Employees are customers—both internally and externally. As customers of external companies, they are already familiar with advanced customer experience functionality. As customers of internal departments, they now expect similar seamless interactions from their business, especially from the procurement function.
Procurement leaders can showcase their value and win internal supporters by creating a better internal user experience through the following five steps:
- Acknowledge the struggles of internal customers. By realizing that internal customers are often challenged by complex protocols, opaque mandates and reaction-based service ethos, procurement can begin to understand customers’ behaviors, circumstances and challenges.
- Create multiple purchase paths. A “one-size-fits-all” model is no longer valid, and procurement teams must make the investment up-front—through personas, journey maps and design-thinking—to achieve stakeholder buy-in through personalized experiences and deliver the right solutions for the right problems.
- Utilize digitalized cloud solutions. These provide the necessary items customers demand and the business appreciates—cost-effective platforms, simplifying workstreams, analytics, predictive insights and financial transparency. Cloud technologies also can reproduce the frictionless commerce features of external-marketplace leaders, like mobile-access, chatbots, text alerts, voice and one-click transactions.
- Behavior. Customer-centricity is at its heart behavioral, and procurement is poised to deliver with natural relationships to the five key stakeholder groups: customers, business functions, employees, external alliance partners and the digital ecosystems. Procurement’s connections help it to unpack the internal customer journey and understand the steps, activities, questions, barriers and emotions that accompany the creation of a superlative experience.
- Investment priorities. Successful customer-centric strategies derive from continuous learning, enhanced user-experience capabilities, data-driven insights, agile and scalable technology ecosystems, and an innovative culture.
As procurement evolves from the “one-size-fits-all” model for an approach that meets the needs of their multiple internal-customer audiences, they’ll require a new operating model that embraces customer-centricity.
Learn the differentiators of customer-centric procurement leaders and explore the details of the above five steps in “Wading through the tide.” Ready your organization for tomorrow’s challenges with the Future of procurement.