What does it actually look like to take your customer experience capabilities to the next level? A college basketball player can look to the pros for clarity of expectations and skills. A marketing manager can review a competency chart to plan her pathway to a director promotion. Marketing leaders also need a map outlining what success looks like for great customer experience — and the path to get there.
Marketers can use the Gartner Customer Experience Maturity Framework to lead discussions, guide strategy and define the steps necessary to advance to the next level, noted Augie Ray, research director, Gartner for Marketing Leaders.
Based on Gartner client and vendor discussions, most large organizations are at lower levels of maturity — Level 1 or Level 2 on a scale of 1 to 5, looking to achieve Level 3. Here is a snapshot detailing Level 3 as a goal, what Level 2 looks like and how to close the gap between the two.
Starting at Level 2
A Level 2 organization has created a voice of the customer (VoC) function and collected data but the data is not shared widely. Some departments know they need to take action so they engage in isolated, bottom-up initiatives, often with little data other than a gut feeling of what is wrong and needs fixing.
Envisioning Level 3
Level 3 is defined by engaged executives and codified goals, practices and performance metrics. At this level, marketers standardize, integrate, document and implement key processes. At the same time, formal governance and compliance models are put in place. In other words, the Level 3 customer experience marketing organization clearly has its act together and is picking up speed.
Closing the gap
To advance to Level 3, Level 2 organizations need to gain a unified vision and elevate a customer experience leader from the marketing department who will work across the company to ensure better coordination of customer experience. Other actions for Level 2 companies include:
- Collect and share information about the disparate VoC and customer experience efforts to encourage collaboration
- Look for and support initiatives that need VoC information
- Find and promote examples of departmental customer experience efforts that would have been successful as a result of cross-functional participation
- Initiate efforts to improve customer experience, leveraging those activities the marketing department controls, and creating early successes
- Organize peer-to-peer learning sessions and workshops
As Mr. Ray noted, “This framework will help you evaluate the entire organization’s customer experience maturity and determine how best you can influence change, both inside and outside the marketing department.” Regardless of level, the Gartner Customer Experience Maturity Model will show you how to reach the next level.