People, Processes & Technology
Many companies claim to be customer-centric, but few really are. A truly customer-centric company is obvious to everyone who interacts with it—employees and customers alike—because everything about the attitude and actions of the company is different.
Being customer centric isn’t just about the look and feel of customer facing platforms and the service they expect to receive. These happen to be the output of a well oiled internal machine.
So, how customer centric is your company? If you’re struggling to find a starting point, the PPT framework might be a good place for you to start.
The PPT framework; people, process and technology, has been around since the early 1960s, operating as an internal framework, originally for information technology (IT) management. The three pillars of the PPT framework are often treated as standalone components but what if they didn’t have to be? What if instead, they were three fundamental interdependent building blocks that drive organisational transformation and management, ultimately benefiting everyone who interacts with the company.
What does the people, process and technology framework have to do with customer centricity?
The PPT framework is all about how the three elements interact. The people are hired to do the work, processes exist to make their work more efficient and technology helps to automate the process and helps people complete their tasks. If organisations don’t implement strong processes, the actions of the ‘people’ will be highly ineffective, technology then serves to further complicate ineffective motivation and ability issues.
The PPT framework encourages people to think multidimensionally, but what else should these three components encompass?
The ‘people’ refers to the human resource available to the company. The people are the ones responsible for doing the tasks. It is the company’s responsibility to ensure the process and technology are in place to enable effective use of resource.
Onboarding the right people, with the right skill set, experience, and attitude for the job at hand is often one of the hardest tasks company’s face. Once the right human resource is in place it’s about conducting an agile approach to continually provide training, measurement and resource allocation to the correct areas of the business.
The people also need clear role definitions so everybody knows their responsibilities. This will help in decision-making, technology selection, process deployment, and personnel hiring. Many businesses concentrate on procuring the correct technology which is not adopted by people because there is no process. In an age of digital transformation, businesses need to ensure people have the ability and motivation to use technology which is backed up by internal processes.
Lastly, businesses need to get buy-in from the people. They need to understand what they have to do, why they’re doing it, and how the changes affect them. Without the full buy-in from the people, it’s impossible to implement any new processes or technology. Otherwise, businesses will observe slow adoption or reduced usage, eventually impacting customer experience. If required, people can be empowered through proper training.
Processes are defined as repeatable actions which, in theory, produce the same result independent of who performs them. Processes are important for internal people, because it empowers them to understand how each individual area of the business works to enhance customer experience, as well as ensuring resource is correctly allocated to maximise output.
There are a few things to keep in mind when strategically implementing processes. Change can often be viewed as a bad thing which is why it’s important to ensure the ‘people’ buy-in to the process:
- Small, incremental changes to the way people perform tasks and projects makes large scale change more manageable. It also means adoption is higher as formal training is required on a less regular basis.
- Communicate processes in innovative ways – many organisations do have processes but they often sit in large, text heavy documents that team members won’t read and can’t easily access. Interpret new processes in audio and visual ways and consider how best to communicate change internally.
- If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Each process that gets implemented needs to have a defined metric to assess the success of its rollout and user adoption rates.
- Feedback to process means organisations can act in an agile way to further enhance user adoption and ways of working resulting in less large-scale change.
Once people and processes are defined, that becomes the point at which the organisation should consider overlaying technology solutions which enhance built behaviours, resource and skillset.
The technology provides the infrastructure that the people can use to implement the process. It can also serve to automate some parts of the process. Ideally, when technology solutions are implemented they serve to break down silos between internal departments, allowing the flow of the customer to continue seamlessly.
This not only acts in the best interest of enhancing the customer journey but also serves the business with improved communication between departments as well as a rich data set. Having data sets which map across the complete customer journey means that marketing departments are able to identify common threads and customer segments, providing beneficial insight into acquiring the correct converting customers to serve sales pipelines.
How to transform your customer experience with People, Process and Technology
Transforming your company’s customer centric approach is about being able to find a balance between the three components that make up the PPT framework, and manage how they interact with each other.
Context Marketing Consultancy is a product and service based consultancy, we can help you understand who your customers are, what they want and what their motivations are. With this understanding, we then develop your people, processes and technology enabling you to deliver best in class customer experience.