Make the Most of Your CX Toys – er, Tools

I remember the joy of getting a new Lego set as a kid, and I see the same joy in my kids now, when they do. It’s hard to contain the temptation to rip the box open, dump the pieces out, and start building. Inevitably, I’d end up with something that kinda sorta looked like what was on the cover of the box, and always, a few ‘extra’ pieces left over.

The same temptation exists with new CX toys.

You get a voice of the customer (VoC) platform like Qualtrics and pump out a survey, because you can and it’s so easy! You buy a state-of-the-art journey orchestration engine (think Usermind), build a journey, and get creative with some actions! In both cases, more likely than not, you end up with something a little ugly and not very useful.

How can you avoid new-toy syndrome?

Begin with the end in mind: What results are you trying to drive?

Look closely at the picture on the cover of the Lego box. The Eiffel Tower has only four legs and the X-Wing Fighter’s wings don’t stay open all the time. Do you want to smooth the onboarding process? What actionable information do you want from your survey?

Heart of the Customer’s Nicole Newton recently explained the Five Questions you need to answer to drive customer-focused change. Consider those questions the cover of your CX box:

  1. What is the business problem?
  2. What is the journey?
  3. Who is the customer?
  4. What is the right approach?
  5. What the right team?

Answer these questions at the beginning of any project or you will not know what the end result is supposed to look like.

Plan your steps.

If you leave the Legos in a big pile, it’s going to take far longer to find the right pieces as you build. And sometimes, you’re going to choose the wrong piece and end up with a slightly crooked model. So begin by sorting the LEGO pieces and looking at the directions.

For a new VoC platform:

  • Figure out the audience. Know who is going to be reading the questions. Different people respond to different wording.
  • Don’t write the questions in the system. Perfect them by editing them on paper or a whiteboard. If you write your questions directly in the survey, you risk having questions that escape vetting and you’ll wind up with a survey that is slightly askew.
  • Design the reporting. All too often, survey results come back reflecting some average with no context. No one understands the results and the effort is wasted. A clear idea of what numbers will be presented, and how, is key to a successful initiative.
  • Know who will be taking action. If no one owns acting on the survey, nothing will happen. There is concern about “survey fatigue,” but the real issue is lack-of-action fatigue: people are tired of surveys that don’t lead to action.

For your journey orchestration platform:

You decided on the journey and the customer. Now write out the steps. Clearly outline each touchpoint in your customer’s journey. Decide what actions will need to be taken at each point. If a customer is stalled at a step, do you send an email or do you put a task in the CRM to have a sales rep call the customer? Identify the data sources. You have to know where the data comes from before you get started, otherwise it’s like building a Lego model without one of the bags of pieces. It’s just not going to work. Make sure you have the right resources (people, tools) to get things done. In my case, having my dad help with the Lego project was always a good idea.

Execute according to the plan (it’s play time!).

There might be some confusion, maybe a little scrambling, but at this point, a 7-year-old can build the Taj Mahal. This is the easy part. Because of your planning, the execution is streamlined. Fewer hiccups make for a more fun day at work.

VoC project steps:

(nothing earth-shattering here; once the planning is done the steps are straightforward)

  • Add questions
  • Design the look and feel
  • Define the survey flow (i.e., the order of question blocks, actions to take, exit points, and conditional surveys)
  • Create a survey-scoring rubric with clear reporting
  • Send the survey

Steps to execute journey orchestration:

  • Connect to the data sources
  • Create a data map for a connected view of the customer across all systems
  • Add a milestone for each touchpoint along the customer journey
  • Run a preview to show a clear visualization of how many customers are on the journey and where they are falling off
  • Implement the interventions

Sit back and enjoy the praise.

Soak up accolades from others as they admire your Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, or Green Bay Packer helmet (that’s the kit I got for Christmas). Qualtrics will get you actionable information from customers. Usermind will give you measurable results to show the ROI of your work. You might not only be among the 3 out of 4 CX professionals to keep your job…you might even get promoted.