We assist organizations in improving customer experience. Our approach involves modelling, measuring and re-designing the entire customer journey and the large streams of work that create value for customers. These value streams typically cross organizational boundaries. In order to assure the longevity of these improvements to customer experience we also assist our clients in assigning accountability for value stream performance.
Contrary to popular belief, the key to delivering superior customer experience is not found inside the customer service organization. Instead, when companies find ways for departments to collaborate in novel and exciting ways they will realize increases in customer loyalty and repeat business. This requires an understanding of the way work flows across departments to create value for customers – commonly known as cross-functional business processes – and begins with developing a customer journey map and modeling key processes such as order to delivery, inquiry to resolution and idea to commercialization in order to gain a shared understanding of these value creating work flows.
It’s important to measure what matters to customers. This often begins with measuring the company’s performance at the so called critical “moments of truth,” and the key outputs of the customer touching value chains. By tracking performance metrics such as perfect order delivery (on-time, complete, error-free), perfect response to inquiries and complaints (first-time-right, complete, error-free), and variance to promise date for new product or service introduction, executives can ask thought-provoking questions that strike directly to how the company performs for customers and typically require cross-departmental collaboration. Prompt action is then needed to improve and/or redesign the flow of value creating work where performance is not up to expectations.
Five Actions for Success with Customer Driven Business Transformation
At the risk of over simplifying what is a very complex challenge, we ask you to consider the following five key actions:
- Measure the current level of perform for customers
- Map the entire customer journey
- Identify the key opportunities for improvement
- Integrate enabling technology with process redesign
- Assess and refine
Measure the current level of performance for customers by rapidly gathering random samples of data on metrics such as “perfect order delivery”- as defined by the Supply Chain Council. Monitor other critical to customer metrics such as first time right responses to customer inquiries and complaints and variance to promise dates. Use this data to estimate the potential payback and return on investment for customer driven business transformation.
Map the entire customer journey by looking at the full sequence of events from a customer’s point of view – i.e. from the “outside-in” – in clear, crisp terms such as a real customer would use. Don’t limit your work to looking at discreet touch points – or moments of truth. Facilitate conversations with groups of people on the type of cross functional collaboration that is needed to radically improve customer experience.
Identify the key opportunities for improvement based on the customer journey and then examine the relevant value creating business processes. Tackle no more than two to three of the highest priority, complex, cross functional business processes. Resist taking the easy way out of just looking at what individual departments might do to improve customer experience.
Integrate enabling technology with process redesign to transform the way the company works and radically improve customer experience. Don’t just rely on one tool – take advantage of the full spectrum of process automation approaches.
Assess and refine the approach. Don’t expect you will capture the full leverage potential of customer experience in driving business transformation the very first cycle. Customer driven business transformation is a journey that takes several iterations.
Engaging leadership throughout is vitally important, as is assuring cross functional collaboration and building in change management from the outset. The input of an external coach or a trusted advisor who has the benefit of impartiality and experience can also be useful in staying on course.
Beyond these five key actions – long term success with customer experience management frequently requires a shift in culture. This shift of culture requires not only attention to customer focused metrics as outlined above , but also on establishing governance for customer value creation and aligned reward systems.
- Governance: Given the development of the right models and metrics, establishing a process based governance framework to emphasize customer value creation is necessary to embed a new way of “how we do things around here.”
- Reward Systems: This involves aligning reward and recognition systems to acknowledge the efforts of individuals and teams that enable performance for customers.