The XM Institute receives a lot of questions about how to gauge an organization’s XM Maturity. That’s why we’ve created a number of XM maturity assessments. These tools provide insight into the strengths and weaknesses of XM programs (including CX, EX, and Digital CX) and enable you to track progress to higher maturity levels. Ideally, maturity assessments also build stakeholder alignment and help demonstrate the value of XM in order to gain buy-in and resources for ongoing improvements. Here are 5 tips for getting the most out of our assessment tools.
1) Involve key stakeholders throughout the process.
People from finance to engineering to operations play a role in delivering quality experiences. That’s why everyone — not just the core XM team — needs to develop XM skills. Involving leaders from across the organization before, during, and after maturity assessments is an important way to gain support for that work. Why? It introduces them to a common language and framework for XM and increases the likelihood they’ll buy into the assessment methodology and findings. Direct involvement also improves the chances stakeholders will take ownership of improvements that need to be made in their part of the organization.
2) Focus on improving XM capabilities and driving business results.
People have a natural tendency to obsess over assessment scores rather than the actual objective: understand and improve XM maturity to drive better business outcomes. Keep people focused on that goal by making it the starting point for all of your assessment-related communications. Whether you’re preparing people to complete an assessment or to hear the findings from one, start with a reminder that the ultimate goals are to 1) identify and close XM capability gaps and 2) improved business outcomes resulting from better experiences.
3) Coach assessment participants in XM basics.
Most people you’ll ask to take an XM maturity assessment aren’t familiar with the discipline of XM — especially if your organization is early on in its XM efforts. Think about requiring participants to review background material such as our Launchpads. This helps people complete evaluations more reliably and also begins the process of introducing them to XM basics. You should also clarify the scope of what you’re asking participants to evaluate (e.g., their group or business unit), how the information will be used, and how you’ll communicate maturity findings, improvements, and progress.
4) Connect findings to XM maturity and organizational goals.
When you deliver assessment results to stakeholders, start with a refresh about the purpose of the evaluation. Focus the bulk of the conversation on XM capability strengths and gaps and connect recommended improvements to their support of organizational goals. For example, if the assessment revealed low maturity in areas like Insights Discovery, Insights Distribution, and Immediate Response, advocate for improving those capabilities to drive a key business objective like increasing customer satisfaction and retention. Connect key findings from the assessment to the maturity framework and to your business objectives in order to gain alignment on key areas to focus on over the next 6 to 24 months.
5) Track improvements and drive alignment with a roadmap.
Following the discussion of assessment results, build a roadmap that includes key objectives, tasks, and action item owners. Look for opportunities for stakeholders who were involved in the assessment process to take a leadership role in actions tied to their part of the organization. Review the roadmap and update progress and priorities on a defined cadence. Plan to repeat the XM assessment every 12-18 months. Position and integrate roadmap updates and assessments into an overall process of progressing the organization through the five stages of XM maturity.
Bottom line: XM assessments can help drive maturity and build alignment.
Moira Dorsey is an XM Catalyst with the Qualtrics XM Institute.