In a world that is increasingly adapting to better meet customer needs and expectations, many organizations still struggle to prioritize their customer’s experience (CX). It’s often due to not one, but several organizational challenges.

To start, stakeholders can be a tough group to corral. After all, each member of the organization will need or want unique things from customers. These differing levels of buy-in, coupled with a certain level of subjectivity behind customer behavior, is enough to make your head spin. But what really halts progress in this area is the abundance of opportunities companies have uncovered, and the lack of resources and time to execute them all.

Thankfully there’s a solution to getting out of this “we’re stuck” stage. It starts with a strong prioritization approach, something we bring to each one of our client initiatives.

Methodical Approaches

We understand that every client has unique challenges, needs and goals for their customer experience. Despite the difference across these areas, there are several key prioritization frameworks we use to bring the best recommendations forward to our own clients.

First, we begin by laying out and evaluating all the opportunities across the organization to understand from a bird’s eye view, what your team is looking to accomplish. It’s important to understand the level of effort required versus the value of return on the opportunities. It’s best to start with the top three foundational items, or low effort / great return opportunities before diving in elsewhere. This approach helps the full team and stakeholders understand the value that a methodical approach to prioritization offers, while simultaneously allowing everyone to feel involved throughout the process.

As your organization starts thinking about developing a prioritization strategy, there are some great tools and platforms that can help score your opportunities. Below, we evaluate two of several options.

The MoSCoW Method

This is a categorization approach that helps businesses lay out priorities. The term “MoSCoW” stands for “Must have” “Should have” “Could have” and “Won’t have.” Here’s how you can think about each of these categories:

  • Must have: These are features or opportunities that you absolutely cannot and should not launch without. Whether it be for legal reasons, safety concerns or other general business reasons, the items that fall within this category are of the utmost importance to focus on.
  • Should have: Items that fall within this category should be considered important, but at the same time, won’t set you up for disaster if you can’t focus on them just yet.
  • Could have: Here’s where things can get a little tricky. The line between “Should have” and “Could have” can seem pretty blurry. This is because your “Could have” items are things that, ideally you could include but due to resourcing or time, just aren’t feasible. The important thing to remember is that these items won’t impact your success. If they will, then the item needs to be bumped up to the “Should have” category.
  • Won’t have: This term can be a little misleading. It doesn’t mean that the items left on your list that didn’t make the previous cut are destined for the garbage can. It just means they’ll be revisited in phase 2. Having this category helps everyone set realistic expectations about what should be considered for the next phase (or possibly what needs to fall to the wayside altogether).

RICE Scoring Method

Just as the name suggests, this is a scoring method aimed at helping you prioritize your list of opportunities based on scoring modules. The term “RICE” refers to the four categories that assess prioritization: Reach, Impact, Confidence and Effort. When broken down, the RICE method works like this:

  • Reach: You’ll start by thinking about your customer base. Ultimately, how many people will be impacted by this feature or opportunity? Setting a standard of customers impacted in a certain amount of time is an easy way to baseline your insights. Using data here is crucial when finalizing the number of customers you believe this feature, program or campaign will reach.
  • Impact: Now that you’ve identified how many of your customers the new initiative will reach, it’s time to decide the impact it will have on them. Impact can mean something different to everyone. Be sure you’re aligned with stakeholders on what your goals are. Positive reviews? Engagement? Form fills? Once you’ve established your goals, it can be helpful to use this scale to score your impact for each opportunity.
    • 3 = massive impact
    • 2 = high impact
    • 1 = medium impact
    • .5 = low impact
    • .25 = minimal impact
  • Confidence: How confident are you in the scores you just assigned in the last two categories? That’s how you’ll approach your score within this category. On a scale from 50-100 (50% being low confidence, 80% medium level confidence, and 100% being fully confident), you’ll identify the accuracy of your assumptions regarding your impact and reach estimates.
  • Effort: Once here, you’ll need to talk to your team. In order to gauge and score effort, you’ll have to understand the team and resources needed to complete the project. The more resources allotted to a project, the higher the reach, impact, and confidence scores will need to be to make it worth the level of effort.

Calculating the RICE score

Now you should have four numbers representing each of the 4 categories. To calculate your score, simply multiply Reach by Impact, and then by Confidence. Then divide by Effort.

Your final score represents ‘total impact per time worked.’ The higher the number, the higher the impact for the effort required.

The Takeaway

Remember that the idea of prioritization can be fluid based on learnings over time. Be okay with being flexible and shifting focus where absolutely needed.

In addition, be sure you’re bringing other parts of the organization into this discussion to get buy-in while ensuring they fully understand all needs across the company. This is crucial to taking the correct, most profitable approach. Obtaining full organizational alignment of goals will ultimately drive your business forward. However, be aware of the initial “set it and forget it” mindset. A strong CX strategy should be considered a living and breathing approach that’s constantly evolving – pulling from insights and learnings to be as adaptable as your own customers. This is the only sure-fire way to ensure you continue to see a return on your investment into your customer experience.

And we don’t just say this, we live it. As a trusted thought leader and aggregator of this approach, we’re consistent in our research; hunting for new, innovative ways to ensure we’re bringing our clients the most up-to-date and viable recommendations.