Abstract

Detecting typical patterns in customer processes is the precondition for gaining an understanding about customer issues and needs in the course of performing their processes. Such insights can be translated into customer-centric service offerings that provide added value by enabling customers to reach their process objectives more effectively and rapidly, and with less effort. However, customer processes performed in less restrictive environments are extremely heterogeneous, which makes them difficult to analyse. Current approaches deal with this issue by considering customer processes in large scope and low detail, or vice versa. However, both views are required to understand customer processes comprehensively. Therefore, we present a novel customer process analysis method capable of detecting the hidden activity-cluster structure of customer processes. Consequently, both the detailed level of process activities and the aggregated cluster level are available for customer process analysis, which increases the chances of detecting patterns in these heterogeneous processes. We apply the method to two datasets and evaluate the results’ validity and utility. Moreover, we demonstrate that the method outperforms alternative solution technologies. Finally, we provide new insights into customer process theory.

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