of customers strongly agree that NZTE has added value to their business.

2017 Customer Research

How do you build a value-based relationship with your customers when they see you as an ATM machine?

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise was starting a period of rebuilding. It had new leadership who were ambitious to make a real impact on the success of New Zealand export businesses.

All customer surveys showed that NZTE customers were very happy but conversations with actual customers did not reflect that. Why the contradiction? NZTE leadership needed to know the truth.

Eleven set about understanding what was really going on with NZTE and its customers.

We found that because NZTE was handing out customer grants and quickly following that up with a customer survey, customers always said they were very happy with NZTE’s service – they weren’t but they didn’t want to say so for fear of rocking the boat and no longer getting a precious grant.

And NZTE’s customer team were not happy because they felt that customers treated them like an ATM which dispensed money. In addition NZTE people saw customers not taking their advice and wasting export opportunities and grant money.

We discovered what NZTE customers truly wanted support and good advice to go along with the grants.

NZTE people wanted a customer relationships based on respect, goodwill and value. And they wanted the opportunity to deliver the best advice, expertise and export opportunities to their customers.

We designed ‘Customer Way’ to
be the foundation for how NZTE engages with its customers within
New Zealand and globally.

Eleven created a new NZTE-Customer engagement model which was designed to meet the needs of NZTE people and customers. It became the ‘Customer Way’.

Customer Way is based on core customer-centric principles and Eleven’s proprietary collaborative problem solving methodology DEEP™. The goal of the Customer Way was to build collaborative, value-based partnerships with customers, break down internal NZTE silos and to enable NZ and international NZTE teams to work as one team serving NZ customers.

All of which would help New Zealand businesses go to the right global market in the right shape at the right time – and be successful doing it.

Rapid prototyping.

Eleven designed a pilot to test and refine the Customer Way before going global. The pilot was based in NZ and carried out with NZ and international customer facing people, NZTE customer specialists and selected customers.

We used an agile iterative design process and after 90 days ‘Customer Way’ emerged.

'Customer Way' global launch

Customer Way was approved by the NZTE CEO, lead team and board and was launched globally. A single NZTE team travelled to every international office to launch Customer Way and train NZTE people in its use. It is still the core component of NZTE’s way of operating with its customers within New Zealand and globally.


94% Customers strongly agree that NZTE has added value to their business.

• From 51 to 62 overall NZTE NPS score.

30% lift on NZTE Customer Manager Impact.

• NZTE staff that feel positively engaged in the organisation moved from 69% to 81%.