In the third and last installment of our blog series about customer experience (CX) transformation, we discuss the most difficult, costly, and risk-laden phase, Enact.
A full-scale, company-wide, CX transformation takes a significant operational and financial investment. Given that most companies will need to transform in phases, CX leaders need to continuously show progressive return on investment. However, according to an article from CustomerThink’s Bob Thompson, only 30% of organizations going through a CX transformation claim to show tangible benefits or differentiation from their investments. Therefore, it is crucial to stay laser-focused on communicating the transformation value to your key stakeholders during the Enact stage to keep them engaged and on board.
Leading into the Enact stage of DEEPEN, your team will already have done a hefty amount of work defining a CX North Star, building a backlog of viable ideas and customer research, and creating a roadmap of initiatives based on their dependencies and key milestones.
As you move into this last phase of your CX transformation, we recommend you focus on four key areas in order to increase your likelihood of success.
1. Create a CX Governance
A governing body and process is necessary for providing oversight to the decision-making process, prioritizing and allocating resources, and monitoring customer experience generation and execution. It also builds alignment and a shared understanding among key stakeholders, especially when a project is cross-functional.
Setting up a CX governing body or project management office (PMO) can take many different forms depending on the size and scope of an initial transformation, i.e., the business model, servicing model, or technology stack. Regardless of size and scope, the governing body should be focused on creating clear lines of communication across the organization, removing roadblocks to success, and holding key stakeholders accountable for their piece of the puzzle.
There are some key elements to creating and running a good system for CX governance and, therefore, CX transformation. They are as follows:
- Align governance and overall organization planning cycles to maintain momentum and avoid roadblocks
- Build your governing team with cross-functional employees to ensure a well-rounded perspective with a blend of strengths to facilitate a future where the need for governance becomes ephemeral
- Stay agile with a flexible governance framework
- Evolve and evaluate team roles and responsibilities regularly to ensure a natural shift from reactivity to proactivity as the organization’s CX capabilities mature
2. Build a Measurement Framework
In the words of Peter Drucker, dubbed ‘the man who invented management’ by BusinessWeek magazine, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Therefore, a measurement framework must be implemented to tie CX improvements to business outcomes. This should be a customer-focused, balanced scorecard to help organizations understand the totality of benefits delivered through CX. The KPIs should include metrics around customer experience, employee experience, and operational efficiency, as well as business outcomes.
To develop this robust framework, an organization first needs to be collecting the appropriate data and analytics to measure on via technology and reporting systems. For example, listening programs, like Voice of the Customer or Employee (VoC/VoE), can gather customer and employee perception data. Operational and financial data is important to collect as well. From there, organizations need a comprehensive dashboard or report to distribute insights more broadly (and quickly) to enable CX leaders to communicate success back to key internal and external stakeholders.
3. Focus on Change Management
Transformation requires change so it’s likely that your operations, culture, and technology stack may all be changing. Managing these components is one of the responsibilities of your CX governing body and there are a few key tenets to keep front and center when building and executing on your program.
- Customer-facing employees are your most valuable resource for CX transformation, so keep your finger on your employee engagement pulse through a VoE program.
- Champion your employees who are embracing change through creation of a Change Network. These individuals will help set a firm-wide example by permeating the organizational layers so that the message is not just coming from the executives.
- Invest in training and communication to facilitate adoption and clear lines of communication between executives and the broader organization.
- Hire for the desired future state skill sets and culture. Your new hires will help accelerate the change and transformation.
4. Iterate and Enrich Using Design Thinking
It’s critical to establish that CX transformation is not a one-and-done exercise. Due to the rapid pace of change in today’s competitive landscape, companies that are not continuously improving or innovating are, in essence, falling behind.
An effectively managed CX transformation program should not only position you as an industry leader in delivering great customer experiences, but keep you in that position for the long run. Identifying, prioritizing, and delivering quick wins early on that involve multiple functional areas or departments can be a great way to build momentum, interest, and support across the company. This will increase internal engagement and drive additional ideas and improvements into the program backlog. Incorporating concepts of ‘design thinking’ into the governance structure is a significant component to ensure the CX transformation continues beyond the initial roll out.
Maintain the customer perspective. A customer perspective should continuously be built into your CX conclusions, strategies, idea generation, and prioritization. Do so by maintaining and prioritizing customer personas that map to your North Star and are subject to frequent qualitative and quantitative customer research. Manage clear and traceable feedback loops so that customer research data reliably informs your CX transformation work.
Iteratively develop your work. The backlog, or roadmap, needs to be regularly reviewed, prioritized, and funded by a cross-functional group of executive sponsors. The process is cyclical – initiatives are identified (Empathize), prioritized in a backlog (Plan), and then delivered (Enact). Wash, rinse, repeat.