Process Mining for Customer Journeys
Process mining can not only be used to analyze internal business processes, but also to understand how customers are experiencing the interaction with a company, and how they are using their products.
“Process Mining and Customer Journeys” was the topic of the first event of the new Special Interest Group (SIG) for Process Mining in the Dutch industry association Ngi-NGN. Fluxicon is on the board of this Ngi SIG group and was co-organizing the event, which took place yesterday on 25 March 2014 in Utrecht, at the Rabobank.
More than 50 people had signed up for the event and it went great. Below is a quick summary for everyone who could not be there.
Introduction Customer Journey
Jaap Rigter from VisionWaves first introduced the topic of customer journeys. He illustrated how customers interact with a company through multiple channels, and how understanding the customer experience across these different channels is critical in understanding the customer and improving her experience.
Introduction Process Mining
I then introduced process mining using the metaphor of sailing boat journeys from 150 years ago. For the people who were already familiar with process mining I had brought the first two applications of process mining to customer journeys, which are probably not what you might think (take a look at the slides to find out).
The center of the first part of the evening was the case study presentation by Ellen van Molle and Bram Vanschoenwinkel from AE. They presented the results from a process mining mining analysis at an interim sector company, where employers were matched with employees.
By understanding how potential employees were using the job search application they could highlight the process areas, where people dropped out. Furthermore, by enhancing the data in a second iteration they were able to check hypotheses of the business such as “mostly elderly people have problems with the navigation in the system”.
The second part of the evening was an open discussion in small groups. As a starting point questions such as “What are the challenges of process mining for customer journeys?” and “What is the added value of process mining for customer journeys?” were provided to the groups. Afterwards, the results from the discussion were summarized.
Here are some of the discussion points I remember:
One challenge is that the data need to be coupled across multiple channels / systems to get an integrated picture.
Another challenge is that next to the analyst and the business one actually needs to involve the customer herself to understand the underlying root causes and motivations.
While the rules for analyzing business processes are mostly well-defined, analyzing customer data is much more sensitive and privacy concerns play an important role.
Potential benefits that were discussed are, for example, the saving of costs of customers calling the helpdesk by better adjusting the websites so that they find what they need.
Another mentioned benefit was that by improving the customer experience, businesses can expect more revenue from their happy customers and more recommendations from their customers.
It was a well-attended and very lively event. Thank you all for coming! You can download all slides and more photos of the event at the Ngi-NGN event site here.