Business process isn’t just about code, it’s about human connection

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We ask ourselves — dockers or kubernetes? What’s the migration process? How are we incorporating the latest features of RPA and AI chatbots? But when do we stop and consider the human side of technology? The rapid convergence of technology and digitization often makes us forget about the human side of the equation.

In 2016, Business Process Management (BPM) represented a market of $6.9B, and it is expected to reach $14.9B by 2021, according to a prediction by Reuters. What will be your winning stake?  More ones and zeros or more human-to-human connection?  I’m banking on the human connection.  I know that as product managers, we tend to primarily focus on our competitors and the features and functions of their products, but my eyes are on you, the customer. I firmly believe that talk of the former just creates a race to copy/paste or step, and repeat. I want to take us from transactional to relational, to forge a stronger connection.

What does a good human connection look like? It’s less about just the action of logging our response to a customer and more about how we respond to them. The experience we create during our customer journey is just as important as the UX within the offering. If you have said or have heard someone say, “This is performing as designed,” you, too, need a human-focused customer roadmap.

Acknowledging the importance of a human-to-human roadmap is the easy part. But how do we train for what most call “soft skills”, which can be the hardest to cultivate? It begs the question –how do we change our coded language of “It’s performing as designed” to something that acknowledges our users’ frustration? It’s about simply acknowledging that dotted along this journey are human beings, who, when stuck, experience frustration.  And when one is confronted with frustration, personal or business, the best way to de-escalate is usually a combo of levity, curated words and empathy.

I know that we want the quick win, but it has been shown that if we take the time and front-load our relationship with our clients we can increase our Life Time Value (LTV) by over 30%.  It takes time. It takes listening skills.  It requires those infamous “soft skills” that are the hardest to code. In short, it’s not easy.

But, what’s the alternative? We end up with something that resembles an over-featured product – think 500 television channels – and we pay the physical price if we fail to cultivate or break our human-to-human code (it’s called churn – maybe you’ve heard of it). To be a part of the growth within BPM you need a more human roadmap, not another feature. Let’s start one together today.

Learn more about IBM’s Business Process Management solution today.

Offering Manager, Business Process Management on Cloud

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