different phases. At Kiilto, the Ambassador programme has helped employees to recognise new ways of encountering customers, such as through digital channels, and to do this in a way that highlights learning and networking. Together, we have strived to meet the customer at eye level and to understand their underlying needs even better than before,” Gustafsson says.
Positive feedback from customers
For the end customers, the effects of the Ambassador programme translate into better encounters and interactions, access to service development and, ultimately, better solutions. The purpose of this spring’s programme is to start commercialising the newly discovered concrete solutions.
During the programme that took place in the autumn, Kiiltonians took part in short-term development projects implemented in cooperation with real customers. Even though the way of working and thinking about the service experience was new to many of the participants, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
“Normally, we only discuss products and their features with customers. The projects allowed us to tackle our customers’ needs and challenges together in a more holistic manner. We all received valuable insights on how to better utilise our existing expertise to our customers’ benefit,” programme participants from Kiilto say.
“The customers were very well involved in all the groups’ projects,” they say.
Genuine interest in providing customers with industry-leading solutions
Kiilto’s Head of CX Projects Katja Suuriniemi, who acts as the project manager for the Ambassador programme, feels that the programme gives Kiiltonians a solid foundation that allows them to utilise customer-centric tools in their own work as well.
“The programme has laid the groundwork for the participants’ professional development and prepared them for the next steps they will take on their careers. They have gained valuable insight into solutions business, the importance of customer experience and concrete development methods. These are key themes in all aspects of modern working life,” Suuriniemi says.
Hellon’s Lead Designer & Art Director Laura Lerkkanen says that Kiiltonians have been enthusiastic about and interested in all projects given to them during the course of the programme.
“In light of all the discussions and feedback we have received, the most valuable lesson has been that it pays to engage your customers, to take their needs comprehensively into account and to design solutions together with them. All in all, I feel that Kiiltonians have really good energy. You can really see that they are genuinely interested in providing their customers with industry-leading solutions,” Lerkkanen sums up.
Reinforcing the culture of innovation
One of the cornerstones of Kiilto’s company culture is “You can make a difference”. Kiilto organises various development and innovation programmes to offer Kiiltonians opportunities to influence their personal development, the development of the working community and the company as a whole. The Ambassador programme served especially to strengthen Kiilto’s culture of innovation.
“The programme offers participants an opportunity to present their ideas and acts as a launchpad for new projects. It has helped us recognise important themes that help us create even more added value for our customers,” Suuriniemi says, and continues:
“I look forward to seeing what kind of new insights the ongoing Ambassador programme will bring.”
Hellon is a strategic customer experience development agency with more than a decade of experience in cooperating with industry leaders all over the world. www.hellon.com