Planning is the Key to a Successful CX Initiative

Walker Hubbs
Chief Customer Officer, CEDAR CX

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. – Benjamin Franklin

The challenges of 2020 have highlighted for many enterprises the significant gaps and inefficiencies in how they interact and support their customers. Increasing expectations around a simple and seamless customer experience (CX) have only accelerated with the dramatic shift to a predominantly remote world triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, more than half of banks acknowledge that improving their customer experience is a top priority heading into 20211.

Recognizing CX and Customer Communications Management (CCM) as priorities is only the beginning of what can be a long and challenging path towards customers actually realizing the impact of an enterprise’s investment. How do companies ensure they actually deliver improvements quickly in their interactions and communications with their customers?

In a world full of shortcuts, changing priorities, and scattered stakeholders, the successful delivery of CX-CCM initiatives will continue to be determined by the time and focus devoted to the upfront planning process. Enterprises should double down on the planning phase to ensure they have a complete understanding of the issues, the objectives, the technology, and the people that will frame successful customer journeys. As Annette Franz, CX thought leader says, “You can’t transform something you don’t understand.”

It’s clear that many organizations struggle with properly defining and planning IT projects, which can lead to years of timeline extensions, massive cost overruns, numerous unrealized benefits, and a growing collection of underutilized software tools. CX-CCM initiatives are too important and require an upfront executive commitment to invest stakeholder time and resources to set a solid foundation for delivery success. This focus and time commitment then must be maximized by experienced leadership and a proven process that results in a comprehensive definition of the scope, outcomes, cost, and plan for successful execution.

Some of the key focus areas for planning should include:

  1. Objectives and success metrics
  2. Current state vs. future state customer journeys
  3. Communications within customer journeys (channels, content, readability, brand)
  4. Customer personalization, preference, and profile management
  5. Systems integration points and data flow
  6. Template and business rules definition and management
  7. Compliance, governance, visibility, and tracking
  8. Resources required for implementation and support
  9. Communications content change management
  10. Rollout awareness, education, and training

Successful CX-CCM initiative scoping and planning is a specialized skillset not typically present within most enterprise PMOs or Procurement departments. CEDAR CX has a team of experienced delivery experts and a proven process to lead organizations through this critical upfront planning phase and ensure organizations deliver the CX-CCM improvements their customers expect. Visit us at www.cedarcx.com to learn more about our engagement process and a different approach towards project planning.

1 Digital Banking Report – November 2020