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Reengineering

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In the industrial sector, people have been working for years on optimizing production processes by implementing efficient methods with a proven track record. On the other hand, the customer management world has always used somewhat artisanal methods. Each business devises its one way of managing customer operations. However, there is an optimal approach. The Lean Six Sigma method, created for the industrial sector, actually increases customer satisfaction while improving product process quality. This reconciles consumer expectations and the company's objectives at the same time.

THE LEAN SIGMA METHODOLOGY FOR CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT

Most effort and investment made by businesses to manage customer processes is spent on front-office management. The efficiency and flow of back-office processes has a sustained and structuring effect on customer satisfaction and cost control. With B2C as well as B2B, transforming back-office management, combined with better integration with front-office operations, represents an excellent and often untapped source of improved customer satisfaction, efficient customer operations and financial gains. The basic aim is to improve the customer experience while optimizing costs. One key challenge is to reduce customer operations costs as much as possible for all customer management processes, while maintaining a good customer experience or even improving it. 

The first step of the demarch to revamp a process is to analyze a lot of data related to the process which may come from the company's ERP or its CRM and Voice of the Customer tools. From this analysis, the Lean Six Sigma method helps to detect waste and opportunities for the process or processes studied. Then, the Lean Six Sigma team works with the operational teams to determine the steps of the process to be improved. For example, they identify together which operations can be digitized to improve the workflow for agents (front or back-office) and improve overall quality. They may even recommend robotization or AI to optimize operations and create business value. For example, if an agent performs repetitive tasks with no real value, they might recommend an automated approach, which improves the experience for both the agent and the customer. Digitization can also help agents handle a customer case better by pushing relevant information to them. 

CONCRETE AND VALUABLE RESULTS BUT A CHALLENGE IN EXECUTION 

But technology is not meant to be used everywhere; humans have an important role to play with complex and value-added tasks. This is why the aim is to find the best blend between people, technologies and processes.

This approach can impact the quality of operations, reduce costs and optimize KPIs. For example an Italian telco company improved their NPS from 42 to 60, while reducing their costs by 30%. They have also create operational flexibility by doubling service capacity via digital solutions and planning. But companies often face a difficult reality: aging IT systems, social challenges and change management, etc. They now need to move from the project stage to the execution stage, and they need a partner that can provide them with end-to-end services to overcome these challenges.

THE COMDATA VALUE PROPOSITION

This is the case of Comdata who offers outsourcing services including people, technologies and tools and can also take over customer operations with optimized processes. Companies want comprehensive support for optimizing and outsourcing their end-to-end activities. Comdata can do this now thanks to its Lean Six Sigma team and our in-depth knowledge of customer operations in most business sectors worldwide. Out of the 40 or so people in this team across the world, about half come from the industrial sector. They are engineers who have worked previously as consultants, in the automotive and chemical sectors, for example. They have extensive analytics and statistics skills, the others have in-depth operational knowledge of customer relations. 

This great combination of skills and expertise helps to create a real methodological vision, specifically for end-to-end customer operations (front and back office). They have carried in the two last years about twenty large-scale international Business Process Outsourcing projects in the telecom, energy and utilities sectors. From the experience they have gained during these projects, they are now able to provide companies with a unique benchmark (international and multi-sector) for finding opportunities to re-engineer major customer management processes.

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