Published 01. Jul. 2020
Dr Gero Decker: The Path To Customer Experience Excellence
A successful CX strategy is vital in driving customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and Dr Gero Decker of Signavio imparts his knowledge in delivering great customer experience.
With today’s increased focus on customer experience (CX), it’s hard to believe that customers were once seen as an afterthought to products.
But business process management (BPM) software vendor, Signavio, has long understood the importance of client satisfaction, building services around their ‘passion’ statement: Create products that people love to use.
Deep diving into the customer-centricity of Signavio, Co-Founder and CEO Dr Gero Decker shares with Management Events on the characteristics of a client-oriented organization and the aspects of customer experience excellence.
A SNIPPET OF SIGNAVIO
Offering solutions such as BPM tech, RPA and ERP since 2009, Signavio has been constantly recognized for their exceptional services.
Some notable awards and rankings include 2018 Inc. 5000 Europe, Deloitte Technology Fast 50 for 3 years, 2015 EY Founders Ranking, and the BPM2ThePeople Award for their BPM project with the daycare centre, Kita Am See Großbettlingen.
DEFINING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
“Concentrate on the areas that can have the greatest effect
on customer experience.”
There are many factors that contribute to customer satisfaction, from the company’s culture and staff capabilities to the processes and systems of the organization. For Signavio, what defines customer experience?
“All of these factors play a role in customer experience,” Dr Decker (picture left) relates. “Of course, some things are beyond the control of individual employees or companies. Just look at the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“That’s why it’s essential to concentrate on areas that can have the greatest effect on customer experience, often for a relatively low effort,” he discloses.
“Focus on your customer journey, including all the interactions, moments of truth and emotions. Then, concentrate on your processes that deliver against that journey.”
“Your capabilities and systems flow from this strong foundation, which then work together to reinforce a customer-centric approach, and help your company culture move from customer service to customer excellence.”
ESSENTIAL CUSTOMER-CENTRIC CHARACTERISTICS
“Build lasting relationships that are more than mere interactions.”
With customer satisfaction becoming an increasing differentiator among businesses, organizations are focusing on effective CX strategies to gain competitive advantage.
In fact, according to Gartner, two thirds of surveyed marketing leaders state that they are “currently competing partly or mainly on the basis of customer experience.” But what makes an organization truly customer-centric?
“It’s all about building lasting relationships, which are more than mere interactions: it’s about trust,” Dr Decker emphasizes. “The only way to ensure success is to reorient everything your business does around the customer.”
He further stresses how employees are an integral part of executing a successful customer journey and helping to improve customer experience.
“Does everyone in your organization know
what the company’s customer-oriented goals and objectives are?”
“Do they understand what they do and how they do it impacts the customer? Do they have access to all the information they need to serve the customer immediately?”
“And, crucially,” Dr Decker questions, “do they have the authority and ability to solve problems as they arise, without constant checks for permission?”
“If your answer to all these is ‘yes’, then you’re probably well on the way to becoming a customer-centric organization. If your answer is ‘no’, your customer experience efforts are likely too disconnected from your operational excellence efforts to be genuinely effective.”
CREATING A SEAMLESS CUSTOMER JOURNEY
“You need a ‘single source of truth’.”
Today, businesses are using multiple platforms to communicate and market to their target audience. But if the company doesn’t have a proper customer journey map in place, the omnichannel experience can be inconsistent and unsatisfactory.
Based on industry research, over 70% of customers see experience as a key part of their purchasing decision, but many of them state that companies deliver only an ‘ok’ experience.
Other research found that a high majority of customers expect consistent interactions across channels. So how can organizations provide a steady and seamless customer experience?
“Beyond the potent combination of process mining with CJM technology,” Dr Decker shares, “the most important capability to deliver a seamless customer experience is clear communication across your business.”
“This is not only with the customers themselves, but internally.”
“You need a ‘single source of truth’, a standard that is understood by all staff, and delivered consistently no matter where and how customers interact with your business.”
“At the same time,” he informs, “a common understanding of “how we do things” will allow for clearer communication within your business, and give customer-focused staff and projects a solid foundation.”
“Enabling widespread communication means leaders can pull insights from across their organizations, and make more informed decisions that will ultimately benefit the customers.”
CONNECTING CUSTOMER FOCUS & OPERATIONS
“Companies need to bring together the Customer Experience practice
with their Operational Excellence efforts.”
The interaction between people and businesses has roots all the way to the pre-industrial revolution, when relationship-building was simple and a loyal customer base was typical of every business.
While CX has a much broader meaning today, what is truly new about building client relations and customer experience excellence?
“Indeed, customer experience is not a new topic,” Dr Decker agrees, “But what is different now is that companies realize that they need to bring together the Customer Experience practice with their Operational Excellence efforts.”
“As Kasper Rorstedt, the CEO of adidas, said:
Customer Experience is not just about a sexy front-end
but equally as much about great processes.”
“By viewing customer-centric imperatives through the lens of operational excellence, the connection between customers, their touchpoints, and your underlying business processes is always visible and traceable.”
“In other words,” he explains, “to succeed in becoming truly customer-centric, we must connect our business processes directly to the drive to delight customers.”
“This means refreshing our way of thinking about interactions, and focusing on deep changes down to the process level.”
“Being able to manage and fill process gaps across an entire company lays the groundwork for leadership to clearly understand the necessary changes for improved customer relationships.”
TOWARDS INTELLIGENT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
“Digital plays a critical role in retrieving customer data.”
Since the explosion of big data and digital technologies, industries from retail to healthcare have been utilizing analytics and adopting intelligent innovations to improve their customer experience.
As Dr Decker proclaims, “We have much more data available to understand our customers. On a daily basis, we can see customer behavior changing, sentiments going up or down, and the effects of changes that we implement in our processes.”
But how does digital capabilities and smart technologies help in delivering great customer experience?
“Digital plays a critical role in retrieving relevant data,” Dr Decker elaborates.
“On top of that, intelligent technology allows us to implement more customer touchpoints than ever.”
“Twenty years ago, the webshop was a big novelty, allowing customers to get informed and place orders 24/7. Now, almost all touchpoints can be automated, for instance through apps, in-product messaging and conversational interfaces.”
“The big realization these days, however, is that technology not only provides for a great user interface to the customer but that it is at least as critical for providing smooth and fast operations in the background.”
The findings from an IDC research further confirms Dr Decker’s point, which found that a majority of CEOs are shifting their focus to more modern and digital strategies to deliver better experiences to their customers.
SIGNAVIO’S CX APPROACH
“Customer experience is not simply a project; it’s the way we do business.”
Every company has their own unique CX strategy, and the recent coronavirus outbreak has brought significant changes in customer behaviour, pushing businesses to re-emphasize their customer relations.
But for Signavio, customer experience has always been a top priority.
“We pride ourselves on offering a customer experience second to none, and high levels of satisfaction to our own customers,” Dr Decker expresses. “For us—as it should be for all organizations—customer experience is not simply a project; it is the way we do business.”
“We closely track customer engagement, success and relationship health so that we can proactively influence the relationships we have with our customers, and rally everyone on the team behind the important moments of truth for our customers.”
“For us, now more than ever is the time to maintain customer trust, and work to add customer value while communicating with empathy.”
To support businesses during these trying times, Signavio is offering a free 30-day trial of their all-in-one Business Transformation Suite that helps optimize business processes and drive intelligent transformation.
From real-time insights to quick operational change, the Business Transformation Suite offers customers continuous improvements and efficiency to their daily business tasks.