Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Key Components of a CX Framework - Part 5

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

It's time to put the finishing touches on this five-part series and write about the fifth and final component of the CX transformation, Putting it to Work.

Put it to Work
Once you've covered your bases on the steps I've previously outlined...
  1. Set the Stage
  2. Define CX
  3. Gather Data
  4. Engage Employees
... it's time to put it all to work. It's time to centralize, socialize, analyze, strategize, and operationalize. It's time to transform your organization.  Let's take a look at each one of those.

Centralize
When I say it's time to centralize, I don't mean that the effort is ethnocentric and that HQ of a multinational organization has say on all aspects. Actually, I mean quite the opposite.  By centralizing, I am referring to one body that oversees the initiative - and this body consists of a cross-functional/cross-BU/cross-regional team that manages its execution. This initiative is not owned by one person - it can't be - it does, however, require that every corner of the organization is represented in this centralized body.

This is the group that keeps the effort moving and cohesive. They ensure that actions are taken in their respective departments, BUs, etc. This body is critical to the success of each of the following items I will outline below, as well as the success of the overall initiative.

(By the way, this is a good time to think about a centralized tool/platform for all of your data, as well.)

Socialize
The central body of individuals will also help to socialize the initiative.  While the executives may have done their part at the outset and at a higher level perhaps, the centralized team will socialize the efforts on a daily basis. Socializing means the members of the centralized body will communicate, educate, and build ownership and buy-in among employees in their departments. They'll energize the grass roots efforts among employees to come up with their own suggestions on how to improve the customer experience. 

A communication plan, as well as adoption strategies, will be critical to successfully socialize these efforts. I'll do a more-detailed post on both of these in the very near future, but they are a must to successfully engage the troops in these efforts.

Analyze
While you are gathering data from the many sources outlined in Part 3, the two critical tools you'll need are (1) a repository or a platform to bring all of this data together, and (2) a way to analyze the data.

Analysis will come in many forms, simply because there will be many different types of data. You'll need a way to crosstab, predict, identify key drivers, and prioritize improvements with survey data; mine and analyze text/comments; and track and review social media inputs and influencers. You'll conduct linkage analysis, to link customer and employee data, customer feedback with operational metrics, and all data to financial measures.

And, finally, one of the most important things you'll be doing is a root cause analysis. A popular technique to conduct such an analysis is the Five Whys. It's an iterative process that drills down to the root of the issue to help you fix the real problem. It involves deep thinking through questioning and can be quite effective.

Strategize
Closed-loop processes, continuous improvement efforts, and strategic initiatives as a result of feedback and analysis must be defined. To strategize means to define your strategy, which can involve both tactical and big picture efforts.
  • Tactical measures are how you will respond to each and every customer, each and every piece of feedback, on a daily basis. These include both service recovery and customer appreciation efforts. Closed-loop processes are typically defined as tactical measures.
  • Strategic improvements are how the business will respond.  What operational, product, and process changes will you make to address the bigger picture. These involve a bit of heavy lifting (human and capital resources) and often take several months (or years) to execute and implement.
Action plans outline the sequence of steps to be taken for a strategy to succeed. Action plans include the specific tasks that need to be completed and by whom, in what time frame, and how much it will cost. Action planning is necessary to help make resource allocation decisions and to provide a roadmap.

Operationalize
Getting the right feedback at the right time from the right customers, then gleaning insights, creating action plans, and driving it all back to the right departments and right employees who take action at the right touchpoints at the right time... and then measuring those efforts to start all over again. (Close the loop on your own change management process.)

Making the customer experience part of every employee's daily routine and thought processes - that's operationalizing. As the saying goes, "Customer service is not a department; it's an attitude." And - it's everyone's "job."

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