“Disruptive Innovation” in the Workplace – Can it be Applied?

Clayton Christensen spoke at Interactions 2012 and introduced me to the concept of “Disruptive Innovation.” I found it a fascinating concept and since then, have kept some of his ideas in mind as I work with different organizations looking at their processes. I work with companies looking at ways to radically change or create new processes utilizingBusiness Process Automation (BPA) software.

I have the opportunity to travel all over the world looking at different company’s processes and have visited contact centers, distribution centers, financial institutions, insurance companies, healthcare companies and more. It is amazing to me that every company I […]

Flexibility in the Cloud… What Does it Really Mean?

Anytime a vendor speaks of their cloud solution as “flexible.” It usually stops with not much more than a blanket statement that is seldom challenged, “Our cloud solution is flexible,” says the vendor. The customer might think, “It should be flexible. It’s cloud-based.” When in reality, that concept of flexibility isn’t that well understood. So what does flexibility in this context really mean and how beneficial is it to the customer?

I believe flexibility as it relates to the cloud has five main components:

Consumption flexibility – You’re not buying software licenses in the cloud world. Instead, you are paying […]

Getting Content Management Right in the Contact Center: What’s the Big Deal?

Most of us have experienced the anxiety, excitement, fear, hopefulness and general breath holding when buying a new house. Well, not just a new house, but THE house. The one that scores highest on the detailed feature matrix you created with that algorithm assigning weights to prioritize relative importance. The one that prompted your spouse to say, “This is it! I can feel it!” The one where you’ll raise your kid. Or your dog. Or both. It’s been months of online research, driving around neighborhoods, and vigorously debating the pros and cons of numerous options. You’ve pre-qualified for a loan, […]

Enhance the Customer Experience Via Business Process Automation

The last time I blogged, I mentioned a dissatisfying personal experience with a major retailer, which will impact my choice in future purchases. (Read “How Can Broken Business Processes Damage Customer Retention?“) In this blog,  I’ll discuss two major problem areas and how business process automation technology can address them to improve the customer experience and the firms’ bottom line.

Problem Area #1: Lead Management – Many firms leave follow-up to the discretion of salespeople, and have little insight into how a lead progresses through the sales cycle. If the firm cannot follow up in a timely and knowledgeable manner, […]

Why You Should Pattern Web Chat after an In-Store Experience

I had a terrible web chat experience last week that set my thinking in motion (BTW I’m looking for a new home alarm system).

After getting a not-too-intrusive invitation to chat, I accepted and the conversation went like this:

Joe: Can you tell me if you carry 2GIG products?

Agent: In case we get disconnected, can you give me your name and email address?

Joe: Nope, just looking for the answer to my question.

Agent: Have you contacted us previously?

Joe: Seems like you don’t have an interest in answering my simple question. Thanks. Bye.

I guess I could have […]

How Can Broken Business Processes Damage Customer Retention?

Organizations are rightfully focused on best practices within the contact center to ensure they provide a positive customer experience and enhance customer loyalty. We quality monitor, we survey, and we coach. Unfortunately, while we rigorously work to connect customers to a knowledgeable and friendly contact center agent, we sometimes forget to ensure that the customer’s product order or service is actually being handled properly. If you think about it, one of the guaranteed ways to lose a customer is to botch their order, or deliver a service incorrectly, and not be able to rectify the problem in a timely manner. […]

The Big Mix Up, Email and Business Process Automation

I work with companies every day that use email not only as a business communications tool but to initiate work processes. Is your company using emails to kick off manual back office processes? I am willing to bet that a majority of companies have adopted email as a means to trigger processes.

There are several problems that companies face when using email as a way to manage workflow in the back office, including:

Visibility -Once an email is sent it is hard to keep track of what is going on with that piece of work. Someone will have to manually […]

Business Process Automation – What About the Internal Processes?

When most companies think about business process automation (BPA), they think about customer-facing or “production” processes. Most companies that I’ve worked with are concerned with improved cycle times, cost reductions for operational areas, improved efficiencies for contact centers, and reduction of manual processes for transactional areas. However there are many other opportunities that your organization can benefit from by looking at internal processes.

One example that comes to mind is the human resources (HR) department. Most HR departments have defined, repeatable processes, such as employee onboarding, employee separation, and employee moves. These are ideal for automation and can lead to […]

Mobile Applications in Insurance – Customer Service is Not a Choice

The latest buzz regarding customer contact channels is mobile applications.  How do you ensure success within this channel?  I recently attended a webinar by Information Week Financial Services called Getting Answers from Mobile Initiatives where they discussed different applications for the insurance industry, metrics that indicate mobile success, and where companies are focusing their money for mobile applications.  According to Forrester Research, the top 3 priorities/objectives for mobile applications are:

Increasing customer engagement Improving customer satisfaction Appear as innovative

I would like to examine the first two objectives, customer engagement and satisfaction.  As a consultant, I have received the consistent […]

Which processes are on your list as the top contenders for Business Process Automation?

Companies are always looking for ways to improve their processes, increase operating efficiencies, and ways to cut costs. Many know they need to automate business processes but how do they choose which are good candidates? Today many companies struggle with capital budgets and resource constraints and put off automation projects because they “don’t have time”, “it is not a priority”, or there are just too many other projects.

There are a few areas that I believe a company could focus on to help narrow the list of candidates for BPA projects.

Frequency – Processes where you see a great deal […]