Handoffs are encountered in Business Processes, whether they are In-house or Outsourced. Many are artifacts of the division of the different functions within a company. Like the Finance Department is responsible for the payment of a vendor on an Invoice even if the user has the budget and has approved payment. The shipping department is responsible for the shipping and logistics even if the order has been made ready by manufacturing.
In Outsourced Business Processes, the handoffs are more a function of manual Vs automated parts of a business process. For example, in an order processing process, some steps are manual and others are handled by an automated business rules engine, the parts that are manual are usually outsourced or even offshored for saving costs. Once these steps are completed, an automated process takes over and performs the business process till the next handoff.
There are multiple problems for everyone in these kinds of business processes in which there are handoffs. The first one, customer annoyance. Customers do not have to deal with different people in your company, just because there are handoffs in your own internal business process. There is nothing more annoying to the end-user or customer than to deal with multiple parties within your company, going over the details of what the problem or the issue was from scratch all over again!
Many organizations have tried to deal with handoffs by requiring people who deal with you to document what happened before the handoff so that anyone handling you subsequently to get all the details so that you don’t need to recount these all over again. But this may be unnecessary work or a waste of time, effort and resources.
Single Interaction Resolution may be a good answer to handling handoffs properly but may not be possible in all cases, especially where outsourcing or offshoring is involved. This is where minimizing or concentrating all end-user or Customer Touchpoints in one or very few interactions may be a very useful way to handling handoffs and providing better service.
Customer Touchpoints are very good opportunities for companies to handle handoffs properly and may even provide opportunities for Cross-Selling or Up-Selling, if handled properly.
Being sensitive about handoffs in a business process provide a lot of opportunities in improving the metrics associated with it, especially Customer Satisfaction.
Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it.
It is what the client or customer gets out of it. – Peter Drucker