- In times of change, many businesses are looking to cut costs where they can, often eliminating certain strategies deemed unnecessary.
- The customer experience, as part of the customer journey, is a crucial revenue driver for any business and thus should be top of mind as part of 2021 business scenario planning.
- For too long, there’s been a disconnect between operational excellence initiatives and customer experience. Organizations find their plans to transform customer journeys never make it from ideation to execution, or that supposed solutions create even more problems.
- It’s important for businesses to create a dynamic model – not a static map – to achieve best-in-class customer experience (CX) through operational excellence.
In the last year alone, so many of us have experienced a less than stellar interaction with a company – especially given the shift to online. With so much rapid change and complexity resulting from the pandemic, there is now an opportunity for business leaders to take a step back and understand how their processes work – with a particular eye on some that may be broken. To drive sustainable operational excellence, organizations must first have clear architecture that is process driven.
In a very sink-or-swim fashion, businesses are adapting at rapid speed to deliver on customer expectations. As we plan for an uncertain 2021, it’s no secret that businesses are skittish.
How are we supposed to pull together plans when the world has shown us that sometimes we have to throw the whole rule book away? In times of change, many businesses are looking to cut costs where they can, often eliminating certain strategies deemed unnecessary.
Yet as we (Read more...) in 2020, it has never been more important to create valuable, lasting relationships with customers.
For too long, there’s been a disconnect between operational excellence initiatives and customer experience (CX). Organizations often find that their plans to transform customer journeys never make it from ideation to execution, or that supposed solutions create even more problems.
Three pillars of CX in business scenario planning
The customer experience, as part of the customer journey, is a crucial revenue driver for any business and thus should be top of mind as part of 2021 business scenario planning – but sometimes CX is overlooked. I urge leaders to reevaluate and consider the importance.
Cutting costs when it comes to customer experience could be detrimental to the bottom line. By providing a consistent experience across channels, businesses are able to achieve best-in-class CX through operational excellence.
I would argue that there are three pillars to set companies on the right path in their scenario planning – process centric, data driven and customer obsessed:
- Process centric: if you don’t know how you’re doing what you’re doing, how can you formulate what needs to be different?
- Data driven: leveraging accurate data to make decisions is a must, and this all needs to happen with speed to be effective.
- Customer obsessed: it isn’t good enough to move things from A to B, for example one customer makes a purchase and that’s it. If you attach yourself to what your customers want and need, what makes them happy, and whether or not they succeed – this will ultimately determine how successful the company can be.
While businesses are uncertain in this new year, I’ve seen an increase in demand from customers to up-level their business operations strategies to improve their CX — and by extension, customer retention. The three pillars outlined above help companies place their focus in the right areas as a baseline for future growth and success.
Customer experience + operational excellence = customer excellence
We all want a seamless customer experience and the pandemic has shown the business value of CX. While it’s always important to understand what you’re doing right (so you can keep doing it), it’s potentially more important to understand what went wrong in their journey. This way you can reflect and correct for future interactions and for other customers.
To do this, brands need to understand all of their touchpoints and create transparency through process mining (process intelligence) to identify common breakdowns and areas for optimization.
Some likely culprits: handoffs between business units; verification across systems; multi-channel customer engagement/switching channels mid-process; and human-powered tasks that are prone to error and should be automated.
I encourage leaders to create a dynamic, interactive model – not a static map – of their processes to achieve best-in-class CX through operational excellence.
It is difficult to design a successful customer experience, but I believe when looked at holistically – not as individual touchpoints but rather as a journey – businesses will have more success in retaining customers and support the bottom line.
As an example, we found that an average new banking customer requires more than 700 separate points of interaction, often delivered from siloed business systems and various business units.
Through this, it’s clear that there is room for improvement. Brands are only able to build better CX when they understand all of their touchpoints and create transparency through process mining to identify areas for improvement within the customer journey.
Reflect on 2020 to successfully embrace the new year
The “new year, new me” mindset usually has us all wanting to lose a few pounds or pursue a new hobby, but the same line of thinking can be transferred to your business as you pursue your scenario planning.
It is an opportunity for businesses to reflect internally and determine where to prioritize investments as part of their scenario planning for 2021 to maintain operational excellence through customer experience. With that said, customer experience should be top of mind, or better yet, “customer obsessed.”