How to Implement a Successful Customer Experience Program

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Step 3: Publish the Roadmap

Publishing the roadmap is a simple step, but it lays out the plan for getting to the CEP. It not only puts people on notice that the plan will be implemented, it also establishes the expectations — and we all know that managing expectations is the key to success.

Timelines should be generous, and the intent should be to implement faster than the timeline rather than having tight timelines and being forced to deliver late. The CEO will push for fast timelines, but it is key for the CEP team to push back and convince the CEO that if things are rushed, there is a greater risk of issues arising.

The roadmap should be used as a guideline communication vehicle and should be updated regularly, showing success against targets. The aim is to keep the roadmap alive and use it as a PR vehicle for the program.

Implementing a customer experience program (CEP) is not a simple matter. The value comes from extending the current customer satisfaction program into one in which customer centricity is built into the culture and strategies of the company, and using the output of experience measurement to take actions. There are many pitfalls and not the least is attempting to move too rapidly to a complete solution. Sound implementation and the ability to harness all the opportunity of "getting it right" requires a measured approach with interim checkpoints to achieve the benefits that we are hoping for. It requires a roadmap.

According to Harry Bunn, president and CEO of RONIN Corporation, there is also a lot of up-front work to design the most relevant framework and this is why a roadmap needs to be developed (and followed) for a phased implementation, with each step reinforcing the concept and building support. Even before step 1, the CEO must have embraced the concept fully. If not, do not bother attempting a full-blown CEP but continue to use your existing, lower-impact customer satisfaction program.

Harry Bunn is the president and CEO of RONIN Corporation, a marketing consulting and research firm focusing on business-to-business companies, in particular in the technology sector. He has consulted with many of the largest companies including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Dell, VMware, EMC, Samsung, AT&T, Verizon, BT, Telefonica, Honeywell, Motorola, Accenture, Nokia, Siemens, Fujitsu and Xerox.


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