August 10, 2017
Digital transformation has traditionally centered on customer-facing parts of the organization (the contact center, online self-service, mobile apps, etc.), but that’s changing. Increasingly, that focus is spreading into back-office functions and the broader enterprise as a way to digitize and optimize the entire customer journey. In fact, according to a March 2017 Digital McKinsey post titled, "Putting Customer Experience at the Heart of Next-Generation Operating Models," they say, “The benefits of improved customer experience can be fleeting unless changes to supporting back-end operations are made as well.” The article also goes on to state, “Delivering a great customer experience calls for disciplined execution and consistent service delivery.”
The execution and delivery of orders or service requests is typically the purview of the back office. However, operational silos, inconsistent processes and reporting, and a lack of automation in back-office functions are all hindering service organizations’ efforts to improve customer engagement.
Preliminary results of an ongoing survey Verint is conducting on back-office management processes found that 80 percent of respondents ranked their service delivery processes as either missing or just emerging. The survey has also shown us that 92 percent of respondents felt they were missing or only emerging when it came to the optimization of their production management processes.
The unfortunate truth for many is that if their back offices are causing problems with customer satisfaction, they may not even be aware of it. Insights captured in the front office by voice of the customer programs, for example, rarely get shared with the back office. So, how do you make sure your back office isn’t causing customer dissatisfaction, or if it already is, what can you do to fix it?
Next-generation back-office organizations are integrating their front and back-office activities and processes are moving from an “efficiency mindset” to a “customer-first mindset” to create seamless experiences. Here’s an example of one organization’s approach:
The online pharmacy operations arm of a major healthcare insurance company created a cross-functional staffing and performance management program. The idea was to standardize the management tools and processes for scheduling and managing the performance of more than 5,000 employees across its contact centers and supporting back-office operations. As a result, management was able to share data with employees demonstrating how their work ultimately impacts the customer experience.
While some of this data had been available to the contact center agents, it was new to the back-office employees. With the back-office staff clearly understanding the impact their role could have and by effectively balancing workloads and reducing downtime related to waiting on stock, pharmacy operations were able to stabilize their enterprise prescription drug inventories, saving $200,000 per month through reduced idle and non-productive time.
Another example is a global provider of customized business process management services. They used insights captured by their voice of the customer solutions to update and automate the refund process, which spanned the front- and back-offices. This resulted in saving $100,000 per month in operating costs.
A final success story to share involves a worldwide supplier of mailing solutions. This organization used speech analytics to spot trends in customer feedback and make the required improvements to its services. For example, the supplier was unaware that its invoices were causing upwards of 42 percent of the calls in its contact center. Customers were having a hard time understanding their invoices and statements, and were calling with questions and/or to get clarifications. Using customer feedback, the supplier reworked its invoices to make them jargon-free and easy to understand, greatly reducing call volumes and improving the customer experience.
To learn more about what next-generation back-office organizations are doing to outperform their peers, read The Business Value of a Next-Generation Back Office or visit www.verint.com/backoffice.
Mary Lou Joseph is director of solutions marketing at Verint, a global leader in customer engagement solutions.
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