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How can you learn what customers really want?

Understanding and actively shaping customer needs along the entire value chain is an important task for B2B companies. Many companies are aware of this, but have difficulties in putting this task into practice. The reasons for this, among others, are a high degree of individuality of B2B customer journeys and low availability of sturdy customer experience (CX) data for specific touchpoints. Adverse factors that need to be overcome: Only companies that can offer the desired experiences to their customers are truly effective in market development.

A leading global manufacturer of medical technical products was also facing this challenge when it contacted Homburg & Partner. The client’s goal was to streamline inconsistent customer experience approaches of regional companies in a uniform global concept in order to consistently record and evaluate customer satisfaction at sales and service-relevant touchpoints across states. In addition, the performance of important competitors was to be captured for individual touchpoints in order to have a basis to compare their own performance.

Three key results of the customer experience management project described here

Guideline for successful CX studies: the Customer Experience Operating Model

The Operating Model exhibits six dimensions that are significant for the implementation of global CX projects. Hover your mouse over the dimensions to reveal further information.
Provider Tools Organization Purpose Concept Process
Porträt von Mario Fuchs, Senior Research Manager
Mario Fuchs, Research Manager:
“A key challenge of the project was to combine regional and country-specific interests with global requirements and to ensure a balance between individuality and standardization. On the other hand, the structural components within the Operating Model had to be prioritized with the client, in order to reduce the operative complexity during implementation.”

Cornerstone: stakeholder management at a global level

A main precondition for the project to be successful was the involvement of all relevant stakeholders at the local, regional and global level. They were questioned in one-on-one interviews according to a predefined guideline about their expectations of the project, individual content and requirements as well as market and customer properties.

The internal meetings were followed by a concept workshop in which all previously noted ideas for the new operating model were discussed and defined. A scalable survey concept became a key focus of the operating model. It covered all requirements for a successful collection of customer experiences. This includes the selection and definition of the individual touchpoints throughout the customer journey as well as a methodical measurement of the satisfaction and customer experience at the various touchpoints.

Final trial: pilot phase in five key markets

Not all existing contact points were to be implemented in the new operating model. Because of this, the touchpoints were evaluated and prioritized using a scoring model. In the future, the determined touchpoints were to serve as CX anchor points where quantitative and qualitative customer experience data are to be measured in real time and transferred to an automated dashboard tool for global management.

A key element of the Customer Experience project was to test the defined survey concept in a pilot phase. These tests were conducted in 5 of our client’s key markets (USA, China, Brazil, Germany and UK). This way, we could assess whether our client’s customers understood all the conceived questions and how much time and effort the single survey elements took under real conditions.

Survey results at a glance: The CX dashboard

Exemplary CX dashboard from the customer experience management project described here

The most important results in detail

One of our client’s main problems was that, although single regional national companies used local providers to measure customer satisfaction, the results were not comparable across regions. The reason for this was that each national company used a different methodological approach to measuring CX.

We therefore developed a uniform CX concept for our client, which integrated existing demands of individual stakeholders and harmonized decentral approaches. The focus was on establishing a robust methodological base to obtain valid, action-orientated data that could be compared globally. In addition to a survey setup that included scope, the CX concept also included a recommendation for the survey methodology and for the sample structure and size. In addition, tailor-made survey tools were also integrated to record the experiences for each touchpoint and quantitative evaluation of key KPIs.

The new CX concept allows our client to derive action plans from the collected data that is of real help to the company, as the new database is streamlined globally, tailored to client’s needs and collected using effective methods.

At the start of the project, all our client’s processes relevant to CX were decentralized in various work groups and across different platforms. A clear overview of all CX initiatives in the company was not available, processes were inconsistent and stakeholders saw these as inefficient. By introducing our internally developed data collection and visualization tool S.T.A.R. to our client’s company, we created a globally uniform platform to measure and visualize qualitative customer experiences and quantitative performance indicators.

The tool includes predefined touchpoints and supports the integration of customer data that is saved externally. It also provides an interface to different data collection methods, which enables our client to flexibly choose between different online and offline survey methods to measure satisfaction with. All customer feedback is collected in a CX & KPI real-time dashboard and can be viewed with different levels of detail.

By introducing a universal solution for Customer Experience Management, we supported our client in creating more CX transparency in their own company and executing CX processes with significantly less effort in the future.

In order to properly embed a uniform approach to CX management in the company, it was important for our client to not only standardize the survey methods globally, but to also streamline the staff tasked with CX matters. For this reason, a dedicated CX team was to be created with transnational responsibilities.

In order to facilitate the introduction of a CX team, we provided an operating model to our client. Two key dimensions are central in this model: the process and the organizational dimension. Work packages and milestones needed for the process dimension were defined and equipped with a timeline.

The organizational dimension contained measures to embed the new CX concept within the company in the long term. In parallel, roles and functions were assigned, responsible persons were appointed, the work and costs involved were estimated. We not only supported our client in laying out a promising path for his CX management, we also accompanied him during the first important steps.

Customer Experience Management: find out more? Nothing could be easier!

If you would like to find out more about CX analysis or discuss similar approaches for your company, please do not hesitate to spend a few seconds to leave an inquiry via our contact form. Our partner Markus Pfeifer will personally contact you promptly after that. Alternatively, you are welcome to contact us by emailing or calling us!

Contact us!

Porträtbild unseres Research Managers Mario Fuchs
Research Manager

Mario Fuchs
Tel.: +49 621 1582-332

Porträtbild unseres Partners Markus Pfeifer

Markus Pfeifer
Tel.: +49 621 1582-322