In this blog ill walk you through process maps. Why you need them and things to consider.
Process mapping might sound boring…but by understanding how your current processes work, you’ll identify improvements and the work required to move it into CRM. There are hundreds of websites and books which go into detail about process/customer journey mapping, a good example is The Basics of Process Mapping by Robert Damelio. This overview of how to manage this part of your CRM development should be enough to get you thinking about how to include it in your deployment
In simple terms, you need to know exactly what needs to be recorded/monitored and reported, who’s involved and their role. Each map should start and end with the customer.
You’ll probably look at large processes when you start out but this can make implementation seem a monster task. It’s worth focusing on small processes or break down a large process into several manageable ones.
Walk through every part of the process and use scenarios to test it in its current state. We all have policies and procedures to follow, now is the time to see if it happens. Be aware that processes can change over the years so make sure you speak to the people following them.
- Where/when do they store the information they need to do the day job?
- Are there any security issues?
- Who’s involved in the process and how do they impact it?
- Most importantly, work with customers.
- What do they experience as they move through your process?
- How long do they wait for replies, how do they get updates from colleagues?
It’s also worth considering other questions like…
- How long does the process take?
- What challenges do customers face?
- What challenges do colleagues face?
- What does the paper-trail look like?
- What are the challenges of the process?
- What reports are required at each stage of the process?
This is a good time to note any baseline stats. How long does the process take? How many systems/people does it involve? Your strategy will help guide the information you need to start collecting. For example, reducing the time it takes to complete the first part of a process by 50% means you’ll need to time how long it takes now. Get this piece right and you’ll be in a position to demonstrate what you’ve achieved and evidence where/how CRM has improved your business.
This is the bit I enjoyed the most, identifying where we could make improvements to the process. We’re often told that blue-sky thinking is the way forward at this stage but, to be honest, I’d suggest a demo of CRM (if the team has never used it) at this point. It helps the project team visualise how the process will work and manages expectations.
It’s also worth looking at how customers interact at each part of the journey. How could you make the process work across different channels? This will help future-proof processes and make them as customer friendly as possible. As you make improvements, you’ll need to identify which fields/workflows could help automate the process without cluttering the screen with things you’ll never use. Users will compare your user interface to the big players (Google, Facebook etc.). Nailing this will be a huge help with training and user adoption.
What other things will you need to consider during the to be stage?
- How does the process affect other systems?
- What should the outcome of the process be?
- Will it meet or enhance your reporting requirements?
- How will it make the experience better/easier for customers?
- How will it improve your baseline stats?
- Other efficiencies or cost savings (less paper, better security etc.)?
Here’s a video with a bit more information on process mapping.
With process maps in place you’ll be in a much stronger position when planning your implementation. Just don’t spend weeks doing them, you’ll learn a lot more by getting a specification and then proof of concept up and running.
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