Performance Perspectives

Governing Cx through Line-of-Sight

Establishing that kind of seamless, end-to-end management structure for your Cx program requires that you spend some quality time on each of these areas, and the integration points between them. The most important of these are:

  • Defining (holistically) what success looks like when your Cx program hits its stride. This often means stepping back and taking a much broader view of what success implies. The answer goes far beyond commonly used satisfaction indicators or even Net Promoter Scores. For example, good Cx programs can have enormous impact on organization efficiencies and cost savings (ironic since cost savings and satisfaction have conventionally been viewed as tradeoffs). Done right, Cx can, and often does, lead to fewer service interactions, channel transfers, and process rework. In retrospect, these benefits should have been part of any good Cx value case in the first place. But if they weren’t, declaring them soon is vital.
  • Create measureable goals (even if they are not your final ones)- Companies often bypass this step because they feel they don’t have enough data, intelligence, or history to establish a good target, so they opt instead for goals like “improve x” or “reduce y” without assigning a quantifiable target to it. But the reality is that some of the most successful initiatives STARTED with leadership making a bold declaration of the ambition in quantifiable terms, and setting a clear stake in the ground, long before the program or initiative was fully mature. For example, Six Sigma programs do this by their very nature (the actual quality level implied by the name). Lean programs use bold, and often radical savings goals and standards to actually catalyze projects and keep them focused on the right magnitude of aspiration. An aggressive and measureable goal that is adjusted based on what you learn during execution will always yield more than a goal that is left unquantified.
  • Map the connections and interplay between your goals and your program’s initiatives. No improvement initiative should begin without knowing which of your goals and targets it is attached to. For example, many companies have initiatives in place to reduce call wait time and track progress toward that end. Best practice companies on the other hand draw clear connections between these kinds of improvements and the higher order goals of their service improvement strategies. One of my clients, for example, spent considerable time analyzing and correlating their wait time initiative to one of their board level satisfaction metrics. By doing this, they were able to determine that a 1 second reduction in wait time translated directly to a .004% improvement in overall satisfaction. As a result, those focused on the initiative now had a clear window into what success looked like and how it would cascade up the value chain. Equally important was the clarity it provided to the organization’s leadership. Executives now had a window into how all those seemingly random initiatives translated into things they were directly accountable for and cared deeply about, and had no problem investing accordingly.
  • Monitor and manage your “pipeline” of improvements – One of the characteristics of a mature Cx program is a healthy “pipeline” of small and well-focused initiatives delivering ongoing improvements to customer touchpoints and delivery channels. This is similar in some respects to Six Sigma and Lean programs that are set up deliberately to spawn hundreds of continuous improvement projects, each of which are closely monitored against their own specific value case, as well as their contribution to the enterprise goal. That’s what makes programs like these successful- creating wins and making them repeatable. Cx is no different. The real measure of a Cx program’s success has less to do with those large infrastructure and systems investments, and much more to do with the capacity of the organization to spawn continuous improvement and repeatable success. Developing and maintaining the processes to fuel and manage that pipeline is a critical part of Cx Governance.
  • Closed loop reporting – Most of the work you do in the above areas will go for naught unless you establish some ongoing reporting of progress at both the program and activity levels. The number of reports, content and frequency of distribution will be unique to the needs of your program. What’s important is that reporting against your goals and standards occur on a regular basis and with a high degree of transparency. For Cx to be truly embedded within the culture of your business, the individuals and stakeholders driving these improvements at the “work-face” need to see how they impact the ultimate success measures of your Cx program. Making individual improvement successes visible and aligned with the standards and values you’ve set can go a long way toward reinforcing the kind of culture you want working in your business.

Of course, good Cx governance also requires that the processes and oversight needed to execute the above requirements be in place with accountabilities clearly defined. This doesn’t have to be a huge staff function, and ideally it shouldn’t be. But it should be a declared accountability in the business, responsible for ensuring that all of the components of your line-of-sight framework are in place and being managed. That function can also provide the oversight needed for your ongoing program, and will often work through the leadership team (via steering teams, councils, or other vehicles) to reinforce and oversee progress and manage the ROI of the program. >>Next>>

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