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Anne Stuart’s BPM in Action

Anne Stuart

Early dispatches from Forrester's Business Process Forum

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Enthusiasm is running high at Forrester's annual Business Process Forum, where the message is, quite simply: "It's all about the customer."

Of course, that's classic advice, but as suggested by the conference title--"The New World of Customer Engagement"--BPM professionals need to adopt dynamic new approaches to managing customer relationships.

"What was good enough before is not good enough today," Derek Miers, a Forrester principal analyst, warned in one of the event's opening sessions. And, he added, customer-engagement approaches that work right now won't be sufficient for long; they'll need to continue evolving to meet changing customer needs. "We almost have to rebuild the ship while we're at sea," he noted.

Miers also encouraged BPM pros to involve customer service representatives in customer-facing process-improvement efforts: :"Your people on the front lines know more about customers than you think they do," he said.

In response to an attendee who asked plaintively "Does every company always have to 'wow' the customer?" Forrester Principal Analyst Mike Gualtieri urged attendees to simply focus on efforts that increase customer desire. Sometimes, that does mean providing a "wow" experience, he said. But "sometimes it means getting the best price with no frills." Or it might mean solving a customer problem, prompting a response along the lines of "Wow, now I don't have to think about it."

He also recommended following the famous advice of Apple's Steve Jobs, which he paraphrased like this: "I don't ask my customers what they want. I try to design products and services that customers don't know they want yet."

Much more to come from the forum, which is running simultaneously with Forrester's Content & Collaboration and Application Development Forums in Boston.


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Business process management and optimization -- philosophies, policies, practices, and punditry.

Anne Stuart

I am the editor of ebizQ.

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