Kedron Rhodes Thoughts on Design, Innovation & Leadership

Integrating Strategy Into the Customer Experience

Mapping the customer experience is par for the course when it comes to product and service design. Formulating a strategy to support products and services even precedes the maturing of the customer experience map. Both are critical to the success of a new venture, yet rarely do the two align.

I've ran into this disconnect on several occasions and have struggled to find a way to bridge strategy work with mapping the customer experience. This struggle, and it's been a tough one, has led me to create what I'm calling a CX Matrix. This matrix aligns the customer journey to considerations ranging between strategy and customer experience.

The model I've been working with is tailored to a digital product/service, but you could easily taylor it to your own context. This digital model identifies 7 key moments in the customer journey:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Signup
  4. Onboarding
  5. Ongoing Use
  6. Support
  7. Discontinue

These key moments capture critical aspects of the customer experience that represent opportunities to interact with the customer to help shape their experience and deliver value.

These 7 key moments are then supported by 6 considerations that are informed by business objectives, technology constraints and customer goals. They include:

  1. Business Objectives - what does business aspire to in each step of the customer journey?
  2. Strategy - What are the unique and necessary set of activities at each step in the customer's journey that play to our strengths and are sustainable?
  3. Automation - What efficiencies do we gain through automation and what vulnerabilities do we introduce through automation?
  4. Touch-Point - What does the customer interact with as they engage with each step of their journey?
  5. Customer Goal - What does the customer want and expect from this step in their journey?
  6. Customer Experience - What is the ideal customer experience as they engage with each step of their journey?

As you lay this matrix out, you'll quickly identify 42 intersections between the key moments and the supporting strategy. These intersections identify the critical elements needed to align business value with customer goals. It gives the organization clear visibility into the goals of the customer along with how the business can help meet that goal.

At the end of the day, this matrix aims to provide alignment between desirability, feasibility, and viability—all wrapped up into one visualization that should require little-to-no explanation.

Taking this a step further, this matrix provides a granular way to measure the effectiveness of both the strategy and the execution. Each of the 42 intersections will likely have a handful of acceptance criteria, which is effectively 42 × n of levers to pull.

If you've been struggling, as I have, to align strategy and experience, consider the CX Matrix. Kick the tires and let me know what works and what doesn't.