As I go through this article I’ll show you what I see in large organizations that have caused many customer service problems and also show you what they should have done to avoid those problems. More importantly I’ll show you what you can do now to avoid falling into the same traps.
AN IMPORTANT CONCEPT.
I use something called “Event-Driven” concepts in order to obtain many benefits for an organization. Basically “Event-Driven” means focusing on whomever or whatever is your customer. Let me start with a basic premise: All systems we encounter, be they human, computer or in nature, have a fundamental characteristic in common – they’re all “Stimulus-Response mechanisms”. For example: A storm (the Event), produces rain (the Stimulus), which produces erosion (the Response). Over time, the response can be something as significant as the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Every organization simply selects a set of Events that it wishes to respond to from the external world; e.g. A customer wants to place an Order or Request your services. Each external need to which the organization responds is called an “Event”. Now, it’s the “Event” happening outside your business that initiated the action that your business takes. For example when a customer wants to buy a product of service from your organization the Stimulus Request may go through a whole bunch of people tasks (even different departments), and/or a bunch of computer programs (even different computer systems). It may be recorded and retrieved in and out of manual files or even computer databases and so on before it becomes an Event Response out of the whole organization. The total set of individual processes, their data and files make up what I call an “Event-Driven Reaction or Partition” – one initiated by the customer. Note the best context within which to view an Event-Driven Reaction is from a whole business point of view rather than from any one person/department or computer program/ system context. Taking this view will also give us the most benefits to the organization.
Using my example above what appears to be very obvious in this all-too-typical large organization structure is our Event response has been sliced-up (partitioned) for very different reasons than around a customer’s need. In fact the predominant partitioning/structure seems to be based on human skills and computer software package reasons rather than customer focused Event-Driven reasons; the resultant structure even being controlled by a classical military hierarchy, in other words formed from industrial-age and earlier reasons. In an efficient, customer-focused business we must not perpetuate this “fragmented” structure.