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Capturing Front and Back Stage Elements in the Personnel Vetting Process

By Bill Fischer

For the next chapter in our Journey Mapping the Personnel Vetting Process blog series, we take an in-depth look at capturing visible and invisible touch points for key stakeholders who engage with the personnel vetting process.

Step #3 Includes:

  • "Front-stage" elements: What the customer actually directly sees and interacts with; and
  • "Backstage" operations: What happens behind the scenes to deliver the experience to include IT systems, internal standard operating procedures and other processes.

Capturing the high points and low points of each step in the process is key. For example, a low point in the customer's security clearance experience could be frustration from not knowing where they stand in the investigation process. The result could be that they choose to accept a different position that does not require a security clearance.

Personnel vetting is a complex process; visualizing each front-stage (i.e., what the customer directly experiences) and back-stage elements (i.e., the underlying staff actions, support processes and IT systems) helps us to understand all the moving pieces, their interconnections and dependencies and opportunities for improvement. You can see an example of this below in the Building Blocks area within this blog post. 

The Building Blocks 

To visualize the front stage and backstage elements from the stakeholder's perspective, we recommend experience diagramming, a technique of mapping a person’s journey through a set of circumstances or tasks. Experience diagramming helps to pinpoint what the customer sees and interacts with (e.g., the Security Manager Officer from the “frontstage”), highlight when and how specific backstage tools and systems are employed (e.g., the electronic questionnaire for investigations processing) and identify key dependencies and touchpoints along the way. Following below are suggested steps for building the diagram:

  1. Start with the customer's goals:
    • What are they trying to accomplish? Document the actions they take to accomplish the goal (or task) in a flowchart as the top row.
    • What questions might they ask?
    • What are the physical or mental actions a customer performs along the way?
  2. Capture Frontstage Touchpoints. For each customer action, show with whom, what, when, and how customers interact with the “service” or customer service provider (e.g., the Security Manager Officer).  These touch points are the mediums of exchange between the customer and the service provider in the frontstage. 
  3. Capture Backstage interactions. Once you diagram the frontstage, the next step is to capture the backstage actors in the customer service experience (the third row). This includes staff actions (that are happening behind the scenes from the customer) as well as the support processes, tools and systems necessary to support the staff and the service moment. This can include physical tools like notebooks, software applications staff training, and technical systems.  

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Reinforcing the Customer Experience

Taking an in-depth look into the front-stage and backstage elements enables you to identify opportunities to improve operations that deliver a better customer experience. By following the outlined journey mapping techniques in this blog series, your organization can begin to re-invent the process for a more positive customer experience for your stakeholders.

For more information on customer journey mapping, contact Big Sky Associates today!

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