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How to triage customer experience projects

How to prioritize CX projects

Right now, 9 out of 10 companies say they need to transform, and upwards of 60% of companies worldwide are in the midst of digital transformation. Their goal is to disrupt themselves and dramatically improve how their customers experience their brand. But, according to McKinsey, only 1 in 6 companies are implementing bold, at-scale strategies in this direction. Slightly more are still taking ‘baby steps’ and the rest are somewhere in between. So, what’s the hold up? Why the delay when everyone agrees on the necessity?

Several companies I’ve spoken to have told me that finding a way to prioritize CX projects is their biggest challenge. They have many ambitious ideas but are constrained by limited budgets and development resources. And they need to come to agreement on which projects will deliver the most value to the company and their customers in the shortest time. Redesign the Web presence? Create new mobile apps or personalization features? Move infrastructure to the cloud to lower costs? Introduce AI into analytics? Build a new revenue stream by providing unique insights to customers based on data collected? All valuable projects. Which comes first? How to decide?

Proven approaches to prioritization

The challenge comes from trying to balance User, Business and Technical Priorities. And those 3 constituencies have their own opinions on which should come first. Proceeding from that premise, there are several ways to remove personal agendas from the decision-making process an prioritize CX projects…

  1. Overlap user goals and company goals
    Start by prioritizing overall company goals. What’s the most important thing the company is trying to accomplish? Then look at user goals. Which of these align best with the company goals? Of your projects, which meet the aligned user goals best? That’s where to start.
  2. Use a spreadsheet to create a decision tool
    List your projects on a spreadsheet, collaboratively ranking them from 1-10 by Cost, User Value, Business Value, Overall Value (Sum of User and Biz Value) and Overall Value / Cost.  Looked at this way, priorities become very clear.
  3. Assemble a customer advisory board
    Bring together a group of customer employees who directly use your service, make them part of your development team and allow them to suggest, rank and participate in the execution of your projects.
  4. Use internal surrogates instead of customers
    Who are the people in your company who spend the most time interacting with your customers, not as researchers, but in a day to day business capacity? Sales people? Customer service people? Identify some key ones, train them in UX and set up regular communications between them and the UX team.
  5. Other process-centric approaches to prioritization
    Try some old favorites like ‘Pair comparison‘ and ‘Buy a feature‘ which can be effective.

In all these cases, take the level of difficulty into consideration as well. Try to prioritize simpler and quicker CX projects over more difficult and longer-term ones to get some early wins on the board. This will motivate the team and build momentum and support among executives.

Clearly, this is an ambitious and daunting undertaking for any company and there are many different approaches to achieving each company’s transformational goals. But find a way to get started. Because there’s no question that a successful transformation will yield happier customers who will respond with higher levels of engagement and loyalty.

Questions? Comments? Let’s connect and let me know how I can help you.

Ken Godfrey

Ken Godfrey is a battle-tested digital marketing innovator who specializes in building trust and inspiring teams. Working in the digital marketing domain for more than 20 years, he brings a deep understanding of the latest strategy, marketing, user experience, content, and analytics practices; all supported by a stellar record of creating and executing digital strategies and campaigns that deliver excellent business results. A transformation agent, a writer by trade, and a content expert, Ken is also an experienced, effective, and popular people manager who has built and led high-performance teams — large and small, direct and matrix — to achieve spectacular results. He thrives on collaboration. Starting as an advertising copywriter at Poppe Tyson at the advent of the Web itself, he served as Creative Director at Poppe Tyson, Grey Interactive, Blue Marble, and Wunderman. He has worked on hundreds of websites and digital campaigns for dozens of B2B and B2C companies in the technical, manufacturing, financial, healthcare, and consumer products industries. For 13 years at IBM, Ken was trusted to improve the performance of IBM's highest-value, business-critical digital properties. Through a series of digital roles, progressively growing in scope and influence, he transformed one organization after another, increasing traffic, engagement, and lead generation by improving the customer experience using customer insight. At Philips, he successfully led the digital transformation of the company's North American market. In each of his many roles, success has come from driving digital performance and transforming the enterprise through user-centered content, innovative ideas, and relentless testing and tracking. He is now the President and Principal Consultant of CopyLounge Consulting, which he founded to help businesses large and small evaluate and advance their digital maturity.

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