Bringing customer-centricity to back office processes

Process automation for operational efficiency and better customer experience
August 17, 2021
Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Towards increased operational efficiency and valuing human intelligence
August 17, 2021

Digital transformation of processes needs an end-to-end transformation for providing a better customer experience. That is both customers facing front end processes and backend processes. It’s important that we have a seamless cross-functional process flow across the front end and back end. And for a seamless process, it’s important that we have information freely available across and not siloed so that collaboration happens between teams in a frictionless way. It’s impossible to dramatically improve the customer experience by just focusing on customer-facing processes. That is because often, the customer-facing processes are coupled with internal backend business processes. To get a truly 360 degrees view of customers, its important we have an efficient process both at the front end and back end. Often companies strive to give better front end processes by focusing on customer journeys. The frontend process typically includes uniform and consistent experience across channels, continuity of interactions across touchpoints etc. And the backend processes typically include things like greater compliance, better employee collaboration that leads to improved productivity, better efficiencies in operation etc to name a few. Often its difficult to focus on both the transformations simultaneously. So, organizations often choose either the front end or backend process to begin the transformation and later transform the remaining process. And which approach they take depends on many factors like organizations business goals, the industries they serve, their customers, vendors, competitors, organization culture, technology adoption etc.
Some of the signs that the customer-facing processes are not proper includes,

  • There is no end-to-end customer journey mapping.
  • Often, customer needs are unmet.
  • There is no 360 views of the customer
  • Customers does not have the freedom to choose the channel for interactions. Customers are not given a variety of service options: the option of serving their needs by people and the self-service option. Below are some of the signs that indicate backend processes are not proper.
  • Organizations take a process view rather than a customer-centric perspective.
  • Often, the metrics are internal measurements rather than focussing on outcomes.
  • There is no proper handoff between workers and no efficient workflows.
  • Processes are not designed with the customer in mind.
  • Workflows are often not automated. Companies address the challenge of end-to-end transformation in different ways. Often companies take a divergent approach to their digital transformation. Some companies start with backend processes and take an inside out approach. And other companies take an outside-in approach by focussing on transforming the customer-facing processes first. But for an organization to provide a truly exceptional customer experience, it’s important to focus on customer-facing processes and backend processes.

To conclude, a truly customer-first approach to process reimagination with the customer at the centre can only deliver a delightful customer experience.

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