Capture Customer Experience

Capturing the Customer experience

The value of a business is the value of its customer contacts. The CxC Matrix enables your company, customers, and all stakeholders to visualize, monetize, analyze, and optimize customers contact-by-contact.

The Matrix’s primary purpose is to help you align your corporate objectives with the customer’s values and preferences at each contact. This approach leverages current technological capabilities, while also serving as a framework for upcoming and future customer and business technologies.

The CxC Matrix provides a detailed framework to classify and man- age customer contacts. It places every potential customer contact with a company—the company’s brand, products, and services—into the intersection of the consumer cycle and company’s channels. Channels are the physical, digital, and virtual locations where customer contacts occur.

CxC Matrix Customer Stages

Matrix stages represent the customer’s journey to satisfy a need or want for a product or service in the course of the relationship or transaction. They are the horizontal dimension of a CxC Matrix.

The following are the stages in the customer’s journey.


Figure 4.1

1. Awareness

2. Information

3. Identification

4. Selection

5. Negotiation

6. Contract

7. Logistics

8. Delivery

9. Acceptance

10. $ Collection






1. Customer becomes aware of a need.

2. Customer begins preliminary research of how to satisfy need.

3. Customer begins to qualify solutions, vendors, approaches as either “in” or “out.”


4. Customer examines offers from providers considering specific product and service attributes (ingredients, warranty, availability, total cost of operation).

5. Customer prepares for purchase, weighing perceived value and benefits of selection against his own value set, options, and alterna- tives such as delay, buy used, no purchase, upgrade, and optional add-ons.

6. Customer and company contract to provide service and/or product, agree on price, payment, delivery, warranty, etc.


7. Customer and company agree on product and service fulfillment terms

—take now, send to location, immediate delivery, multi-point delivery, multi-user subscription, and conditional incremental delivery.

8. Customer receives product or initiates service.

9. Customer accepts product as delivered, unwraps and assembles, and initiates service.

10. Customer pays, including the entire payment and financing process: down payments, partial payments, incremental and subscription- based payments, and all exchanges of funds and fund equivalents.


11. Ongoing and one-time customer use, including passive use of a prod- uct or service that a customer may not knowingly consume, such as life insurance, product and service warranties, and product posses- sion, and storage.

12. From box opening and assembly instructions through operation and maintenance guidelines, “How to contact us” messages, and all con- tacts related to assistance in using and maintaining products and services.

13. Contact resulting from malfunctioning or perceived malfunctioning of product or service, from unexpected or unplanned use, or from another situation involving the product.

14. Contacts related to the product and service’s end life, requiring physi- cal disposal, service secession acknowledgment, expiration notice and related activities, re-selling and recycling, and replenishment, including selling and re-selling the product. Also includes product and service purchase and use artifacts, such as bills, receipts, usage summary logs, archived information, product, and service liability contacts.

15. Interactions related to customer word-of-mouth, social networking, review and recommendation platforms, community market sites such as Craigslist, Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, Froogle, eBay, etc., membership clubs and groups, trade and after-market organizations, collectors’ clubs, regulatory bodies, trade publications, websites, web forums, blogs, social networking, and product reviews.

The CxC Matrix stages address the process design issues that you must deal with in assembling a cohesive, high-quality, end-to-end customer expe- rience. It also recognizes that each stage may be handled by different depart- ments or even different companies.

CxC Matrix channel categories

This level CxC Matrix classifies channels into six categories, grouping them from the customer’s perspective and representing the customer’s expecta- tions for service, intimacy, and urgency, including Geography, Digital, Loca- tion, Third Party, One-on-One, and Community, shown in Figure 4.2.

Figure 4.2 CxC Matrix
























Third party



















Plotting “The Mower Story” for the single customer told from the com- pany’s perspective depicts the total contacts made across all channels and the resulting revenue achieved at Stage 6: Contract. Each cell in the sum- marized Matrix above represents a contact or set of contacts grouped by the type of channel.

Contacts are recorded in CRM systems, web log files, marketing systems, financial transaction systems, call center and telemarketing systems, contact management, sales management, advertising tracking systems, customer registration systems, loyalty club, membership and affiliate systems and any number of internal and third party formal and informal, paper and electronic data capture systems.

The importance of visualization

Before you can affect customer performance, your company must collectively understand its customers’ experiences. The Matrix provides a mental model of customer situations for the purposes of making rapid and appropriate decisions at each contact, as shown in Figure 4.3.

Figure 4.3 CxC Matrix: Customer Mapping

The picture is important: More than half the brain is devoted to processing visuals. As much as 80 percent of our learning is visually oriented.

Customer Mapping—follow the customer

The customer flow diagram (Figure 4.3) is an excellent tool for examin- ing cause-and-effect relationships across various customer experience scenarios. These diagrams reveal patterns and changes in patterns that may expose competitive threats, market changes, or product and service issues, among other things. The diagram can also be used to strategize and design responses to various strategic scenarios: ending a product line; alternative distribution channel; launching a new channel; charging for previously free services; partnership and outsourcing options.

These visualizations, or customer experience maps, help all departments and experts gain better customer understanding. They often uncover why certain customer policies, communication programs, pricing programs, and delivery programs do not work or are poorly received by customers. Take a simple logistics problem such as when a customer submits a large multi- product order and requires pieces to be delivered to multiple locations. The Matrix can be used to map the best customer outcome at each location and in each contact based on corporate objectives and individual endpoint potential. This scenario seems simple to the parties intimately involved in the customer’s operations on a day-to-day basis, but it may be conceptually incomprehensible to a new person in the finance department or in shipping who has to contact “the customer” about a delay in shipping on one item. Who do you call?

To simplify, individual channels can be grouped into the following types:


• TV

• Community events

• Radio

• Billboards

• Outdoor

• Signage

• Magazines


• Banner ads

• Website

• Company email

• Blast email

• Webinars

• On-line demonstrations

• Hosted & sponsored online content, video, etc.

• Campaign management email

• Support email

• Click for chat


• Store

• In-store promotions

• Demonstrations

Third Party

• Package inserts

• Private-label partners

• Affiliate offers

• Advertorials

• Resellers

• Paid analysts

• Paid reviewers

• Aggregators

• Brokers

• Distributors

• Non-captive sales agents

• Paid subject matter experts


• Inbound telemarketing

• Online customer support

• Text Messaging, SMS

• Email

• Hosted, sponsored contests

• Email billing statements

• Shipments

• Catalog

• Customer service

• Statement inserts

• Service click for chat

• Direct mail

• Outbound telemarketing in person sales call


• Independent membership organizations

• Clubs

• Social networks

• Subject matter experts

• Reviewers

• Independent trade organizations

• Blogosphere

• Trade shows

• Public relations

• Press/trade magazines

Figure 4.4 CxC Matrix

Geography TV Events

Radio Outdoor Signage Magazines

Digital Banner ads Website

Company email

Campaign man- agement email

Support email

Sales click for chat

Location In-store promotions


Third party Package inserts

Private-label partners

Affiliate offers

One-on-one Inbound


Online customer support

Billing statements

Shipments Door-to-door Catalog

Customer service

Statement inserts

Service click for chat

Direct mail

Outbound telemartketing

Community Press/trade



You should list every channel and medium to create a comprehensive list of all customer contacts, not just the channels you currently use but all channels available to the consumer, your partners, and communities. Further detail can be added to deepen insights and choreograph the messages and treatments in each experience stage.

Marketing, communication, and customer-service managers find this level of detail useful for planning campaigns, alerting departments about the impact of upcoming programs, and preparing downstream channels for increases or decreases in customer flow.

A chart like Figure 4.4 can also be used to show the cost and benefit of each contact and each cell’s success rate in moving customers to the contract stage.

Think Like a Customer!

Customer Flow Through the CxC Matrix

Visualizing the “mower” customer’s life stages and customer-experience his- tory helps every person involved in brainstorming, designing, executing, and measuring the “buy a mower” program. Stakeholders can quickly assess their role in the program, as well as the customer’s progress and the program’s and your company’s objectives.

Broadening our view of the customer’s experience to not just the pur- chase but his use of the product, repairs, and eventual disposal, we expose more marketing opportunities and the ability to realize greater revenue from this customer over the customer’s entire lifetime.

The customer’s perspective includes two lawn mowers—the one he pur- chased three years ago and the new mower that the customer “wanted” now through marketing persuasion. The contacts look like this:

Figure 4.5

Key takeaway: The customer process is the same, but the difference over time is the customer’s perspective, the company’s message, execution capabilities, and offers.

In this hypothetical example, you can replace “mower” with a computer, car, consulting service, cell phone, or any other product or service. The cus- tomer process is standardized here for analysis and planning purposes.

Customers dictate the pace at which they move through their buying stages. Customers also dictate the agreement terms and conditions required to continue to conduct business. The cycle stops and the customer does not continue to the subsequent stage, or completely ceases all contacts when he decides your company’s proposition or his experience with your company is no longer customer worthy.

You can attempt to accelerate “need” by growing the perceived value of buying, switching, upgrading, and converting, but the ultimate suc- cess comes down to successfully aligning corporate objectives (sell more product X at Y margin over the next 30 days) to the customer’s need (cus- tomer needs product X). This is easily tested by asking the simple question, “Is our proposition customer worthy?” Ultimately, the customer decides.

Visualization clears up what may appear to be data anomalies or errors when business and marketing analysts examine program performance, financial implications, and operational design. Using the hypothetical sce- nario as an example, it is simple and logical to treat the “Mower 2” contacts and customer life cycle as sequential events as presented in the simple Matrix view. Here is a visual depiction of this mistake:

Figure 4.6

In reality, the customer life stages often overlap (and occur in varying sequences) when buying a new product or service. For a period of time, the customer has two similar products, two service providers, or two instances of a software solution that they are maintaining.

The customer’s actual sequence looked more like this:

Figure 4.7

Lawn Mower 1 and Mower 2 coexisted for a while, and the time overlap may have caused issues for the company, including incompatible function- ality, confusion in support areas, registration, support, and warranty and exchange mistakes. The Matrix can also depict the downstream impact of the customer’s decision to keep the old mower and return the new mower. This degree of transparency about the customer’s actions can shed light on operational issues and opportunities, customer service challenges, campaign results, sales efforts, and fraud.

Advanced CxC Matrix concepts

A customer’s experiences with your company are often more complex than the simple, one-dimensional presentation we use in this book can express. The visual representations used throughout this book are used to simply convey the CxC Matrix's underlying concepts and mathematical formulas used to measure, manage and predict the outcome of multi-party, multi- channel, dynamic customer relationships. In practice, customers may have multiple experiences with a brand and with your company, whether buying multiple products over time or multiple products and services purchased to meet a single need.

The simple sequence depicted here does not always appear to happen in order, stages may be repeated, stalled and restarted, and stages may occur outside a company’s direct view.

As a result, customers may have multiple simultaneous experiences, which may or may not impact each other. A contact with a member of a

customer’s family or an employee of a large customer may be mishandled and threaten apparently unrelated customer potential value. The Matrix enables managers to isolate illogical flows, events and consequences for further investigation and repair. Linking together all of a customer’s expe- riences can show how a bad experience or a poor contact can negatively impact other seemingly unrelated experiences, like order cancellations or a customer’s request to receive a single shipment of multiple items.

Figure 4.8 provides a conceptual view of the interrelationship of multiple customer experiences at a corporate level down to a business, product, and marketing level. This type of analysis shows how you can extend product lines or your brand by understanding how customers value and recognize the brand when making purchasing decisions.

Figure 4.8 Corporate Customer Experience Roll-up

Company/Brand Level

Line of Business Level

Product/Service Level


Figure 4.8 is just one of several drill-down or hierarchical CxC Matrix views meant to depict how customers can:

• Have relationships and contacts with multiple areas in a company,

• Be involved in multiple programs,

• Be at various stages with different parts of a company or group of companies responsible for delivering a product or service.

The visual Matrix helps managers better understand the interrelation- ships and dependencies where performance and operations are linked to cus- tomers. This view of customer linkage also helps you better assess resource allocation and better leverage overlapping processes and resources. This process view unveils opportunities for resource consolidation, new delivery and support models, and new product and service innovations. Likewise, the customer-level view reduces double counting customer opportunities across divisions and product areas.

Figure 4.9 Multi-Customer Contact Roll Up


CIO vendor awareness through presentation triggers new company opportunity for un- related service interest from same company spawns new experience CIO.2. New sale?

The CxC Matrix (Figure 4.9) depicts the common occurrence of multiple decision-makers from Acme, Inc. (customer) participating in one purchase consideration, where each contact, CEO, CFO and CIO has his or her own contact streams. In this case, the CEO is considering multiple services from this company represented as CEO.1, CEO.2, CEO.3.

It is very important that you identify all of the decisions-makers, their roles and collective contacts across the consumer lifecycle and ongoing throughout the customer’s relationship.

In a business-to-consumer example, this concept may represent a hus- band, wife, and child looking to replace a family car or choose a college. The visual also shows how an experience can spawn and link another experi- ence. For example, at the contract stage, the CIO was also introduced to a new hardware protection program that spawned an entirely new customer experience (CIO.2).

It is important to note that the individual experiences can be examined discreetly and at a rolled-up level in the Master CxC Matrix at the top.