Great customer experience processes are different from other business processes. They are rigid at the core and flexible at the edges. Like a wheel. A wheel has a rigid hub that can hold the entire weight of the vehicle and enable the engine to move it forward, and it has a flexible tire that gives it the agility to keep traction in unpredictable conditions.
When it comes to customer experience processes, the rigid hub is the hard rules that can’t bend. And the flexible tire is the human touch – the nuances of unique employee and customer personalities and situations.
Businesses often make the mistake of assuming that customer processes are like other business processes. And they make them too rigid. When there isn’t enough tire, the sparks fly because the organization can’t flex with changing needs!
Or, they assume that relationships require very little process at all. When there’s too much tire, you can’t control the vehicle – the engine is too powerful for it! In the same way, CRM and marketing automation tools without process often do more harm than good.
But what does a “rigid core” really look like? Well … wait for it … it’s got RIMS!
Customer processes need to be rigid enough to be:
Repeatable: The organization must be able to repeat the most effective parts of the process so that they can deliver predictable results.
Improvable: If the team is following a core set of steps consistently, then areas for improvement can be identified, analyzed and tested.
Measurable: How do you know where you need to make improvements? You need to be able to measure each component of the process.
Scalable: Well defined processes deliver the ability to grow revenue faster than associated costs.
Sales and Marketing processes far too often don’t have RIMS – this is one of the many reasons why so many CRM projects fail (download the CRM Failure eBook to learn more).
Let’s take marketing events as an example. The frustrated CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) from one of our clients recently approached us about this. They send their reps to dozens of events each year. And each year the CMO is asked to approve the budget for events, and has no way to know which events are producing the better return. So decisions are made based on the preferences of the reps. The CMO could gradually improve RIMS for events by:
Frustrated with your customer experience processes? Try putting some RIMS on them!
I need your help solving a problem. What kind of acronym can you think of to describe the flexible edges? Tweet it to me!
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