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Getting closer to the customer (and their horses)

Mustad has provided hoof care products to farriers the world over for 5 generations. They came to Livework asking us to help them get closer to their customers. We’re now working together on a 5-year change programme which expands their offer into a service that focuses on their customers’ needs, and truly sets them apart from competitors.

Moving from ‘we make hoof care products’ to ‘we solve problems for farriers’.

The concept of sustained competitive advantage means you have to go to spaces your competitors aren’t working in. For Mustad, this meant focusing on farrier services and a huge shift in organisational culture. We developed a roadmap, a set of strategies and a vision statement and that became central to the company mission. We managed internal stakeholder engagement, coaching and training to ensure their organisation is capable of delivering all the strategies they’re developing.

Creating the right internal structure for change and growth

By training Mustad’s staff to speak to their customers in ways they’d never done before. Our combined team was able to interview 91 farriers and distributors across 4 continents. The strategy we defined, based on these insights, requires new internal structures to make the change sustainable and effective. That’s what we’re now engaged in helping them achieve.

So far, we helped them hire and train a customer experience team and gain momentum by gathering some projects that were already in process under the MCX (Mustad Customer Experience) umbrella we’ve created. These projects included a new website, piloting some digital tools we’d helped develop, and launching a new CRM. We worked with their new CX team to make sure these were set up to serve the customers well.

A 10 point strategy for organisational change.

Concepts we developed in the initial work are being piloted in Australia, and the wider reach of the work will be felt soon. One key deliverable in our initial work was a 10 point strategy document. The Head of Mustad Customer experience (MCX) has a laminated copy of this that she carries around with her. It contains a strategy for answering the original question ‘How do we get closer to our customer?’

To do it you have to change your culture, your governance, the way you do projects and the order in which you do them. You need to ensure capability building is a key part of the work, so your team are empowered to drive change themselves. That’s what customer centricity looks like in the real world.

We’re one and a half years through a 5-year programme which will transform their relationship with their customers and make them leaders in their field.

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Ben Reason Founding Partner

I am a founding partner of Livework having set-up the company in 2001. My focus on keeping Livework at the forefront of service design practice and ensuring we continue to create value for our clients.

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