The word “audit” is usually frighteningly associated with the IRS. But an audit is really just an inspection of something or in this case, the way your business conducts itself. A BI audit, conducted with the help of customer experience professionals at SEC, can help you identify pain points in the Customer Journey Map and their interdependency with other areas of your operations, to help you alleviate them. But what are the steps necessary when conducting a relatively painless BI audit?
Your first step should be to discover the good and bad points in our designed customer experience process. Find out what is going right, as well as what is going wrong. You can even compare your process to your competitors to understand competitive advantage. Does your competition have a leg up somewhere that you need may need improvement? Where is your process slowing down or even grinding to a halt? Where have you gotten negative feedback from customers? What is the intended experience for your customer at each touch point and how can they be improved? What is preventing a process from making it easy to do business with you? Does any part of the process function exceptionally well? These questions will help you know where you are succeeding and where you need improvement. Most importantly, it will maximize your advertising and promotional investment by improving conversion rates.
Next, you should define your end goal. Defining an end goal will give you a destination, as well as define the navigation and direction needed for the human dimension of your business. Do you want your process to be faster? Do you want to provide better customer experience? Ask why you are measuring something and more importantly, how does knowing the answer make it better to execute? How can you clearly communicate the designed customer experience to all stakeholders and provide skin in the game for performance in doing so? What is it that you are really trying to accomplish? How will you measure success, or where do you capture the success metrics. What factors will determine whether or not you’ve succeeded? It is during this step that you should also define the required, non-negotiable standards (KPI’s) using metrics that matter personally to every stakeholder, which can then be presented as perpetual review on a personal dashboard canvas.
Now that you know all the challenges as well as the end-in-mind, it is time to design a process that will allow you to provide metrics that are “Leading Indicators”. This phase involves “Inspecting what is expected” at each touch-point. You’ll want to recommend solutions that will communicate the level of compliance with the designed customer experience strategy, while encouraging everyone to find ways to improve customer interaction at each touch point, or maybe find obstacles that can be removed. While you’re designing your process remember you are driving a culture that embraces performance based compensation and thereby promotes those employees who do it well. Your employees and your customers will win.
Now that you have all these new ideas, you need to focus on the best ones. Which changes will help you achieve your success metrics? What will really promote and improve employee engagement and customer satisfaction? Identify the evidence based methods that enforce a better process overall, and discard methods that are not bringing measurable value. Develop the best methods that measure outcomes and create accountability to them.
Now that you have a new framework for improvement, it is time to test it. Testing is where you will validate improvement using cause and effect linkage for each KPI being monitored. Deploy your new process as a proof of concept and see if it works, changes can be made as need dictates. Customers and employees are your most important asset, therefore measuring human interaction cannot be left to chance, this is unacceptable when you consider the investment in training and knowledge transfer alone. You’ll be able to see how measuring the human dimension of your business will improve the corresponding financial metrics that are directly tied by cause and effect. Making this a very tangible benefit for all stakeholders to see and embrace. What is of paramount importance is that the intervention is NOT meant to catch anyone doing anything wrong but to enable clear communication of strategy and expectation for mutual gain.
After you’ve perfected your process, it is time to deliver the solution. Now you can implement your very best, tried and tested ideas with greater certainty. Once you incorporate your changes, you’ll see how much has improved through not only hard data, but employee and customer engagement.
A business intelligence audit may sound like a difficult process, but with these six steps and the expert assistance of SEC, you can improve employee and customer satisfaction while helping management see it on your bottom line.