Insight article

Making the next big difference: considering customer needs

As any company tries to reinvent itself in a competitive market, it is often necessary to offer large-scale strategic changes. However, in such moments, there is the chance that change fatigue arises. This was the challenge facing one international courier, who were struggling to engage employees. 

By using the inspirational power of storytelling, however, they were able to stress the relationship between strategy and shopfloor, briefing and behaviour: between process and people. 

Creating Christmas cheer

As the festive season nears, millions of people will look forward to connecting with their loved ones.

For one recently divorced father, however, his Christmas promised no such pleasure. His new life had taken him far from his old Suffolk home, and his festive period would be spent in Glasgow, alone.

Yet he wanted his to children know that his thoughts were with them at this family time. He carefully selected a series of books, wrote heartfelt notes to accompany them, and sent them.

Soon, however, he realised that they had not been delivered, with Christmas approaching fast.

Concerned, the father called the carrier, worried that this children would feel forgotten on Christmas Day. His calls revealed that the books had disappeared, and nobody could locate them. 

After a final attempt to find the parcels proved fruitless, one of the carrier’s employees spoke up. They’d heard the father’s story, and wanted his family to receive the tokens of his love. 

With time running out, however, it was not possible for the father to rebuy and resend the presents. So one last call was made: to ask him exactly what he wanted to send them, and what he’d written in his notes. 

The carrier’s team sprang into action: a swift city centre visit to ensure that exactly the same gifts were bought, and that the parcels were sent to Suffolk – just in time for Santa’s visit. It was a unique example of the carrier’s employees going above and beyond – making a difference – and saving Christmas for one affectionate father.

A company transformed

Shortly after placing narrative – storytelling – at the heart of their organizational revamp, the carrier realised that employees were feeling more engaged, and that the role of their day-to-day work in achieving better things was clear. The changes were as measurable as they were impressive: reduced absenteeism (6.7 per cent to 4.7 per cent), an 11 per cent reduction in staff turnover, skyrocketing Employee Survey scores, and, two years after a loss of £190 million, a healthy return to profit: all acting as a testament to the power of storytelling to transform an organisation. 

To discover how storytelling can transform your business, download our e-book, Storytelling: how to reset an organisation’s narrative to inspire change

Imogen Wallersteiner

Content Associate

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