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Keep Your CX Roadmap Relevant, or Risk Going off Track

This article was originally published by the CXFocus Magazine. 

Creating Relevant Customer Experience Plan

With firms failing to perform the core CX management activities and index scores for 2019 not looking promising, at first glance this may look like doom and gloom for the CX sector. However, this actually makes the case for CX stronger than ever.

While Forrester’s index wasn’t all CX roses, the research still proved conclusively that CX quality can affect stock performance and the benefits of CX are “staggering.”

So, what could be causing CX programs to stagnate?

From where I’m sitting, one of the biggest obstacles to continued forward CX momentum is the inability to continuously evolve the CX roadmap.

It is one thing to recognise the need for, and develop a clear, thought-out CX plan, but then what’s next?  Just as quickly as decisions are made, a CX strategy may need to take a new direction.

If you want your CX program to remain relevant as business needs, opportunities and priorities change then you need to build a plan to prevent your CX program from stalling.

And this is how you do it:

Plan for Change

Before you even begin to plan your CX roadmap, it is imperative to build flexibility, adaptability and scale from the outset.

This means sourcing a solid and robust technology platform that is capable of meeting your current needs and budget, but that can also help build and develop a more complicated program in the future. Even if you don’t require advanced capabilities right now, look for a technology provider that can support you as your program grows and becomes more complex.

Automate

Ensure that your technology platform is capable of a high degree of intelligent automation. Core CX teams are typically very small and the team members have a lot of priorities to juggle. Any program that requires a lot of manual work creates significant pain points, with team members often finding themselves focused on collection or trying to drive insights as opposed to driving action for improvement. Roles then become reactive rather than progressive which can slow or stall program momentum.

Activate

The end game of any CX program isn’t just measurement, it’s about using the insights gained to drive meaningful change within the business. Ensure there is an effective way to disseminate key customer insights into existing or new customer improvement capabilities, as well as into critical business decisions – including operational and strategic planning activities. Consistent and clear action as a result of a CX program is the best way to remain relevant and drive further change.

Communicate

Aligning your CX goals with the company’s strategic vision demonstrates why a CX program is important.

Define up front, what success looks like. Communicate the positive business outcomes that the program is delivering to demonstrate why the program exists. If all employees are made aware of what success looks like then they can be part of the journey to get there and part of the celebrations of wins and milestones along the way.

Designing the Optimal Roadmap

Start with the end in mind. What does the program need to achieve and look like in three years’ time? How do we prioritize and evolve over time to get there? The most effective CX program covers touch-points and journey-based CX.

Evolving your program means collecting and measuring feedback from many sources – think CRM data and social media and review site interactions and not just customer surveys.

Refresh the Map

It is critical to go back and refresh the CX roadmap every three to six months. This gives you the opportunity to take stock and determine if the program is on track for success and ask fundamental questions like, “Have priorities changed?” and “has there been any restructuring that will impact how customer improvement and change is driven?”

Celebrate

For programs to keep gaining momentum and traction, it’s really important to see and celebrate success. Once the wins start happening, celebrate them! Nothing is more motivating than being able to revel in your success. Momentum builds momentum.

This also demonstrates to the wider business the value of a CX program.

Bottom line is that if you set and forget your CX program, then you can forget the ‘staggering’ returns that we know are possible. Make your plan to stay relevant today.