Organising the Organisation

2017-07-07| Neil Sharp

“Organising is something you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up” AA Milne

As Customer Experience Management becomes more mature as a discipline it becomes easier and easier to find information and ideas about how to get started and how to generate innovative ways to approach creating the best possible customer experiences. In fact, so much is written about the subject it becomes ever more difficult to find the secrets of success that really yield value and which give tangible payback.

Once you have some buy-in from at least some of your leadership (not always easy), getting started is relatively straight-forward. Making it stick is somewhat more tricky - especially if your goal is to achieve more than just improving a few pain points or fixing some process glitches – as important as that is. If you are setting out to create a genuine shift in the way your organisation works and to really get people thinking about and empathising with your customers, a systematic and persistent approach is needed.

In our experience, one of the key differences between those CX Programmes that really make an impact and those that don’t has been the presence of a simple and effective Customer Experience (CX) framework.

We often start working with new organisations by simply casting a fresh eye over things to work out what is happening, how the culture works and simply assessing whether there is the right level of “readiness” to start to operate differently. Often, we find great people, with great ideas all doing a number of things towards the common goal of being more customer centric. The problem is that they are not joined up and coordinated and thus ineffective and lacking focus. Measurement often doesn’t lead to insight and any insight that is being created, is not feeding into the change agenda. More importantly, the impact is not being measured and quantified.

A good CX framework not only helps to organise activities and get them all pointing towards a common set of objectives but it also creates a longer term sense of momentum and a belief amongst your people that the organisation can move towards a different way of working. It is motivating. It becomes self-sustaining and dare I say it, it can create a real sense of enjoyment and satisfaction internally.

We use a simple framework shown above to review, assess and then structure CX programmes and projects. We also use it as the basis of our CX Academy curriculum. To be honest it is not rocket science. It’s simple and very functional but used rigorously it offers an orderly way of working through the various disciplines required to be able to become more customer centric.

We used this framework in a medium sized Pharmaceuticals company to pose some simple questions to understand what needed to be put in place to start making some early in-roads into the CX challenge. We were then able to help them understand where to start and how they could become quickly effective in their CX work.

We worked with one global FS client to establish a sophisticated framework which was used as a maturity assessment tool and as the basis for all business plans and customer scorecards worldwide. The framework was used to structure the groupwide customer experience programme and created a common language. It was anchored in a set of measures which were directly linked to its core strategic goals and financial outcomes which drove shareholder value.

We will look at each element of the framework in more detail through a series of short articles to follow. They will be brought to life through mini case studies and anecdotes from work we have done.

For now, the key message is:

Based on our experience of working with customer centric businesses we recommend that you consider using a simple framework to examine your current position and then to structure and drive your CX efforts. It will improve your chances of success and keep your activities focussed on the primary objectives….and if properly used and understood, especially by your leaders, provide the longevity needed to see start seeing the benefits.