What does it really mean to do a “Customer Experience Management” (CXM) initiative? Theoretically, it could include anything because customer experience includes everything.
Identifying Critical Success Factors (CSFs) is a planning technique to focus on the important few things. If it’s truly “critical” and you don’t do it, you’re likely to fail.
According to Boynlon and Zmud in the 1984 article “An Assessment of Critical Success Factors” in Sloan Management Review (25:4), pp. 17-27:
“Critical success factors are those few things that must go well to ensure success for a manager or an organization, and, therefore, they represent those managerial or enterprise area, that must be given special and continual attention to bring about high performance. CSFs include issues vital to an organization’s current operating activities and to its future success.”
I emphasize “those few things” — which means laundry lists are out. Instead of boiling the ocean, I think the CX industry would be wise to establish some minimum requirements for a real CXM initiative.
Here’s my take. You’re not doing a real CXM initiative unless you’re doing all 5 of these things:
1. Know your brand purpose and promise. This is not your customers’ decision (although they will have a vote on whether they agree).
2. Take outside-in perspective. Without customer research (loyalty drivers) and feedback management (VoC), you’re just making things up and hoping for the best.
3. Develop Customer Journey Maps. Because just upgrading a touchpoint is so 2015. Comparing existing and desired experiences is a good foundation for a CX plan.
4. Empower employees. I don’t care how “e” your company is, unless employees are prepared and motivated to deliver the right experiences you won’t succeed.
5. Create a business case. You must connect CX improvements (what customers want) to business outcomes (what CEOs demand). Because CX plans without funding are just a dream.
Remember, the test for a CSF is that if you don’t do it, you won’t succeed.
What should be added or deleted to this list? Let’s have a good discussion and try to keep to 5 or less.