1. Peter Schooff
  2. Sherlock Holmes
  3. BPM Discussions
  4. Thursday, 05 December 2013
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Everyone seems to be talking about customer service these days as a key competitive differential. There seems to be some confusion, though, about how BPM can deliver the best customer service, and does it still involve CRM, or adaptive case management? So in your experience, how do you assure that BPM delivers the highest quality customer service?
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CRM is required as a customer database, BPM is required to reduce delivery costs and to deliver service efficiency. However the highest level of customer service requires Case Management functionality because customers are unpredictable.
I don't really understand that last comment. Case management is not the only way to provide flexibility in BPM-driven processes. There is a whole universe of customer-centric processes; some portion of these are probably well suited to case management type implementations, while others are not.
  1. Peter Whibley
  2. 6 years ago
  3. #121
Customer service leaders empower their employees because they understand that exceptions and unpredictable events occur in every business process but have greatest impact in customer facing processes. The ability to deliver employee empowerment is IMO what differentiates Case Management. For many organisations looking to transform customer service CRM and basic workflow and BPM tools just don't cut it.

No doubt there are many instances in which case management is valuable for employee engagement and customer satisfaction. But to assert that BPM is not is simply contrary to all experience.

  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 1
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I find the fundamental premise for BPM to drive customer experience and illuminate customer service to be the best is;

1- come from the customer's perspective and drive from outside in. Too many organizations drive transformation from inside to out and force customers to operate in the an organizations antiquated back office processes. force the processes to meet the needs of the customer. Not easy to do but time and again I find many organizations automate what is bad today vs. challenging the internal status quo and bring change management into the fold.

2- define and build process in business value chunks vs. automating one overall process thus processes can be sliced and diced moving forward and can flex to meet ever changing customer needs or ability to setup services quickly for new products.

CRM, case management, adaptive and/or predictive analytics etc. are all elements of the BPM equation and are used as needed. These probably could have their own threads to focus on when and how to use them effectively.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 2
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First, you have to meet your customers where they live. For a retail business like hospitality, travel, or education, that means extending your business processes out into the social network universe. Enable your customers to participate in your business processes in a way that is natural and convenient for them; for example, by allowing them to authenticate using their Twitter or Facebook identities. Share data with them in a similarly intuitive way, by integrating Google Drive or Dropbox into your process.

In short: make it easy and intuitive for your customers to find and work with you, without sacrificing the benefits of BPM-driven processes.

And, as an aside, don't forget that customers and prospects have pretty high standards when it comes to their online interactions with you. So do everybody a favor and design a user interface that doesn't suck.
Scott's opinions only. Logo provided for identification purposes only.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 3
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Start with the understanding that "Business process management is the discipline which allows you to model, automate, execute, control, measure and optimize the flow of business activities that span the enterprise’s systems, employees, customers and partners within and beyond the enterprise boundaries."

What is "customer service"? We just mean that service to the customer is satisfying such that they want to return.

1. Keeping things simple is a best practice for most things in life. It means focusing on what’s important and not diverting attention to what’s not.
2. Letting customers in on any costs up front—and total transparency about additional costs, taxes, and shipping—builds trust and confidence with the consumer.
3. Be where your customers are - take a hard look at how convenient your interaction is for them. Particularly support mobile device interactions.
4. Every interaction with the customers counts. Try to get an evaluation of every interaction, if possible, and locate problems early.
5. Never underestimate the power of social media.

These are the same practices that leadership should take whether they use BPM or not.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 4
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I wrote a blogpost on this topic and that blogpost was inspired by the sentence "The reason customers use our products and services, is to get jobs done in their lives." from http://bridging-the-gap.me/2013/06/03/designing-the-business-around-the-experience/

This sentence made me thinking about a hierarchy of embedded (in some sense) processes:
"person's life-as-a-process",
"person's situation-as-a-process" (e.g. expecting a baby), and
"person's job-as-a-process" (e.g. buying a bigger car for bigger family).

For example, buying any car requires some planning, visiting car dealers, taking a credit, etc. - a normal process which is unique in each case, but is constructed from some, mainly decision, process patterns.

Customer-experience-as-a-process - a person who is buying a car acts as a customer for a car dealer. This is a normal selection, trying and negotiation process among two roles. Each role has its own process (or own BPMN pool) and both processes are working together as co-processes. An excellent example http://www.slideshare.net/Olbrich/process-experience-the-coffee-example-2103831 shows what is important to measure in such case.

If your products and services fit better into those processes (i.e. reduce the hassle for a customer) then they will be more attractive for customers. Potentially, all four mentioned above processes should be taken into account to improve the customer experience. Then the customer will consider your service again.

See illustration from the blogpost here - http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2013/06/practical-process-patterns-cxaap.html

IMPORTANT: Ask right questions. For example, a civil architect will ask a customer "Do your parents visit?" "How many kids do you want?" "How long do you want to stay in this place?" and then the architect works with the customer to find the best design that meets the customer current and future needs.

Processes must be made explicit and executable to employ the power of processes. An enterprise can do this with its own processes. Person's and customer's processes are still implicit (although they may use some explicit process patterns). Nevertheless, an enterprise should anticipate and maybe model those implicit processes to see how enterprise internal processes fit those external processes.

  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 5
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I don't have a best practice, just a modest tip: Design around Customer Interactions.

To me, the highest level of customer service is achieved when you apply design thinking to all the touchpoints between the customer and your own organization. The customer interactions should be fun and natural.

More on this on my blog.
CEO, Co-founder, Profluo
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 6
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High up in priority is a good user experience. This applies to both internal and external where the interface recognises the user and the issues being addressed. This requires a custom form that is dynamically populated with all the information from any source in a format that intuitive to use. New information should only be entered once so no need to re-enter on same form or any where else. Simple additions such as space dedicated to notes/messages will help improve connectivity and highlight issues to be addressed as the process moves on. Time is an important element that can trigger events and escalations to ensure issues are addressed as required and of course real time measurement of activity is a must to support good decisions and empower people. Where complex choices are available make them engaging to allow the user to arrive at the right decisions.

It is not just ACM and CRM where these BPM principles apply, it will include SCM and HRM indeed anywhere people (and machines) are critical to the end to end process to achieve the desired outcome. It is not rocket science it is back to basics of business as I have mentioned in earlier posts. There is nothing new just a lost generation waylaid by "IT" failing to support these basic principles of good business.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 7
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Customer Service is the front line contact with the customer. BPM is the main tool used by Customer Service or CRM to guarantee the customer experiences is a positive one every time the customer has a transaction with the organization. Without the correct processes in place, even the best Customer Service Team cannot provide a consistent experience to the organization’s customers. BPM is taking a new role in CRM. A well defined BPM strategy can bring transparency to the CRM or Customer Service effort.
  1. http://www.firstsource.com/us/services/customer-management
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 8
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Several replies have made this equation:
[i][quote][b]"Customer Service" = "Customer Experience". [/b]
[/i][/quote]So let's explore CS ("customer service") and CX ("customer experience") together.

[b]CX is a superset of CS[/b]
, but the equation is reasonable. (CX includes every aspect of the relationship between customer and vendor throughout the product or service lifecycle, not just the after-sale service part.)

2. IS CS UNAMBIGUOUSLY GOOD? Do we want to achieve the "highest level of CS"?
[u]Maybe yes, maybe no[/u]
. High levels of CS are not identical to high levels of
[b]"customer satisfaction"[/b]
. And then there are
[u]cost issues[/u]
involved. Do we shoot for "
[b]the mass or the margin"[/b]
? Satisfaction at the margins is expensive.

3. WHAT'S THIS GOT TO DO WITH TECHNOLOGY? CRM and CRM and case management and BPM are all technologies. Customer "experience" a product or service typically "as a narrative" or "experience" or "journey" (all overlapping terms). So we can understand the original question as
[i]"what technologies are especially good for helping us build the infrastructures of good customer experiences"?[/i]

4. THE CORE INFRASTRUCTURE TECHNOLOGY OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE -- BPM is the technology, and the technology which by definition, concerns
[b]customer experience as a (nearly) first class citizen of software artifact construction[/b]
. BPM technology enables business and technology managers to (almost) directly construct user experience journeys and pathways. And narrative is not far behind.

[i]So, best practices around building great customer services are (1) make sure the business-justified target levels of your customer service/customer experience are set correctly and (2) work as much as possible directly from mapped experiences and narratives, i.e. customer perceptions, thus taking advantage of the power of BPM.[/i]

  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 9
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