Data Driven CX and Service Design: 1 + 1 = 3

by Maartje Luinenburg

Data Driven CX and Service Design: 1 + 1 = 3

by Maartje Luinenburg

by Maartje Luinenburg

On 10 September 2019, Underlined and Essense organised the round table Data Driven Customer Experience and Service Design. We unfortunately had to disappoint several parties because within no time the session was full. Clearly we had hit a chord within the CX work field!

The shared vision of Underlined and Essense on data driven CX and service design is to combine the two methodologies. This enables a company to manage the customer experience in a really good way:

  1. Based on the data, you see what and where the bottlenecks or delighters are and what value they represent (in actual growth and/or churn behaviour).
  2. Insights from service design give direction to why the customer experiences this and what solution direction or innovation can be devised.

The companies that participated and were willing to share their joys and sorrows about CX were: ABN AMRO Bank, ABN AMRO Insurances, ASR,, Efteling, Nationale Nederlanden, Schiphol, TUI, Vattenfall, VGZ and Volksbank.

At first glance companies with different challenges, interests and backgrounds yet with one clear common goal: How do we really put the customer first and get more returns from our CX initiatives?

Although the main approach was ‘how do you connect data driven CX & service design?’, the discussion was also about issues that play an important role in this, such as:

  • How do you motivate the organisation?
  • How do you get CX on the board‘s agenda?
  • How do you steer and prioritise?
  • How do you keep the energy flowing in your own team?

Change agents

Each participant openly shared what they were rightly proud of, where improvements were necessary and what the learnings were from the different journeys. For the attendees a feast of recognition and at the same time very meaningful to hear how others deal with the challenges each company meets.

The feeling quickly emerged that we were more involved with a CX user group in the broadest sense than a round table discussion on one particular subject. We also realised that the CX disciplines in organisations are actually the change agents that have to take companies to a different vision/level. These change agents ensure that every silo is connected and everyone is charged/rewarded on CX. They also have to be able to demonstrate how CX exactly contributes to the operating result!

When discussing how to successfully implement CX, we are talking about a complete strategy and transformation program!

Photos: Kim Vos Photography

Communicating vessels

The biggest learnings of this session are:

  1. The importance of sharing experiences in a safe environment with peers.
  2. That even though some companies are further advanced on certain points, no one is completely ‘in control‘ on all fronts.
  3. The perfect CX performance consists of a connection between the heart and the head where one company had its head in order and the other its heart.
  4. The awareness that everything is related as communicating vessels: as a CX professional you must be allround and willing to take responsibility for all ‘vessels’ to be able to ensure CX success.


We received very enthusiastic reactions, the round table gave everyone a taste for more! The following session will take place on 11 february 2020 and the subject is: data driven CX and the emotional customer journey.

We are very curious to find out what stage the different companies are at and what progress has been made. We look forward to it!

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