From a customer impact perspective, it may seem to make sense that you would start prioritizing your CX improvement efforts based on a list of customer or user painpoints — in a similar fashion to how an emergency department triages incoming patients. However, the problem with this approach is that it only factors in one dimension of the prioritization puzzle: the customer impact.

Problems arise when CX teams need to move from a list of customer painpoints to actual improvement projects. For example, while a company’s IVR system might be a major pain point for customers, making it a high-priority project might not make sense given the cost, the stakeholders involved, or the long-term goals of the business. The CX prioritization program of a major US automobile manufacturer lost all momentum, for example, after it consolidated a laundry list of customers pain points from multiple business units and then struggled to define what projects they could do to best address the underlying issues.

On the surface, the idea of starting with a list of solutions and working backward to figure out how they will be completed seems to fly in the face of design thinking, which starts with an untested hypothesis and no clear solution in mind. However, with prioritization, CX initiatives require a placeholder solution to assess the expected customer impact, business impact, and feasibility of a proposed project. In cases where a pain point may have several possible solutions, each proposed project idea can be entered into a prioritization tool to assess the relative customer and business benefits of the proposed solution in respect to others. In addition to customer impact, other dimensions worth considering are cost reduction, new revenue generation, corporate strategy, and brand alignment, as well as risk and compliance factors. The dimensions of CX prioritization are outlined in the CX transformation playbook.