Why keeping your customer at the heart of the process matters

Kimy Tran

Why keeping your customer at the heart of the process matters

Kimy Tran, Executive Vice President, Capgemini’s Business Services

Focusing on the customer experience drives innovation

One of the most important parts of demystifying the digital transformation journey is underlining the importance of the “human touch.” This is why at Capgemini—as it is at many successful, multi-national companies—people are and will always be our greatest asset, and our greatest motivation to do the best work we can. All the advanced technology that supports our efforts at Capgemini’s Business Services is in place to empower, enable and to meet the expectations of the people it serves. That includes both our customers, and our customers’ customers.

During 2012, Capgemini was approached by a global logistics company to help them transform their order-to-cash (O2C) processes in Europe. The company itself had built its reputation through superior customer service as a differentiator and as such, their standards regarding any type of customer engagement—for both internal and external customers—was extremely high. However, some of their operational KPIs told a different story, and the company struggled to implement a standardized approach across its European locations.

The Capgemini team reengineered the O2C process into improved digital customer operations to help the organization deliver a superior, end-to-end customer experience. One of the small steps along this journey was the choice of tools the team leveraged in the transformation. In this particular case, Capgemini developed an automation tool called iLogic and established an exemplary command center.

The team’s first area of work started with transforming the O2C process across key European territories. Collections were some of the last interactions that customers had with the client, which meant that the margin for error was absolutely zero.

Capgemini’s approach to O2C is to treat payment collections as an interwoven part of the business lifecycle. This means integrating the O2C function with customer service, the supply chain and other parts of the cash conversion cycle. This, in turn, means bringing together coordinated sales, order fulfilment, invoicing, cash collection and application, and dispute management activities. This represents a holistic approach that treats the business like a single “organism,” rather than a set of distinct processes.

One of the most dramatic transformations was made to the client’s query resolution time. On average, the European finance teams were dealing with 4,500 queries a day, in a range of languages. A lack of process consistency had contributed to query resolution taking, on average, 6.5 days.

Capgemini developed a bespoke tool called iLogic to transform the large manual volume of queries into more manageable streams. The tool intelligently routes queries to the most language appropriate, experienced resolver to provide a quick and considered resolution. It does this by searching through pre-defined vocabulary parameters in 12 languages (soon to be 21 with nine more Asian languages currently being added). Using the tool, resolution times dropped to 1.5 days on average—almost five times faster than previously. The team has since doubled the queries it processes on a monthly basis.

This hard work and innovation has not gone without recognition. iLogic won the award for Business Innovation in the Polish Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL) awards for 2015. In an authoritative market study, the client’s billing processes went from being ranked in the top 10, to being number one in the world.

iLogic is just one aspect of an exemplary, digital Command Center that has been developed specifically for this client. The interactive platform has proved so useful, that it is used as often by the client as it is by the team. In keeping with the client’s own rigorous, overnight delivery timelines, the Capgemini team responded with an hourly reporting schedule through the center, with custom analytics that enables the team to respond with an hour, instead of within a day.

Additional KPI improvements include increasing “less-than-60-day” accounts receivable from 86% to 95% and reducing the “more-than-180- day” accounts receivable from 4% to just 1%. An amazing 99.4% of billing now takes place within 72 hours, whereas this was previously just 67%.

Off the back of the European success, Capgemini’s services have expanded to provide improved end-to-end digital customer operations for the client in distant new geographies such as the Asian-Pacific region.

The results:

  • Ability to resolve queries five times faster
  • An exemplary control center