On customers and "sheep stealing": Why process leaders must think "end to end" (transcript)

Jim Sinur

Interview with Jim Sinur, Business Process Thought Leader

Businesses are waking up to the fact that processes – what you do and how you do it – can mean the difference between a good customer experience and a bad one. So what are the implications for process excellence?

In this PEX Network interview, Jim Sinur, a Business Process Thought Leader and a former VP at Gartner discusses the trends he sees in business process space.

Editor's note: this is a transcript of a recent video interview. To watch the original interview, click here.

Don't let them take yours!

PEX Network: I wondered if we could start off with the big picture: what are some of the big trends that you see driving the business technology space this year?

Jim Sinur: We’re seeing people pulling out of a recession, so there’s a reinvestment that’s going on. There is also a thirst for revenue, and so we’re seeing the CX level interested in revenue raising kinds of situations, processes, efforts, etc. Linked to that is how customers are treated, so there’s a fair amount of "sheep stealing" that’s going out there about customers. Once you have a customer how do you keep them happy, how do you keep them coming, and how do you keep them buying over and over again?

PEX Network: So the customer is becoming the all important driver?

Jim Sinur: Absolutely, and that’s the way companies think they should raise revenue.

PEX Network: What implication is this driving notion of customer having on business operations and processes?

Jim Sinur: As it turns out, it’s having a huge impact on the interface with the processes because processes really represent the company or the organisation. The notion of having a good process experience is crucial, along with knowing exactly who the customer is, what their interests are, and what their history is.

This is more than CRM [customer relationship management]; it’s about really having an intimate relationship with that customer. As a result, the ability to customize what that customer wants - or what you think they want – means we’re making our processes more intelligent, more adaptive, more customer friendly.

PEX Network: Do you think that this changes the role of process excellence leaders?

Jim Sinur: What I’m seeing is that the process excellence leader has to start thinking more horizontally. They need to look at the end to end process, and that means even outside of your organisation. It’s much more of a lateral, relational view looking at the customers’ experience from end to end, not in one particular stovepipe within their company, and not even end to end within the company. It means focusing on how the whole value chain affects the customer.