CX Strategy Roadmaps

Develop clear CX strategies everyone can get behind

Below is CX Pilots’ CX Transformation Architecture. This is the path professional services firms adopt to become fully client-centric. The CX strategy each firm adopts draws from this transformation architecture.

CX strategy takes the outcomes from the CX Assessments and plots where the firm needs to focus to achieve its specific goals. We like to say that CX strategy is simple, it’s the execution that can pose the greatest challenge. Nearly all our CX transformation clients have an iron-clad strategy. In fact, most of them have had a strategy for years—however, they have encountered challenges in making sure it’s the right strategy for them and identifying the right time and resources to act on it. We are the force of certainty and momentum to make sure it’s the right strategy for your firm and help define the execution approach streamlined to your resources and objectives.

CX roadmaps make everyone aware of your firm’s intent and help them understand how changes may affect their roles over time.

Together, CX strategy and roadmaps help coalesce people around change no matter how subtle or dramatic those changes may feel to them. Seeing the plan and understanding how it will all unfold is precisely how you build momentum around pivots toward intentional client-centricity.

The CX Pilots method for creating CX strategy is highly collaborative. We use design thinking methodologies that pull in more front-line experienced employees for two reasons. First, factoring front-line experience with clients is paramount to intelligent and effective strategy, and second, we know how much more successful CX programs are when employees and teams feel strongly they are helping shape the firm’s trajectory.

We have found that CX strategy is somewhat like a checklist. We ask a range of questions to help ensure the CX strategy is fit to produce the value your firm demands from adopting higher levels of client or employee centricity. Following are some examples of what we look for in evaluating existing strategies:

  • Are you leading with a clearly defined purpose, vision and brand promise aligned to how you want your employees and new prospects to see and experience your firm?
  • Are you fueling your CX program with the voice of the client (VOC) or other forms of direct client feedback?
  • Are you converting collected feedback into actionable insights that can drive business outcomes?
  • Are you closing loops from collected feedback and insights into concrete and measurable business and service improvements?
  • Are you distributing insights across the business, fluidly?
  • Are you factoring in the prospect? Is your Business Development and Marketing function fully integrated?
  • Are you actively engaging employees and teams in the process of closing gaps between client expectations and experiences?
  • Are you actively measuring outcomes in a way that individuals and teams feel they can be accountable to and governing performance with clarity?
customer experience strategy pillars
Client Experience Program Management

Above is an example of how we pared a complex strategic approach down into a concise matrix to ensure broad firm adoption.

Below, we look into three industries (AEC, Legal, and Insurance) differ in their adoption of these three strategic CX pillars

CX for Law Firms
AEC, Law Firm, and Insurance adoption of strategic CX pillars

What CX Strategy Trends Tell Us.

In Architecture, Engineering and Construction, firms are far more interested in setting context for client experiences—this means, they want to skip insights collection and team alignment and dive immediately into delivering improved experiences.

In Legal, similar to AEC, they want to focus mostly on improved service delivery. By a slightly higher margin, they are more interested in collecting client insights than in AEC.

In Insurance, it’s flip-flopped. Insurance firms want to focus 3X more on collecting insights, and de-prioritize aligning teams and delivering improved service delivery.

Three Step Strategic Approach to CX.

We use the following process in the following order to make sure you have all the right pieces in place:

  1. Define Your Key CX Strategic Pillars

In the simplest terms, every powerful and effective CX strategy will have inputs, the workflow, and the outputs.

Inputs- are typically data or sources of date like client feedback, Voice-of-Customer systems, client surveys, interviews, NPS data, client satisfaction metrics or client effort score data. The strategy should collect all input sources with the goal of converting them into meaningful patterns, insights, or improvement opportunities.

The Workflow- is the group of processes around how your firm acts on the basis of its inputs. Are all insights gathered and distributed to specific departments or the whole firm? Are there any processes that follow? Are activities time-based or triggered by some other events? Are any actions triggered based on escalation procedures? Is the workflow process documented so that everyone in the firm understands their part in improving individual or shared outcomes?

The Outputs- are the things that affect the experiences of those that matter most to your firm. They could be ideal client prospects, existing clients, partners, employees, potential staff recruits, board members, etc. Generally, outputs are a range of changes to service delivery, onboarding, recruiting, business development activities, measurements, communications etc.

  1. Matrix Your Key CX Strategy Pillars Against Metrics

For everything your CX strategy claims it’s going to accomplish, establish a smart measure to it. Through ongoing governance, periodically check to make sure everything and everyone remains on task and target. 

  1. Roadmap CX Strategy

Develop a branded CX Roadmap that illustrates clearly how the firm is going to achieve its CX strategy over time. Circulate the strategy and roadmap across the entire business so everyone has visibility into one, unified trajectory.

Important note about inclusion: When we say “everyone” we literally mean EVERYONE. The janitor, front desk intern, the guy who does the coffee runs, the CEO—everyone. When it comes to CX in services-based businesses, you either serve the client directly, or your serve someone who serves the client directly. In all cases, everyone is, at most, one degree separated from the client.

CX Pilots' Experience Quality Formula

Client Experience can be distilled into its three component parts. This helps place your focus where it can have the greatest impact.

Professional Services Requires a Different Strategic Approach

We have found that CX strategy for services-based firms is significantly different than CX strategy for consumer or product-based companies focused on volume sales. In professional services, firms are (or should be) focused on winning more ideal clients, keeping more of (or protecting) their most valuable relationships, and managing out loss-leaders—all as a matter of practice.

Our approach to CX strategy is to lead with a mind toward business development while following the three core strategic pillars mentioned above.

When firms loosen their CX strategies to incorporate the prospect or buyer’s journey, in addition to improving the experience for existing clients, they are able to harness the full power of CX.  Fewer than 25 percent of firms approach CX strategy in this way.

  • Approach CX strategy more holistically—incorporating the prospect or buyer's journey.
  • Keep CX strategy simple at first—focus on the three most important pillars and expand as your firm develops deeper competencies.
  • Draw from a wider array of firm contributors in developing your CX strategy. Front-line employees likely understand gaps between expectations and experiences. Use them.
  • For every CX strategy pillar, make sure you are evaluating accountabilities, metrics and governance—otherwise, your CX strategy is just a word document.
  • When you've completed your CX strategy, circulate it to business development, HR, Marketing, Finance, Operations and Client Services for their feedback.

What is your CX strategy process?

The CX Pilots process for formulating CX strategy generally follows these steps:

  1. We provide an initial tailored training to all involved firm participants where they learn about what CX strategy is and how it gets designed.
  2. We introduce the CX strategy checklist along with the most common strategic pillars of CX and determine their applicability to the firm.
  3. We facilitate multiple design-thinking sessions to capture all necessary inputs.
  4. We formulate an initial draft of the strategy and present it back to the firm. This initial draft includes a solid execution plan built into the CX strategy.
  5. We iterate until it meets all strategic checklist items we began with.
  6. We collaborate with the firm to circulate into the firm leadership and culture.

How Long does it normally take to do CX strategy?
It depends on three factors.
1. Whether or not you have gone through the CX Value Planning Workshop which details specifically why your firm wants to adopt CX.
2. Whether or not you have gone through a good CX Readiness and Maturity Assessment and have identified areas where you need to focus CX.
3. How invested your firm leadership is in CX.

Short answer- typically 4 weeks when the above-mentioned are completed.

Long answer- We have developed a relatively robust process and methodology for CX strategy over the years. When our clients follow the process using tried and tested CX Pilots methodologies, we are confident we can complete the CX strategy within one month for most firms. However, many firms who want to trim time and money, take shortcuts and end up spending twice the time and end up having half-baked strategic approaches untethered to time and accountable people.

How much does CX strategy typically cost?

Again, that will depend. CX Pilots focuses on Professional Services organizations and the average cost for CX strategy across the past 15 CX transformations has been $110,000.

Factors that typically influence cost:

  • Do you already have a CX strategy that is being modified?
  • Has the firm completed a readiness or maturity assessment?
  • Has the firm completed a value driver analysis or value mapping exercise?
  • How large is the organization and across how many offices?
  • What role will new or existing technology/platforms need to play?
  • How involved is the leadership or sponsoring party?
  • Is there current governance over client success or client experience?
  • Does the firm have an existing voice of client program in effect?

I heard a lot of CX strategies go haywire. Is this true, and, if so, why?

It is somewhat true but likely overstated a bit. It’s really difficult to say. We have run into relic strategies from our clients’ former consultants and from there we can generally see some patterns of short-sightedness or incompletion. Rarely is the strategy so out of whack that it causes major problems.

What is the hardest part of creating a CX strategy or roadmap?

Far and away the most complicated part of creating CX strategy is getting alignment with a firm’s broader strategic initiatives. For example, we’re working on a CX transformation in one larger CPA firm while they are undergoing a far more expansive digital transformation with a global consultant.  We are the firm’s CX consultant of record. The global consultant is figuring out six other areas of transformation at the same time. CX is the only part they aren’t accountable for. Integrating CX seamlessly for the CPA firm means everything CX Pilots is doing needs to mesh with the way Accenture is delivering transformation. It adds several more months to the process and requires a lot of added steps to ensure compliance across data, systems, etc.

Interested in learning more? Check out our CX Strategy and Roadmapping service.