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As Scott Francis writes here, "We can argue that the customer journey is the process that matters, because it is the one that dictates every experience and interaction a customer has with a business." What do you think?
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I think Scott is probably right. When all is said and done, everything a company does should be focused on making the customer experience outstanding. If you don't, you will lose prospects and customers. At a surface level customers don't care about your hiring process, but if your hiring process results in bad hires, or your onboarding process lacks in training people thoroughly, your customers will eventually feel effect of that bad process, which of course effects their customer experience. It isn't an accident companies like Amazon are dominating. They focus completely on the customer, and make it incredibly easy for you to buy whatever they are selling.

So, is the Customer Journey the only process that matters? Yes, because all other processes at a copmany eventually effect the customer experience, either positively or negatively.
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  1. Scott Francis
  2. 3 months ago
  3. #5666
Thanks Brian - that is almost exactly how I was thinking about it -
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 1
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All processes matter. If they did not, we wouldn't bother to map them out.

In today's fast changing environment, a singular focus on "the customer" is ill-advised.

In some markets/industries, corporations need to have new products for new markets on the back burner. If the product/service is highly disruptive there may be no customer to talk to in the early stages.
References
  1. http://kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 2
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I feel like I was set up by Peter today while I have meetings all day ;)
Just wait til the next blog post on this subject, Peter! ;)
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  1. John Reynolds
  2. 3 months ago
  3. #5667
Peter would never be that devious Scott... um... yeah ;-)
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 3
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Important but certainly not the only process that can make or break a business.....!! It is important to include the recognition of the importance of all salient processes and the informal network drivers that weave between the formal processes.
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 4
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Shameless plug - Your Decision Making Process is the one that matters most - because the Journey's going to be lousy if you can't decide where to go ;-)
Founder at John Reynolds' Venture LLC - Creator of ¿?Trules™ for drama free decisions
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 5
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The value is created in the customer process. The only way to survive in competitive business is to create more value than other organizations in the same business. But this is not of course the whole story. In market economy we have to serve also investors and society so the limiting factors are the cost, use of resource (incl. environmental) and ethical aspects.

The trick in the question is, how we choose the customer and value proposition. I would suggest that the process that matters most is the "strategy"-process incl. analyzing our market position and our capabilities, choosing must win battles, setting targets, budgeting, short term planning, implementation, follow up, review and assessments.

If you have chosen the right "play ground", for the long term the rate of improvement, innovation and learning predicts the success and survival of the organization. From that point of view the "continuous improvement, innovation and learning"- process might be the most important.... this of course has to focus customer value creation (=customer journey)

BR. Kai
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 6
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If you can’t deliver good products and services and ability to anticipate then the customer journey will never happen (for you).

The first things first.

Thanks,
AS
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 7
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Customer Journey; All the work you outsourced to the customer.

Always considered it weird that a customer journey is seen as something separate from 'Internal process'.

It's just a process. To deliver a result that has value.

And yes, the customer might be one of the executors in the process.

http://procesje.blogspot.com/2016/10/i-love-it-when-customers-do-all-our-work.html
Sharing my adventures in Process World via Procesje.nl
Comment
@Emiel - Agree that for processes , " . . .weird that a customer journey is seen as something separate".

Same comment re supplier journeys except here, some of the touch points are mandated (weekly reporting, shipment notice, etc.)

From a system architecture point of view, these journeys must be managed differently - you want customers to log into a portal that communicates with something like an IIS engine. The IIS engine alone is able to pick up customer requests, establish a back-end server db cursor position, carry out processing, and post back a response.

For suppliers who fill many orders from the same purchaser/, they prefer automation in the form of read/writes at a generic data exchanger.


  1. John Morris
  2. 3 months ago
  3. #5670
[email protected] "outsourcing" ...
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 8
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Should all processes be designed and executed with the customer in mind? Absolutely.

But...

Is customer journey the only process that matters in a business?
If you really think so, you should pull the plug on all the rest.

And really, complex organizations should upgrade their process mindset from "customer-centric" to "stakeholder-centric".
Unless, while following that golden customer journey, you're keen to: 1/ break the law; 2/ insult the public; 3/ hurt the community; 4/ pollute the environment.
CEO, Co-founder, Profluo
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 9
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Is the Customer Journey the only process that matters? Absolutely not!

There is so much more to being capable of delivering the perfect good or service to your customers, than just the customer journey. For sure, it is a great starting point for structuring your organization and the required end-to-end landscape needed to provide the right product/service to the right person at the right time with the right quality etc etc., but if you are not able, as an organization, to actually produce the product with the right quality, the customers will eventually flee and the the customer journey serves only little purpose.
I like the approach Richard Branson takes on this topic (and I hope I got the quote right): The customer is not king, treat your employees right first and they will take care of your customer". In other words, get your internal act together before you start bragging about the customer journey (first make sure you have customers).

#my2cents
BPM is all about mindset first and toolset later....much later
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 10
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Yikes, Peter's end-of-summer question is fiendish. Why? Because it opens a can of worms, for sure.

Let's start with titan of business thought Peter Drucker, who famously and relevantly said: "There is only one valid definition of a business purpose: to create a customer." ("Peter Drucker, The Practice of Management New York,: Harper, 1st ed. 1954 ; Routledge, 2012, p. 37)

This quote would seem to support the idea that a focus "customer journey" is supremely important. And I'd add a "why" -- because of the economics of work. Any product is hired to "do a job" ( see Clayton Christensen's more recent work on "jobs to be done" ). And work has a cost. So if our product or service enables a customer to execute some work less expensively, then they'll hire us. Customer journey comes in here, because it highlights the total cost of using our product -- e.g. how much time and cognitive load is there to order a service or product? When we actually use what was bought, how easy is it to set up -- and to actually use day-to-day? It's at this point that people like to sing hymns to "design", i.e. our "design" makes the work of the customer easier.

All well and good. Except there's a problem here. It's a wonderful turn for vendors to think about the customer, the customer journey, customer jobs-to-be-done etc. Because in the past, we generally didn't. Buy the product. And please go away. Or come back for service, and then please go away. Now we want to think more about "outcomes" and so our purview extends beyond the boundaries of our firm, into the world of the customer. What could go wrong? Example: An interest in customer journey can show up in part by invasions of privacy! The whole European GDRP initiative is in part about a statement that we must limit our concerns about customer journey.

OK, reasonable caveats about customer journey in practice. What about just a focus on customer journey as a guide to business strategy? Surely that's a good thing? And certainly it is. But not exclusively. Prof. Drucker notwithstanding, an obsessive focus on "the other", our customer, can be an excuse to ignore what is rightly our own domain of business. We control our business, and it's tactics and strategies. We work hard to make products and services that are useful and attractive to customers. But if we only focus on the customer, we risk losing the justification for our existence. (There's a whole sidebar here that could be explored, which is "customer journey" as "reification", and then that contrasted with "customer journey" as "emergent phenomenon". One is rhetorical, the other is real. Both are useful.)

I recently gave a talk to 200 IoT startup team members, in Waterloo, Canada. It was a "sales tune-up for IoT startups". We explored the basics of selling and how "thinking about the other", is what sales is all about. In other words, don't just think about your exciting IoT product! Turn features into benefits. Do use cases and business cases.

But at the talk, we then reversed our focus. Because "thinking about others" can lead us to the "lure of the generic". Sure, on behalf of our customer we can grok "faster-time-to-market" and lots of other generic benefits. This is a big step forward. But big iron can also say "faster-time-to-market"!. Big iron can say generic benefits 10,000 X louder than some IoT startup. And if you ignore what makes you special, your message becomes lost in the noise of the market.

The challenge then is to return to what we are good at. That means we have to do two things at once: (1) know our business and our technology and constantly work at that and (2) know how our customers will use our technology. Best example: US car manufacturers succumbed to customer-only focus in the 60's, and lost to Japanese car manufacturers who obsessed about manufacturing.

A customer journey focus is great; let's not forget that customers are willing to engage with us insofar as we are really good at something. What are you good at?
Comment
@John... good points

What are you good at? is a good question.

The answer is found in a corporation's "competitive advantage" statements.

The focus today has to be on building, sustaining and augmenting competitive advantage.

In Peter Drucker's day, we had brand loyalty so it made sense to put a sharp focus on 'the customer" but, today, running a business is all about agility.
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