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The customer is always right: The importance of keeping the customer experience at the forefront of digital transformation

Customer service is no longer a simple interaction. Long gone are the days when it was merely a case of providing a product or service to the consumer in exchange for payment, then repeating the same interaction for the next customer, and the next.

Through extensive research, it’s now clear that businesses need to do more than just care about their customers. Understanding them, anticipating their needs, predicting their behaviour, and satisfying their desires is the new norm. A business that builds a reputation and a relationship with customers is far more likely to generate that all-important customer loyalty.

The best way to build customer loyalty is to understand customer expectations, then orient the business around them; making the customer the compass. In order to achieve this, and to avoid falling behind in the race towards digital transformation, it’s no surprise that companies are increasingly looking to invest in new technologies to enhance customer experience and drive business outcomes.

Such initiatives can seem daunting at first, but with the right support and a clear strategy in place, they needn’t be. In March of this year, Signavio was named March 2019 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Enterprise Business Process Analysis (EBPA). Much of this was centred around the discipline of business and process modelling, aimed at transforming and improving business performance with an emphasis on strategic and operational decision support. These EBPA tools are of particular interest to business architects and process owners looking to understand and improve their process-related outcomes, with the core emphasis being on the customer experience.

Below, we provide some insights into how to achieve digital transformation and operational excellence, ensuring business processes are directly connected to the customer experience. 

While most organisations out there are likely to be evaluating the customer experience in some way already, they’re probably not approaching it from an organisation-wide perspective. Transformation initiatives can only succeed when companies overcome the bias towards ‘the way things have always been done.’

The customer’s journey is a critical business process that connects customer knowledge with everyday operational reality. Customer journey mapping is becoming a paramount aspect of doing business. In the current economic climate, each and every one of your business processes should be centred firmly on the needs of your customers. 

Aligning organisations

Many companies are still adopting an outdated approach to customer journey mapping that only considers the business needs along the way: trying to save time, money, and resources. While this can be useful to a certain extent in the end there’s no point of an extremely efficient process if it loses customers and costs potential business.

With the right software and support, the customer journey mapping process helps organisations align, fostering a shared perspective with the same goal of delighting the customer. Seeing the entirety of the journey, from both internal and external perspectives, allows you to truly see your product through your customers eyes—an invaluable and game-changing insight.

Nowadays, all it takes is a click of a button and users can see processes related to a customer’s journey and the departments responsible for each touch point. You can quickly identify bottlenecks, duplication of effort, and any unnecessary steps that negatively impact your relationship with customers. Identifying these ‘moments of truth’ better equips companies to engage effectively with customers, and target new clients.

By embracing the customer journey as a fundamental strategy, you can see and understand where business processes need to change. In this way, an intelligently engineered, consistent, positive customer experience becomes the norm for the business. Supported by clear operational performance metrics based on customer journey maps, and informed by meaningful customer feedback, this customer-centric approach is the key competitive method of driving digital transformation.

Customer journey map

With any business initiative, it’s important to have a clear strategic road map. The perspective of your customer should be a key input in shaping discovery and ideation. In order to create this roadmap there needs to be an understanding of how things are currently working and why things need to be done differently. This is where a customer journey map becomes essential, to assess the business from the outside, looking in.

Today, entire organisations need to align their priorities—and processes—by connecting them to a customer journey map. This shifts the thinking from internal efficiency to external, customer-driven effectiveness. With a well thought-out strategy and customer journey map in place, as well as the right IT support, there’s nothing holding your company back from completing this journey to digital transformation.  This transformation will put the business on the right path towards a relationship with customers that goes beyond simple interactions, and into the realm of trust, loyalty and delight. Your customers can and should be your biggest advocates and sales people.

Gero Decker, CEO, SignavioImage Credit: Jacek Dudzinski / Shutterstock

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