The importance of customer satisfaction
It’s a simple fact: businesses don’t exist without customers. For the largest global retailer to the smallest B2B service provider, keeping customers happy is vital. Of course, customers don’t always make that easy! Organizations need all the help they can get, which is why we’ve identified these five signs your processes may damage customer satisfaction, and be holding you back from achieving exemplary customer service.
Of course, many factors within an organization play a role in customer experience. Some are beyond the control of individual employees, or even of whole companies. That’s why it is essential to concentrate on the areas that can have the greatest impact, often for a relatively low effort—the actual processes that make up the way your business functions.
After all, spending thousands (or millions) on an advertising campaign to convince everyone how customer-friendly you are is no use if the underlying processes within your organization don’t foster the same view!
The 5 signs your processes may damage customer satisfaction
The challenges listed below are not limited by an organization’s size—they’re equally relevant if you have 10 employees or 10,000. The goal is to see your processes as an extension of your commitment to customer satisfaction, with the added benefit that by addressing these issues, your business will function more efficiently and effectively as well. Here are the five ways your processes damage customer satisfaction:
1. No process understanding
Processes can be mapped in different ways, including on paper or using a software solution (hint: that way is better!) Several elements must be kept in mind when mapping your organization or department’s business processes, to ensure the version is the most optimal and efficient.
- Bring together the people who are currently running the processes to collect their feelings and note their suggestions for improvement.
- Check the supporting documents necessary for the successful completion of the end-to-end process.
- Optimize the version already in place, using all the information collected, and under the control of the process owner.
Without these three steps, you run the risk of taking a broad but shallow dive into the way your business operates. Without a detailed, in-depth understanding of your processes, you will be unable to identify the true opportunities for improvement, and thus the opportunity to impress your customers.
2. No process upkeep
When customers ask a question or encounter a problem, the issue at hand is almost always governed by one of your existing business processes. For example, complaints like, “My internet connection is out of service,” “I haven’t received my package,” or “The invoice you sent my company is incorrect," will all have a corresponding business process that has in some way gone wrong or been interrupted.
If your processes are not regularly reviewed and updated—especially those which are crucial to your business or run at high volumes—then some information may no longer be up-to-date. Outdated processes mean bottlenecks, tasks performed incorrectly or not in compliance with regulations, or some other error that will affect the customer.
Even worse is if your response time is delayed because you are unaware of the error, or if the outdated process has a cascade effect on other processes within your business. To overcome this, rigorous and regular analysis of your processes and their behavior is essential.
3. No customer journey maps
By now, you will definitely have heard of Customer Journey Mapping, or CJM. It is the new cornerstone of understanding customer interactions with your business, offering you a digitally designed overview of your customers’ different touchpoints with your organization. Without a defined customer journey map, you will have no clear understanding of the way customers perceive the service you offer.
A CJM means you can consider the changes that can be made to these touchpoints as needed. You can define improvements with the department concerned, fine-tune the solutions you implement, and therefore optimize the customer experience and customer satisfaction. Indeed, by being better prepared and anticipating the future needs or questions of customers, you may find that solutions to new and unforeseen problems arrive almost before the problems themselves!
4. No information standardization
In companies, communication is key. Clear communication provides vision and direction for employees. If your organization comes with communication bottlenecks as standard, and key information is filtered, distorted, or fails to reach the right people, it can be difficult or impossible for them to carry out their various missions correctly. This goes doubly in organizations where the type of information being communicated is in different formats, or is used by different departments to make decisions in different fields of work.
If information cannot be presented in a standard way, accessible to all employees no matter where they work, the miscommunication is already a given. Miscommunication means a lack of efficiency, or in the worst case, the wrong information provided to customers, which is a surefire way to damage customer satisfaction! It is therefore important to establish a knowledge repository made available to all employees; a ‘single source of truth’ that includes the latest information, procedures and processes they need to do their jobs.
5. No task automation
The larger your organization is, the more you have to juggle and communicate between different departments to implement and execute an entire process. To execute a process, the involvement of several people from different departments will almost always be necessary.
This creates a vulnerability, and another potential way to damage customer satisfaction through delays. This may be through process issues (information can be lost when transmitted between different working environments) or non-process challenges (like a critical team member being absent or sick). Both types can delay the execution of a process, and lead to a negative impact on customers.
Automating key tasks removes some of this vulnerability by reducing the number of time-consuming, error-prone, and potentially costly manual steps within a process. Just be sure the processes are the best they can be first—process automation without process optimization means you just end up doing the wrong thing, faster!
Customer satisfaction with Signavio
The powerful set of tools within the SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite offers a remedy for each of these 5 signs your processes may damage customer satisfaction.
Not sure how your processes actually operate in practice, or struggling with process upkeep? Use SAP Signavio Process Intelligence to unlock the data stored in your various underlying systems, and visualize your processes clearly. Then, use SAP Signavio Process Manager to track your processes and make adjustments quickly and easily.
You know putting customers at the center of your business is the key to success, but you can’t quite see how your customers interact with you? SAP Signavio Process Manager has an integrated customer journey mapping function, letting you highlight and optimize the touchpoints between you and your customers.
If information-sharing is a problem, SAP Signavio Collaboration Hub has that covered, underpinning the entire Suite and making discussions, debate, and process improvement quick and easy across your entire organization. And if it’s automation that you’re missing, Signavio Process Governance offers the solution, giving you the opportunity to automate tasks of all types.
In short, SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite helps you recognize—and avoid!—these 5 signs your processes may damage customer satisfaction. With the Suite in place, you can rest assured that the processes that make up your business are effective and efficient, leaving you more time to focus on customer satisfaction.
If you’d like to take the leap from simple satisfaction, into the realm of customer excellence, check out our previous post on how customer excellence is set to become the new business imperative. Or, if you’re ready to start creating ‘moments of joy’ for customers in your own organization, sign up for a free 30-day trial with Signavio today.