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, the prospective buyer is very likely thinking, “If they can’t follow up on the opportunity to sell their product, how well will they follow up if there is a problem later on?” In some industries, such as insurance and financial services, rapid response is critical, as the prospective buyer will go to another vendor if they don’t receive a timely response and consistent follow up.
Solution: Business process automation can not only push the lead to the appropriate salesperson, but can also manage follow up tasks according to best practices. It can make the entire sales process visible to management, giving them greater insight into individual and group performance.
Problem Area #2: Order fulfillment – Many firms have automated order fulfillment from the point the customer purchases the product to the point where the product is delivered to the customer’s doorstep. However, some firms still use manual labor to fill in the gaps where systems are not integrated. We often see users in these firms copying and pasting information from one system, (often email), into multiple back end systems. It’s not only inefficient, but it also leaves a lot of room for delay and error – two chief causes of customer dissatisfaction. Where contact center agents take orders, they are often the users required to perform the copying and pasting.
Solution: The right business process automation technology can enable more rapid, and hence less expensive integration. It can “carry” the data through from the initial order point through to the back end systems, and if necessary, still present the data to a user to make a final determination on any decision points. It improves efficiency within the organization, and accurately speeds the order on to its final destination—a happy customer.
These are just two of the many ways business process automation can assist organizations to improve their operations, which can have a dramatic effect on the overall customer experience. In my next blog, I’ll discuss a few more. If you have a couple of areas that you’d like to me cover, please send me an email and I’ll try to address them in my next post.
In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about how you can optimize your company’s performance, I suggest reading, Humanizing Business Process Automation, a white paper that I co-authored with Jesse Clark, partner & technology leader at Revelant Technology.
Thanks for reading,