Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Key Components of a CX Framework - Part 1

This is the first post in a five-part series about the key components of a CX framework. 

Over the last 20 years, I've helped design many, many VOC (Voice of the Customer) and CX (Customer Experience) initiatives for my clients. As such, I came up with the following graphic that shows the key components required for a successful go at it. Honestly, it's not just an "initiative;" it's a cultural transformation.

Throughout this series, I'll define each component; as I move through the series, I may come back and update previous posts.

I'd like to call out that when I say "Voice of the Customer," I'm not simply referring to a survey.  There are so many other sources for the customer voice than a survey, and any VOC initiative involves so much more than just the feedback itself. It doesn't just have one person overseeing the effort; it takes a village, er, an entire company. VOC is an important piece to the overall effort of an organization to be more customer-focused. It is one of the tools to help you deliver the optimal customer experience. There is no end point; focusing on VOC and the CX are ongoing -- remember, this is a journey.

As I define each of the items in the graphic below, keep in mind that the customer will always be at the center of every conversation, decision, or plan that is a part of the transformation.

Key Components of CX Framework
Let's start at the beginning...

Set the Stage
Setting the stage is all about creating awareness and getting buy-in, not only from the top but from across the organization. Some of the things that are addressed during this stage are:
  • Does your CEO support the VOC/CX efforts? Has an executive sponsor or lead been determined?
  • If you don't have executive buy-in or support, how will you get it? What quick wins can you create to show the impact of a VOC/CX focus?
  • Is there a CX champion at the C-level, someone who owns the initiative? Perhaps you have a Chief Customer Officer?
  • Will the customer have a seat at every executive management and board meeting?
  • What's the organization's current level of maturity when it comes to customer-centricity?
  • Is your entire organization aware of your brand promise?  Your brand promise sets expectations for your customers about all interactions with your people, products, services, and company; it drives everything the organization does and should be apparent at every interaction at every touchpoint. (For more details on what a brand promise is/does, check out this post on Branding Strategy Insider.)
  • Do you have clearly-defined objectives for your VOC/CX efforts?
  • What are your key success metrics?
  • What is your communication plan? How will you communicate your efforts to employees, customers, partners, stakeholders, etc.?
This is also a good time to start thinking about the tools, data, and people you'll need to engage in order to make the initiative successful. Success comes in the form of aligning the right culture, the right tools, the right people, the right processes, and the right data - all at the right time.

In my next post, I'll explain what I mean by the next step, "Define CX."

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