Saturday, July 18, 2015

Customer Experience Strategy and the Ecosystem

In their Customer Experience Maturity framework, Forrester Research identifies the first stage in establishing CX as Repair (1).  In this initial stage, organizations typically focus on establishing a measurement system, and finding and repairing broken processes.  Up to now, this blog’s posts have presented discussions and suggestions around the various tools used to support this initial CX stage.  Taking the perspective of a new manager tasked with establishing a new customer experience initiative from the ground up at a mid-sized organization, we’ve covered the following…
  • We began by “going to the spot” and talking with staff, customers, and vendors to form an initial impression of where the company’s CX currently stands
  • Following this, we studied existing customer research to expand on some of our initial personal observations
  • After identifying initial gaps in the voice-of-customer feedback and existing key customer transaction processes, we took some steps to establish “quick-wins” and begin to build credibility and buy-in for CX throughout the company.  Indeed, at this early stage, it’s just as important to establish the importance of CX among staff as it is to be begin making addressing specific customer issues.  From experience, perhaps the biggest initial hurdle for a CX manager to overcome is convincing skeptical and jaded staff about the importance of executing a first rate experience in today’s competitive environment.  Some of these initial activities included:
  • Implementing an ongoing and systematic voice-of-customer (VOC) transactional survey and reporting (LINK).
  • Incorporating the VOC feedback with a rigorous problem-solving method that facilitates the identification and resolution of common process related customer sources of dissatisfaction. The importance of establishing a VOC and a problem-solving / root cause identification method cannot be emphasized enough.  These two components form a foundational infrastructure that can be subsequently scaled and serve as the foundation for all subsequent CX activities.
  • Basic journey-mapping was introduced as a tool to help with depicting the end-to-end experience from the customer perspective
  • More recent post presented the Value Proposition Canvas tool to help identify the customer “jobs to be done”.  Delivering on these jobs is essential in building a future-state journey map…successfully executing the functional, social, and emotional customer jobs will make or break the ideal customer experience.
With these basic tools established…voice-of-customer, root cause problem solving, journey mapping, and value proposition development…we can now turn to discussing broader strategy considerations in the context of an organization’s customer experience initiative.
Over the next series of posts, we’ll delve into a framework for developing a customer experience strategy, as well as looking at the customer experience ecosystem through the lenses of Lean Management and the dependencies that come with establishing the various internal components required to deliver value to the customer.  We’ll use the tools introduced thus far, as well as introduce new methods to both craft an effective CX strategy and design the delivery ecosystem.  The objective of this next phase of posts is to introduce tools and approaches that can be used to develop more advanced customer experience design. 

(1) The Path to Customer Experience Maturity, Forrester Research Report, June 27, 2013

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