Thursday, July 15, 2010

What is Customer Process Management?

In the field of Customer Process Management (CPM), the principles of Business Process Management (BPM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Customer Interaction Management (CIM) come together. CPM connects back office systems with customer contact processes. Because of this connection, customer contact employees are better able to manage customer contact well and quickly.

Customer contacts are very dynamic. People communicate with various communication tools with their suppliers. For some it is convenient to use SMS, someone else prefers sending an email and another one prefers calling the service desk. The reason for contacting a supplier can be various. In advance it is practically impossible to determine the reason to contact. Organizations can only react. Somethimes someone calls, asking questions, sometimes there is a complaint, and sometimes customers want to submit a change of address. And customers can also call in for multiple actions.

Organizations should meet these dynamic demands. Not meeting these needs and demands is not an option. It will threaten the organizations'continuity. History tells you what happens then. Organizations handle customer contact processes right, when the relevant customer information is being disclosed and presented integrally to customer contact employees.

When making available the relevant customer data from back office systems, customers will be served well and in First Time Right. This reduces the time an employee needs working on a customer contact. It will create time for other issues. For example, a customer calls with a question about the bill. This question can be answered quickly and completely, allowing time for cross and deep selling opportunities.

The above example is illustrative. When employees can easily access all relevant customer information, opportunities for financial purposes arise in the perspectives of savings and higher sales.

What is CPM anyway? CPM is based 100% on the philosophy of Lean Six Sigma. Six Sigma focusses on quality improvement, each step in the process needs to be flawless. Lean wonders whether each step is necessary. Fewer steps, reduces the risk of errors. That is exactly what CPM stands for. Reducing errors by capturing processes, thereby increasing the quality of customer contacts.

CPM goes beyond the logging and handling phone calls and other customer contact processes. It builds a bridge between the moment of customer contact and internal organization. For example, a customer calls with a remark about the monthly fee. The customer contact employee can quickly and effectively solve this problem, so the customer is satisfied. Next the employee sees, from the integrally presented customer data sheet, that this customer pays by acceptance while paying by means of non-cash payments is much cheaper for the organization.

The employee brings it up in their call and the customer agrees to the new payment. Two birds with one stone. Think of the possibilities it creates in cross and deep selling, or marketing activities. This puts CPM in the same line with the Lean Six Sigma philosophy. It contributes to the financial results.

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