My recent experience with a large retailer opened a few thoughts about what superior customer experience really means and what it takes to achieve it. Turns out, a business process touching any aspect of a customer is the king, and BPM is the king maker.
A few months ago, I ordered a bookshelf for my office from a large traditional multi-brand retail outlet that has been in business for decades. They recently entered into online retailing with an impressive mobile app. It was a delight to use the iPad app and the whole process of ordering was pleasant. It was customer experience at its best. As the fate would have it, that was too short lived an experience.
The delivery of the bookshelf was delayed after it was re-scheduled three times. Even after two months, the bookshelf was not delivered. There was no pro-active communication from the company. Frustrated, I cancelled my order. Then started the painful refund process. After three months, I neither have the bookshelf in the office nor the refund in the bank.
What started as a superior customer experience with a modern and beautiful app, ended with a frustrating experience.
We often relate customer experience with usability of the customer touch points. Whether an app, online portal, or a website, a modern, intuitive, mobile enabled interface provides a rich experience to customers. In this case, it did this pretty well. It booked my order without any hassles. However, a great app is just one aspect of customer experience. Good usability is necessary, but not sufficient.
The retailer failed with its broken order fulfillment business process. This is what I think is broken:
A great app won them a customer. A failed business process lost the customer.
The solution to this problem lies in having a more holistic view of customer experience, looking beyond just the usability of customer facing apps. The business process that runs the show backstage also needs to be first-rate. In the case of the retailer, the following is required:
The above analysis reveals a two-prong strategy for addressing the situation at hand:
Business Process Management (BPM) platforms were born to build process excellence. BPM has traditionally empowered organizations to build robust business processes that add great business value. The modern BPM platforms have taken this further with new capabilities that equip them to address even wider pain areas.
The above five capabilities extend the horizons of modern BPM platforms into areas that were assumed to be outside the scope of classical BPM. The modern BPM platforms can not only build robust business processes, they make them even more flexible, agile, intelligent, and powered by rich user experience. The precise solution my retailer desperately needed to fix their customer experience.
What has been your experience dealing with your service providers? Do you think they need a modern BPM? Let us know.