Mark McGregor
July 13, 2021

INSIGHTS ARTICLE: Mark McGregor: Are You In the Zone for Success?



Are You In the Zone for Success?
Business Success Depends Upon Tighter Integration Between Process Management & Customer Experience.
The best organizations around the globe have a focus on three particular areas right now. They are seeking to stand up and run Customer Experience teams, in the hope of delivering better buying experiences for their customers, they are seeking to apply Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and they are trying to use processes as a means to drive down costs and drive-up efficiency, either just as process improvement project or as part of an Operational Excellence program.
Sadly, these initiatives are rarely connected, and in fact, can actually oppose each other. Often the disconnect between operational delivery and customer experience is itself the source of customer dissatisfaction. While many (most?) Customer Experience teams are very focused on buying processes and think little about support processes, after sales service or even leaving experiences. Remember we, as customers, are fickle we may leave you today but would consider coming back tomorrow. However, we will only come back if you made it easy to leave.
As part of our work on Customer Excellence, we have identified what we call the "Zones of Excellence" a quick and straightforward model that hides compelling stories and unearths some painful truths. Take a look at the image below, and you will see.
The Zones of Customer Excellence
Looking at the zones, we can see that if your Experience teams deliver great service, but the processes customers go through are complicated or are a "Real Pain" then at best your customers might stay in the hope you will get better, they live in the "Zone of Faith."
Conversely, if you run great operational processes and make it easy to do business "No Pain", but fail to connect with the service they expect, then you will exist in the "Zone of Indifference", e.g., they may buy from you, they may not, they don't see you as important to them.
Given that the costs to acquire new customers are growing fast, we need to identify ways to expand our free sales and marketing opportunities. We need to move customers into the "Zone of Advocacy" and have them do our selling for us.
As an example, if you are ever in the UK, and considering where to go for coffee, I would highly recommend using "Pret a Manger" if you possibly can. They have some great business ethics that I admire, and the coffee is pretty good too. Let me explain, while the coffee and service are good, maybe similar to others, at the end of each day all the food that is left is donated to the homeless when possible. If it is not possible, it is given away to customers. This is not done as part of a "Food Waste Management" program, as others do, but as a conscious act of helping those who need help, so is something I admire, and thus I am not a customer of Pret, I am an advocate and just like here, I will use every opportunity to promote them. Great customer service? Check, No pain in purchasing? Check, No questions asked if coffee or food is not right, just replaced with a sorry and a smile? Check. When you do those things right and provide a product that customers want at a price they are willing to pay you don't need an NPS score, you already know the results!
Contrast this with most hotels and most airlines, who I suggest that for most customers are seen at best as being in the "Zone of Tolerance", with occasional flashes of being in the "Zone of Loyalty", while often leaving loyal customers (e.g. those who give them the most money!) feeling like actually they are in the "Zone of Frustration".
While we might suggest that organizations who do not consider how to get customers into that "Zone of Advocacy" are at risk, it may be that you are running, for example, a low-cost airline. A business where you know that for your business model to work you can't afford to deliver exceptional service, so "expected service" may be your ceiling. You still have the chance to provide pain-free processes, and thus measure whether your customers can place you in the "Zone of Acceptance," where in reality today many of those customers feel you put them in the "Zone of Despair." While understanding that there is a business risk in case somebody else should do something that changes the expectations and the ease of doing business.
The "Zones of Customer Excellence" will be explored more deeply in our forthcoming book "How to Deliver a Compelling Customer Excellence Program." Even before getting the chance to look at how to measure your performance on both the process and customer experience scales it becomes evident that running one that is disconnected from the other means trouble, and in the end, the loser is not the customer, the loser is your organization. Customers have plenty of choices and will simply spend their money somewhere else.
About Mark McGregor
A former Research Director at leading IT industry analysis firm Gartner, Mark has an extensive background in enterprise architecture, business process management, and change management. He has held executive positions with several technology companies. Since retiring from Gartner, he has worked with clients such as Changepoint, Erwin, Mega, Planview, LeanIX, and Signavio. His current work sees him working as a strategy consultant/advisor with ABBYY and Work path.
Mark has authored or co-authored four books on business and process management, including “Thrive! How to Succeed in the Age of the Customer” and “In Search of BPM Excellence” and “People-Centric Process Management. Widely respected for his knowledge and views on business change, he is the creator of "Next Practice" and has been described as a” BPM Guru," a "Thought Leader" and a "Master of Mindset."
Mark is passionate about the people aspects of change. He has spent much of the last twenty years traveling the world, learning, teaching, and researching the cultural issues of change and how executives perceive business and process improvement. In this capacity, he has taught hundreds of people and been fortunate to interview and interact with many CEO's
Mark holds certifications in Six Sigma, PRINCE2, Sales, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and Hypnosis! Mark suggests that it is the variety of his studies, which provides the depth he offers to his clients. In his words, "It is the difference that makes the difference."
Connect with Mark via LinkedIn


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