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Unsurprisingly, Customer Experience (CX) has quickly become a popular business strategy amongst many successful organisations. Implementing an effective CX programme is crucial, but it is in assessing your CX maturity that true success is found. We will, therefore, be exploring CX Maturity in order to understand why it forms the next logical step in your CX journey.

The challenges of CXM

According to Forrester Research, most organisations do not perform key CX activities. Their report goes on to explain that: Organisations distort their understanding of customers and the quality of their experience. Resources are misallocated, CX designs and implementation strategies are done haphazardly, and fail to build customer-focused cultures (Forrester, 2018). The reality becomes clear – establishing an organisation that is customer-centric doesn’t happen overnight.

Furthermore, your organisation cannot navigate through their CX programme if the fundamentals are missing. Assessing your organisation’s CX Maturity is, therefore, a crucial part of delivering an effective and long-lasting CX initiative.

What is CX Maturity?

CX Maturity refers to the extent to which the organisation routinely performs and adheres to the best practices of Customer Experience Management (CXM) (Batroff, 2016). This is required to not only understand, but also track and improve CX efforts in a disciplined manner (Batroff, 2016). It has also been described as a framework which defines the CX practices, which all organisations need to master (Forrester 2016).

Both definitions bring us to a singular conclusion: that CX Maturity will ensure that your organisation evolves in a manner that is not only customer-centred but looks to establish longstanding success. Your CX Maturity assessment will ensure that you are able to coordinate, track and measure these milestones or setbacks and establish how best to rectify them.

A CXM Maturity Framework

In order to establish definitive CX practices, organisations need to master these six competencies (Forrester 2016):

1.   Customer understanding

With unprecedented technological advances, organisations are able gain access to customer data at an extraordinary rate. We are now able to have access to a constant stream of insight into what customers are doing, feeling, and even thinking.

Organisations are then able to use these insights as a leading guide in their CX efforts. This includes assessing customer expectations and understanding where your organisation stands in terms of meeting these outlined expectations.

2.   Prioritisation

As your organisation grows and your brand matures, establishing specific and singular customer awareness may become more difficult. Attempting to manage every nook and cranny of every single customer interaction becomes a trying task. This is where prioritisation becomes key.

Prioritisation allows your organisation to focus on specific parts of CX that are critical to the business. This specific step is crucial in assessing which avenue or division in your organisation interacts with your client base most often. This is where your CX attention will be focused.

3.  Design

In order for your company to contend with larger industry corporations, you will have to translate the company’s CX vision into detailed blueprints that describe what employees need to do to deliver the right experience to customers. This design step, therefore, looks at making the abstract concepts, associated with your organisation, into actions that are both tangible and achievable.

4.  Delivery

A ‘brand’ is defined as the internalisation of all the marketing’s implicit and explicit promises which create a particular expectation of an experience that we anticipate the next time we meet the brand (Havasi, 2016). Understanding this definition is fundamental in establishing the expectations that customers will associate with your organisation.

If your brand delivery is not aligned with what you have promised your customer, you then face the danger of brand disconnection (Stothert, 2011). This will send your customer in search of an alternate provider. Ensuring effective delivery allows your organisation to manage day-to-day operations in a manner that appeases your customers. 

5.  Measurement

Customer satisfaction is a key factor which needs to be tracked when monitoring the health of your brand. Customer satisfaction can be defined as a measurement that determines how happy a consumer is with the company’s products, services, and capabilities (ASQ, 2019).

This information can be acquired by means of customer satisfaction surveys, net promoter scores, and social monitoring, to name a few. While some organisations measure their client’s satisfaction level based on retention and returning customers, others may create a numerical value based on data and customer feedback (Patel, 2019). Either form of client measurement allows the organisation a consumer-based metric from which they can gauge their wins and areas for improvement.

6. Culture

Successful and mature organisations do not only follow various CX efforts but have ingrained these client-focused efforts into their company culture. Culture is a critical enabler of customer-centricity that ultimately dictates employee actions and translates into their work. Therefore, employees should reflect the core values and culture code that your organisation has established.

Formalising your CX strategy is essential as this will lay the foundations for your CX. It will also provide your organisation with further clarity on the manner in which you should operate. This will enable a more deliberate, focused and successful CX effort. This will also place you on the frontline of your industry and establish your organisation as a renowned CX leader. 

References 

  • Forrester Research., (2018). The State of CX Management Maturity: The Benchmark Report in the CX Transformation Playbook
  • IQ Business & Genex Insights., (2019). Winning the CX Race: CX Management Maturity Assessment 2019. 
  • Stothert, A. (2011). How to Align Your Brand Delivery to the Promise You Make. Brand Vista
  • Temkin Group., (2017). Customer Experience Maturity Model

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