Why do we have business processes at all?
It’s to deliver value to our customers and to do so in an efficient and consistent manner.
We are trying to marry a great customer experience with an effective way of running the business, building in our knowledge and experience of delivering into a replicable and consistent process.
An example would be visiting a McDonalds. You know what to expect if you visit a McDonalds anywhere in the world. It’s a fairly consistent experience. Why? Because they have well established ways of doing things and train their staff accordingly. You may not like McDonalds but you can’t argue it’s not delivered consistently.
Here’s the problem with business processes though. Customers don’t know or care about your processes. They only care about the experience they have when they come into contact with your company.
Generally they are on the outside of the process looking inwards.
And your internal staff often may not know or even care about the customer issues or the customer experience. Why? Because they are so focused on getting their part of the job done.
Yet ultimately business is human. It’s about one human’s interaction with another so ensuring we have a 360 degree view on our processes is the key to both delighting the customer and achieving what we need to as an organisation.
A great customer experience doesn’t necessarily mean the inside of a company is set up in the most efficient way. Conversely designing the ideal and efficient process to maximise ROI in the short term doesn’t always result in a great customer experience.
True business transformation means achieving both goals. A great customer experience coupled with smooth, seamless and efficient internal processes.
Customers need to be integral to the process and actually involved in developing it so it delivers a great customer experience. So do your staff.
You need to partner your way to success getting input from everyone to improve your processes including:
- Your board of Directors
- Your staff
- Your Management
- Service providers
- External business process expertise
Creating a dialogue in which each person feels heard, understood and valued enables better decisions to be made and ultimately a better process to develop.
It’s not just about a one-off chat to get someone’s opinion. It’s about questionnaires, round tables and an ongoing dialogue as you progress.
Key principles to guide this process are:
- Honesty and awareness about where you are currently
- 360 degree feedback
- Specific Goals – short and longer term
- Longer term goals chunked down into a roadmap and milestones
- A strategy based on where you are currently
- Active listening to all parties involved – everyone has something to offer
- External help – bring in expertise you don’t have in-house – especially relating to best practice in business process re-engineering
- Leadership – set out why it’s important