Customer habits are changing and if you fail to anticipate them or at least follow them you will lose them. Business processes need to be customer centric, they need to serve the customer’s wants. Organisations that achieve this will gain business from those who don’t.
Understanding your customer journey (i.e. touch points) is critical to the future of your business, customers are no longer as loyal, patient and forgiving as the older generation. Today “people” won’t hang around, they want speed, convenience and a bonus for their effort and will move from deal to offer to deal and back again.
How customer centric are your processes?
Here are 3 ways to review your processes, from the back of an envelope to an MBA.
#1 Walk the process.
You can make your process review as simple or as detailed as you want. It doesn’t have to be complicated – a lesson learnt from my Lean Six Sigma training was simply put as “walking the process” either physically, on the phone or as a cyber journey.
It can be quite startling what you see when you walk in your customers shoes, and often it’s not the obvious stuff. For example, does you company organise it sales force along geographic requirements (company centric) or customer requirements?
It’s a practice McDonalds have trained their managers to do once an hour, every hour – leave the restaurant and walk a random 100 yards, turn round, put on your customer spectacles and walk back. What do you see that needs addressing? Litter, signage, dirty windows.
#2 Take the 5 question DO YOU KNOW test?
- Who writes your processes?
- Who signs them off?
- When were they last reviewed?
- Are they still (externally) appropriate?
- How do they compare to your competitors’ processes?
#3 Study McKinsey’s recommendations
In our experience, six actions are critical to managing customer-experience journeys
- Step back and identify the nature of the journeys customers take—from the customer’s point of view.
- Understand how customers navigate across the touch points as they move through the journey.
- Anticipate the customer’s needs, expectations, and desires during each part of the journey.
- Build an understanding of what is working and what is not.
- Set priorities for the most important gaps and opportunities to improve the journey.
- Come to grips with fixing root-cause issues and redesigning the journeys for a better end-to-end experience.
In recent years my credit card usage has changed not surprising really as I’m now self-employed – a coffee here, a sandwich there, and a rail ticket everywhere. Tired of entering my pin number at stations and airports for that last-minute book or snack before boarding, conscious of the commuter tuts and shuffles behind me with their contactless cards primed and ready, I decided to order a contactless credit card.
After all, how difficult could it be …very if you bank with the “Horse Bank”, as I have done for decades.
Phone Skirmish number one – approximate time 40 minutes, number of people spoken to four, outcome “we will send you one in the post it should arrive in the next 7-10 days”. What did arrive was a letter explaining that my type of account did not offer a contactless card!
Fast forward a few weeks and several fuel stops later and I decided to try again – this time requesting a contactless credit card on another of my “horse bank” accounts.
Phone Skirmish number two – approximate time 20 minutes, number of people spoken to two, outcome “yes you do qualify for a contactless credit card but we need to ask you a few questions – which should only take between 40 minutes and an hour”
End of conversation and a customer lost to another Bank who made it easier for me to get a contactless credit card by having customer centric KISS processes – Kept it short and sweet.
Image: Ivelin Radkov / Shutterstock