This CX Mini Masterclass explains a simple yet effective CX tool for driving customer-centric change and ensuring that business decisions support an organization’s overall CX goals. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, explains the customer impact scorecard, how to build one and then how to use it to ensure that business changes work for – not against – CX. Julia also shares some news about a planned hiatus for the show. If you’re looking for a practical approach to help cross functional teams stay the course towards shared customer experience goals, then this episode is for you.
A simple tool for an important job
We’ve all seen it happen. Someone in IT, sales or operations makes a decision about a new product or a process with the best intentions, but the resulting change has a negative impact customer experience. When these things happen, it’s rarely out of malice. After all, no one (or at least we hope no one) goes around intentionally making customer experiences worse.
More often than not, the team that implemented the change just wasn’t thinking about the downstream impact on customer experience. This is bound to happen, because honestly, most businesses are geared to solve business problems. The customer may be the guiding light for CX departments and some executives, but historically that hasn’t been true for all teams. Additionally, the more removed a team is from the customer, the more difficult it can be to draw a connection between day to day responsibilities and customer outcomes.
In this scenario, a little assistance and structure are in order. And a customer impact scorecard is a great tool to for CX leaders to have in their toolbox.
A customer impact scorecard is a rating or evaluation tool that prompts the user to assess how something – be that a change to people, processes or technology – will eventually turn into customer outcomes and if these outcomes are desirable, neutral or adverse. The idea being that a scorecard becomes a quick and easy check and balance to avoid decisions which might inadvertently damage customer experience. It encourages stakeholders to pause and make an honest assessment of the impact on customer experience by moving the thinking from inside out to outside in.
Some organizations already have risk assessment scorecards in place for any business change or major investment, so why can’t the same assessment be done for customer experience? Surely customer experience is just as important to the long-term viability of any business. (And if you’d like to know a little bit more about helping your organization balance business risk and CX, then be sure to check out episode 36.)
Building and using your customer impact scorecard
- Identify which attributes to evaluate – These could relate to your customer promise, CX principles or what is known to be important to the customer. It’s helpful to identify 5-10 points to evaluate and phrase them as thought-starter questions. E.g. Will this change impact how easy it is for customers to do business with us?
- Set your rating scale – The ratings for each attribute should range from positive to negative. A 3 or 5 point scoring scale usually works nicely. Regardless of which size scale is used, a negative impact should yield a negative score, a neutral impact should yield a score of zero, and a positive impact should yield a positive score. When the overall evaluation points for the business change are tallied, a positive rating indicates a change with a net positive impact on CX, while a net negative score should raise red flags about something that would potentially have an adverse effect on CX.
- Identify the right forum for implementation – Pinpoint the process for vetting or prioritizing new initiatives and see if a customer impact scorecard can be included in that process. Project management, finance and legal are some of the typical gatekeepers for business change.
It’s important to keep the customer impact scorecard simple and straightforward. The goal is to guide cross functional leaders to consider the customer before they make a business decision, but to avoid creating complex red tape that stakeholders end up resenting.
News about the podcast
As shared with listeners at the start of the episode, I’ll be taking a hiatus from publishing new CX Mini Masterclasses for the next few months. The show will be back later in 2020. Keep an eye out for periodic re-broadcasts of favorites from the archive and possible new content from guest contributors.
Want to keep learning about CX?
If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.
Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including CX strategy, voice of customer and culture change) or get in touch via email.