While customer experience is the perception of an organisation, which develops in the various interactions with the organisation over time, by an individual through all their senses, customer experience vision verbalises the aims the organisation has regarding it. As we all know, vision guides the organisation in arranging their operations to align with the requirements the environment poses. Also, in the context of customer experience, the work needs to start from defining the vision and then continue to operationalising it. In our framework, the customer experience vision, business goals and priorities form a continuous element in the centre of the framework.
We see that a well-structured customer experience vision provides the guidelines for customer experience target state. Thus, a clear and easily understandable vision supports the translation of the vision to business goals and priorities. Each organisation needs to define what the customer experience vision means for them as well as how the development of customer experience generates value for the business. Through that vision work, also the operationalisation of a vision becomes possible. In the process of vision work, first the organisation needs to understand and define customer experience vision against the organisation’s business in relation to the strategy and brand. Only after that the vision can be translated to business goals and priorities and the key performance indicators can be defined. The final step in the vision work includes transforming the vision into actionable and concrete plan. It includes identifying customer experience development focus areas and preparing development roadmaps. Naturally, the development roadmaps should include both the customer experience related development items as well as actions aiming for building the needed foundations i.e., activities to develop CX related organization, processes, and tools.
Even though there is a structured approach for the vision work, it is not so straight forward to make a vision which speaks to all levels of organisation. Reflecting on our experience, organisations are not alone when the vision is indeed in place, but there are challenges in deriving the vision into objectives, measures and activities for teams and functions across the organisation.
One is that the management understands the potential of the vision and stands behind it, for the organisation to receive the needed resources in operationalising the vision. It is very important for the owner of the customer experience vision to understand and communicate what kind of goals are wanted to be achieved with the vision and what it requires to fulfil the vision. This aspect defines how the vision is then internalized in the organisation.
Another aspect is that the whole organisation participates to, if not already defining the vision, but making sense of the vision in all parts of the organisation. Regardless of the complexity of the vision, operationalising the vision in a concrete way is what makes the vision effective. It forms through the shared sense-making where individuals of the organisation are challenged to consider what it means in practice for them. Hence, the implementation of a vision requires also change management activities. A good practice is to involve a wide range of personnel in defining the customer experience vision, as the buy-in commences already in the definition phase, to ensure that everyone in the company stands behind the common vision.
Thirdly, we see that it is very crucial that there are clear principles derived from the vision, which then guide the organization in operationalizing the vision. The translation of the vision to business goals and priorities as well as the focus areas and roadmaps need to be on a level which supports the organization in their activities. With successful vision work it is possible to start implementing the vision to the organisation.
Finally, while it is quite commonly stated that the business case for different CX development activities might sometimes be challenging to derive in monetary terms, it is very important to be able to understand and communicate the CX value drivers and overall business case to seek and secure the needed financing and resources to CX development initiative.
As mentioned earlier, while there are components in the customer experience vision that are directly visible for the customer, there are also important internal aspects of the needed enablers and capabilities to operationalize the customer experience ambitions. This is closely connected to the customer experience foundations. To implement the vision, the foundations of the organisation need to be in place for delivering that customer experience. In the next article in the series, we will discuss the customer experience foundations in the context of our customer experience framework.
For the past 10 years in Finland, we have researched and analysed Finnish organisations’ digital capabilities and maturity in different channels. This work around digital customer experience culminates each year in our Digital Leaders Study publication, which compares the digital maturity of the largest Finnish companies in customer experience through digital channels. In the study, we aim to unravel the digital capabilities in selected Finnish companies across sectors and find best practices to gain digital competitiveness and success.
If you are interested in this work, please find our latest Digital Leaders Study 2023 in Finnish. In this study, we analysed all together 68 Finnish companies across 14 sectors both by collecting data through customer interfaces and conducting interviews.
You can also find the global Digital Leaders Study in which all together, 679 companies have been assessed across 21 sectors in 11 countries.
Senior Manager, Digital & Strategy
Senior Business Consultant, Digital & Strategy