The London Tube Map and CX Strategy – a story

In this article I share the story of how a CX strategy session went off track, even among CX experts, and an approach that works better.

Imagine you’re sitting in a CX strategy session.

“This photo of the London Tube Map is so cool.” 

“It sure is, I think it would be a great guide to our work.”

“I think so too.  We can design our strategy in a way that fits into the map.”

I had been invited to sit in with a group of CX experts to design a learning curriculum for CX practitioners.

And after the introductions, that’s almost word for word how the conversation amongst the experts had kicked off.

There had been an earlier meeting that I’d missed and it was during that earlier meeting that the group had landed on the map of the London Tube system.

And had chosen it as their North Star to design a CX learning curriculum


But this was the wrong starting point for CX strategy

By falling in love with a clever image – and I’m sure we’re all guilty of this at some point in our career – the entire project had been derailed.

Because rather than an open, structured and embracing approach to strategy, the discussions became tethered to whether they fit into the London Tube map – or not.

And those discussions were going to miss out on the questions that mattered more.


I teach a lot of CX and Customer Service strategy and here’s a better approach

I teach a lot of strategy in our various CX and Customer Service workshops and here’s some content that my Participants have told me helped.

This is wisdom from USAA, recognized as one of the world’s most Customer-focused organizations.

And it’s a company I have personal experience with as I’m the child of a military family and a USAA Member since the age of 16.

Greg Marion, the VP of Enterprise Strategy at USAA, shared that there are 4 parts to a business strategy:

His 4 elements are remarkably clear:

  1. What is our Vision?
  2. Who do we serve? (The Who)
  3. How will we serve them? (The How)
  4. How will we track our progress along the way?  (The Metrics)

Of course there are lots of things going on within each element, but my intention here isn’t to dive down into a strategy workshop.

It’s to introduce a framework that ‘starts at the top’. Which is what I think the group of CX experts I was sitting with had not yet done.

So using the 4-element model I introduced a question  – what’s the vision for the learning and development curriculum you’re putting together for the industry?  If all your dreams come true what will that look like?

And before we get into the nitty gritties of courses and outlines, who do we serve?  Who are we writing this curriculum for?

Ok – now we know what our vision is and we know who we’re serving.  How will we serve them?  What’s our product?  What will the delivery or distribution mechanism be?  Are we serving folks the way they want to be served?

And finally, how will we know we’re successful?  Or that we’re on the right track and can adjust/readjust as needed?  That’s where metrics come in.

I’m a big fan of determining the metrics up front before we start the initiative.  Because then there’s real world alignment to our work.  As well as accountability for our work.


This approach can help 

Not only is this approach more structured.  It’s more ‘outside-in’.

Because we’re looking out to who we’re serving, how we plan to serve them and metrics of success that keep us accountable and on track.

Or put another way, we discussed the problem we solve and how we’re going to solve it for real people in the real world.

Imagine how much differently the conversation would have gone if the group of CX experts had used a strategic framework to guide the development of the learning and development curriculum.

As compared to designing around a pretty picture.


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Daniel Ord

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Daniel Ord teaching in Sri Lanka

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