CRAM - 4 steps to improve your customer experience!

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

How often do you receive a report that doesn't make sense, or has no relevance to you? We feel you...

After observing trends in a number of organisations, this article details a unique framework, which will will give you FOUR practical steps to drive synergies in your organisation, ultimately leading to an improved customer experience.

  1. CAPTURE - discover the relevant data & metrics that influence business decisions.

  2. REPORT - on the relevant metrics, providing insights and recommended actions

  3. ACTION - the recommendations from the report, utilising working groups

  4. MEASURE - the decisions that are made, driving a culture of continuous improvement

STEP ONE: CAPTURE the relevant information about your business

The first step to improve your customer experience is the most critical, but also the most forgotten. In today's world, we are blessed with the amount of available data. BUT this blessing can also be a curse..

Think about it. How often do you receive a daily, weekly or monthly report that you don't read?

To avoid information overload (and to ensure that your business are focusing on the right metrics), it is critical to sit down with the key decision-makers in your business to determine WHAT information they are interested about. We recommend doing this in a number of sessions, known as "data discovery" or "reporting discovery" sessions;

  • Define the critical factors of success for your business - E.g. Revenue, Profit, # of Customers, Cost of Doing Business (CODB), Customer Experience Metrics

  • Identify where you can locate data relating to the above-mentioned measures of success

  • Document & Playback your discussion to all business decision-makers, ensuring that nothing has been missed.

BMC TIP: In order to get the right decision-makers in the room for these sessions, tell them how valuable their opinion is to the business. Show them why you're reliant on their expertise to make this project successful. You will likely have to have a number of different sessions due to availability of certain individuals however it is very important that all decision-makers feel as though they've had their say. Stress the importance of having the "expert" in the meeting; avoid delegation where you can.





STEP TWO: Build a REPORT which incorporates all metrics that influence business decisions

You've now had all relevant discussions and have documented business requirements. It's now time to translate those requirements into a report that people are actually interested in reading.

There are 5 principles that you should follow when having somebody build this report. We strongly recommend engaging a number of technical & visual designers to ensure that the below principles are adhered to;

  1. Involve decision-makers in the design process - Too often, reports are produced without having the end-user in mind. The best way to influence somebody is to make them feel important. Keep this in mind when you're producing a report that you expect decision-makers to read and drive change with.

  2. Make it aesthetically pleasing - Whilst the information in the report is important, it's no secret that people are more likely to read a report if it is visually appealing. Invest time to make the report look good.

  3. Automate where possible - You don't want the report to be too burdensome to produce. Invest time up-front to automate as many data flows as possible. This will save you time each time the report has to be produced.

  4. Integrate metrics to provide a holistic picture - DON'T split the report according to business units i.e. finance, operations, customer, marketing etc. Instead, build the report to align with the customer journey. Try to integrate metrics from different business units onto one page, ensuring a holistic view of the customer.

  5. Provide actionable commentary - This is the most important principle and is the reason why this report is different from other reports. The data is USELESS without commentary which provides recommendations for change. See part 3 below for further information.

The above process is going to be ITERATIVE and that is OK. Don't expect to get the report perfect on the first try - it won't happen. Be open to feedback and don't take it personally - it shows that people care about the report, which is exactly what you want.

BMC TIP: Alarm bells should be ringing if you aren't receiving questions about this report after you distribute it. Try to constantly have discussions with key decision-makers to ensure the report is still relevant / inclusive of the metrics that they need to make business decisions.





STEP THREE: Establish working groups to take ACTION

By now, you should have a report which includes data, insights and recommended actions which measure critical success factors within your business. The hard work has been done, right? Nearly...

"The path to success is to take massive, determined actions" - Tony Robbins

You have all of the information at your disposal, but this information is USELESS unless your organisation takes action with the insights & suggested actions that have been recommended.

We recommend creating TWO types of working groups - a framework created by Bain & Company;

  1. INNER LOOP working group - observes customer behaviours at a micro level - looks at individual instances of customer feedback and discusses how individual incidents can be managed better.

  2. OUTER LOOP working group - analyses incidents at a macro level - identifies root cause, process & systemic pain points.

BMC TIP: As per the above image, it is integral that both working groups include front-line staff. They are essential resources who can contextualise customer issues, at a micro and macro level.


STEP FOUR: MEASURE the actions taken to understand what is working, and what is not

We're always looking for that big breakthrough - the "ah ha" moment. Unfortunately, this isn't how most organisations become the best in their industry.

Often, organisations incrementally improve, week after week, month after month. These incremental improvements begin to compound over time, allowing them to hold a competitive advantage against other organisations.

Whilst it isn't pretty, the most successful organisations establish a culture of continuous improvement where systems, processes and feedback is constantly being reviewed to ensure it meets (and exceeds) the evolving needs of the people generating revenue for your business - the customer.

The final part of the CRAM framework is critical to establishing the culture of continuous improvement. It will allow agility in decision-making, but will also allow certain actions to be reversed if they do not work.

If this framework works effectively, staff within your organisation will be empowered to make informed decisions quickly. This is exactly what you want AS LONG AS the decisions that are made are measured!

For each decision that is made, a subsequent data-point or metric should be identified to measure this decision.


Inevitably, not every decision will be correct. But instead of implementing a whole heap of governance around the decision that is made (which will slow down the speed at which an organisation operates at), we recommend focusing the governance on how you measure each decision.

If you focus on measuring each decision, it will not slow down decision-making BUT it will allow your business to understand when decisions go wrong. Equally, it will allow you to celebrate when a business decision has a positive impact - on the customer, on the bottom line , or on another metric that your business deems to be important.

To summarise this step, implement red tape on your business' measurement approach, not your business' ability to make decisions.



If applied correctly, the above CRAM framework will allow your organisation to incrementally improve the customer experience. Too often, we see a big disconnect between what the data team thinks the business needs, what the business thinks the customer needs and what the customer actually needs.

The CRAM framework, if followed correctly, will allow synergies and alignment within your business, ensuring everyone is working towards a common goal, or set of metrics.

If you would like to discuss this framework in more detail, please get in touch below!

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