CEM is now an idea that is being heavily sold and eagerly bought. How to make sure you’re happy with your purchase? Have a plan.
As in all other things, there’s always a great pressure to get started once leadership has bought into an idea. In my experience taking a little time to put together a “good enough” plan for prioritization and direction is an investment that provides valuable returns and can be done without losing momentum – and that actually helps produce the measurable successes and changes in experience that can help keep focus and funding alive.
A couple of internet decades ago – way back in 2009 – Esteban Kolsky published his methodology for crafting awesome experiences on his blog. If you haven’t seen it, you should, and if you have, it’s worth the time to go back and revisit. You can find the methodology Esteban laid out across seven posts at these links:
When I looked at these posts recently it struck me that there were some implicit assumptions that I wanted to make explicit. I didn’t see a method for prioritizing experiences to improve – in other words, I didn’t see a part of the methodology spelled out that produced an overall vision and plan, so I’ve listed the things I would add below. If I’m on the wrong track, I’m sure you will let me know…
1 – Before establishing a strategic measurement framework, or as input to this, it seems to me I need a vision for what I want my customers to experience. I would establish an overall goal based on brand, and then identify core processes and take an initial pass at articulating what the customer sees as a successful customer outcome for the process. Then I could establish my strategy for achieving my vision and a first pass at the overall strategic measurement framework (SMF) necessary to assess progress.
2 – From my list of core processes I would use employee feedback, existing customer feedback, and business knowledge for a first pass assessment on gaps between successful customer outcomes and reality. The goal is to assign priorities to the processes for their overall impact on customer experience and the width/significance of the gap between vision and reality.
3 – Then I would assess the status of my current knowledge, toolsets, and capabilities. For each process I would develop an “inventory” of existing process documentation, moments of truth, associated channels, organizational, people, and technology capabilities. I would look at my existing measurements and measurement capabilities. I will find common Moments of Truth across my processes. These will be useful to know about when I go into weighting in the next step.
4 – Now I can prioritize – I can determine what gaps I have to close, estimate the cost and complexity require to close them, develop a risk/return weighting for actions and investments, and also adjust for dependencies.
5 – This leads to a prioritized plan that gives me some direction on what experiences to tackle first.
Now I can take specific processes and start tackling specific Moments of Truth and mapping specific experiences, taking these through the design/validate/implement/measure stages. I will not be able to take on all of my experiences all at once – nor should I, as I will learn things as I go.