Strong-Bridge Consulting News
Strong-Bridge continues as a Silver sponsor of the Safe Crossings fundraising luncheon. The mission of Safe Crossings Foundation is to be a leader in funding services that help grieving children heal. Funding goes towards running the Safe Crossings program which includes services like grief counseling, support groups, crisis response, and the operation of Camp Erin, a unique environment designed to help children heal. Proceeds from the luncheon exceeded the organization’s goal and topped $150,000. Strong-Bridge Consulting is committed to making a difference in our local community and focuses on programs that focus on children.
If you’re not 'conducting' your customer’s experience, you’re probably out of tune.
Dennis Haugan | November 2013 | FROM THE PRINT EDITION
Imagine an orchestra with no conductor. Without someone determining what instruments participate and when they engage, it’s just noise. That same scenario plays out today for many brands with the customer experiences they generate. Instead of instruments, they have departments, agencies, campaigns, products and projects. Each one doing its own thing—yet they all come together for the customer, just like those instruments in the orchestra. And just like that orchestra with no conductor, it often is just noise.
Today, an individual customer experience quickly becomes a shared experience. Often, companies work feverishly downstream to address customer experience issues, but rarely move upstream to address them proactively. It takes a lot of marketing to overcome the gap created when a brand promise is broken. You not only have to resell the brand to your customer, but also to those with whom the customer shared the experience.
The challenge is that most companies still build customer experiences within silos, defining the customer’s wants, needs and goals differently. These independent efforts often come together for the first time within the customer journey. The odds that they organically come together effectively are slim, much like the odds that a group of instruments are somehow going to come together effectively to produce beautiful music. Without a composer and a conductor, both efforts simply end up generating noise.
In the past, sharing a poor experience was limited to word of mouth. Social media now amplify and dramatically expand the shared experience reach, so customer experience matters more than ever before. Eighty-nine percent of adults in the United States switched to a competitor because they had a bad customer experience with a service provider, yet 86 percent of Ameerican adults will pay more for a better customer experience. Most companies recognize this situation as both a problem and an opportunity. According to Forrester Research, 86 percent of companies believe customer experience is a top strategic priority, but most don’t know where to start.
Based on my work with clients, I have learned the most effective starting point is with the brand promise made to customers. We can all think of brands that we feel really deliver the experience we would expect, but honestly, how many of these brands can you list? Often, there is a gap between the brand promise and the actual experience, which is ironic since the holy grail of marketing is delivering the “essence of the brand.”
This is why I define customer experience as “the intersection of the brand promise and the actual customer experience.” If you don’t start with your brand promise, you are starting too far downstream. And if you don’t align all the fractioned groups around a shared methodology, then you are continuing to create disconnected experiences within silos that do not deliver against the brand promise.
I find it works when you align disparate groups around a shared methodology, design with the same customers in mind and think about their needs and goals throughout the journey. To me, it is about designing a customer experience that delivers the right content and tools at the right time at the right location to help your customers make the decision to buy, stay with and evangelize your brand. This is called Customer Experience Design (CED).
I used CED for years within campaigns, website redesigns and omni-channel optimization. By far, the easiest to start with is campaigns. Here are steps you can follow to align your campaigns with CED.
1. Start with a creative brief that has been modified to account for all stages of the customer journey.
2. Expand your customer personas to include targeted customer needs and goals.
3. Map out the top three to five customer scenarios across primary touch points in customer journeys.
4. Brief your agency using the expanded creative brief, needs- and goals-based personas, and customer journey maps.
By starting at the beginning of the journey in partnership with your agency, you will have an on-brand campaign message that flows well beyond the awareness layer, content that helps customers make decisions, and integrated experiences that deliver against your brand promise while helping the customers meet their goals.
The next time you watch a TV commercial, see if you can discern the brand promise it is making. Then stress test that brand promise by visiting the website, the retail store or calling customer service. Will you find these touch point experiences were aligned to the brand promise made within the campaign? Or will it turn out to be just a bunch of noise?
DENNIS HAUGAN is managing director of customer experience design at Strong-Bridge Consulting in Tukwila. Reach him at email@example.com.
Puget Sound Business Journal honors Strong-Bridge Consulting as one of the fastest growing Washington companies second year in a row.
Seattle, WA (PRWeb) October 15, 2013 -- Puget Sound Business Journal announced that Strong-Bridge Consulting again made the list of the top 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in Washington for 2013.
Puget Sound Business Journal announced that Strong-Bridge LLC ranked number 74 on the 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies list at an awards event at Meydenbauer Center on Oct. 10. The event, which drew nearly 550 people, announced and honored all 100 companies on the list and revealed each company’s ranking. The 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies are listed, with select companies profiled, in a special publication of the Business Journal on October 11, 2013.
“As a local firm we are proud to be among the fastest growing companies again this year” states Tom Rayner, Strong-Bridge President. “Our growth continues to be fueled by doing what is best for our clients and our employees. Receiving local recognition from Puget Sound Business Journal and national recognition from Inc. magazine confirms that our steadfast focus on employee and client experience continues to set us apart in the local marketplace.”
The top Washington companies are ranked by the percentage of revenue growth from 2010 to 2012. Companies must have begun 2012 as an independent, privately held corporation or partnership (not a subsidiary or subdivision), and must have a minimum of $500,000 in revenue.
Puget Sound Business Journal honors Strong-Bridge Consulting as one of the fastest growing Washington companies for 2013.
Seattle, WA (PRWeb) September 16, 2013 -- Puget Sound Business Journal announced that Strong-Bridge Consulting again made the list of the top 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in Washington for 2013.
Washington's 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies for 2013 collectively had 2012 revenue of more than $1.5 billion and three-year revenue growth of more than 173 percent. Specific ranking will be announced by Puget Sound Business Journal October 11th, 2013.
“As a local firm we are proud to be among the fastest growing companies again this year” states Tom Rayner, Strong-Bridge President. “We are absolutely proud of our growth, but more importantly we’re humbled by the incredible group of clients that choose to work with and put their faith in us. We’re equally humbled and grateful for the incredibly talented group of employees that have chosen to make Strong-Bridge Consulting their home. While we view our growth as an indicator of success, we also recognize a greater ability to make positive impact in the lives of our clients, employees, and community. And ultimately this is what we celebrate the most.”
To make the list, companies must have recorded revenue of at least $500,000 in 2010 and demonstrated revenue growth through 2012. In addition, these firms must have been privately held during the reporting period and headquartered in Washington State. They cannot be subsidiaries of other companies. The chief executive officer or chief financial officer of each company must submit in writing — and personally vouch for — revenues.
Strong-Bridge Consulting moves up 110 spots earning # 2108 ranking out of 5,000 of America’s fasting growing private companies.
Seattle, WA (PRWeb) September 9, 2013 -- Strong-Bridge LLC announced it has been placed in the top half of the 2013 Inc. 500/5000 list, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy--America's independent entrepreneurs.
Recognized for revenue and job growth, Strong-Bridge ranked # 2108 on the list of 5,000 fastest growing private companies spanning 25 industries. Strong-Bridge ranked #56 out of the top 100 Washington state companies that made the list.
"Make no mistake: The Inc. 5000 was harder to get into this year than ever in its history. The median company on the list increased sales more than 140 percent since the start of 2010, while the average honoree grew a mind-boggling 468 percent. Those are results most companies could only dream of in the economy of the past three years." Inc. Editor in Chief Eric Schurenberg
According to a recent article in the September issue of Inc. Magazine, one thing Inc. 5000 Companies have in common is performance. "The largest distinction between consumer-facing Inc. 5000 companies and their business-to-business counterparts is that the former thrive by making customers happy. The latter thrive by making customers look great." Inc. Editor at large Leigh Buchanan
“Customer experience matters”, states Ken Simpson, Partner and Co-Founder of Strong-Bridge Consulting. “We've carefully grown our firm through strategic, results-driven engagements that deliver great customer experiences and earn long-term client loyalty. Making the list again this year confirms our consistent focus on the client and their success pays off for both our clients and us.”
This year's list measures revenue growth from 2009 through 2012. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2009. Additionally, they had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent--not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies-as of December 31, 2012. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2009 is $100,000; the minimum for 2012 is $2 million. Revenue figures given in the company profiles are for calendar year 2012. Employee counts are as of December 31, 2012. Full-time and part-time employees are included in the employee counts; independent contractors are not.
Seattle, WA (PRWeb) June 4, 2013 – Strong-Bridge Consulting is pleased to announce the integration of its subsidiary, Flexource Business Solutions, into the broader consulting organization. For five years Flexource, a boutique healthcare consultancy, has been developing a stellar track record of working with healthcare providers on their most critical medical and operational initiatives.
“With healthcare being reshaped in the United States, it is an opportune time to combine the Flexource and Strong-Bridge organizations, thereby strengthening our ability to support healthcare sector clients,” commented Ken Simpson, Co-CEO at Strong-Bridge. “We have been a subsidiary of Strong-Bridge since our inception,” stated Julie Kelly, Principal at Flexource, “we are now pleased to fully integrate into the broader team. This move will provide our joint clients access to an even stronger set of solutions and market-leading consulting talent.”
In addition to healthcare expertise, another Flexource differentiator is that consultants may work full-time or on a more flexible schedule as dictated by client needs. This approach is highly attractive to many clients as well as to many talented and experienced consultants. Laurie Heilmann, Managing Director of Strong-Bridge’s health care practice added, “the Flexource team is impressive, dedicated and best in class. I’m excited to begin working with them.”
“Overall, the Flexource integration supports one of our key strategies of creating market leading capabilities in the healthcare arena,” observed Simpson. “We are excited to welcome the Flexource team and add its healthcare capabilities and flexible model into our service offerings. Operational integration is already underway and will be complete by July 1, 2013.
Seattle, WA – Strong-Bridge is proud to once again be a Gold Sponsor of the Many Lights Foundation Spring Fundraising event. Proceeds from the event further the development of Hope Lights, a multigenerational community where children in foster care, find permanent loving homes with adoptive parents, and kinship families, and elders find a supportive place to call home.
Seattle, WA (PRWeb) February 26, 2013—Strong-Bridge LLC announced it has added Laurie Heilmann as Executive Director, HealthCare-Life Science Practice. Laurie has developed a track record of consistently increasing sales, profits, market share, and new market development for hospitals, medical device manufactures, clinical researchers, and enterprise-wide software providers.
“Healthcare is one of the fastest growing segments today and clients need a partner who really understands the complexities unique to healthcare and life sciences”, states Tom Rayner, Strong-Bridge President. “We found that in Laurie, a respected leader with demonstrated results whose experience and focus on client’s success is paramount to our brand.”
Laurie Heilmann brings extensive global experience in the Healthcare-Life Science Industry as well as a powerful network to Strong-Bridge Consulting. Leveraging her clinical background, she has designed, sold, and implemented medical devices and peri-operative critical care software solutions within the most data intensive areas of the hospital. Her experience lends itself to not only deployment, but optimization of enterprise-wide software and technology solutions to outpatient; ambulatory care services; process reengineering; clinical and project management outsourcing.
Laurie’s in-depth understanding of strategic sales and marketing in the healthcare-life science marketplace has led to the success of several companies she founded. Most recently she launched two global companies focused on clinical trial outsourcing services in the drug development, medical device, and imaging marketplace which lead products to regulatory approval.
“... I am thrilled to be a part of the Strong-Bridge team and look forward to contributing to the growth of the healthcare-life sciences practice within the firm. The Strong-Bridge team has expertise that maps extremely well to the evolving client needs as the industry re-engineers for health care reform. The combination of Strong-Bridge talent and my experience creates immediate synergy and strengthens our overall healthcare practice.”