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Realizing Effective Process Change

business process review

Realizing Effective Process Change

By Barton Goldenberg

Business process change is a delicate mater, for automating a broken business process will only make matters worse and negatively impact the success of the customer-centric system implementation.  Possible customer strategies may include but are not limited to: Digital Transformation, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Digital Customer Communities, Customer Engagement, Data & Analytics, & Emerging TechnologiesAlso, while most organizations embarking on a customer strategy initiative typically have some Social Media business processes in place, these often are in need of enhancement.

To realize effective process change, the first step is to assess the existing processes that will be impacted by the customer strategy project.  In my experience, any changes must be driven internally, since they will better reflect the unique needs and culture of the organization.

I have found a structured approach including these seven success criteria to be very helpful:

  • Ownership: Does each process have an owner? If more than one person owns a process, there tends to be chaos.  If no one owns the process, it tends not to get implemented well.
  • Goals: Does each process have clear goals?
  • Metrics: Are performance standards in place to measure success from both a company and customer viewpoint? Are these metrics being reviewed on a regular basis?
  • Interfaces: How well do the customer strategy processes integrate with internal or external interfaces and customer information flows? Do the interfaces work well?
  • Documentation: Have the key steps within processes been agreed upon and documented by process owners and customer-facing users? Is this documentation accessible? Is it a part of the training curriculum?
  • Integrity: Is the customer strategy process being implemented by all users in the same way regardless of who implements it and where?
  • Fit with business vision: Do all customer strategy processes directly support the organization’s business vision? The tighter this linkage, the stronger the support for the overall project.

Once relevant customer strategy processes have been assessed, create a matrix showing how each process scores against these seven success criteria.  Then prioritize each process based on business impact, and determine the best way to enhance and implement each one.

In my next post, I will dig deeper into the structure of an effective business process review, since sound business processes are critical to the success of a customer strategy initiative.

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The Definitive Guide to Social CRMBarton Goldenberg, is the founder and president of ISM Inc., customer-centric strategists/implementers serving best-in-class organizations globally. As a CRM leader for 30 years, he was among the first three inductees in the CRM Hall of Fame. Recognized as a leading “customer-focused” author, his latest book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, is hailed as the roadmap for Social CRM success. Barton is a popular speaker on “maximizing customer relationships to gain market insights, customers and profits”. He is a long-term columnist for CRM Magazine and frequently quoted in the media.

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