Take customer experience from good to great: make it central to your daily processes 

Recent research by McKinsey reveals that companies that manage customer experience (CX) effectively obtain benefits in terms of a 20% improvement in customer satisfaction, a 15 % increase in sales conversion, a 30% lower cost-to-serve, as well as a 30% increase in employee engagement.  

But how can organizations take customer experience to the next level, and which are the lessons that we can learn from CX champions?  

In this blog, I’d like to discuss how to elevate customer experience by making it central to the company’s processes, the role of best-practices and technology, and particularly, how the combined use of SAP Signavio journey to process analytics and One Process Acceleration Layer can help on the road to customer experience success through use case examples. 

First, mind (the experience) gap 

A focus on customer experience has never been more important. Nowadays, every organization would naturally claim to be “customer-centric” and that customer experience is priority to them; but how do companies really understand their customers and how do they execute on the CX mandate? Bain & Company found that 80% of brands believe they deliver a superior customer experience but only 8% of their customers agree. This so called “experience gap”, where companies think they are serving customers in the best possible way, but customers have an opposite view, makes it urgent for organizations to acknowledge that a disconnect exists between operations and experience and that they need to do something about it. 

Make customer experience part of your day-to-day processes and operations 

A common pitfall in the journey to CX excellence is believing that customer experience equals user experience and has to do primarily (or exclusively) with the way you communicate and engage across touchpoints. If we look at CX champions, they recognize that while the ability to establish positive interactions and emotions along the journey is of course fundamental, focussing on the processes that deliver against that journey is just as important. Customer experience is a “business thing”, it has to do with all the people and activities within the company. In fact, every process – from merchandising, sales, finance, IT, to logistics and the supply chain – can make or break the entire customer experience. 

Importantly, not only CX has to inspire an organization’s strategy, but also needs to be “operationalized” and be directly embedded into its core processes. This means being able to combine experience and operational data, as well as understand dependencies – which processes affect which experiences along the customer journey, and how. Further, it means acting on those data to apply process and operational changes that ultimately delight customers.  

Of course, operationalizing the customer experience is easier said than done, but the combination of the right technology and practices can play a key enabling role in supporting this effort. 

Combining technology and best practices with SAP Signavio 

When I started at SAP Signavio six months ago, I’ve quickly realized that the team is extremely serious about customer-centricity (“we create products that people love to use” is our motto) but also, that when it comes to helping organizations improve their customers’ experience, SAP Signavio has something to offer that is quite simply ground-breaking. The SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite, which provides all the capabilities to support end-to-end business transformations, has been recently augmented by two solutions which offer unique opportunities when it comes to improving CX.      

  • Journey to process analytics: this practice and toolset help organizations understand the connection between customers’, suppliers’ or employees’ experiences and the processes that underpin them. By mapping and analyzing customer journeys against processes, metrics, systems and roles, the solution helps understand dependencies and take decisions that optimize both the operational and customer experience realm. 
  • One Process Acceleration Layer: provides best practices and ready-to-use accelerator assets that help organizations redesign their existing journeys and related processes or, to totally re-imagine their current business models to meet emerging market requirements. Practices and solutions which are proven and robust (they represent the collective knowledge of thousands of experts and projects delivered!) help mitigate the risks of transformational programs and slash time to value.  

With the combination of One Process Acceleration Layer and journey to process analytics, companies make customer experience core to their operating models and are uniquely positioned to closely connect customers (and their voice) with operations. They can analyze customer sentiment, envisage the processes and journeys that underpin that experience, and ultimately re-design those processes in a fast, efficient manner by drawing on best practices. Importantly, the approach reduces both time to insights – journey to process analytics immediately reveals hidden correlations and anomalies between experience and process metrics – as well as time to action, as practices and accelerators provided by One Process Acceleration Layer put companies, right away, on the fast lane to transformation. 

Three typical use cases  

Where to start and how to best leverage these solutions quite simply depends on where you are (how mature are you in terms of operations and experience practices) and where you want to go as an organization. Here are three typical use cases where the adoption of One Process Acceleration Layer and journey to process analytics can bring important benefits. 

  • Improving existing business models: take a manufacturer who is experiencing issues and disruption in the supply chain such as high inventory levels and long manufacturing cycles. With One Process Acceleration Layer they can benchmark their supply chain processes against industry standards, challenge their current set-up and ultimately transform their processes based on best practices. With help from journey to process analytics, they can then verify the impact of their transformation program on customer experience, understand how the new processes are affecting customer sentiment and foster continuous improvement.  
  • Emerging or shifting customer needs: let’s imagine a global retailer whose customers are raising concerns as they expect faster and more timely deliveries. Starting from journey to process analytics, the company can analyze customer sentiment data as well as understand the processes and issues that generate those experiences (for example, long procurement lead-times are the root-cause for long delivery times). By accessing One Process Acceleration Layer, the retailer can find all recommendations they need to re-design their procurement, as well as ready-to-use value accelerators that will slash time to action. 
  • Market expansion and new business model: let’s take the example of a mobile phone company that is planning to introduce a completely new business model, such a subscription service for its devices. In this scenario, where no historical process and sentiment data are available (the business model is new), the starting point of transformation will be One Process Acceleration Layer. This plays as an intelligent advisor and digital business architect for companies rethinking their business models, avoiding them the complexity to start from a blank sheet.  Post-transformation, the company will be able to validate their strategy and immediately verify how customers value the new service via journey to process analytics. 

Want to learn more? If you are close to Orlando, don’t miss our upcoming Business Process Transformation Forum and the opportunity to hear from our customer HP how they are taking a customer-centric approach to transformation with SAP Signavio. Otherwise, stay tuned for the next blog post in these series in which we’ll sum up the findings of the session. 

 

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