By: Jen Garde, SVP of Client Relations
Changing your business processes to align with a new customer experience strategy is easier said than done.
Many leadership teams have no problem deciding what the business will do. But great intentions don’t always match reality. Enabling teams and partners to act effectively is another story.
Put simply, process manifests strategy. You need high process standards to channel your strategy and deliver on CX. Many companies without a strategy wind up working overtime (and burning money) trying to deliver a standardized experience to consistently improve customer satisfaction and drive stable growth—but never keep things going well for long.
This is where your BPO partner can step in.
Operational excellence doesn’t happen on its own. It needs a dedicated, experienced BPO partner who anticipates challenges, elevates customer service agent skills and gets everyone working toward a common mission.
Let’s look at what leads to the gulf between customer experience strategy and its execution and how your BPO can help you bridge that gap and improve customer satisfaction.
Why it’s so hard to uphold process excellence
There are two common reasons why new directions and existing operations collide and leave your business struggling to keep standards up.
First, there’s often an overconfidence in current processes. A customer experience strategy that fails to include realistic performance standards (and that doesn’t seriously consider known issues among your team) won’t get you far.
The second reason is underestimation—and that’s in both the investment needed to improve processes, and in the ROI that change would deliver.
When strategy deviates from reality, it’s harder for your teams to execute successfully. Having the right strategy matters as much as being able to manage processes to deliver on it.
A strategy that’s built on expedience is short-sighted and will inevitably burn out your operations capacity. We call this approach Transaction-based Outsourcing, where shallow goals and temporary sales lift get in the way of prioritizing what’s right for the customer (and your business) over the long haul.
But a strategy built on experience—one that takes a long-term view and that truly puts customer experience at its core—helps your brand adapt and thrive as audience expectations and business standards change.
This is Relationship-based Outsourcing™, our approach that helps influence long-term decision-making and deliver results. It yields higher customer satisfaction and lifetime value as operations get the consistent attention they deserve.
Your BPO’s role in managing smooth operations
We help our partners align their businesses toward CX-first goals—and keep processes at a high standard through ongoing evaluation to fulfil those goals.
As strategy is defined and rolled out across your business, here are three modes of thought that can help companies uphold process excellence—and how your BPO should support them.
1. Acknowledge your actions
No matter your role, everyone’s responsible for process excellence.
Everyone should contribute to processes that lift the overall efficiency and effectiveness of individuals and teams—even the guys at the top.
When leadership and the C-suite practice the process excellence they preach, they’re leading by example for the rest of the business to follow.
How can BPOs help here? As outside partners to your company, they can bring new perspectives, flag blind spots and support leadership in translating strategy into realistic process change.
BPOs are also better placed to provide an unbiased picture of what really happens in the weeds of your business and in everyday customer conversations to guide process improvement.
For our clients’ companies, we interview stakeholders and analyze process at every level to get the full picture. We make sure strategy can be expressed through process and that every team has a way of implementing it.
2. No culture, no clarity
There’s a saying that culture eats strategy for breakfast. In other words, no matter how great your strategy is, it won’t work without people who are aligned and enthusiastic to implement it.
A huge part of fostering a productive culture is accountability and ownership. While strategy might determine KPIs and agent scorecards, it’s important that agents also have some autonomy and influence around process improvement. Give agents the freedom to problem solve outside the expected route if the situation needs it—and then share that experience for potential operational or knowledgebase updates.
We develop training programs and cultivate an environment that immerse our agents into your brand and culture. Agents are excited and enthusiastic about owning processes, sharing the voice of the customer and driving excellence.
3. Balance consistency with change
Consistency communicates quality. New processes need to be given the chance and respect to work themselves out.
And yet it’s important to know when to make the right moves to introduce change to support strategy.
We encourage teams to constantly re-evaluate processes and see where they can be improved to better meet business needs.
Even beyond the first 90 days into an implementation, we make sure you’re continuously improving.
And if your strategy changes, having robust processes and a galvanized team implementing them makes adaptation an easier ride.
Get a process excellence partner who gets it
How clear is your commitment to process excellence? Are your customer service agent skills up to scratch? Do you have an understanding of the resources, tools and incentives needed to make your processes the best they can be?