It Starts with Design: Measuring Business Impact through XM

Strategic XM program design

Imagine going on a road trip: you’d never get in your car without planning the route to get you to your destination. What does this have to do with Experience Management (XM)? Without the direction of a strategic plan, XM programs often waste time and money, and may lose customers in the process. XM Design serves as that strategic plan, getting you from point A to point B by emphasizing the importance of the “why” behind collecting feedback. This unified and cohesive strategy is essential in directing you to your final destination: an exceptional experience.

Importance of Strategic Design 

XM practitioners often recognize a problem in the customer journey and seek to address said problem by collecting customer feedback. They’ve taken the right first steps by collecting data from their customers, but without a proper strategy to drive action, they can’t fix their problem. They may find themselves stuck in a pattern of measuring data for the sake of measuring, rather than with a specific end goal in mind. 

Instead, the solution to a stagnant program is to create a strategic method, informed by key business objectives, that takes the collected data and drives action towards change. Enter XM Design.

How Clients Use XM Design

What does this look like in practice? Here is an example customer journey based on a commonFont client story:

  • A financial services company launches a new product that is intended for a specific audience – young investors –  with a goal of increasing this audience’s app usage. 
  • On the backend, they are able to see customers are creating accounts but not actively funding or trading in the app. Why is this? Is it the product or the experience itself? 
  • With the goal of engaging these young investors, commonFont helped the client collect and analyze the data to pinpoint friction points, developed a digital intercept that targets the audience, collected research and feedback from the audience, and identified the origin of the friction point.
  • We were then able to bring it back to the primary business objective of appealing to the target audience and increasing their app usage. By designing with this goal in mind, the client was able to eliminate the pain points, improve the customer experience and reach their goal of increasing app usage among young investors. 

The First Step

Implementing a strategic XM Design can appear overwhelming and inaccessible. Our advice to organizations taking their first steps with XM Design is to start small; you don’t have to completely overhaul your program to practice XM Design. 

  • First, identify your core business objectives. Your business objective should point toward a broader goal your organization aims to achieve, rather than a metric like NPS. What is your North Star? 
  • As a thought experiment, ask yourself and your team: “If you had the right data to solve your most pressing problem, what would be your first plan of action?” Rather than limiting your vision to the short term goal of collecting data, look toward what this data would mean for your organization. 
  • Consider your ideal customer journey. What is stopping you from getting there?

XM Design in Practice

Rather than designing a XM program centered around metrics, curate a program that prioritizes the business objectives and the associated customer journey. Keeping the customer at the center of the equation ensures that feedback is acted on to eliminate pain points, enhance the overall experience, and reconnect with the program’s initial objectives. Design with the end in mind by identifying, evaluating, and prioritizing your top business objectives. As you embrace your newly identified “North Star,” an expert services team can be your guide creating and implementing an intentional XM Design strategy, supporting you and your team every step of the way.

XM software consulting expert architect.

Hadallia Bergeron

As a Solutions Architect at commonFont, Hadallia advances the company’s solution strategy and technology practices. Before commonFont, Hadallia was a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University, where she received her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering.