Improve CX with change enablement – Part 2

  • Posted on February 13, 2018
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
CX with change enablement

This article was originally written by Avanade alum Barry Mike.

I recently discussed the first two activities that companies should focus their change enablement on to ensure their technical investments in CX platforms actually deliver great customer experiences. This week, I’ll be exploring the final two of these four foundational activities:
1. Coordinating data flows into the platform
2. Clarifying decision-making governance based on data flowing out of the platform
3. Carving out platform management roles and accountabilities
4. Creating a culture of customer service

3. Carving out platform management roles and accountabilities 
CX platforms like Sitecore are designed for marketers, making it easier for them to manage websites without having to rely on IT departments every time they want to make a change. This is a boon to both Marketing and IT, providing greater control, flexibility and responsiveness for marketers, while freeing IT professionals from relatively mundane tasks so they can focus on higher value-added activities.

However, platforms like Sitecore don’t end the relationship between Marketing and IT, but change it. The system will have to be managed, maintained, monitored, measured, and upgraded as needed by someone. By whom? IT? Marketing? An outside vendor like Avanade? The answer will depend upon an assessment of needed capabilities, existing resources and management alternatives and must be negotiated between IT and Marketing. 

How Change Enablement efforts can help
As well as potentially requiring a new set of skills for support, CX platforms, with their focus on empowering marketing, can also be disruptive to the relationship between Marketing and IT. Your change enablement efforts can support fact-based decision-making on how to manage the CX platform by: 

Assessing all the activities required to manage the CX platform – create a thorough inventory of all activities associated with the management of the CX platform to understand the scope of needed support.
Assessing current vs. needed capabilities – review the skills and capabilities needed to accomplish each and every CX platform support activity; compare them to current skills and capabilities; highlight and address the gap via training, hiring, etc.
Defining and aligning roles – use the assessment of activities and accompanying skills to carve out roles. Are there full-time roles needed? Part-time? Can activities be incorporated into existing roles? Should these roles be outsourced? Align the roles to the right functional areas within the organization ensuring they have the support and visibility necessary to succeed.

The Change Enablement Team at Avanade has worked closely with organizations to outline resource requirements and recommend role alignment for the implementation of CX platforms. In our experience, the right balance of insource and outsource and/or existing and new hires for CX platform management, is highly dependent on the particular context within each organization and can be aided by an organization-independent assessment.

4. Creating a culture of customer service
No matter how much you automate, personalize or digitize your customer experience, the odds are that at some point, customers will interact with a human being.  If those who represent you – employees, contractors, outside agencies or vendors – are not actively embodying the promises implicit in all of your customer experience investment and knowledge, you are putting your investment at risk.

Even more, if all those linked to the customer experience – from marketing and analytics to operations and service and support – haven’t internalized a focus on improving the customer experience, the absence of that focus will eventually impact your customers, and not in a positive way.

How Change Enablement efforts can help
Creating a customer-centric corporate culture is a big order.  You don’t need to start big, but you do need to know where you are starting from. How do you know how much your culture needs to change to become more customer-experienced focus if you don’t know its current state? Your change enablement efforts should begin by:
Assessing the current state of your customer-focused culture – Survey appropriate parts of your organization on their customer focus. Culture survey assessments abound and some information, if not most, can be gleaned from existing company surveys.

This, of course, is just a start for providing a glimpse of the gap to be crossed to reach a genuinely customer-focused culture. While outlining the steps for building a customer-focused culture is beyond the scope of this post, we have, nonetheless, outlined a critical first step: 
Investing in the organizational change enablement efforts to support your CX platform so that you can deliver great customer experiences – Actions speak louder than words. When employees see the change enablement investments being made in delivering a great customer experience – in building new skills and capabilities, integrating processes, eliminating barriers, clarifying governance, dissipating silos – your commitment to creating great customer experiences will come across loud and clear.

If you’re not sure where to start, or don’t have the change enablement resources needed, get outside help. The Change Enablement Team at Avanade can help you work through the key organizational actions needed to pave the way for delivering great customer experiences.

Download our Customer Experience practical guide to learn more on the role of change enablement to exceed expectations with your customer experience.

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