How will social BPM affect your customer?

The possibilities that Social concepts lend to BPM are interesting. Doug Mow used the the right words –

Today’s social media reality makes the customer a very influential source of word of mouth pressure both positive and negative.

I think the use of the word Influential is very important to note. There has been much said about how Social Media will impact traditional methods of managing functions that involve customer interactions with the organization – customer service, for example.

Peter’s question, therefore, whether Social BPM will put the customer in charge is, thought provoking, in a tangential sense (exactly how it was meant to be 🙂 ).

But, IMHO, the idea of a social enabled customer facing BPM application is really not about ‘putting the customer in charge’. In fact it should not be that. Now this may seem blasphemous, but stay with me for a minute more.

Social is but a channel of interaction. Just as the telephone and toll-free numbers are. Customer service, for example, on Social Media and BPM provide a new channel to reach support. But what makes this channel so important is that it additionally also gives the power of word-of-mouth to the customer – which means each customer experience you generate, good or bad, could be known to the world. And therefore it calls for lot of thought and preparation before you open this very important channel.

But no matter what any new technology or technology paradigm brings to Customer Service, its impact will only be on one or more of the following aspects of customer interaction –

  • – Ease with which customers can reach the organization,
  • – The actual nature and experience of customer-organization touch-points, &
  • – The approach adopted towards actual fulfilment of customer need.

Behind each of these is a machinery whose basics remain more or less the same – regardless of which technology you use and how you leverage it.

In the end though how effectively the actual fulfilment is done will be most critical – and to do that you need to be the boss and in total control of what goes on there and how effectively.

So the point is that the customer role in CS on SM and BPM is very influential, but that is not to be confused with who needs to be in charge.

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