Managing CX When Everything Changes At The Speed of Light
Read this article in the Customer Experience Magazine
Back in January I was getting ready to present at a conference in London and the subject of my talk was going to be examining global social trends and their future CX impact. Naively, we thought we could measure, forecast, and quantify major social and economic trends. Until the unexpected happened…
The truth is though, any business and any CX team always operates under pressure from the unstructured external environment, unpredictable events, risks, and change. Over the past 10 years business planning and transformation cycles at least halved, ‘clear’ strategies get reversed mid-year and planning your CX initiatives is only relatively accurate at best. So, how on Earth are you supposed to demonstrate tangible results from your CX projects when everything seems to change at the speed of light and there is never enough time, resources or people?
Consider the 7 pillars of agile CX management. Applying them to most common CX challenges, such as demonstrating ROI, creating a collaborative customer centric environment and achieving management buy-in, delivers 3-4 times faster project execution, easy team re-focus supported by clear rules and work practices as well as reduced stress due to frequent feedback and continuous change management.
7 pillars of agile CX management:
Do this every year
- Business strategy mapping
Your CX strategy should stem from and support the overall business strategy. Understanding your (evolving) business goals will ensure your team is clear on priorities, decision making is fast and reliable and CX projects get the investment, buy-in and attention they require. At the time of crisis business strategy may change which will require an emergency review of your CX projects and tasks.
Do this every month
- Project maps
This is where you describe your main CX projects using a specific template that includes goals, purposes, success criteria, timing, risks and dependencies. You will map the main project stages and ensure to add a monthly status report and next steps, linking it to your tasks.
Do these 2 things every week
- Weekly 1-1.5h progress & planning
This meeting is to set goals for the week by discussing what needs to be done, potential risks and first steps, as well as reviewing any tasks in progress. It is good time to discuss the status, next best action, and any learnings from completed tasks. We use it as an excellent team motivation tool with team members seeing themselves positively for achievements and achievable goal setting.
- CX KPIs board
This is an excellent instrument for CX leaders to track how your tasks contribute towards achieving results in strategic CX projects. As an example, one of your projects could be to demonstrate contact centre cost reduction coupled with customer satisfaction improvement on at least 5 projects this year. You may have planned a number of tasks, such as journey mapping to achieve this. The CX KPIs board allows you to track how each of the tasks advances you to the overall project success and prompts to re-focus effort if needed.
These 3 things you should do every day
- Fill in a task board (we use Trello)
An online task board is a single repository for all ideas that ensures nothing is lost in notebooks, coffee stained pieces of paper or by the water cooler. It is visible to all team members ensuring full transparency and avoiding duplication. For maximum effectives CX leaders use a task board up to 5 times a day to capture all, even very minor tasks! The task board should be used in 15-minute morning briefings and weekly progress & planning.
- Use a template for setting tasks
In our CX Implementation Toolkit we always recommend using a specific template for setting tasks that ensures the task is aimed to achieve a specific result and everyone is clear as to why we are doing it, how and by when we shall expect the outcome.
A badly written task (that I often see coming out of CX maturity assessment sessions) would be to map customer journeys. You can make it into an effective one: Organise a groups of 5 colleagues from Marketing, Service, Customer Experience, Finance and Distribution by 10th of June to map 3 priority customer journeys (X,Y,Z) that have the biggest impact on customer value.
A good tip is to ensure a task always starts with an action verb, has more than 5 words and will be as clear if revisited in 2 years’ time.
- Conduct a daily 15-minute morning briefing
A morning briefing will help you gather all valuable ideas and understand any changes without disruption to the much-needed focus during the day. You will be able to eliminate instances of ‘This new product is totally going to rock, let’s discuss right now’ or ‘We should set up a fund for our contact centre agents for ‘gestures of good will’, let’s work on it once we have some time’ and ‘We wanted to interview that customer, but I thought it was due next week’.
A morning briefing is a quick review of what has been done yesterday, what is planned for today and any known obstacles.
By introducing the structure and the rigour of project management into you CX, you will combat uncertainty, ensure your projects fit in with the business strategy, are supported by meaningful tasks that get executed quickly. This will demonstrate tangible results 3-4 times faster and secure the buy-in from stakeholders, colleagues, and immediate team members.
Olga Potaptseva is the Founding Director for the European Customer Consultancy that specialises in agile CX Implementation. Their unique CX Implementation Toolkit allows clients across the world to launch and progress their CX efforts 3-4 times faster, by combining best practice in project management and market research with deep expertise in customer experience. https://eucustomerconsultancy.com/about-us/