How to develop a solid foundation for your Customer Experience Management process


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Without a solid foundation, you might have to tear the house down.

The most expensive mistake you can make while building a house is taking short cuts on the foundation. You can later fix almost every other part of the house: roofs and walls can be repaired, but if you did not build a proper foundation, the only option might be to tear the house down.

The same is true of Customer Experience (CX) Management. We have met with over a hundred companies during the past few years. These companies have been looking for a solution to analyze their customer feedback and provide insight for improving their products and services, but most of them have started their Voice of Customer or CX Management efforts without a solid foundation. They have put in place one or two spot solutions–like social media gathering and engagement or a website feedback form–and run them more or less separately in application-specific and organization-specific vacuums. In short, they have not taken the time to plan and create a comprehensive CX strategy.

High-quality feedback analysis can provide concrete benefits, but the quality of the data coming in is of equal importance. What companies with a comprehensive CX strategy have in common is that they have gone through a careful planning process and created a holistic feedback gathering and analysis solution, which enables them to track and respond to individual and segment-specific customer experiences. One key to this is gathering feedback from multiple-channels covering all company touchpoints.

If you have not properly planned and designed your CX strategy, there might be a flaw in your foundation and you may be in danger of losing your house. Let’s look at the steps required to avoid this pitfall.

First step: Know your customer’s name

To focus customer experience efforts effectively, you will need to be identify your customers and group them into market segments based on information such as name (or other identifier), demographic info, and purchase behavior. In order to do this, you need to make sure customer information is not fragmented and locked in separate systems and that it is available for use by your feedback systems.

  • When customer identity is known, link already existing customer feedback processes to individual CRM profiles.
  • When customer identity is not known, try to at least link feedback to a market segment.

Speaking of market segments…

Next step: Identify market segments

The next step in CX process development is defining your market segments. Market segments are useful for grouping customers with similar wants and needs in order to maximize their customer experience. Since market segmentation is an important function in executing marketing campaigns and strategies, your marketing department has probably already done this work for you.

Understanding your market segments is vital to a successful CX strategy: in order to get the valuable feedback you need from your customers, you must interact with them in the right way and emphasize the issues that are important to them. This will take the guesswork out of operational planning and allow you to make product and process improvements that truly satisfy the needs of your customers.

Almost there: Understand the market segment-specific customer journey

Once your market segments have been defined, you need to do some research in order to understand them better. The optimum CX management process is one in which your customers are likely to interact with you and from which you can get an accurate depiction of their opinions and attitudes about your company and your competitors.

This process cannot be conducted in a vacuum. It requires input from your customers. Feedback forums and surveys should be designed based on market segment-specific behavior and preferences, and there are four main considerations:

Most significant touchpoints

Each market segment experiences and values your various touchpoints differently. Understanding this can help you decide what to ask in your feedback forums and surveys as well as how much weight to give topics derived from free-form text feedback.

For example, you may know that the typical customer in your market segment “Young Professionals” drives a car, so parking is probably important to them. Maybe you should add a question about parking to surveys sent to this market segment. Or that you should place extra emphasis on anything related to parking that shows up in their free-form text feedback.

Preferred communication channels

Some people like to communicate or receive correspondence via email, some via sms, and others online. Knowing the preferences of your market segments can help you solicit feedback via channels through which they are likely to respond. This will increase the volume of feedback, making it statistically more accurate.

Preferred methods of giving feedback

Similarly, some people prefer to answer carefully-constructed surveys while others like more open-ended feedback forms. NPS surveys may suit some groups better.


How often do the customers in your market segments like to be actively contacted by you? Some people are happy to give feedback after every transaction, while others prefer that you ask for their opinion only once a quarter or even once a year. Of course, the more feedback you get the better you can tailor your customer’s experience to fit their needs, but soliciting feedback too often can backfire.

CX Process Implementation Checklist

  1. Make sure all customer data is linked.
  2. Identify market segments.
  3. Optional: Create a web-based feedback optimization customer panel.
  4. Learn to understand the market segment-specific customer journey, including
    1. most significant touchpoints
    2. preferred communication channels
    3. preferred feedback methods
    4. frequency with which you can successfully solicit feedback.

Planning and running your CX process in this way creates a solid foundation for your house. The next step is to aggregate the feedback into a single, comprehensive analysis service, which automatically distributes the insights within your organization.

Matti Airas
My main mission during the last three years have been trying to figure out how free-form text feedback (social media, forums, NPS, transaction queries etc.) analysis can improve overall customer satisfaction. Specialities: Customer Experience Management, Text Analytics, Internet applications and services, mobile applications, customer development and sales, management and startups.


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