Building a case for Case Management with the right customer process

Blindfolded-Businessman

Your processes are in a mess. You have no idea how much work actually comes into the organization. You want to invest in a Case Management tool but just don’t know where to begin. The vendors all pitch forward with suggestions and want their palms crossed with silver for a decent licence sale so it makes sense to pick a nice juicy process doesn’t it ?

No.

Invariably both your vision and the vendors will be opposite.

  • What makes sense for me commercially ? (the vendor)
  • What makes sense for my business case ? (the business)

You see, there are perhaps only two customer processes in the entire enterprise that will be your first candidates for implementing a solution if [caveat] your intentions are to eventually scale across the organization. Otherwise both you and the vendor will limit the grand vision and a point solution is all that will come of it. That and another beleaguered workforce who have to bear the cost using yet another application to handle the simplest of tasks.

It takes two, baby

So what two processes do I recommend you look at then ? Simple:

  • Customer Enquiries
  • Customer Complaints

Both processes sit across all product and channel domains. This is especially true if you’re looking at a Case Management solution for the majority of enquiries logged will incomplete, inconsistent and incorrectly routed.

Building the case

But why only these two ? It boils down to where they ultimately lead.

Complaints is perhaps one of the best processes to actually tell you from a customer’s perspective what is actually wrong with your organization, not what you think is wrong with it. Whether you like it or not, the customer has their finger on the pulse of your broken processes more than you do. And implementing an automated solution, whether simple workflow or full-blown case tool, will give you that much needed insight and tracking in order to support further process improvement and widen the scope for solution implementation.

Enquiries is a real mixed bag but it’s a piece of the servicing layer that sits right at the top with hooks into everything. What’s more, built in the right way it will contain all the fundamentals for process and component reuse, again especially from a Case and BPMS solution point of view. This is an inherent problem when tackling implementations with a view to making it enterprise scale. Deliver a point solution to take care of a specific pain point and you tie yourself in knots further down the line. That quick win to prove it works will become a millstone round your neck so don’t let a vendor hand you the rope.

Now get started

Forget creating triage clinics and patching tactical wounds without a strategic goal in mind. Look for processes that cut across domains and that will tell you more about your business operations and what your consumers think of you than curing divisional pain point like some finance process.

Both enquiries and complaints should be used as examples within a business case for creating a process-centric organization and radiate the benefits from there.

Now all you have to do is pick the right tool. Simple isn’t it.

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2 responses to “Building a case for Case Management with the right customer process

  1. Pingback: First Projects and The Power of Complaints | Comments and Commentary·

  2. This is a great article about using improved business processes to see how customers see the company. In fact, companies should also consider how their internal customers view them.
    For example, a Controller has the CFO as their internal customer. In order to keep his customer happy and protect his job, the Controller must make sure the Finance department is running well and helping to find new sources of profit. In fact, a Finance department which embraces a culture of business process improvement can generate significant benefits – streamlined business processes, higher quality and rationalized reports, reduced costs, more analytical review time, and improved internal customer service. For example, during the Financial Close process, up to 85% of capacity can be devoted to low value tasks, data gathering, data scrubbing, etc. This leaves only 15% of capacity remaining for the tasks the CFO values most: analytical review & recommendations. Improved Finance business processes can help to reduce the amount of low-value work done and leave more time for actually analyzing reports.
    Not every Controller will be able to transform the finance department in a short time-frame. Those more modest initiatives, however, can still encounter stumbling blocks and almost no one provides effective resources for business process improvement for free. These resources can include end-to-end business process map templates, KPIs, best practices and other improvement opportunities.
    Most finance employees who want end-to-end Finance business process maps will have to wheel and deal with executives and convince them to hire an expensive consulting firm to come in and make business process maps of their processes, with no guarantee that any real improvements will be made. Since the data contained in the maps is so valuable, no consulting firm will make that data available for even the client to use if they tried to replicate the work themselves. However, for employees with no executive-level decision making capabilities, some resources are available. This free online source provides Finance business process map templates, KPIs, best practices and other improvement opportunities: http://opsdog.com/improvement/finance/processmaps

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