The Framework represented as an infinity visual is a step by step non-restrictive framework that organisations use as guideline for the improvement of customer experience management. The Framework is composed of six dimensions that are closely integrated and linked, three of these criteria are categorised under ‘Alignment’ and three are under ‘Performance’.
The ‘Alignment’ dimensions cover how an organisation understands what is important to its customers in delivering Happiness and Value and to create a process to align and develop the organisation to fulfil them.
The ‘Performance’ dimensions are how the organisation delivers the developed experiences and continuously analyses voice of customer feedback to innovate and improve experiences.
Implementing the Framework starts at the “Define” dimension and is a continuous dynamic loop of analysis development delivery and measurement.
The dimensions of the Framework answer the fundamental questions surrounding customer experience management.
Each of the elements of the six dimensions has a definition to explain its purpose and objective, the definition is then followed by a detailed explanation that describes the expected activities that lead to its achievement (maturity indicators).
Define is the first driver of the Framework and creates the initial strategic template for the design and development of a customer experience. In depth analysis is conducted to create a picture of the customers’ needs, values, perceptions, expectations and emotions.
It is critical to have senior management commitment to develop continuously explorative programmes that seek to understand and define the service elements that directly build the customer experience proposition.
Some of the means used to define the customer experience includes but are not limited to:
D 1.1 Deﬁne and Analyse Market Needs & Competitors Offering
It is important to define the market in terms of the general markets’ expectations and needs to establish an action plan that addresses their identified needs.
D 1.2 Deﬁne & Position Organisation against Market Needs
It is important to establish a clear understanding of the organisation’s position in the market as perceived by the customer and to assess the degree to which that is coherent with the market offerings and general market needs
The process of analysing and positioning against market needs includes,
D 1.3 Deﬁne Customer Needs & Expectations
Effective CEM is enhanced when organisations regularly seek a better understanding of their customers’ psychological profiles and have a clear understanding of customers’ needs, values, perception, expectations and experience. This analysis creates an understanding of the main drivers of customer delight and satisfaction as well an understanding of the importance of the emotional weight of customer interactions in the critical touch points within the expected customer experience.
As part of defining customer needs and expectations organisations,
D 1. 4 Deﬁne Customer Loyalty Metrics
As customer loyalty is the key prerequisite of customer lifetime value it is sensible to utilise customer loyalty metrics in order to understand the loyalty determinants that inform and direct their customer engagement strategy and propositions.
Organisations defining customer loyalty metrics,
D 1.5 Deﬁne Organisation performance and experience offerings against Customer Needs & Expectations
It is important to establish a clear understanding of the organisation’s current customer experience performance and status and the extent to which the experiences offered to customers is coherent with the aspirations, needs and expectations of the customer.
The process of defining the organisation’s status quo against the customers’ needs and expectations includes,
The Design dimension uses internal innovation, research and market analysis to design and plan the customer experiences across all channels both digital and physical as well as develop the touch points of their customer experience delivery.
Ideally the customer experience is designed to ensure that the customers’ expectations are exceeded and creates a unique brand positioning experience.
Design activities include but are not limited to:
D 2.1 Customer Engagement Strategy
“Good customer service begins at the top, if your senior people don’t get it even the strongest links down the line can become compromised” – Richard Branson
A customer experience strategy based on research and analysis developed to provide the organisation, its leadership, customers and stakeholders with the level of customer focus and centricity that the organisation requires to achieve its objectives. The strategy is the foundation for the customer experience delivery Framework, deployment plans and tactics.
As part of designing a customer engagement strategy organisations,
D 2.2 Customer Loyalty and Retention Strategy
Based on the insight from the customer loyalty metrics outlined in the Define dimension (D1.4) organisations design a detailed customer loyalty and retention strategy.
The loyalty and retention strategy is designed to achieve operational objectives and financial targets through tactical plans to build long term relationships with customers
Monitor the retention strategy to ensure effective deployment
D 2.3 Marketing Strategy
Develop a detailed marketing strategy that combines both the marketing and communication approaches and details the performance indicators on which their success will be monitored. The marketing strategy is drawn from comprehensive market trends and competitor analysis (outlined in the Define dimension) and focuses on the customer value proposition for the product or service mix that will achieve the optimum sustainable profit potential.
As part of designing a marketing strategy organisations,
D 2.4 Value Proposition
CEM is enhanced when the design of the customer experience value proposition is in accordance with the Deﬁne dimension market research and analysis results.
Customer engaged organisations design multi-channel value propositions which ensure that the customer’s experience is based on experiential interaction.
The customer experience value proposition is translated into an experience delivery Framework with detailed performance measures.
To define a customer experience value proposition and a delivery hypothesis organisations,
D 2.5 Service Pricing & Payment Structure
Product / service pricing should select a pricing scheme that takes into account the organisation’s development, production, distribution and maintenance costs.
The pricing strategy positions the product in accordance with an analysis of its market sector opportunity. (Detailed in the Define Dimension).
The price point should reflect the customer value proposition and all expectations the target market may attach to the brand.
To set and design service pricing organisations,
D 2.6 Customer Journey Mapping
Customer journey maps with visualisation are vitally important tools for designing customer experiences.
The customer journey map should link the organisation’s systems and infrastructure in the form of customer journey blueprints against which all delivery processes should be conformance tested.
To achieve this customer journey mapping objective organisations,
D 2.7 Design of Customer Interactions
To achieve a customer engagement objective, it is necessary for organisations to link all customer interactions both within and across the delivery channels of the organisation.
This linkage is used to determine the overall customer experience and is usually visualised within customer journey maps.
To design and visualise the linkage of customer interactions with journey maps organisations,
D 2.8 Emotional Weight of Customer Experiences (Happiness Value Moments)
Application of emotional weight of customer experiences (Happiness Value Moments) will provide input and insight to prioritise touch points. It is useful to conduct an analysis to determine the touch points and interactions that have the most impact on the customer experience as stated in the Deﬁne dimension.
To achieve the outcome of alignment and performance development based on applying emotional weight to customer experiences organisations,
This stage of service development and alignment brings together all the previous investments and includes the internal and external enabling factors necessary to fulfil the design of the customer experience.
Internal and external re-alignment could be required and may include the following:
D 3.1 Operational Processes
Operational processes are developed in order to enable and support the deployment of the designed customer experience.
Overall satisfaction and perception by the customer of their experience is dependent on the operational efficiency, effectiveness and performance of the organisation and is monitored through performance metrics.
Organisations developing their operational processes to achieve customer engagement,
D 3.2 Technical & System Infrastructure
The development and planned alignment of the technology and systems used within the delivery of the customer experience is a main component of high quality customer experiences.
Organisations striving towards customer engagement develop and integrate their technical, technological and system infrastructures in order to fulfil and support the designed experiences
D 3.3 Channel Infrastructure Development
The development of customer channels and touch points includes infrastructure requirements that deliver a consistent and satisfying customer experience across all channels.
To develop channel infrastructure organisations,
Develop the hardware and software requirements for the delivery of the designed customer experience
D 3.4 Organisation structure & Human Resource Planning
It is the responsibility of leaders, managers and human resource specialists to ensure the organisations’ human resources are equipped with the right skills to meet the needs of the organisation’s customer experience proposition.
This includes recruitment and selection, development and engagement of staff and the programme required to motivate the employees to engage with the organisation’s values and customer experience proposition.
It is critically important that the human resource development and alignment is directly linked to the organisation’s customer engagement strategy, to do so organisations,
D 3.5 Partner & Supplier Alignment
Organisations striving to achieve customer engagement develop, plan and manage their partners and suppliers in accordance with the designed customer experience
Organisations should ensure that partners are aligned with the organisation’s value proposition and support the organisation’s core values. To achieve this organisations,
D 3.6 Interaction Guides and Standards
Human and channel interaction guides and standards create a clear guidance for Multi-channel interaction.
Based on customer research and insights analysis these guidelines should be regularly reviewed in accordance with the evolution of customer needs.
The development of interaction guides enables the engagement objective of consistent multi-channel performance, to achieve this organisation,
D 3.7 Marketing & Customer Communications Alignment
It is a key requirement that all channels of customer communication are consistent with the value proposition, enhance brand perception and deliver a consistent customer experience.
To align customer communications with the customer experience hypothesis and value proposition organisations,
Deployment of the elements in the experience management strategy is the first performance based outcome of the initial dimensions of planning and alignment, to ensure they are governed by and fulfil its promise the main focus of deployment is the delivery of the designed customer experience via the effective and efficient management of the key touch points.
The deployment of the customer experience can include:
Customer experience deployment and management includes but is not limited to:
D 4.1 Deployment of the Developed Experiences
To ensure the efficient and detailed deployment of the developed experiences, it is necessary to develop a programme which includes processes, people management, systems and delivery technology.
Organisations that have an effective customer experience deployment
D 4.2 Customer Experience Monitoring & Response Team
Using a customer experience feedback response team to continually monitor and manage customer experience engagement and delivery across all channels.
The customer experience feedback response team is responsible for monitoring customer perceptions, impressions and direct feedback through all delivery channels.
The success factors of this function should include the use of problem solving and first-time resolution to drive performance improvement.
Organisations that successfully deploy a customer experience feedback response approach,
Measurement - Has it worked?
The continuous measurement and results analysis of customer experience delivery performance is the key tool for customer experience improvement across all operational functions. Continuous performance analysis of experience ensures that the organisation is closely monitoring the touch points and interactions that affect customer loyalty.
Different forms of Voice of Customer analysis are used to continually develop and enhance the customer experience.
Measuring the customer experience and its implications on both speciﬁc and overall organisational performance includes but is not limited to the following analytical approaches:
D 5.1 Voice of Customer (VoC)
Voice of Customer feedback is a key metric that measures the customer experience performance against the customer engagement strategy and customer value proposition.
Voice of Customer offers a multi-source insight approach that focuses on customer needs, expectations, emotions and valuable input that leads to service and customer experience improvement.
Voice of the Customer applications are able to use unlimited techniques for capturing insights, from all forms of customer input. To successfully collect VOC organisations,
D 5.2 Feedback Channels
The multiple feedback channels supported by the ‘Customer Experience Response Team’ (detailed in D.4.2.) encourage customer feedback by using open channels to provide the organisation with feedback.
The main characteristic of feedback channels in customer engaged organisations is that they are two way channels that provide immediate and proactive engagement with customers in regard to their customer experience.
To optimise the source of VOC insights organisations,
D 5.3 Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty metrics can be segmented through three metrics of Retention, Advocacy and Purchasing Behaviour.
On other levels the metrics can include Length of Relationship, Spending Patterns. Propensity to Purchase Combinations of Products/Services, Seasonal Purchase Behaviour, Attitude to Innovation etc. and these vary widely from sector to sector so measurement design has to be carefully undertaken.
As part of analysing customer loyalty organisations,
D 5.4 Customer Life Time Value (CLV)
Customer value analysis identifies the actual and potential cost, revenue and profit value of various customer segments. Customer value analysis insights are used to increase business outcomes through efficient management of defined customer segments.
Customer engaged organisations analyse the customer lifetime value (CLV) through diagnostic, historic and predictive value analysis approach, to engage customers to stay loyal to the organisation over an extended period of their lifetime.
To analyse the impact of customer loyalty organisations,
D 5.5 Performance Measures Monitoring
All key processes and operations should have clear performance indicators (KPIs), objectives and customer benefit measures identified in order to ensure process efficiency and the eradication of non-value-added activities.
The measurement of customer experience related processes should be analysed and monitored to identify areas that influence positively and negatively the customer experience.
Performance measurement monitoring and analysis include organisation activities to,
Engage all relevant stakeholders in the process of development and monitoring the performance indicators
Devise Dimension Summary
The findings of the Discover dimension should inform the development of strategic improvement plans to ensure they optimise the opportunities available from being results-driven. The quality of the analysis and reporting of the collected insights is a main determinant in the development of an effective performance improvement programme.
The use of analytical approaches to discover and address trends, root causes and relationships to address failing customer experience factors and enhance successful experiences.
D 6.1 Integrated Reporting & Analysis
A detailed, regular reporting structure and detailed, documented analysis of measurement insights can provide clear direction on how to enhance, improve and / or develop the individual customer experience.
The development of a dynamic and regularly updated engagement platform used for analysis customer relationship management and reporting is a valuable tool to act as the repository of all the customer experience analysis initiatives. To integrate the reporting and effective analysis of its VOC activities organisations
What is the next stage?
The analysis, findings and the outcomes of the performance measurements are intended to provide guidance crucial to the continuous enhancement that will drive the organisation’s CEM performance.
This continuous enhancement of the delivery channels starts the process again thereby creating an infinity loop back into the Define dimension.
The utilisation of the analysis results includes but is not limited to the following:
D 6.2 Customer Experience Continuous Improvement
The analysis of all measures and insights linked to the organisation’s performance should provide action owners with the core data for their development and improvement plans.
To adopt customer experience continuous improvement initiatives organisations,
D 6.3 Multichannel Presence and Orchestration
The results of customer insight analysis can be used to create more personalised touch points and channel experiences relevant to individual customer expectations.
To efficiently optimise Multichannel orchestration organisations,
D 6.4 Technology & Innovative Solutions
Organisations show commitment to their customers by adopting new or emerging technologically innovative solutions.
Adoption of innovative enhancement solutions includes,
D 6.5 Channel Features
The ongoing development of channel features to accommodate customer and market changes without restrictive commitment to periodical reviews is important in the fast-moving digital age.
The enhancement and continuous evolution of customer experiences is dependent on the technologies that are widely adopted and are requirements within a range of customer preferred touch points.
Channel feature enhancement plans includes organisation initiatives to,
These enablers are critical to the effectiveness of all CEM initiatives within the organisation.
Leadership Commitment, Innovation, Creativity, Aspiration
Leaders understand the importance and benefits of integrating customer engagement into their business Framework. When organisations need to introduce new strategic approaches, leaders act as role Frameworks, the main inspiration and drivers of successful CEM transformation.
Leaders in organisations implementing a customer engagement strategy,
In any competitive environment harnessing innovation and creativity are necessary to provide stakeholders with best in class solutions that meet and exceed their expectations.
Organisations adopting an innovative culture,
Positive Organisational Culture
It is imperative that the culture of the organisation recognises the potential value of the lifetime engagement of all its target customer segments and places a high priority on the importance of delivering an appropriate, leading edge customer experience across their whole customer life cycle.
Organisations leading a customer engagement focused culture,
Financial & Human Resource Allocation
Human resources are the key dynamic force that drives performance improvement or decline. Investing in the continuous professional development of the skills and capability of human resources is critical to supporting the implementation of an effective customer engagement strategy.
To implement a customer engagement strategy organisations,
Stakeholder Empowerment and Engagement
External stakeholders can play a vital role in influencing the customer’s experience whether as shareholders investing in an organisation that they know and understand the value of customer engagement or as stakeholders involved in the supply chain who share a beneficial opportunity to add value to the supply relationship and thereby increase the engagement potential of their mutual customers.
As part of stakeholder empowerment organisations,
Continuous Alignment & Performance Management
Customer engagement strategy provides a blueprint for organisational design. This includes aligning its operations for delivering and sustaining the highest levels of customer experience and optimising the commercial and operational opportunities available to the mutual benefit of the organisation and its customers.
To continuously align and manage performance organisations,
Framework Maturity Scale
The maturity scale concept is an assessment methodology that allows organisations to determine their present status versus their targeted maturity objective and plan the work towards its achievement.
This Framework maturity is based on a maturity categorisation aligned with other global maturity scales and Frameworks.
Organisations should conduct a detailed comprehensive review and assessment to analyse the present maturity status within each of the dimensions and elements within it.
A detailed maturity scale for each individual element is detailed within a separate Framework Assessors’ Guide available from Ethos. www.ethosplc.com
To benefit most from the Maturity Scale organisations should:
Assessment Scoring Structure of the Framework
Framework maturity scale is an assessment approach that organisations striving towards customer engagement use to determine their maturity level of their customer experience strategy. The assessment scoring can also be used by organisations conducting self-assessment and seeking benchmarking with others.
All of the elements within each of the dimensions have their own score. By reviewing the individual level of each element, the organisation can identify areas of strength and weakness and develop an improvement plan to prioritise actions designed to reinforce areas of strength and address areas of weakness.
The underlying scoring system of the maturity scale is based on the six dimensions of the Framework weighted according to the relative importance of its components. There are 1000 points distributed among the six dimensions of the Framework. 40% of the assessment scoring is based on the Alignment dimensions and 60% are allocated to the Performance dimensions.
Each dimension’s allocated are built on the points of its component elements criteria, for example each of the criteria of the five Discover dimension score 50 points individually that add up to the 250 overall points of the discover dimension.
Each dimension is assessed according to the Framework maturity scale and a defined maturity level. The individual maturity of an element is based on two factors
1. Maturity Indicators Scoring 70% of the overall elements’ maturity level Assessors will use the maturity indicators defined for each of the elements to assess the maturity level of the elements.
2. Achievement of Statement of Objective 30% of the overall elements’ maturity level
Each of the elements is described by a statement of objective. This includes the overall objective of the element in relation to the overall customer experience management strategy.
Assessor will determine the extent to which organisations have achieved this statement of objective on three levels of achievement. (Fully Achieved, Partially Achieved, Not Yet Achieved) and apply the score accordingly
Each dimension’s allocated are built on the points of its component elements criteria, for example each of the criteria of the five Discover dimension score 50 points individually that add up to the 250 overall points of the discover dimension.