Over 80% of all Customer Experience Management (CxM) projects fail. There are three key mistakes that CMOs can avoid to make sure their project is one of the 18% that succeed.
- CMOs assume the “the project” has a beginning, a middle and an end. It hasn’t.
- They see a slick demo by a technology provider and believe once implemented it will function as smoothly as the demo; even though it had little to do with the reality of how blood pumps through the organisation.
- No one is planning for the period after the technology solution has been launched. How is going to be launched? Why would people use it? Which bits are most important? What does success look like?
CMOs find a CxM platform after a rigorous internal software evaluation committee review, they contract a company to implement it and believe that once launched their workforce will be readied for the digital future. This is not the case. These kind of projects are not finite. They are surrounded by dependencies. Brands typically begin by perusing the state-of-the-art in CxM software to find the best blend of features, roadmap, integration availability into other marketing tools and price. The RFP process focuses heavily on features that meet aspirations to transform the digital experience offered to customers. Unfortunately this will never achieve the best value for the company.
Failure Reason #1: The Company Thought The Software Implementation Was The Transformation
When companies focus on the CxM software implementation project, it’s easy to confuse functionality with capability. There’s a big but often overlooked leap from “our new website supports personalisation” to “our marketing team can use personalisation features to drive improved engagement day to day”. For many brands this is where the struggle really begins along their path to digital transformation. First companies must realise that ‘digital transformation’ is actually ‘business transformation’.
Successful projects recognise that software, no matter how well implemented, is a tool,not the solution. Those leading such projects look at the big picture of the company, prepare for change and plan how the workforce and agency suppliers will need to adapt to turn new tools into new capabilities.
Failure Reason #2: The CxM Platform Wasn’t Built To Support The New Operating Model
The second most common reason for failure is that in the rush to deliver a great customer experience, the internal marketer’s experience of using the new tools was overlooked. With an effective change and training programme in place, there should be a good understanding of the way brand and marketing teams operate. There’s no excuse then for the all-too-common delivery of inflexible and convoluted tools that marketers and agencies just can’t operate without IT support.
If you design a system that requires expensive and rare-to-unavailable development expertise to make common changes, you’re crippling your own ability to move forward.
Failure Reason #3: There Wasn’t A Plan For The First 100 Days After The Software Was Launched
Launching a new platform is an exciting step - months of effort, significant investment and more than a few painful compromises accompany any major project of this nature. Too often, however, new platforms go live with only the sketchiest plan for what’s next. You wouldn’t start a new job without a clear plan for your first real impact in your first 100 days. Getting the job is not the success - it’s what you do after that counts!
To keep trust in the organisation, you’ll need to start delivering on all those “we’ll get to that after launch” compromise agreements. You’ll also need to focus heavily on communications. Things go well and no-one notices, things go wrong and everyone looks for who to blame. Haters gonna hate.
Plan to keep the goodwill that comes from a successful launch going by following up with clear communications. Market your success internally and manage bad news effectively. Find your champions and give them a voice!
The right partner for digital transformation understands that for a company to achieve greatness with a new digital platform, they will also undergo business transformation. While the industrial revolution changed many facets of our daily lives, the current digital revolution continuously effects more of how we do business. The companies that are leading in digital transformation are the ones that realised cultural change in their business would be a driving factor of success.
“When Do We Get To Use What We Saw In The Demo?”
You will when your project begins first with people-powered design. What? Yes. Somewhere along the way technology inventors, builders, developers, buyers and implementers forgot that the technology is only an enabler, not the solution. And the content is a tool in the complex programme of igniting, building and driving loyalty in customer relationships. If the people building the digital marketing engine don’t understand how the users need to use it, they can’t deliver much value.
The Starting Point For Customer Experience Transformation Success In The Enterprise
Before anyone starts work on your digital transformation project, they should have a clear vision of how you are going to be using it for the first 100 days after implementation. How will they roll it out? When and who will be trained? How will success be measured and processes optimised? The challenge to finding a reasonable answer to these questions is that a company must break down the silos across the organisation and engage in communication with the people who will be the end-users. Along this journey enterprises learn more than they imagined, often finding that digital transformation ends up being a catapult for a more collaborative and connected organisation. Understanding this is what differentiates the successful 18% of implementations.