Implementing a locally and globally effective, yet efficient customer experience (CX) program doesn’t come easy. To be successful, such a program needs to deliver against very different needs, from the head office to local markets. The following ten steps are a guideline to a successful start of your global CX program:

1. Define what global means to your organization
This may sound obvious, but if global means “I need my 3 KPIs measured the same way around the world,” this is different from “I want the CX program to be 100% the same in all markets,” or “I only want to see cost efficiencies by taking my local programs global.”

2. Have a global stakeholder
Driving sufficient commonality is likely to require give and take at a market level. Scales will need to be aligned; question-wording for those driving KPI’s may need harmonizing. A global stakeholder can enable these changes and get local management buy-in.

3. Understand the data flows
Data flows are key. It is true in CX that garbage in means garbage out. Sorting data flows almost always takes more time and effort than organizations estimate.

4. Understand privacy and PII data legislation on a global level
Privacy laws have become a legal minefield, and incorrect application of laws can cost businesses millions of dollars. A partner who knows the Global CX business and its pertinent privacy laws is vital.

5. Expect cultural differences impacting results
“Great” is not the same everywhere, as it reflects that expectations are met or exceeded – and those expectations differ significantly by region and culture. What people expect from a service will be different in Melbourne, Mumbai, Munich, Manchester, and Minneapolis. Furthermore, not all countries use scales the same way; for example, customers in some markets will be very unlikely to ever score ’10,’ so scores are not identical for comparison from one market to another. Cultural differences can impact scorecards, so the interpretation of global performance needs careful management.

6. Understand how customers in different markets can best be reached
The availability of email addresses from customers, the accessibility of customers on mobile devices, and the general way that customers like to communicate with organizations can differ not only by industry segment and product category, but also by culture and country. An effective CX program accounts for such differences, and an effective CX partner actively supports businesses in accelerating the collection of customer information including email.

7. Be sensitive to local market needs
In my experience around 80% of a program can be common – enabling senior management to have a clear view of the business and to drive change through the organization. Allowing flexibility for markets and regions in the other 20% of your CX program brings less resistance, creates more local buy-in to the global goals, and allows for the program to be most relevant and effective in each participating market.

8. Utilize a technology that supports flexibility
Given the different and changing needs of local markets, it is important to implement a technology that provides sufficient flexibility and allows for quick changes in one market without affecting the others. Those needs for flexibility can be driven by different customer touchpoints across different markets, by different customer needs, by a different maturity of the brand or the service network, by specific initiatives in a market, etc. This variability can only be handled efficiently if the technology implemented to survey customers and analyze, synthesize, and report the data is prepared to support such flexibility.

9. Share best practices
While the nuances of the concrete action taken from the CX initiative might well vary by market and by individual customer based on market differences, best practices should be shared across markets to provide guidance, and to support a steeper learning curve across the global organization.

10. Act local – and global
Any CX initiative must drive action at every level of the organization and should support global and local process changes and individual customer action in order to maximize business outcomes from the initiative. Accountability drives action. Have an action tool implemented as a key component of the technology solution, and then give authority to each market and to the frontline staff in each market to take action – and track the outcome of it.

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