Information is everywhere. In fact, it’s likely that everything you need to drive your organization’s Customer Experience Management program (CXM or CEM) or customer success initiative already exists across a half dozen or more locations inside of servers you don’t know about. This is the case in most companies. And when you finally put your hands on it, you wonder why it’s so #@*%^~*$ hard to find the data you need—am I right?
The reality is, data, process and technologies are the fuel that run successful CX programs across the globe but they are only one element of a holistic successful CX or customer success effort. Add to that, coordinated (multi-office) process across Sales, Marketing, Finance, HR, Corporate Communications and Operations. On top of that, add customer and partner outreach protocols, coordinated Salesforce (or other CRM) data entry guidelines, new client prospecting, new client onboarding, coordinated issue support and resolution, new employee recruiting, onboarding and training. Now, the cherry on top is a unified measurement strategy and governance across offices. All of these play an important role in providing consistent, world-class customer experience management in top companies.
But how do you make sure that everyone has everything they need in a completely coordinated fashion regardless of where they sit—and critically, that everyone can see what everyone else is seeing, thinking and doing? How do you ensure that everyone who plays a role in orchestrating consistently positive customer experiences has unfettered access to everything they need? The shortest answer is a CX Center of Excellence or CX CoE.
CX CoE’s are an indispensable component of every successful customer experience program for mid- to large organizations.
Here is a direct challenge we encountered last month with a CX transformation client. Their CFO wanted to understand more about how the CX, Marketing, Sales and Support functions added to the overall P&L for the 7,800 person technology company.
Essentially, she wanted to know the difference between costs per touch for her different customer-facing functions. This is the total accumulated internal costs to market to, sell to, manage the experience of, and support the ongoing needs of each customer. Additionally, she wanted to know if there were strategic ways to rebalance costs to have maximal impact on both the customer and the business. Fair enough. But how was the company to approach this fact-finding mission?
The company had 31 offices across 14 countries on three continents managed by almost 8,000 employees.
Our counsel was to immediately develop a CX Center of Excellence to begin centralizing customer and cost data. Within three months, we had helped them develop the appropriate formulas to calculate cost-based effects of their efforts across Marketing, Sales, CX and Support Operations. This meant that everyone regardless of their location was able to log into their central portal, quickly orient themselves to the process, and pull down the necessary formulas to begin aggregating their data to pump into a centralized dashboard.
In month four, the CFO could begin to see gaps where data was missing from some offices but importantly, she could also begin to see where a bulk of the spending was dramatically out of line and in need of some calibration. For example, The EMEA offices were overspending on CX and Support Operations but underspending dramatically in Marketing and Sales relative to other offices. The nine offices in North America were the opposite, they were spending 600 percent more on Marketing and Sales and under indexed in CX and Support Operations.
In order for her to fine tune the orchestra of customer-facing functions, she needed access to more data from a greater number of geographies—and now she had it. Her peers in HR and Global Operations now had the numbers to begin planning interventions to balance the cost-per-touch formula that would ultimately have the greatest possible impact on the customer and the business’ bottom line.
However, the question remained, how will corporate be able to ensure that each function in each office had access to the required change formulas, supporting processes and all the information required to support them in making these critical course-correcting changes? The answer was also the CX Center of Excellence.
The CX Center of Excellence (CX CoE) or ‘COBALT,’ as they called it, was the single point of access for every office to source all the change direction, process change descriptions, internal and external communications strategies and all the templates and instructions (employee training materials).
With the CX CoE, the corporate team could not only provide access to change information for each office, they could also monitor who was accessing the information and provide office-specific support to those offices which weren’t moving at the pace of change the centralized strategy called for.
In our work we’ve learned that everyone believes in the benefits and advantages of setting up a CX CoE. The positives far outweigh the neutrals and negatives in almost every instance for mid- to large organizations.
However, understanding how easily they can be achieved is what remains elusive.
Reach out to CX Pilots to help you lay your foundations. We will help you tailor a CX CoE specifically to your organization and tune it appropriately so that you can immediately begin to reap the benefits of smarter customer-facing information centralization. Your employees will thank you through deeper engagement, your customers will thank you through deeper loyalty.
A Customer Experience Center of Excellence helps companies consolidate performance measures. Dashboards should show everyone how well the holistic organization is doing. Effective CX CoEs can reveal roles-based (executives, middle managers, CX leaders, analysts, and service reps) metrics about how well the Center is meeting specific customer goals.
When your Customer Experience Center of Excellence is established, you can begin to regularly schedule workshops and training to bring everyone up to the same level of customer knowledge and service excellence. This helps build knowledge and engagement in a steady and predictable cadence that you can manage.
A powerful CX Center of Excellence helps the whole organization increase their customer-centricity. They do this by giving them the data they need, when they need it, to understand their customers better.
Once your Customer Experience Center of Excellence is set-up, everyone across the company will know where to go to get the information they need to do their part in raising the company's overall CX quotient. Whether they're in Marketing, Operations or Product Development; in Detroit, Munich or Dubai; they will know where to go to find new CX process protocols, metrics, and where to find customer data. This is where you share new customer support methods the call center is using to increase customer success.
A CX Center of Excellence shields companies against the maladies that come with not knowing who the customer really is or knowing how to make them successful.
A CX Center of Excellence can help take the guesswork out of where to find specific assets to help the company increase its level of customer-centricity.
A CX Center of Excellence can spread the successes of one area to all other areas of the business regardless of silo or geography. They allow employees to broadcast their key successes.
A CX Center of Excellence can holistically unify a company's approach to experience design. A CX Center of Excellence takes standards and governance to the next level.
A CX Center of Excellence can help lay down the direction the whole company is going so everyone knows precisely what's happening, when and to what extent.
A CX Center of Excellence can help keep everyone's work in one convenient location. When it comes to customer research and data, having it in one location beats the alternative, every time.