Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Dangerous Disconnect Between Customers and Existing Processes

Most organizations seem pretty happy with their processes because they support the products and services in a manner that optimizes the companies goals. Good processes, by today's measures, handle work across the functional stove pipes to link together support for that work in the most economical fashion. I hate to burst the anyone's balloon, but there is significant danger around feeling smug about these ever improving processes. Customers today are fickle and will gladly switch to another organization these days. There are steps that organizations can take, besides changing their attitude listed below:

Create Customer Journey Maps:

Organizations are encouraged to create customer maps that show the touch points between customers and each part of their organization. Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) is gaining momentum because few organizations understand all the touch points that customers have with each of their organizational units. Once the maps are created they can be compared to the processes and the goals established for these processes and organizational units. The resulting analysis can generate improvements for short term gains for the customers pragmatically and long term incremental approaches to process redesign ideally.

Perform Behavior Modeling:

It is important to understand the mood of the customer as you interact with them in addition to their journey with your organization and the processes that represent your organization. It is equally important to understand the likely outcome of your offers and actions towards your customer. Journey maps are great, but they can be super charged by modeling behavior and predicting the outcomes of your additional actions with a customer. This moves beyond rigid scripts to situational analysis and savvy responses within constraints.

Establish Customer Advocates:

Right now there is little customer advocacy occurring on the customers behalf. Sure, you hire people who will listen and show empathy, but your employees are really not enabled to act on behalf of customers. In fact each customer touching employees are given inflexible scripts, policies and rules to enforce with profuse apologies that the customer just has to deal with the complications of organizations structures, processes and rules. While some of these constraints make sense, others are artificial and not necessary.

Net; Net:

We all have stories of bad customer service, bad processes and silly rules. I would guess there are any number of times where we have been more than annoyed. Organizations are betting that it is easier for you to deal with the bad service than switch to another organization. This is a bad bet today and a worse bet tomorrow with new and differentiating processes emerging from the new digital world !!!!!


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