More and more, companies are organizing around customer episodes, which consist of the activities that help customers fulfill a specific need. Jens Engelhardt, a partner with Bain's Customer Strategy & Marketing practice, describes the process for managing—and scaling—these episodes to benefit employees as well as customers.
Read the Bain Brief: Experience Is the New Product; Here's How to Manage It
Read the transcript below.
JENS ENGELHARDT: Most companies today are organized around products or functions, like risk management or marketing. However, we see more and more companies organizing around customer experience, around episodes.
So what is an episode? An episode or a journey actually starts with the emergence of a customer need—say, I want to open a bank account—and it only ends once this need is fulfilled. So the bank account is opened and the customer can make a payment.
Leading companies transition to this new model in a few steps. First, they very clearly define the customer episodes. And they prioritize them based on the ability to improve the customer experience and the potential to take out cost.
Then they assemble cross-functional teams that are responsible for each individual episode. Then, to make sure that these episodes are continuously improved, they set very clear metrics for each episode. And finally, these companies scale up and are examples of companies that have dozens or even hundreds of teams organized around episodes.
Organizing around episodes really changes the way of working and the way decisions are taken. Teams love to take this level of ownership and to see the results for customers coming in, in such short order.
Organize around customer episodes, improving them through Agile teams.