XM Institute has discussed how organizations will need to modernize their Experience Management (XM) efforts in order to fully master the capabilities of continuously learning, propagating insights, and rapidly adapting. However, few organizations are set up to embrace Modern XM. What’s in the way? A fragmented approach.
Many organizations focus on XM with siloed efforts that inhibit XM effectiveness. Different teams manage experience data in different ways using different systems, with very little focus on enterprise access and controls. The groups who are driving efforts for individual experience domains like Customer Experience (CX) or Employee Experience (EX) aren’t sharing their approaches, methodologies, insights, and key learnings with each other. And culturally, the organization’s leaders might say the right things about the importance of delivering great experiences, but that’s not reflected in how the rest of the organization’s employees think and act.
Moving XM from Fragmented to Aligned XM
To achieve Modern XM, organizations have to develop an organization-wide discipline built upon the three elements of the XM Operating Framework: technology, competency, and culture. But doing this differently across different parts of the organization will never get them there. That’s why the path to Modern XM requires shifting from a fragmented approach to an aligned approach.
Until organizations embrace an aligned approach to XM, they will struggle to capture the full transformational benefits that come from XM. An aligned approach is foundational for establishing the hallmark capabilities of Modern XM:
- Dynamic instrumentation: With deeper skills in experience monitoring and a mindset for using XM data to run the business in place, organizations move beyond focusing on long-standing, locked-in metrics and instead push their data gathering to continuously capture the most relevant signals at the right time from the most relevant people (customer, employees, etc.) and channels to inform their experience design and improvement efforts.
- Actionable intelligence: With a common XM technology providing the platform to consolidate experience and operational data and integrate it into the organization’s other systems and tools, the organization now has the power for more advanced analytics and tailored distribution of insights. This actionable intelligence no longer simply measures and describes what has happened with experiences, but also helps the organization predict and prescribe what can happen and what to do, raising the confidence in decision-making amongst insights users.
- Adaptive processes: With a culture that has everyone in the organization attuned to the importance of continuously learning and rapidly adapting, the typical pull of organizational inertia that inhibits change weakens. Adjusting operational processes becomes a way of life as people and teams actively learn from XM insights to identify successes and failures and apply what is uncovered to improve or differentiate experiences and deliver value back to the organization.
Three Recommendations for Driving a More Aligned Approach
So how can organizations get started eliminating the fragmentation that inhibits XM success? Here are three suggestions on how senior leaders can take their first steps towards driving a more aligned approach:
- Conduct a data and technology inventory. To understand the extent of existing data inefficiencies and risks, work with the IT department and experience teams to identify which systems are being used to gather, analyze, distribute, and store X-data. Use this to identify a path to platform consolidation that delivers better data integration and enterprise controls while supporting dynamic instrumentation and advanced analytics of Modern XM.
- Select a project to connect XM use cases. As organizations mature XM in separate experience areas, they start to spot potential connections within experience intersections where a collaborative approach allows them to better close experience gaps in both areas. One of the natural intersections where organizations align is CX+EX, where insights from customers and employees can provide clearer illumination of opportunities to improve EX in ways that also improve CX. Connecting XM use cases offers an added benefit as these formerly siloed teams establish an ongoing rhythm of working together and sharing approaches and best practices.
- Model behaviors that support an aligned XM approach. Employees ultimately judge what is truly important to the organization based on what senior leaders actually do and not just what those leaders say. To drive a more aligned approach, you need to purposefully model behaviors that reinforce XM alignment. This could include asking about the implications on all experiences (CX, EX, BX, PX) during meetings when making strategic decisions, supporting investments in tools or resources that enable XM teams to collaborate more easily, or rewarding individuals and teams that meet organizational improvement objectives by using XM insights to adapt processes.
The bottom line: Modern XM requires a more aligned approach.
Aimee Lucas, XMP, CCXP, is an XM Catalyst for the Qualtrics XM Institute