Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do you know ACES works?
A: We developed ACES as a way to continuously improve our own performance as we service our customers and have made it an integral part of our daily operations. We know ACES works because we see how it helps us deliver exceptional service, and so do our customers.
Q: How do I know if the ACES model is right for my business?
A: ACES fits any business that takes orders and fulfills them. If your business takes orders, through any channel such as the Internet, call centers, or direct mail, and ships products to fulfill those orders, ACES can help you improve your customers' experiences and your cost profile.
Q: Isn't ACES really just another way to measure fulfillment operations?
A: Not at all. Clearly fulfillment operations and delivery service performance are important parts of ACES. But ACES measurements consider much more of what your customers experience, and what customer service costs you. With ACES, you set the customer measurements most important to your business and monitor performance at a glance. ACES also measures important IT factors that affect customer experiences, such as information visibility and latency, and the costs of manual intervention when automated process don't do the job.
Q: How does ACES help me understand what my customers experience when doing business with me?
A: The ACES model measures the customer experience you deliver by quantifying the performance of your order taking and fulfillment processes and the enterprise applications supporting them.
Q: Isn't ACES better fitted to companies selling to consumers?
A: The ACES model is effective in both B2B and B2C environments because it gives managers better insight into not only what customers experience, but it also shows at a glance how well fulfillment operations and IT are performing.
Q: Is implementing ACES all or nothing? Can I implement it in parts?
A: We first implemented ACES in our fulfillment operations, focusing attention on three critical dimensions: customer wait time, cost, and quality.
Q; How do I implement ACES?
A: The basic concept will sound familiar: draft a rough model or outline your business process flows, establish baseline measures, set goals, and then measure and monitor performance. The real difference is in the business processes you'll measure - some metrics will be familiar but others are new. It's highly likely you already measure fulfillment costs, but do you measure customer wait time or information visibility? The specific measures you business will need are dependent upon your products, market, and overall goals. Talk to one of our experts to learn more about developing an ACES implementation plan.
Q: Is there a document that discusses the details of the ACES model and its measurements?
A: Yes. You may download the white paper entitled The ACES Model - Achieving Customer Experience Superiority by clicking here.
Q: How do ACES measurements make it easier for managers to understand performance?
A: The entire management team can use the ACES spider diagram to monitor at a glance what customers experience as the organization takes and fulfills their orders. ACES spider diagrams direct attention to the right performance areas and pinpoint where to drill down into the details.
Q: ACES measures customer experiences, which are in turn the result of actions in many different departments or disciplines. How do I use ACES to hold manages accountable?
A: ACES concentrates measurement through three lenses, Customer, Fulfillment, and IT. Generally speaking, the Customer lens relates to customer experiences delivered by Sales and Marketing and Customer Service operations. The ACES Fulfillment and IT lenses focus on performance in those areas. Performance of the sub-measures which make up the ACES measurements displayed in spider diagrams can often be assigned to specific departments or individuals.
Q: It seems IT performance is nearly impossible to measure. How does ACES help solve that problem?
A: ACES is a very effective way to measure the affect your IT systems have on customer experiences and to monitor changes IT improvements/investments make. With ACES, you quantify factors that influence customer experiences, such as giving customers immediate access to the information they need to make decisions, and IT related process latencies (such as batch processing) that slow down fulfillment. Monitoring ongoing business performance through the ACES IT lens discloses how much IT helps - or doesn't help - you deliver the best possible customer experiences.