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  3. Tuesday, February 04 2014, 09:35 AM
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In this post from the Process Excellence Network, David Millen, VP of Smarter Process at IBM, is quoted:
Process excellence is moving from the back office to the front office and that simplifying business operations is a key part of driving this customer focus.
What do you think?
Don Schuerman Accepted Answer
Essential. Three parts of a great customer service experience are tied to "Process Excellence."


It must be easy for the customer. Much of the frustration customers feel in service experiences come when companies impose their own organizational complexities (front office v. back office, business unit silos, the archeology of past acquisitions, etc.) on customers. These processes must be streamlined to provide a simple experience for customers.


Fulfill your promises. Poor customer experiences often happens when service requests get lost in the silos between front and back office, fulfillment teams, etc. Process and case management allow processes to live between these silos and help assure that no customer requests get lost in the cracks.


Adapt in real time. Today's customer is increasingly empowered by social networks and mobile tools that allow them to reach out and demand (and publicly complain) when they don't get the service need. Businesses must be able to react in real time to unforeseen events, which requires a high-level of process maturity and process agility.


Of course, all of this is meaningless if process experts don't take what Forrester and others are calling an "outside in" approach to customer service. We must think about our processes not just in terms of efficiency, but in terms of the customer experience. If we extend Process Excellence to include the customer perspective, we can dramatically change the way customer service is deliver.

I don't like to share Pega evangelism on this blog, but the case study in the video below is less a Pega "ad" than real-life story of how some really smart folks took a customer centric view of their processes (in case, for account opening) and re-engineered everything (from the layout of their branches to the systems they use) to deliver a better experience. They also had a pretty good tool to help them do that ;-)
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 1
Steve Weissman Accepted Answer
Well, "front office" isn't generally used to mean "customer focused," so there's really two points embedded in the premise of the quote. Having said that,

(1) I agree that process excellence is moving from the back office to the front office, which to most in my circles means general business users, rather than HR specialists, accountants, and the like on the back end of the computing system. And having said that, I don't believe it's moving fast enough, many times because the back and front are treated as two separate initiatives, rather than two aspects of a single whole.

(2) I agree that simplifying business operations is a key part of driving customer focus. Or at least, it should be, for if we make life easier for the folks who deal with customers, they're likely to be able to focus more on the customer than on the system.
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  1. more than a month ago
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David Chassels Accepted Answer
A bit of a motherhood and apple pie question but I think it does raise importance of “Process excellence is moving from the back office to the front office”?

If you are going to work on real issues that impact on customers then having the direct link between front and back office is a must to deliver efficiently. It is all about "orchestration" of required data from any source at any specific instance to the right person any where in a user friendly format. Simple.....but only if the users internal or external have that seamless connection with "back office"?.

It needs to be acknowledged there will always be complex requirements (like a product configurator). The supporting technology needs to "simplify" in hands of users even make an “engaging” experience with a desired outcome.

Thereafter the process excellence is in the hands of people so there should be no excuse to blame the system....and that is what BPM and supporting technologies must deliver?
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  1. more than a month ago
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Ian Gotts Accepted Answer
I have been writing a regular monthly column for PEX called "Mr Angry on Customer Service"

Not every post is about poor customer service. Some are about exceptional service, but one that is delivered consistently rather than due to the super-human effort of one individual.

The common theme behind every story is that the failing or success in customer service is rooted in a clearly thought out process, consistently implemented by staff.

Please feel free to share or reuse the stories to support your case for more process thinking in the front office.
References
  1. http://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/columnists/mr-angry-you-call-that-customer-service/
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Peter Whibley Accepted Answer
We all work in customer service so process excellence and customer service go hand in hand. Process automation extended beyond the front office years ago, onto mobile devices and will increasingly be found on smart devices.
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  1. more than a month ago
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E Scott Menter Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
Remember the good old days when "excellence" and "quality" were largely used as metaphors for "staff reduction"?

No? Hmm, maybe that's just me; the financial services industry may have left me with one or two mental scars. But the gray hairs on my neck stand on end a bit when I hear those terms nonetheless. Because otherwise, what are we really talking about here? We don't want to implement just <em>any</em> processes, no: only <em>excellent</em> processes! Good thing you said so, I'll just shelve this mediocre process I was working on.

Buzzwords and recycled methodologies aside, the part of the quote that really intrigues me is the nod to the spread of BPM from the back office to the edges of the organization and beyond. In my soon-to-be-posted interview with Diana Davis from PEX network, I discuss the importance of this trend. Be sure to tune in! :D
http://www.bplogix.com/images/icon-x-medium.png Scott
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  1. more than a month ago
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Scott Francis Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
A customer experiences your company as the sum of its business processes. How comfortable does that make you feel?
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Jose Camacho Accepted Answer
I think we can understand the Process Excellence as a synthesis of a number of disciplines and techniques based on the concepts of customer focu and do it right at first time minimizing waste, such as quality control, TQM, zero defects, SixSigma .. .. Thus, even if the E2E processes must continue to go from the front office to back office, if the strategic 'driver' is to structure and provide the processes of customer service with the required resources to start and complete customer service on first contact (front office), we are increasing the level of service quality and customer satisfaction, with less time and lower cost, which means increased productivity and profitability of business operations.
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Bogdan Nafornita Accepted Answer
Customer Service is a crucial way to convey a customer experience. Proper Customer Service should actually be embedded into the product or service being sold. And that requires a highly sophisticated design thinking to lay the foundation of the right processes that lead to optimal customer interaction points.

I am unaware of a company that is able to do that at scale.
Managing Founder, profluo.com
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 9
Essential, but as we are talking about covering the back-office and front-office processes together (thanks to Scott) then it is necessary to consider a system of processes. The latter is still “terra incognita” for the majority of BPMers.

Thanks,
AS
Comment
A system of processes? Where all systems driven by process? I like the feel but do you have "definition"?
  1. David Chassels
  2. 2 years ago
I cannot think "process" but actually "process landscape". No single process is useful by itself. Processes are customers of and suppliers to other processes, they convey data and pass triggers to each other. They need to be orchestrated and of course choreographed (especially for customer service), they need to be deeply thought through: process / data / actors.

Hence my "design thinking" comment. It is not enough to design a single customer support process, every process in your organization should be designed with the ultimate customer experience in mind.
  1. Bogdan Nafornita
  2. 2 years ago
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