Many executives want to digitalize their operations to improve the customer experience, but don’t know where to start. Jens Engelhardt, a partner with Bain's Customer Strategy & Marketing practice, discusses how companies can benefit from using a factory-like process to rebuild their most problematic episodes.
Read the Bain Brief: Firing Up the Customer Experience Factory
Read the transcript below.
JENS ENGELHARDT: Almost all executives today want to go digital to reduce costs or to improve customer experience. Yet too often, they don't know where to start.
Leading companies start with the customer's needs, with the customer's pain points. And a very effective way of changing customer experience is to redesign customer episodes end to end.
So what is a customer episode or a customer journey? It actually starts with the emergence of a customer need. For example, I want to open a bank account. And it only ends once this need is fulfilled. Say, I have the bank account open and I can make payments.
We do this redesign in the so-called customer experience factory. Why do we call it a "factory?" First, because we believe that even if you work in an Agile way, this process can be standardized. And Agile does not mean chaos.
Secondly, this process really delivers tangible results, completely redesigned customer experiences at a radically lower cost. And third, working in the factory is much more than just working with Post-its on a wall. It's a lot of intense work. And it sometimes just feels like working in a factory.
So where do you start? You start with those episodes that create the highest cost or create the most pain for customers. You go and assemble a cross-functional team that really takes ownership for redesigning that episode end to end.
The results of this factory work can be quite substantial, reducing cost while delivering completely new customer experience. The factory really makes a difference.