How to: 7 steps to building the ultimate CX dashboard

We talk to customer experience experts to find out the best practices to achieve great CX dashboard architecture


5. Don’t turn all metrics into targets

For Forrester senior analyst, Tom Champion, any measurement program should use a mix of perception-based, performance-based and outcome-based metrics.  

“However, for the sake of a dashboard with an audience of mixed metrics-literacy, a degree of editing needs to take place with a focus on simplicity and visualisation,” he says. “It should be an employee-centric approach to dashboard design.”  

But if you’re going to turn metrics into targets, Champion advises proceeding with caution. As soon as targets or comparisons are applied, it changes the conversation around metrics.  

“It comes back to objectives and also culture,” he says. “Typically, your audience needs to understand a metric, buy into it, know their connection to it, and know how they can have an impact on it, before targets are applied. As soon as targets or comparisons are applied, it changes the conversation around metrics.  

“For key metrics, clear targets are critical so people know what to work towards and where priorities lie – but there are sensitives around timing and context which people often overlook.”  

Park highlights the important of looking at targets around various CX metrics if you want to remain agile and customer-centric.

“It’s better not to introduce the targets too soon, or you run the risk of driving the wrong behaviour, people cutting corners and just focusing too much on hitting a number, as opposed to truly adopting a customer-centric culture within the organisation,” he adds.  

Kain agrees using the dashboard as a way to measure targets can sometimes defeat the purpose and be counterproductive to good CX.

“The role of the CX dashboard should primarily be to allow the business to make informed decisions based on real time consumer behaviour and insight – positive or negative,” he says. “If there’s negative insight or feedback, you need this to change business behaviour.”

According to Bauer, some measures could and should be treated as operational targets. “Targets, mostly operational in nature, should be selected by the senior leadership and handed to frontline teams,” he says. “This is to ensure alignment between top-line strategy, perception-based measures and operation KPIs. Typically, the ratio of operational KPIs to perception-based metrics would increase as the dashboards are tailored for tactical teams.”

6. Utility before beauty

Another thing to consider when building a dashboard is utility before beauty, Temple & Webster CMO, Sven Lindell, says.

“Even though our brand is about creating beautiful experiences, it all has to do with the user at the end of the day,” he says. “There’s no use having a dynamic dashboard if it lacks the data required to generate meaningful insights.”

Rather than putting time in to ‘make it look pretty’, Lindell recommends marketers take a step back and device that one, big important number the team all needs to focus on.

“I don’t think that’s done enough when building the reporting suite,” he says. “So shout that important link from the top, make it most prominent and explain why it’s important. And the bigger the number or display, the more likely your eyes will be drawn to it and the more important you place on that metrics as well.

“But at the same time, make sure the team is completely on-board with the metrics you are using to calculate what you are doing and explain how you actually come to those metrics – and why it is important to the team and the business.”

Identifying the primary purpose and key objectives the dashboard is trying to address has a major impact on content and design, Champion continues.

“For example, if your dashboard is trying to raise awareness, your dashboard needs to stand out, use pictures, strike conversations with almost clickbait content,” he says. “Whereas, if your objective is to engrain accountability, then you need to make sure people’s names are called out loud and proud.

“Again, if your objective is to tell your story of progress to encourage resilience, you’ll have a strong focus on historical comparisons – tracking the progress of metrics over years, and using a good mix of positive and constructively negative verbatims. This is all logical but people overlook the link between design and objective.”

RXP’s Wayne also suggests keeping the design functional and simple, ensuring each dashboard can covey a clear message about the data it is displaying. “Limit the number of colours to a minimum and keep them consistent throughout all dashboards,” he says. “Also limit the number of worksheets within a dashboard to as low as possible and apply consistently across all pages of the dashboard. For example, have only a maximum of six worksheets per dashboard with one or two few quick filters.”

7. Take accountability

Above all, taking accountability for customer experience is one of the critical factors to ensure not just the CX dashboard remains relevant and actionable, but that the overall business starts to think about the customer and not focus only on business efficiencies, founder and strategy director of CX agency VPB Orange, Harlan Kennedy, says.

“Ultimately, it’s the CXO’s job to be responsible for the way customers feel about their interactions with the company,” he says. “This creates a natural [and desirable] tension with others in the company who may be focused on efficiencies.  

“Perception-based metrics are ultimately the most meaningful, because they are an accurate reflection of the way a customer feels, and the way that they will talk about their interactions with other perspective customers. Performance-based metrics tell us how those perceptions are formed. The ones that correlate most closely with perception-based metrics should be prioritised over those that don’t.”  

According to Kennedy, many CXOs think of themselves as fixers, but in reality they are in the business of shifting perceptions of the customer as well as company employees.  

“They need to think about how to turn customers into advocates, and advocates into rabid fans,” he says. “How do they create a customer-focused culture that employees buy into and are rewarded for embracing? So when it comes to the dashboard, maybe the question should be: Do I have the information I need to move people on that journey to being a die-hard fan of this brand?  

“It strikes me that most organisations would be well-served identifying a handful of overlapping KPIs between the CXO and CMO. Doing so would create a shared accountability and a more holistic approach to shaping a relevant and motivating customer journey and experience.”    
 

Forrester’s 10 critical questions to ask before building a CX dashboard:

  • Who is your audience? Getting clear on who is meant to be using it, ‘everyone’ is not good enough.
  • When would they use it and how often? Dashboard fatigue is a real thing, so how will this dashboard be used to improve the employee experience amid all the other noise?
  • Do you need a dedicated dashboard? Or should you start by embedding CX gauges in already-adopted interfaces?
  • What is the purpose? Consider what the key objective that this dashboard is seeking to address and link it to key business outcomes.
  • What is the scope of the dashboard? And is it journey-based or functional?
  • Are you going for breadth or depth? In deciding the balance of content, you should choose between showing the headlines vs. how far your drill down to team based or individual based detail.
  • What kind of point of view does you dashboard bring?
  • Will your dashboard be something exploratory? Painting a 3D picture of the customer to get people engaged so they think a bit differently
  • Will it be prescriptive? Or does it dictate what the audience should do next?
  • Is it relevant to the customer journey? If the organisation already has established customer journeys, then that’s a great opportunity to leverage this asset for the sake of a dashboard. 

Source: Forrester’s senior analyst, Tom Champion  

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu  


 

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