Four Stages To Implementing a CX Transformation: From Mapping To Dataflow to Your Journey Model
The structural conflict that acts as a barrier to optimizing CX
The structural inefficiencies of silos have been the source of complaints for decades. There are both departmental silos and responsibility silos. Silos typically have a leader and its own tools, data, budget, teams and metrics and each of these contributes to its vertical focus.
The conflict lies in the fact that our customers traverse across the silos. In other words, customers are traveling horizontally across the vertical silo focus. This occurs in both the end-to-end customer journey, and in the individual and primary service journeys that make up customers’ end-to-end journey.
The end-to-end customer journey is made up of separate and distinct service journeys.
Service journey: The path taken by an individual interacting with any combination of touchpoints regarding an interest, need, request or requirement. Primary service journeys are those that together and sequentially make up the end-to-end customer journey.
Until this conflict is addressed, an organization will forever be challenged to optimize the results of its CX efforts.
Solution: Progress along the stages of the Customer Experience Transformation Maturity Model
Progressing through the Model accomplishes two shifts critical to addressing the conflict, optimizing outcomes and better positioning the organization to compete and win.
- Shift from a silo focus to a service journey focus
- Shift from segment-centric to individual-centric communications
Shift to becoming journey-focused
The shift to a journey focus creates a better understanding of what customers are trying to accomplish as they engage with the organization. With this knowledge, staff are shown to change both thinking and actions.
Journey focus drives dramatic results
I worked with a Fortune 200 company that layered a journey-focused model over their siloed structure. At the beginning they were in the middle of Forrester’s CX Index. After the journey model was set up and fully implemented, they didn’t just improve. They rose to the number one position in the index as they realized tangible benefits for customers, employees and the organization.
Shift to becoming individual-centric
The second shift is a shift to individual-centric communications. This isn’t about doing away with segments or personas but delivering touchpoints that are truly relevant to the person and their service journey.
Individualization is much more than personalization. If an email arrives using your name, it is personalized. However, if the content is for a persona or segment that doesn’t really fit, it isn’t relevant to you as an individual.
Utilizing the Maturity Model to optimize outcomes
The answers to a series of questions will help clarify the path forward to desired benefits for your organization.
- Where in the Model is the organization today? Note that most companies’ current state is in the first stage.
- Where in the model does the organization seek to progress? In other words, what is the desired future state? It is not uncommon that the desired future state changes over time. However, with these two questions answered, you have identified the current state to future state gap to close.
- What is a high-level roadmap and key first steps to close the gap to the future state?
Typical first steps start with relevant CX strategy and plan. Both need to have a focus on closing the current to future state gap and becoming journey-focused and individual-centric. With a strategy and plan in place, it is time to execute the first stage.
Stage 1: Identify, Blueprint and Develop
Best case prerequisite: CX transformation-geared strategy and plan.
This stage covers the foundational work necessary to make the shift to becoming journey-focused. As a part of the service journey work, this stage includes developing the strategies that cover what most call channel or digital transformation strategy. There’s a lot to accomplish in this early stage that drives immediate improvements while also preparing the organization for optimizing the benefits of subsequent Maturity Model stages.
Goal: Generate specific channel, experience or touchpoint improvements via foundational service journey work.
Steps of Stage 1
- Identify, blueprint and name the current state of each of the primary service journeys
- Define and blueprint the future state of primary service journeys and channels
- Develop and implement service journey and channel improvement roadmap
Output of this stage include:
- Defined beginning and end points of primary service journeys
- Named service journeys from the customer’s perspective
- Completed Service Journey/Channel Matrix
- Surfaced and prioritized service journey improvement opportunities
- Developed future state roadmap for each service journey
- Defined metrics for each service journey
Step 1: Identify and blueprint the current state of primary service journeys
The activities of this first step typically include:
- Primary research
- Internal input
- Customer input
- Review of operational data and secondary research
- Identify and name each primary service journey
- Define and blueprint each primary service journey
- Capture improvement opportunities
From silo steps to the purpose of the survey journey
One key to becoming journey-focused is shifting the internal emphasis from completing steps within the silo to helping the customer accomplish the purpose of their service journey.
- From the step of sending a monthly invoice to their service journey of maintaining service
- From the step of getting a loan application submission to their service journey of being approved to buy their new home
- From the step of taking the order to their service journey of enjoying a meal out
The power of a name
During this first stage, organizations identify, define and name service journeys from their customers’ perspective. This can often lead to a wholesale change in how employees think and approach their work.
Example: From payments to maintaining eligibility
I was working with a large US insurance company that developed a service journey focus. One of the activities of every insurance company is to collect payments for insurance premiums. As the nature of that service journey was examined from the perspective of customers, it started to be clear that the service journey wasn’t about payments at all. Customers viewed paying their premiums as maintaining their eligibility for their insurance benefits.
Building that service journey around the title and understanding of “maintaining eligibility” had a dramatic impact.
First, it impacted employees that worked that service journey. They shifted from thinking they were collecting money or payments to the fact that they were now helping individuals maintain their eligibility for health insurance.
Second, this dynamic change in perception delivered quantifiable benefits. First call resolution around what was previously called payments improved as did the related transactional Net Promoter Score. This simple name change also had a positive impact on the organization’s cash flow.
Step 2: Define and blueprint the future state of primary service journeys and channels
The activities of this second step typically include:
- Blueprinting the future state primary service journeys
- Completing the Service Journey/Channel Matrix
- Prioritizing improvements generated from future state blueprinting and the Service Journey/Channel Matrix
- Developing the future state roadmap for each primary service journey
As CX consultants, employees often share with us, “If I could get responsibility X to do Y, it would make the customer journey and my job so much better.” Employees complain about silos. They complain about what’s happening or not happening up or downstream from their work, which inhibits the best service journey for customers and for them.
The real power of the Maturity Model is unlocked when the focus is based on the intent of customers’ service journeys. This horizontal lens that cuts across siloed departments is a key to improving service journey and channel/digital performance.
The Service Journey/Channel Matrix – its not a channel strategy
As organizations consider the future state, it is common practice today to develop a channel or digital strategy. Typically, what we see under this activity is organization’s focusing on the channel or the tool. The challenge with that focus is that some service journeys just can’t be accomplished in every channel. For instance, few organizations enable customers to pay via chat.
When somebody’s in the wrong channel for what they’re trying to accomplish, it’s bad for them and bad for the organization.
Recent COPC research:
- 82% of customers had to use multiple channels to resolve a single issue
- 63% of them were “forced” to use multiple channels
- Those that were “forced” had 1.5x higher dissatisfaction rates than those who “chose” multi-channels
The key is to approach what is typically called a channel strategy through the lens of service journeys. Think of it this way. It’s not a channel strategy, it’s a service journey strategy by channel.
The Service Journey/Channel Matrix helps organizations view channels through the lens of service journey purposes. If a service journey’s purpose can’t currently be achieved via a specific channel, ask the question; is it the organization’s desire to eventually enable that service journey through that channel? The answer drives both the roadmap and customer communication.
One output of the Service Journey/Channel Matrix is clarity of where communications are needed to help ensure that customers don’t try to accomplish a service journey in a dead-end channel. If a customer is in a dead-end channel for the purpose of their service journey, it is bad for them and bad for the company.
How the first stage serves subsequent stages
Identifying and defining your customers’ primary service journeys is foundational.
Stage two, the Gap Analysis & Roadmap, can benefit from the service journey lens and service journey strategy by channel.
The future state service journey roadmap will integrate with the gap analysis roadmap from the second stage.
Defined primary service journeys are critical to the Integrated Service Journey Model stages.
Maturity Stage 2 – Gap Analysis & Roadmap
Best case prerequisites: Defined primary service journeys and future state service journey roadmaps. Developed Service Journey/Channel Matrix.
This stage is all about improving the timely actionable intelligence and capabilities needed to develop and deploy individual-centric touchpoints that help improve service journeys and conversions.
In the first stage one key output was a roadmap based on the gap between two sets of data: the current and future state blueprints of the organization’s service journeys.
In this stage, the resultant roadmap is also the output of the gap between two sets of data: the current state and best practices across five critical marketing/CX activities.
Goal: Generate the intelligence and capabilities to develop and deliver individual-centric communications.
- Conduct a current state analysis of five critical marketing/CX activities including the integration of related platforms and data flow.
- Conduct a gap analysis of the gap between the current state and best practices of the five critical marketing/CX activities.
- Determine the desired future state of the five marketing/CX activities.
- Develop the roadmap to achieve the desired future state.
Primary output of this stage includes:
- Current state analysis
- Defined future state
- Roadmap to close gap between current and future states
Shifting from segment-centric to individual-centric communications
The second shift that improves CXM maturity and results is the shift to becoming individual-centric. This isn’t about doing away with segments or personas but delivering touchpoints that are truly relevant to the person and their service journey.
Individual-centric communication replaces communication that can be perceived as irrelevant and doesn’t prompt engagement with the call-to-action, or worse, actually hurts the brand. The truth is nobody wants to receive a communication to a persona or segment that doesn’t really fit. People want to be treated as an individual and benefit from content that is relevant to them.
A factor in the need to shift to individual-centric communication is the proliferation of privacy laws. Whether it’s GDPR in Europe, TCPA in the United States or individual states or countries passing privacy laws, companies need to understand those privacy laws and deal with privacy on an individual basis.
5 critical marketing/CX activities are:
- Profile: The data that can be attributed to an individual.
- Preferences & Consents: Communication channel preferences and any consents required to meet privacy regulations. Tied to the Profile.
- Analytics: Aggregating and analyzing relevant data to generate actionable intelligence.
- Blueprint/Map: Identify and sequence the touchpoints of primary service journeys to identify improvement opportunities.
- Develop & Deploy: Deliver relevant touchpoints.
An opportunity this stage represents is the individual-centric capability to finally be able to develop and deploy “right” touchpoints.
Right touchpoints are outputs of the five critical marketing/CX activities based on the right intelligence and deployed:
- To the right person
- At the right time (including in real-time)
- With the right message
- Compliantly via the right channel
- Creating the right experience
- And the right results based on the individual’s service journey intent
Right touchpoints are great for the individual; their individual-centric nature helps build trust and the happiest of paths. Right touchpoints benefit CX, sales, marketing, customer service, IT, finance and the bottom line. Right touchpoints help create the right service journey results.
Right touchpoints and conversions
Organizations focus a lot on conversions. Conversions to register, buy, renew – those conversions significant to the organization. To achieve any one of those significant conversions, the individual has to convert touchpoint-to-touchpoint to complete the service journey. How many touchpoints are there for one of your prospects get to the point of buying/paying? The touchpoint-to-touchpoint conversions are critical. If an individual doesn’t convert to the next touchpoint along their service journey, then there isn’t an opportunity to get to a significant conversion such as buying.
Establishing the capabilities to develop and deploy individual-centric right touchpoints helps improve the touchpoint-to-touchpoint conversions critical to achieving significant conversions.
Emerging technologies and individual-centric capabilities
One key to maximizing benefits from the Maturity Model is understanding the purpose of an individual’s service journey. How is that accomplished? There are emerging technologies today that will capture each of the touchpoints across social, online, call center, retail, etc. and map those by the thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands and millions.
This omni-channel touchpoint sequencing in real-time enables the identification of the individual’s service journey within a reasonable level of confidence. Application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to that knowledge coupled with the aggregation and analyzation of profile, purchase and other relevant data positions the organization to deliver individualized communications. The technology to know the individual and their service journey and deliver right touchpoints in real-time that help the customer accomplish the service journey’s purpose is available and in use today. And conversion results can be impressive.
Emerging marketing/CX technologies have dramatically increased the capability to deliver individual-centric communications and do so in real-time.
Amazingly enough, there isn’t a single platform that covers all five of the critical marketing/CX activities. There are 574 different platforms in rating reports covering most of the types of platforms that serve these five activities. This is one reason for the challenges integrating these activities, their various platforms and related data flow.
Improving the integration, data flow and capabilities around these five marketing/CX activities is complicated and challenging. The Model’s second stage presents a logical approach of conducting the current state to best practices gap analysis. This is the holistic method needed to address the five critical marketing/CX activities and the various tools in current stacks and consider emerging technologies. Through this gap analysis the organization will clearly see how to dramatically improve the capabilities needed to achieve the benefits of individual-centric communications.
How the second stage serves subsequent stages
While this stage is not a critical prerequisite for the Integrated Service Journey Model (ISJM) stages that follow, the improved capabilities help optimize ISJM results.
This stage’s roadmap will need to integrate with the ISJM roadmap.
Maturity Stage 3 and 4 – Integrated Service Journey Model (ISJM)
Prerequisites: Identified, defined and named service journeys.
In these stages the organization codifies and layers its ISJM structure over its departmental structure to address the silo conflict, transform culture and optimize results.
Goal: Define and implement the organization’s ISJM.
- Define ISJM structure
- Develop change management and governance functions
- Assign roles
- Continuously improve
- Completed charters for each service journey
- Defined teams and roles by service journey
- Developed job descriptions for each role
- Defined success metrics and related accountability for each service journey
- Completed charter for governance
- Completed charter for change management
Due to ISJM complexity, the Maturity Model separates the ISJM into two stages. The first of the two stages involves defining and implementing the various components. The second stage is primarily focused on continuous improvement.
Just as departments have an owner, team, budget, metrics and accountability, under an ISJM the same is applied to each service journey. Service journey teams are much smaller than departments as not everyone in an organization is assigned a service journey role.
Implementing an ISJM is a significant undertaking and needs to be well planned, communicated and structured. Prior to rolling out the new responsibilities, it is advised that governance and change management are chartered and initiated. Additionally, it is typically best to roll the ISJM out service journey by service journey over time.
The benefits are worth the challenge. It is through implementing the ISJM that the organization truly overcomes silo conflict and becomes service journey-focused. Service journey outcomes will be improved for both customers and employees as well as the organization.
Tying the four stages together
There are three primary roadmaps that result from Maturity Model stages that need to be viewed holistically:
- Service journey roadmap (roadmaps for each primary service journey’s future state).
- Roadmap from the five critical marketing/CX activities gap analysis.
- Roadmap for implementing your Integrated Service Journey Model.
Note that these roadmaps are generated via a holistic and service journey approach rather than as pieces within silos. Governance and change management are keys to efficiently working these separate roadmaps concurrently.
An updated CX strategy and plan doesn’t have to include all of the Maturity Model’s stages, nor do the stages have to be done in sequence. There are various paths and sequences to achieve an organization’s desired level of maturity.
The organization can start by defining and blueprinting a single service journey. And not all organizations will initially plan to adopt an Integrated Service Journey Model, which is OK. A key is that as a stage or part of a stage is executed, to ensure that the output serves subsequent stages whether there is or isn’t a plan to advance to a subsequent stage.
Support for becoming journey-focused
Forrester: “Embrace journeys as the new segments. It is the journey, and not the segment, that should dictate which customers receive an experience, what the experience is, and when it happens.”
The Best of Times and the Worst of Times for Segmentation
COPC Inc.: “With consumer use of multiple channels increasing rapidly and the race to differentiate in the market, organizations must have a complete picture of these journeys and how they impact the consumer and the business.”
Creating Purposeful Multichannel Journeys to Transform the Customer Experience
Pointillist: “The most effective teams rely on journey-based approaches to CX. Top performers align their organizations around customer journeys with dedicated roles or teams to manage, measure and improve CX.”
2021 State of Customer Journey Management & CX Measurement
How do you benefit from advancing through the CX Transformation Maturity Model?
The results improve outcomes for customers, employees and the organization.
Helping customers accomplish the purpose of their service journeys becomes the focus
We have all seen the data that customers value good and efficient customer experiences. Focusing the organization on understanding and helping customers accomplish the purpose of their service journeys could be viewed as the definition of being customer-centric.
Blueprinting and completing the Service Journey/Channel Matrix will improve channel execution of service journeys and direct communications needed to help avoid dead-end channels and undesired channel shift.
The focus on the entire service journey vs. the steps within a silo will improve customer experiences and resultant CSAT and/or NPS scores.
Greater efficiencies and cooperation reduces internal and customer problems for employees
Employees are frustrated by the inefficiency of silos. Improving service journeys and the cooperation between silos will reduce employee complaints about internal processes and customer complaints to employees.
A journey focus improves the professional lives of employees.
Organizations enhance the ability to measure CX while improving KPIs and its competitive position
The shift to becoming journey-focused improves customer and employee experiences and the resultant KPIs. Service journeys are also a better way of measuring the impact of CX efforts and ROI.
Improving capabilities to enable individual-centric communications improves the touchpoint-to-touchpoint conversions that improve sales, renewals and other significant conversions.
Customers and employees are happier and the organization improves its competitive position and bottom line.
Journey-focused and individual-centric. These are keys to addressing the conflict between silos and journeys and to organizations successfully competing in today’s economy – the journey economy. It’s about our customers’ service journeys and really focusing and being efficient and effective in building value for customers and the business through that journey focus. But it’s not going to be easy. We’ve been complaining about silos for how long?
The CX Transformation Maturity Model is an innovative tool to help organizations take a holistic approach to winning the journey economy. As Gartner’s research notes, over two thirds of companies compete primarily on customer experience.
It is time to move on from focusing on steps within silos and to reap the benefits of becoming journey-focused and individual-centric by progressing through the stages of the CX Transformation Maturity Model.