The key to exceptional customer experience is seamless integration of front and back office. Yet too many brands are failing or struggling on this because of silos and legacy systems. As a result, they’re failing to deliver the end-to-end solutions, quick resolution and personalization their customers want.
That was the message of Frédéric Donati, General Manager of Comdata France, and Daniel Fava, CEO of Eni Gas & Power France, in a recent interview in collaboration with the French magazine Relation Client Mag. Together, they looked at the importance and challenges of integrating front and back office and offered their own insights and solutions.
The Back Office Is Falling Behind
Fréderic Donati explained that many companies have made huge steps in reinventing their front-end tools and processes for CX, to offer their customers new channels, instant access and personalization but have not done the same for back-office activities. As a result, a service activation or e-commerce refund can take just a few minutes to process on the phone, but then take weeks or months to reach the customer’s home or bank account.
“It is clear there is a disconnect between front and back office, meaning that from the customer’s perspective, there is absolutely not the seamless flow or interaction they expect,” he said.
Discussing the roots of the issue, Fréderic Donati and Daniel Fava agreed that the problem is prevalent in businesses where there are silos and/or legacy organization or information systems. Daniel Fava pointed that front and back office often have different teams, working with different tools or to different KPIs: “Obviously, this makes the alignment of the front office and back office very complex, so it suffers a lot.”
Solutions and Insights
So, how to fix it? Through understanding the disconnects, updating systems, digital transformation, introducing end-to-end solutions, and putting the customer at the heart of their strategy.
In the case of Eni Gas & Power France, Daniel Fava explained how Comdata has helped them to do this:
- helping them to align the front office with back office in terms of customer promises, using the ‘Once & Done’ – that is, the ability to resolve a problem in a single call – as a key indicator
- introducing an end-to-end approach “where the same team works on the same tool with complete end-to-end customer commitments.”
Fava believes the approach is relevant to a range of sectors – from energy to telecoms to banking and insurance – and any other sectors where many parts of the offer (such as tariffs) are similar, and therefore CX is a key differentiator.
The key takeaway for companies was summed up by Fréderic Donati at the end: “They have to re-think their end-to-end processes to offer a simple optimized customer journey. Focus on simplicity, end-to-end and breaking down silos.”
To see the whole discussion, and other insights on CX, digital transformation and the essentials of reinventing the customer journey, watch the video here. [In French with English subtitles]