May 09, 2019
Once upon a time, business was easy. You made goods, you offered services and you sold them to your customers. Maybe you even owned a little storefront. Running a business was certainly hard work, but it was straight forward and everything made sense.
Here we are today, with brilliant technology coming out our ears. Everything is Internet of Things (IOT) this and flowchart that – and all we’re trying to figure out is how to sustain a successful outfit. Hell, maybe even how to become an enterprise. It’s not impossible, but it does require thoughtful harmonization of designs and processes from within.
And perhaps just as importantly, an understanding as to how that marriage affects the customer experience.
I really want to meet the person who one day juggling three little balls thought, “let’s add chainsaws and light everything on fire.”
Because that’s exactly how you burn the place down, Karen.
Lighting things on fire will definitely attract an audience, but captivating them begins with a more introspective approach. Do your processes truly reflect how you want your customers to feel?
Putting on a good show and spending thousands of dollars on a swanky ecommerce website — the business equivalent of soaking tennis balls in kerosene and lighting the match — is nice, but if the data collected from customer inputs isn’t being automatically disseminated internally, for example, then what’s the point?
All you’re left with is a brilliant show that is dangerous and unwieldy.
Those businesses that are going to thrive in the big show understand that flash is only part of the equation. They need to understand data and trends, move beyond business buzzwords, dig into experience management and become experts.
The art of captivating customers first requires a focus on experience management. It’s the guiding spirit behind any Integration- , Monitoring- or Process Automation project. At this juncture, we find ourselves in a better mindset for thoughtful design. We focus on customers and the hard-working people at the center of the show.
In other words, instead of lighting everything on fire, we get good at juggling.
If you buy into the fundamental truth that business process management (BPM) behavior should be viewed through the lens of the experience design, the next step is to enlist experts who have a good working knowledge of what the user experience needs to be.
A good process analyst needs to have mastery is a variety of disciplines.
The goal is to have people who can critically solve problems by creating simpler, more consistent experiences for all involved. And that can be challenging, right? On the one hand you’ve got the right-brained BPM, which is focused mostly on the structured, logical aspect. On the other hand, the left-brained experience design elicits the creative and inventive qualities.
To really succeed, though, businesses need to have those two halves not only communicate, but to be in sync and generate harmony.
Let’s consider this hyper-caffeinated example of generating customer loyalty. Starbucks absolutely romanced that stone and now everyone is bum-rushing to duplicate their success with apps and programs of the like. They’re one of the most visible and most successful examples of blending experience design and BPM into a frothy, smooth cappuccino.
One of the most difficult challenges facing companies like Starbucks is the low cost of switching brands. How do you inspire brand loyalty when the cost to switch is literally the cost of a cup of coffee? Starbucks turned to experience design and coupled it with smart business automation.
Starbucks realized that they could turn a cup of coffee into more than just a morning beverage. They could create a lifestyle around it. Drawing on the influences of Italian and French coffeehouses, the leadership at Starbucks decided to make Starbucks a destination and experience. Everything became curated, from the look to the sounds.
Of course, as I mentioned earlier, this is just one part of the equation. The other key to Starbucks’s recent success comes from its smart business automation. The Starbucks app plays a huge part of that. For those who aren’t among Starbucks loyal, the ability to pay in the Starbucks app sets it apart from other competitors. This simple automation and streamlining has made the Starbucks mobile payment option among the most popular of its kinds, easily beating Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and even Apple Pay.
The end result of all of this is a smooth experience for customers and an increase in brand loyalty in a business sector that has little to none. Now that’s a fresh cup of joe!
You’ll read a lot about BPM without ever seeing a good example. That’s because BPM is a broad, yet powerful idea.
Let me define BPM this way: BPM is the tools that take in all the varied and diverse data and processes and translates them into something usable.
BPM is like going from a 1950s switchboard system to an automated calling tree.
BPM has become essential especially in the age of the Internet of Things. Now more than ever, businesses have a wealth of information coming in from all sorts of connected things.
An example: going back to the Starbucks example, the app lets users know about deals in their area using their phones’ location service. The process automatically serves them this deal, hoping to entice them to a morning cup or an afternoon treat.
This is just a simple example, and for companies like Starbucks, they receive countless alerts and customer feedback requiring an equal number of responses. By automating these responses, your business can move faster and do more with less effort.
No matter your business’s size, BPM tools will help you be more agile. And being agile can mean the difference between catching a big break and staying at the forefront of industry trends–or risk becoming irrelevant.
With the right BPM strategy in place, when your business needs to change, it changes in one unified movement.
The reality of digging deep requires extensive effort, resources, and in most cases, dollar bills. And make no mistake, this is a long-term endeavor with short-term goals, but it’s a worthy investment. Think of it like this – if you’ve got a pretty face but are a disaster on the inside, the chances of your brief interaction with your customers becoming a long-term relationship are low.
Hoverstate has worked with companies big and small to help them marry BPM and experience design. We believe that one should not exist without the other, although this happens too frequently. If you’re ready for commitment, Hoverstate can help implement the tools and design strategies to turn your customers into lifelong companions.
Written By: Holly Thomas
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