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Best Practices

How Process Mining Helps with All Those Christmas Sales

christmas_sales

Christmas is over! For retailers, e-commerce sites and foodservice companies Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year. Consumerism drives huge profits and delivers a solid revenue push to close off Q4. Along with more money, comes more data — the very essence of process mining. More sales mean more invoices, more customer inquiries, more website traffic, and if analyzed correctly, more opportunities to understand the strengths and weaknesses of an organization.

Here’s how the smart company can apply process mining to the massive data influx of Christmas sales to better understand customers, employees, and business processes.

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Why now?

The ghosts of process mining past are a pen, paper, and many interviews. Because processes and business at large operated offline, “the old way” was the only way. In lieu of technology, organizations were forced to dig into operations in more of a literal sense if they wanted to understand the way in which business activities transpired. Paperwork overload! An inundation of data around Christmas time would have been viewed as a hassle, not an opportunity to learn and improve.

Today, the data flood associated with Christmas sales is an excellent opportunity for organizations to find customer service heroes among the ranks, understand their product or service from a customer POV and learn how to fail forward.

Identify customer service heroes

Not everyone knows what they want for Christmas; help desk inquiries surely spiked over the course of the holidays. From a hesitant buyer concerned about a return policy to confusion over international delivery options, customers may have skipped the online FAQs to go directly to the phone line, Twitter handles or live chat. Use process mining to analyze how your team of customer service heroes performed under stress and which channels met (or fell short of) SLAs.

Process mining will highlight customer service channels which created unnecessary bottlenecks and which pushed resolutions through with ease. In addition to asking team leaders how things went, use event logs to measure ticket resolution times, peak service hours and important KPIs. Benchmark findings from process mining with BI reports and other tools to get a deeper understanding of how customer service performed over the holidays.

In addition to analyzing service channels, process mining will nominate CSPs who deserve a promotion in the new year and those who might need to start fresh with retraining. Take a look at how teams and individuals worked to resolve customer issues and decide how to promote positive working habits. Within this deep dive, you may even find steps of the customer service process ready for Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Take advantage of all the customer interactions that happened over the holidays and let the data lead you in determining how to pursue customer service in 2019.

Gain customer view of product or service

Process mining speaks the truth. Because process mining relies on event logs left in IT systems, as opposed to self-reporting or personal perspectives, no emotions or egos get in the way of revealing how processes actually work. Sometimes, the truth reveals that customers use a product, website or service in ways not intended by its creator.

In some cases, the age-old wisdom holds — the customer is always right and should be left to use a product or service in whichever way they wish. Other times, misuse of a product or service may lead to disappointment or, in the worst case, harm. Messaging may need to be adapted to be better to educate the customer on intended product performance.

Process mining helps organizations gain a better view of how customers perceive their product. Take a deep dive into customer experience by walking in their shoes. Examine the customer path of least resistance and take note of those who stray further afield. Applying process mining to data generated over Christmastime helps managers understand different ways in which customers use their product. Let this contribute to more detailed customer personas.

Fuel Christmas wins, learn from fails

When the tinsel settles, every organization hopes holiday wins were bigger than holiday fails. All too often, the bad gets swept below the rug of a new year along with the good. The transition into a new year coupled with the rush of a busy, stressful Christmas season can leave employees and managers ready for a fresh start. Don’t let the sentiment of a new year make you too eager to move on. Take time to reflect on Q4 and let process mining help.

From big wins (above standard SLAs, on-time delivery) to unfortunate fails (items out of stock, missing invoices) process mining can help decision makers understand how Christmas sales really transpired. Process mining reinforces what was already learned by the bottom line and goes a step (or three) further to reveal why wins were wins and failures were failures. Use data to build context and rich detail to an otherwise anonymous number.

Starting things right in 2019

The best way to step into the new year is to fail forward (learn from mistakes) and not only celebrate wins but understand how to replicate them in 2019. Let Minit help your organization start things right in 2019 by understanding business processes of 2018. Get in touch with our experts today.

Michal Rosik

11. 01. 2019