Property Service & Facilities Management
£100,000 plus exec package, benefits & pension
My client is a ground-breaking property and facilities management service business, already recognised as an innovator and with a clear ambition to be the market-leader in their sector. They are about to embark on a period of even greater transformation, change and commercial growth including a highly innovative Joint-Venture that will catapult them to become No.1 in the North-West whilst still retaining their core values, most important of which is their customer focus.
Through the leadership of an industry-leading CEO, the business has already successfully begun redefining and remodelling their product/service proposition to reflect and respond to not only the changing market and environment they operate within, but to address the changing desires and drive within the organisation.
Initial sector scepticism and criticism has already made way for admiration and ultimately seen them start to pave the way in creating a new benchmark within their sector, as well as providing them with enviable financial stability and commercial performance.
But their innovation is not only commercial. Great attention has been afforded to ensure they have an innovative mind-set to maximise the use of technology as a route to operational efficiency, as well as employee care and customer service. Not content with simply improving IT, they are targeting organisation-wide paradigm shift. Re-evaluating customer needs (and true customer service) has seen them embark on a programme to redefine how they view, communicate with and exceed the expectations of their customer base through communication transformation, automation and broad-scale procedural efficiency and simplification.
The business faces imminent sector legislation changes that whilst will not dramatically affect revenue (c1% expected – but their financial strength will mean this is not an issue), it does have the potential to increase costs. Whilst many of their competitors and contemporaries have reluctantly accepted the position, the business has taken this as an opportunity and has worked hard on further developing their strategy to seize that advantage. The results will not only see no reduction of financial performance; but will see a substantive increase in financial performance, both turnover and crucially, profit.
As their asset base breaks through £800m and revenue continues to rise towards £60m, the business is set for an exciting period of change and an opportunity-rich future as they further strengthen their commercial performance and customer satisfaction/service.
Having experienced strong growth and commercial solidity, the business is now at a pivotal point of its development, and seizing the opportunity is embarking on a period of significant transformation.
The board have decided that an injection of Intellectual Firepower, and Commercial, Strategic Leadership is required. Hence the appointment of a Chief Experience Officer.
The appointee will take a very active part in the leadership, strategic direction and most importantly, customer delivery & performance of this already well functioning business, and with it, customer engagement.
He/She will display a significant and demonstrable ability to understand the commercial and human proposition of a consumer-led service business, and turn that into a formidable commercial strategy…then execute it.
Innovation is critical to the success of this role and will form a major part in the successful candidate’s background, along with leadership, business sense, strategic influence, delivery and operational efficiency, as well as driving commercial success and business development.
The appointee will have a demonstrable leadership track record in B2C/customer-facing/service environments, as well as an automatic interest and fascination with business and process reengineering in general.
Customer performance, satisfaction and the long-term commercial success it brings will be at the core of the appointee’s personal focus. They will have been immersed in innovation, driving change and entrepreneurialism for much of their career, and be able to demonstrate an impressive history of achievement in both commercial and customer experience areas. But customers will not be the only human stakeholder, the successful candidate will be a great communicator, recognising that the human resource within the business is absolutely vital to the business’ future and commercial longevity.
Change is a key factor for this role. Whilst already highly performing, the organisation needs to embrace and drive through change. A potentially radical cultural shift will be needed for certain parts of the organisation where service provision is (rightly) seen as the ultimate and at times, sole focus. Whilst service must vitally be upheld as the most critical element of focus, understanding what that service needs to be, whose benefit the service is being provided for and the exact and verified needs of the recipient (i.e. the customer) needs to be wholesale re-evaluated. The commercial position of the business also needs to be significantly understood, and factored into all decisions. Addressing ‘Outright Service’ with ‘Commercial Impact’ needs to be understood, and the potential for ‘Paternal focus’ replaced with ‘Results Focused’.
The appointee will elevate this business to a position where they can comfortably compete for customers and customer service with anyone within their broader sector, both in terms of quality of service AND cost product range/service provision.
Their long-term vision is set. Providing optimum product/service choice with minimum time delay, at an attractive price and ultimate ease. Designing the strategy; the journey to that vision will be the ultimate focus of the appointee. Most of the building blocks for the delivery of the strategy are already in place. Value is already placed on the transformation programme with much of the ‘heavy lifting’ already having taken place. And this is a well-resourced organisation where budget, technological and human resource is comfortably available for investment – the sole limiting factor is the ability of the Chief Experience Office to demonstrate the benefit of any initiative.
It will be immediately obvious why the appointment has been made. The appointee may, or may not have held an outright Customer Experience and Strategic Leadership appointment already within their career, but they will be prime to do so, and possess the energy and ambition to attain unparalleled heights.
- Ensure the business can compete on cost, product range, and service quality with any vertical or horizontal competitors, new or existing.
- Design, develop and direct the customer strategy that will enable the company to maximise its full potential for long-term growth and profitability.
- Ensure the structure and capability is in place to deliver the customer transformation effectively and efficiently.
- Steer the business, the people and the overall service provision through a period of significant opportunistic change and transformation.
- Provide inspirational leadership and champion the values that the company lives by.
The appointee will have responsibility for Customer Service Delivery and Commercial Performance, (re)defining The Company’s vision and strategies for the service offerings (cost, range, quality and delivery), supporting service lines, simplifying key revenue streams and maintaining/building a high performing internal team(s).
- Develop our positioning with customers and customer groupings, articulating the value proposition that we can offer and aligning people throughout the organisation around that proposition
- Identify critical actions that will generate the greatest impact with customers and ensure they are driven throughout the business.
- Develop and utilise customer feedback mechanisms that promote learning and behaviour change among employees
- Understand what it’s like to “walk in the customer’s shoes” and use this to engage others and to drive continuous improvement in products and services
- Develop meaningful customer engagement strategies that are effective, inclusive and wide ranging, that ensure all customer groups are encouraged to contribute to the development of the business’s services and products
- Future proof the offer to the customer by building a replicable model so that new products, new markets and new services can be developed without compromising customer experience
- Provide strategic and operational leadership that delivers on the customer strategy ensuring every person across the business understands and buys into the importance of their role in achieving the vision of the organisation and delivers a great experience for both the internal and external customer
- Promote and develop technological ideas and solutions that will improve and enhance the lives of the customer
- Work closely with the Board, Chief Executive, Leadership Team and external stakeholders, proactively contributing to the customer experience agenda and growing the reputation as a Force for Good across their market, and beyond.
- Redefined customer proposition leading to class-leading service AND commercial success
- Improved operational efficiency, primarily through key delivery measures reported to Board
- Reduction in overall costs, primarily through service redesign
- Contribution to longer term commercial direction/ options
- Continual questioning, re-evaluation, enquiry and inquisition across the business and its procedures.
Professional Experience and Background
The successful candidate will be a proven strategic business leader with a track record of leading a highly service-centred business where customer satisfaction has been critical to success. Core skills to include driving change, ensuring delivery and driving the P&L, with verifiable goals achieved around service, delivery, profit and organisational development.
Specific requirements include:
- Business Change/Customer Experience Leadership/Entrepreneurial experience
- Experience leading key consumer-facing functions with an innovative business
- Track record of delivery and improvements in operational efficiency and service performance
- Strong understanding of market dynamics and customer requirements
- Ability to identify and suggest service line expansions/solutions to circle the customer in service and custom solutions
The appointee should be results and delivery oriented; hands-on and possess the ability to create a sense of mission and attentiveness to current and future requirements and challenges.
- Intellectual Firepower
- A strong commercial market orientation with commitment to commercial delivery and customer satisfaction
- Highly commercial mind-set, comfort with ambiguity and love of change and opportunity. Strong ability to manage risk and balance opportunity
- Strong communication, listening and interpersonal skills
- Ability to effectively lead, motivate and inspire teams
- Unquestioned ethics and integrity plus a social conscience.
- Inspirational leader who embraces technology and broader change to deliver customer focused, value for money, efficient, innovative working practices.
- Clear, open, honest and direct leadership style with a proven ability to maximise the potential from organisations and people.
- Evidence of transforming operations (across all aspects: cost/efficiency/service/culture).
- Track record of commercial success, leading a multi-disciplinary/functional senior team with P&L responsibility.
- A strategic thinker who is able to translate this into successful operational delivery.
- Strong business development skills, operating within a commercial environment at a strategic level. Ability to take a broader, longer-term perspective, providing innovative solutions and a results focused approach.
- Excellent communication skills and strong interpersonal and leadership skills to lead and direct the business’s diversification, development and commercial activities to meet growth aspirations.
- Presentation, communication, persuasive and report writing skills at a high level.
- Analytical skills and the ability to judge, assess and act accordingly within a risk based framework.
- Able to deal with a number of high profile and challenging projects concurrently. This includes the ability to absorb, validate and make judgments and decisions based upon complex information, within highly sensitive political and diverse organisational environments.
- Delivering the highest standards of integrity and sound judgment underpinned by an intellectual capacity and high emotional intelligence.
- A sense of humour and a love of fun.