How to launch your CX Management platform

Written by
Joris Hens
Service Designer
Aug 10, 2022 . 12 mins read
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Organisations have been increasingly moving towards a customer-centric way of working by measuring and improving customer experience across all of their touchpoints and customer journeys. Previously, we explained how this shift requires an understanding of what is CX Management and how digital tools can help you capture insights and manage your CX efforts.

But how should you start setting up your service ecosystem overview through CX Management platforms? We will walk you through every stage!

Can’t wait to get started? Neither can we! However, simply creating a CX Management dashboard won’t magically unlock all of that potential. You need to carefully consider the customer perspective, how to make your CX dashboard actionable, and how to sustainably embed it in your organisation’s way of working.

Therefore, we propose the following steps:

1. Prepare for a soft landing

  • Make sure your team or organisation are ready.
    Just as plants need fertile ground to grow, your CX management dashboard needs a basic level of CX maturity to succeed. CX Maturity looks at how ‘mature’ your organisation is when it comes to customer-centricity, by considering indicators such as people and resources, tools and capabilities, and more. These factors will also play a role when you set out to implement a CX management platform. For example: you’ll need access to people skilled in data science and customer-centricity to help you. You’ll need a budget and mandate too, which you might only unlock if those in charge believe in customer-centric ways of working. Furthermore you’ll need access to CX metrics, which your organisation might not even keep track of yet. These are all aspects of CX maturity that you’ll need to keep in mind in order to get started.
    Learn more on CX maturity and its indicators.

 

  • Aim for a pilot first
    Ideally you are either a CEO or you have C-level support to roll this out across your organisation. However, don’t be discouraged if you’re not. Even for CEO’s we would recommend trying out a pilot first, for example within a department, service, or team only. Not only does that reduce risk: it will also help you to gain experience much faster while proving that CX management works. That will provide you with a more stable foundation to scale things up afterwards.

 

  • Gather the right team
    To set up the right team, involve people that will be using the CX management dashboard as well as the people you need to make that happen. That means you should involve at least:
    A powerful crusader – Someone with the mandate, budget, and willingness to support this.
    Data experts – People who know what is available in terms of data and know where to find it
    UX/Service designers – People that represent the voice of the customer and understand the challenges related to CX maturity involved in such a project
    Journey/Product owners – People who know the ins and outs of the services or products your company offers

2. Map your service ecosystem

Once you’ve gathered your team, it’s time to create an inventory of all the customer journeys that make up your service ecosystem. Make sure to do this from a customer perspective. It might be tempting to structure your ecosystem according to your organisation’s processes and departments, but your customers will probably experience these journeys much differently. For example: when applying for a phone subscription a customer might pass through compliance, fulfillment, and logistical departments internally. The customer will probably be completely oblivious to all of that. All they see is an onboarding journey that starts when they click on ‘order’ and ends when they’ve sent their first text. To make sure you get this right, validate your ecosystem with your customers.

Once you’ve gathered your team, it’s time to create an inventory of all the customer journeys that make up your service ecosystem. Make sure to do this from a customer perspective. It might be tempting to structure your ecosystem according to your organisation’s processes and departments, but your customers will probably experience these journeys much differently. For example: when applying for a phone subscription a customer might pass through compliance, fulfillment, and logistical departments internally. The customer will probably be completely oblivious to all of that. All they see is an onboarding journey that starts when they click on ‘order’ and ends when they’ve sent their first text. To make sure you get this right, validate your ecosystem with your customers.

3. Decide what to measure and show

When it comes to measuring CX, there are two categories of metrics you can track:

    • Behavioural KPI’s track what people do, such as conversion rate, time-on-task, or recurring use.
    • Attitudinal KPI’s track what people say, such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer satisfaction (CSAT), or review sentiment scores.

The full list of CX metrics within each category is nearly endless. Multiply this with the number of journeys in the average service ecosystem, and you’ll quickly have a number overload on your hands. Therefore the better question is: What should you show?

To make sure you only show what’s relevant, your first step is to sit down with the people that will be using the CX management dashboard. Different experts will have different needs when it comes to measuring CX performance. The service ecosystem provides a perfect starting point for this conversation. It creates a shared language, provides an overview of the touchpoints available for measurement, and helps to determine how deep you want to ‘zoom in’. The optimal zoom level depends on who’s watching: While a CEO might only need a few key CX metrics, a UX’er might need much more detailed information on individual journey steps and touchpoints. While doing all of this, make sure to include data experts to validate what’s realistic within your organisation. 

Another way to prevent number overload is to combine ‘raw’ CX data into combined CX metrics. These CX metrics can show overall CX performance at a glance. For example, Transavia combined CX metrics from 24 touchpoints into a single  ‘Passenger Experience Index’. You can even express CX metrics in monetary terms. Research suggests that satisfied customers are more loyal, will buy more, and will recommend a service to more other people. In other words: a better CX can be linked to generating more revenue or ‘customer lifetime value’ (CLV). Linking your CX performance to CLV requires a big pool of historic data, smart modelling, and continuous validation of your model with real customers behaviour. This can get quite technical, but it can be done: companies like Transavia and Rabobank are already doing it. 

Numbers are great at measuring behaviour, which helps to identify and prioritise opportunities for improvement. Some platforms can even help you identify trends, correlations, and more using clever data science magic. As powerful as that is, you will still need qualitative research to explain those results by asking ‘why’ and ‘how’ to your customers. That’s why we recommend using CX management dashboards that allow you to add qualitative insights to the numbers. You need this explanation to know how to take action. It’s not about the numbers: it’s about what you do with them.

It’s not about the numbers: it’s about what you do with them.

4. Pick the right solution for you

By now you should have a pretty good idea of your budget, mandate, and the CX metrics you want to measure. It’s time to decide what tool best fits all of those requirements. There’s three approaches you can choose from: creating manual snapshots, using off the shelf tools, and creating custom-built tools.

The easiest way to create an overview of your CX performance is to simply create a ‘quick and dirty’ snapshot. It only takes paper and post-its (or Miro) to create a service ecosystem. Adding CX metrics to it could be as easy as walking over to your nearest data expert or helpdesk manager, requesting any CX data they might have for you, and manually mapping that on top of the journeys it relates to (see example). Furthermore, this is a great way to prove the value of this way of working within a small budget or timeframe. The result is good enough to support short-term decision making, and it can manually be updated to keep its relevance.

For most organisations we recommend using ‘off the shelf’ CX management platforms. These platforms allow you to map your service ecosystem and link it up with qualitative and quantitative data. There are several exciting options to choose from, each with their own unique strengths. Since this is a topic in itself, we will spend our next blog comparing several options.

For some (larger) organisations using off the shelf platforms might not be flexible enough. In those cases building a custom software solution might be the way to go, although this does require a large, continued investment. We recommend trying out off the shelf tools first before embarking upon such an adventure

5. Embed in your organisation

So, you’ve set up your CX management dashboard and it’s actually showing useful CX performance data. Congratulations! Now the real fun begins. Although it’s often overlooked, a CX management dashboard won’t magically start using itself. It needs people to actually use and maintain it. That might require a shift in their way of working. Creating a dashboard and then not using it is one of the biggest pitfalls, so tread with care!

CX management dashboards need care and love. To ensure they get plenty, we recommend assigning a dedicated person for the job: The journey coördinator. Their goal is to encourage adoption, hunt for high-quality data, and ensure that measurements are conducted fairly. The journey coördinator will often span multiple departments. Data is often fractured throughout an organisation: hidden in dusty reports, excel sheets, and the ingrained knowledge of many different people.

Even the most dedicated journey coordinators won’t be able to do everything by themselves. To make a CX dashboard a success, people across multiple levels and departments will have to adopt it into their way of working. They’ll have to start using CX performance to guide their efforts and track the impact of their work. There are several strategies to make that happen. First of all: start small. As mentioned before, run a pilot within a single team or department to gain experience and collect proof for this way of working. Secondly comes employee engagement. People across all levels of the organisation need to understand what is expected of them and why that’s important. Thirdly we recommend freeing up time for people expected to contribute data, such as data experts or CX researchers. Expect that it will take these people 1 to 3 days per month to keep a CX management dashboard up to date.

Lastly…

We recommend creating ownership for CX performance. One way to do this is to take CX performance into account when evaluating projects, teams, or people. Be careful though: this should go hand in hand with checks and balances that promote fair measurement. Otherwise, all you might end up doing is incentivise people to ‘game’ their CX measurements. You’d be surprised how often metrics like NPS are misused by leading, guilting, or even bribing customers into giving high scores.

If you are truly serious about becoming more customer-centric, you might consider moving from product owners to journey owners, or even restructuring whole teams around your service ecosystem. Since this is a subject on its own we recommend this blog if you want to learn more.

Let’s get started!

We believe CX management is the next frontier for organisations that want to offer great customer experiences. Modern CX management platforms can enable a way of working that is truly customer-centric, data-based, and accessible to all members of an organisation. Simply creating a dashboard won’t automatically unlock that potential however. For starters, CX management dashboards won’t magically start using themselves. To embed them within organisations you need to carefully consider the customer perspective, how to make them actionable, and how to guide your teams towards a more CX-mature way of working. These are the types of challenges we face daily as CX experts, making us ideally positioned to help out. If you have any questions on how to set up CX management within your team or organisation, do not hesitate to contact us!

Read more on how we can help you implement CX management at scale

Coming up: Comparing state of the art CX management dashboards

In our upcoming blog we will dive deeper into a comparison of several exciting CX management dashboards. Follow the author or Koos LinkedIn so you don’t miss it!

Written by
Joris Hens
Service Designer
Aug 10, 2022 . 12 mins read
Share this article