Has your customer experience (CX) program matured or just begun? Or is it somewhere in the middle? No matter where you’re at, CX program goals need consistent tweaking to be aligned to greater business initiatives. And with the proper alignment, your company can drive better decisions that will positively impact your customers, employees, and bottom line.
In our recent experience forum with Forrester, Goldilocks and the CX Paradigm: Too Little, Too Much, Just Right, we broke down the mystical process of melding a program and business together to work in harmony. It starts with three important steps:
Step #1: Develop a Strategic Plan
Okay, maybe you’ve been thinking, “this program’s been in the game for years, what do I do now?” or “I don’t even know where to start.” Do yourself a favor and take a step back.
To develop a strategic plan, you need to zoom out so that you can focus on the overarching CX program goals that matter. What’s your company’s vision and how can this program play a key role? When you first identify the big-picture mission, the smaller decisions become easier. And then you can start to set trail marker goals that’ll push you towards the finish line. This will only work, however, if the CX goals you create are practical ones. Goals that are too aspirational will inevitably cause your business to lose organizational efficacy and buy-in. Make sure anything you set your program for is actually achievable. Remember: Quick wins build momentum for major buy-in in the long run.
Step #2: Establish Customer, Employee, and Stakeholder Essentials
Just because developing a strategic plan is step one doesn’t mean you’ll never have to revisit that strategy down the road. Your plan will need to continuously adapt according to several factors. Namely, who are your customers, employees, and stakeholders?
To flesh these core groups out, try analyzing the trends in your market from both global, regional, and local perspectives. What benchmarks does your CX program need to meet to stand against competitors and how will that fit into your company’s business plans? If that’s still not enough information, it’s also useful to look at how your specific industry (in terms of CX maturity) is evolving. Some industries are in the early stages and some have a long-established history. And that history makes a difference.
Gathering these broader insights into the industry and market will help you to realize realistic goals and give better direction on how to move your CX program forward.
Step #3: Design & Assemble CX Leadership
You can’t have CX program goals without a CX team. There needs to be dedicated leaders consistently working on customer experience as your business initiatives and the business world changes over time.
One might think, “Why don’t I just have a few CX experts figure this out?” And you should let your CX pros do what they do best. But when customer experience exists in a vacuum, it ignores one crucial reality. Customer experience programs should be owned by and should encompass all parts of a business because it informs all parts of the business. Your program needs to be cross-functional to be truly successful and aligned with big-picture business goals. The more experts from various departments you bring in, the greater the perspective and outcome. The ideal CX leadership doesn’t look like a single team—it looks like multiple teams overlapping. .
If you’d like to learn more about aligning your CX program to business initiatives and how that helps you prove ROI for your initiatives, watch our recent Experience Forum with Forrester VP, Principal Analyst Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian here.