Make the CEM buzzword a reality

Loo Jian Sern and Johan Khoo/Accenture
15 Apr 2013

In the search for new competitive advantages over peers, many CSPs believe that the answer lies within CEM. CEM has graduated from a buzzword into many manifestations in the telecom industry - from branding to talent acquisition.

In essence, CEM is about putting your customers at the heart of your business, with every strategy, product, action and decision executed with customers' requirements at the top of the list. While that sounds easy, there are some essential elements to make CEM successful in your organization.

First, belief starts at the top. Leaders should be the first true believers in CEM and they should "walk the talk" before the idea can be communicated to, and absorbed by, employees.

Second, have a "North Star." You need to have a CE vision that is both easily communicable to and actionable by your employees. This vision should be a simple answer to the question "What will we be famous for?" True CE companies take this a step further by embedding their CE vision in their core values and living their values in their day-to-day business - driving everything from hiring criteria to the way they reward their employees.

Third, set up a dedicated CEM team. Operators are becoming more and more siloed in their specializations, putting their ability to deliver a cohesive customer experience at risk. Realizing this, many cellcos have established a dedicated cross-enterprise CEM function to solely focus on safeguarding their CE.

In more mature organizations, such a function is often headed by a chief customer experience officer (CCEO) who reports directly to the CEO. Often, the CEO is also the CCEO.

This dedicated CEM team pursues four main functions. One is to develop and maintain the company's CE strategy (strategize). Another is to provide an in-depth, end-to-end understanding of the state of CE (report). Yet another is to identify CE areas for improvement (consult and recommend).

And still another function is to implement, drive and measure target CE outcomes (implement). This function should be staffed with a multi-disciplinary team of strategists, business analysts, data analysts, behavioral scientists, market researchers, and project and change management specialists. To back this up, a strong engagement model and governance would be essential to help ensure that CEM is implemented enterprise wide.

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