10 March 2015 – Andrew Cook
Customer experience management is about balancing the fluffy stuff with optimal operations. Focusing on delighting your customers means that customer needs should tie in with business process optimisation. The one cannot be achieved without the other. Companies that prioritise successful business process optimisation find that they are able to offer long-lasting customer experience benefits.
One of the goals of business process optimisation is to increase efficiencies and reduce costs. Our approach is to identify the opportunities through the eyes of your customers. No one knows what’s working and what’s not better than the people who buy your products, use your services and rely on your after sales support.
To deliver great customer experiences, companies need to pull together the people, processes and technology that impact the customer’s journey with the brand. We drive business results by creating customer journey maps, which form the starting point of business process optimisation. These maps help companies to:
- Analyse the moments of truth that lead to pain points or satisfied experiences
- Identify the of root causes of pain points
- Define and understand processes and touch points
- Pinpoint and prioritise improvement opportunities
- Improve the customer’s enjoyment and ease of interaction
With this in mind, we combine the customer experience with Six Sigma principles to drive business process optimisation and zoom in on operations. This enables a full breakdown to the specific functioning of frontline processes, IT processes, marketing and sales processes, third party vendors, HR, legal and finance. Examples include reducing cycle times in terms of improving call handling and time to resolution, reducing failure and abandonment rates, improving cross and up-selling, streamlining account set-up, ordering and billing, and technical support.
As international leaders in the industry, Forrester Research believes that Six Sigma and CEM should be combined to continuously improve the outcomes delivered to customers.
Business process optimisation can help to turn CEM into a profit centre by achieving six significant solutions:
- Create a customer-centric brand culture
Part of the optimisation process is to create a common language and company-wide understanding of the brand through the eyes of the customer. This is applied across all departments, third party vendors and systems.
- Drive quality results
By identifying opportunities through business process optimisation for getting rid of the inefficiencies that cause pain points, you can eliminate gaps, duplications and costly errors. Creating consistent and high-quality processes means you can improve the quality of your service from end to end.
- Enable faster decisions
As bottlenecks are eliminated and processes become more visible, employees can respond to customers, identify escalations and assist management with real-time business decisions quicker and with more agility.
- Increase accountability
By applying disciplined and consistent business processes across the entire customer journey, you can increase accountability at all levels. Using customer feedback as the foundation of this process means that the proper monitoring and reporting tools will be in place to reduce risks from human error and other types of system issues.
- Performance monitoring
Combining CEM with business process optimisation means that companies can easily monitor their employees’ performance, which makes it possible to take action and avoid problems before they reach the customer.
Business process optimisation, through methodologies like Six Sigma, has been applied successfully for decades to both product and service firms. This has not automatically translated into delighting customers, which means that something has been missing all this time. By changing a company’s focus from profit growth to customer-centricity, you’ll naturally find that brand perception improves and along with it customer loyalty and as a result profits will follow.
But remember, business process optimisation alone does not guarantee great CEM. You still have to account for the fluffy stuff. If you neglect the importance of the emotional element of customer experience and treat your customers, like numbers on database, all the business process optimisation in the world will not lead to loyal engaged customers.