Whether you’re just getting started on your customer experience (CX) initiative or hitting pause to see how things are going, the term “customer experience governance” is probably something you hear your team bring up all the time. You probably also already know that customer experience governance refers to the system that sends insights to where they need to go and that holds certain team members accountable for different aspects of your initiative.
But which governance style works best for you? No two organizations are the same, which means that a governance style that works for another brand’s CX program may not be your organization’s cup of tea! We’ve got you covered, though—here’s three different customer experience governance approaches you can take a look at as you evaluate your program.
Three Ways to Approach CX Governance
- Approach #1: Directive
- Approach #2: Consensus-Based
- Approach #3: Dispersed
Customer Experience Governance Approach #1: Directive
This one’s pretty self-explanatory, and ideal for companies that are highly centralized. Simply put, a directive governance approach is a top-down model that gives the same parameters and goals to every piece of your CX program in every region your company has a foot in. This model makes room for some localization, but espouses a direct-line approach from one team and clear sponsorship from at least one member of the executive team.
The advantage to a setup like this, especially if your initiative sounds like what we’ve laid out, is that all program abilities are managed as one function and the team at the heart of it all is highly collaborative. This can make it easier for your team to roll out improvements and quickly hand initiative changes down across multiple facets of your program. On the flip side, though, the folks implementing those changes on the ground may disengage if they feel too far removed from this centralized decision-making process.
Customer Experience Governance Approach #2: Consensus-Based
This governance style is a bit more loosey-goosey compared to the directive approach. Rather than rely strictly on a single, centralized team, the consensus-based approach gives regional teams greater autonomy. Whereas the directive approach we talked about earlier is great for brands whose regional operations are more or less the same, the consensus-based style is ideal for organizations whose regional teams work in much more varied conditions.
You probably already see where this is going when it comes to advantages and disadvantages—on one hand, this style is great for making regional teams feel included and for gaining on-the-ground insights that make your program better! But, by the same token, decentralizing decision-making power can result in lengthier deliberations, knowledge gaps, and the chance that some regional teams stray a bit too far from the path. Still, it’s a style well-worth considering if that different regional ops environment sounds like your organization.
Customer Experience Governance Approach #3: Local
This one’s on the opposite end of our spectrum from the directive approach, and encourages local/regional teams to take up the lion’s share of CX responsibilities. A central team may still exist somewhere in the initiative hierarchy, but with this style, its main task is mostly to share data, tools, and coaching. The heavy lifting, the action-taking, is left to groups and individuals outside of that team.
If your brand consists of, say, locally owned and operated franchises, or simply has a history of reduced central control, you might find this style most to your liking. It can enable franchisees and regional managers to turn their locations into CX powerhouses that are each very tailored to the areas they serve. However, this also creates the danger of program and experience inconsistency, both of which risk leaving customers confused and disengaged if they frequent multiple locales. Making group decisions is also, of course, more difficult with an approach this decentralized.
So, which of these sounds most like your organization, or most like the setup that would be great for a new or refurbished CX program? If you’re still on the fence and want to learn more, click here to see our new infographic on the subject, with more details and considerations for each customer experience governance approach. Customer experience governance is a challenge at the best of times, but if you can find the approach that works best for you, you’ll be well on your way to achieving continuous Experience Improvement (XI).