Process Management 4 mins read

Have we forgotten about customer experience?

With many businesses letting customer experience take a back seat, discover how to integrate customer and process views.

Dr. Helge Hess Dr. Helge Hess

Should operational excellence initiatives lead to improved customer satisfaction? You would hope that the answer is “yes.” Unfortunately, we have seen many examples in recent months with a narrow focus on efficiency and cost optimization. However, there is a massive opportunity in seeing the external customer experience and internal processes as two sides of the same coin.

The last few years have been equally painful for operations professionals and consumers in the wake of the global pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the constant disruption of supply chains (can we ever forget Ever Given?).

Travelers experienced hours-long waits at airport security checkpoints and chaotic piles of luggage that may never find their owners. When it comes to booking their next vacation, they may not choose a specific airline – if they choose to fly at all.

While businesses are not directly at fault for these circumstances, they are still responsible for customers and customer satisfaction (or dissatisfaction).

The increase in dissatisfaction over these operational challenges is clear. In Forrester’s US 2022 Banking Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) rankings, nearly 20 percent of companies have seen a significant decrease in their CX quality score.

Then why does management continue to launch operational excellence initiatives aimed at reducing costs and increasing the efficiency of business operations rather than resolving customer dissatisfaction? Have we lost sight of the customer?

The importance of customer experience

At the end of the day, customer satisfaction is what determines business success, so it is short-sighted for leaders to remove customer-centric initiatives from their top agendas. Still need further convincing? Here are some well-known statistics that demonstrate the importance of customer experience:

The bottom line is that your existing customers offer more value to your business and negative customer experiences can cost you in many ways.

How to improve customer experience

Improving customer experience does not happen in a vacuum. Different departments within a business handle different aspects of the customer relationship and operate with different objectives, processes, and data. For example, customer care units measure the success of customer journeys and touchpoints using customer-oriented metrics such as net promoter score (NPS) whereas business process management teams optimize internal processes by analyzing data on throughput times, processing times, and process costs.

This siloed approach is ineffective and may not only cost the business time, money, and other precious resources, it can lead to a disjointed customer experience and ultimately lead to dissatisfaction.

Here are the key issues you should address as you work to bring the external and internal perspectives within your organization together and improve customer experience:

  • Document the relevant customer journeys and connect those with your company’s process landscape to create an integrated view that ties customer touchpoints with process steps.
  • Create digital surveys and interactively solicit customer feedback using the customer journey as a basis. You can learn how to do this during this webinar.
  • Define the relevant metrics for both customer journey and business process optimization.
  • Analyze the as-is execution of your most important customer-facing processes using process mining technologies such as contact-to-order and issue-to-resolution.
  • Calculate and then correlate with one another the relevant customer experience and process performance indicators.
  • Train AI and machine learning algorithms to identify dependencies, causalities, and sources of customer dissatisfaction.
  • Define optimization measures and use an integrated CX and process lifecycle to achieve continuous improvement.

Don’t allow CX to take a back seat in your organization any longer. Encourage CX professionals and business process experts to collaborate and you will find that once these areas integrate using a free trial of Software AG’s ARIS, it is far easier to identify potential competitive advantages, retain your customer base, and deliver a positive customer experience.

1White House Office of Consumer Affairs

2American Express Survey, 2011

3White House Office of Consumer Affairs

4“Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner