Customer Experience and BPM

Scott Francis
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Clay Richardson’s blog on Forrester posits that Customer Obsession is set to disrupt BPM in 2015: “In 2015, customer-obsession – the relentless focus on winning, retaining, and serving customers – will disrupt and reshape the entire ecosystem for BPM”.

Of course, at BP3, we’ve been focused on Customer Experience for years, and we welcome a renewed focus on customer experience from the BPM community and in particular, our customers.  Great customer experience is a differentiator for building your business – but it takes time and patience to follow through:

  1. First, to build up your investment in process and people and technology to deliver superior customer experiences
  2. Second, to have customers feel the benefits of that differentiated customer experience and to start to tell others about it – building a reputation
  3. Third, to start to experience the benefit of the reputation as new customers come into the process already knowing about your great customer experiences

Clay calls out long analysis and design cycles as an area that needs improvement from BPM Vendors, but I tend to think this is more about choosing too many integration firms who don’t understand BPM in the first place:

Heightened customer and employee expectations for rapid process change will shine a bright light on the need to reduce lengthy analysis and design times typically associated with BPM.  At their core BPM software and techniques provide low-code approaches to quickly build and deploy process apps that directly engage customers and better guide employees to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

The software tools for BPM support rapid process change, but too often companies deploying BPM solutions choose firms that are no more nimble than old 3270 green screens.  The people and methods are even more important than the technology choices (which is not to say the technology choices aren’t also critical).

Clay also cites an increasing number of BPM teams adopting customer experience practices.  Anecdotally, that matches what we see at BP3 as well.  More customer-focused and revenue-focused process projects and programs, rather than just focusing on operational efficiencies.  A lot of this shift is likely due to an improving economic outlook – but also a reflection of a maturing of companies’ definition of process – realizing that it isn’t enough to have a culture of great customer experience – great process is also required to support the culture.

2015 looks to be an exciting year based on all the signs we can see so far!