DMAIC for Customer Experience Transformation


Share on LinkedIn

Customer Experience transformation is a journey that requires continuous improvement and follow up as customer needs and expectations are continuously growing. The management of this transformation is not an easy task or list of tasks that need to be completed. This transformation requires advanced change management capabilities as well as high quality caliber. It is also required that the transformation is kept simple in order to ensure there is no complexity in engaging the transformation stakeholders.

The Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) approach is a framework that can be utilized for the CX transformation, as it covers the quality standards with the aim to achieve 99.9997% efficiency, as well as removing complexity and ensuring a lean environment.

The DMAIC phases and the actions that can be done in each of the phases are explained in hereafter:

1. Define

This phase is the establishment phase where you should define the strategic objectives behind your CX transformation. Some of the objectives could be:

• Reducing churn/attrition rate
• Increase customer acquisitions
• Increase market share
• Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty

In addition to defining the strategic objectives, it is imperative to define your customer segments and what is the trend and behavior of each segment. This definition will then help you in sketching the lifecycle or the journey of each customer segment, consisting of different stages and the customer transactions that are done within each stage. By sketching the customer lifecycle you are at the same time mapping the value stream of you customers, which will help you organize your lean efforts across your customer facing channels.

2. Measure

Measurements are essential in the CX transformation journey. It is often the case that a gap exists between the internal KPIs across the different functional entities within the organization and what is felt by the customer. Irrespective of what is really experienced at the customer side, the perception factor cannot be measured unless a Voice of Customer program is put in place. The sources of collecting the customer feedback are spread, and need an efficient insighting engine in order to be able to give the needed knowledge about the customer base. Customer insights can be collected via surveys that measure the satisfaction of customers with the products and services that you offer along with the care channels and all the touchpoints that you offer them. The surveys can be of a general scope, which gives you insights about the overall satisfaction with your brand, products and services, care channels, or whether a customer would continue doing business with you or recommends your company to family and friends. Other surveys can be done on a transactional basis. So if a customer uses your call center, you survey her after completing the interaction in order to collect her feedback on this specific interaction that she has just completed. The measures that can be looked at in both types of surveys are Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES) and the newly introduced Word of Mouth Index (WoMI).

Other sources of insights are mystery shopping, Social Media and focus groups in addition to internal KPIs and trends that revolve around the customer. Some of the internal measures that need to be looked at are those that are directly related to customer service like First Contact Resolution (FCR), Average Handling Time (AHT) and other Call Center Metrics.

3. Analyze

After collecting the customer feedback, a real challenge will arise in respect to the analysis of the collected insights. Both quantitative and qualitative analysis need to take place in order to come out with solid gap analysis that transformation initiatives can be built on.

The gap analysis should then be supported by root cause analysis in order to identify your customers’ pain areas and develop the opportunities to improve. Fishbone diagrams (Cause & Effect) can be utilized to in order to visualize the gaps found from analyzing the customer insights.

An assessment exercise of the current maturity of your organization in terms of customer centricity can also be done based on the gap analysis. This assessment could be based on different pillars, some of which are the capability of the organization to identify the behaviors and trends of the customers, the ability to engage with them, differentiate them based on their value and customize your offerings based on their needs.

4. Improve

With a view on the current status and what needs to be done in order to boost your status towards customer centricity, a determination of the priorities need to take place versus the strategic objectives that were defined early on. This prioritization should take into account many drivers other than the strategic objectives. Customer intimacy or responsiveness should have the highest weight among your prioritization criteria; however, the characteristics of product centricity like operational excellence and performance superiority should not be ignored while developing your priority matrix.

Quantifying the ROI of your recommendations needs to get next in the exercise. Customer experience isn’t about offering free stuff, it’s about managing the value of your customers and being able to satisfy their needs and reduce their efforts while at the same time increasing their lifetime value (LTV).

At the next level, you should look into the project management activities that will be adopted. Part of it is identifying the owners of your programs, and engaging the critical stakeholders. It is advised to look for individual who believe in customer centricity. The engagement of believers will contribute to the success of the transformation.

5. Control

With the execution of the CX transformation, you should keep in mind that CX is a journey and not a destination. There should always be control and continuous improvement as the needs of customers are continuously evolving.

The DMAIC framework is a cyclic approach that should be utilized in order to keep up with the growing needs. In my previous post “Innovate, Redefine the Customer Experience”, I have explained how an Innovation Lab can help in continuously addressing the evolving needs.

The DMAIC approach can act as the Change Management framework needed to cope with the Innovation Lab outcomes and recommendations.

Just keep in mind that Customer Experience is not a destination, it is a journey that requires you to maintain excellence in a fast paced evolving environment.

Mohamad El-Hinnawi, CCXP
Conred CX
Mohamad El-Hinnawi, CCXP is a Customer Experience Management Advisor and Consultant, focusing on research, development, training and delivery of Customer Experience Management Frameworks.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here