Three Steps for Building a Global CEM program

By: Clarabridge Team

January 6, 2016

CEM Programs
CEM Solutions
Customer Engagement
customer experience
customer experience management
Customer Feedback

Setting up a global Customer Experience Management (CEM) team requires strong, centralized leadership that drives a clear and consistent global strategy. This makes sure that all your local offices are working against the same framework. But, you also can’t be too rigid in your guidelines. Local needs and cultures will vary with each office.

When starting to plan and drive your own global CEM program, here are three things to consider:

1) Empower local offices to buy-in

There are two main strategies many global CEM leaders employ in order to bring their CEM program to local offices. In both scenarios the global team designs a central CEM strategy that outlines best practices and recommended technology partners. The first option allows the local teams to review the strategy and decide whether or not they want to work with the global team’s preferred technology partners; in the second scenario the central CEM strategy is rolled out to all local offices, and each office must adhere to it.

Regardless of which CEM strategy you pick, you will likely find that in both cases, you will still need to prove the value of CEM so that your local teams buy into the program. Otherwise, you run the risk of the local teams forgetting about the initiative and only half-heartedly working towards your CEM goals.

Gustaf Isaksson, Senior Director of Client Loyalty at ADP, oversees a global CEM program across 17 countries, analyzing feedback data in 13 different languages. Gustaf shares, “When we introduce customer experience initiatives to a new geography, we have to make sure to communicate the value of customer data effectively. Change management is critical. We also focus efforts on creating small changes that improve the business for the better, rather than focusing on creating perfection. This way, it’s easier to prove the value of the programme.”

There are a few ways to get local buy-in. One way is to make customer feedback and dashboards easily available for all employees, especially those that include direct customer verbatim. This way, local offices can see how their work impacts their customers. Don’t forget to share employee successes as well, especially if a customer specifically highlights someone from your team in the feedback they provide.

Get everyone involved. Don’t make this seem like a dreaded mandated program brought down by the central team. Involve your employees, and have them share ideas on how to improve the customer experience and service they deliver. Set up employee portals, where team-members can easily and quickly provide customer observations or CEM ideas.

Finally, start by working with a couple global teams. As they start seeing their efforts pay off, use their successes to gain even more buy-in with additional global offices.

2) Provide a tool kit

The job of the global CEM office is to be a resource and thought-leader for the local teams. To this end, the tool-kit you provide to local offices should include things such as:

  • Best practices and steps for setting up a CEM program
  • Pain points along the customer journey that local offices need to alleviate
  • Common pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • Scorecards and dashboards that the local offices can leverage
  • Contact info for local CX professionals
  • Certifications, training or educational materials
  • A defined technology landscape, outlining the recommended or chosen technology partners
  • Successes the teams have achieved
  • Advice on how to manage feedback from multiple channels, and in multiple languages
  • Clear metrics to define “success” for the team

3) Keep the enthusiasm alive

When different offices are working towards a common goal – improving the customer experience – it can be hard to keep momentum alive. To help make CEM a fun and inspiring initiative, be sure that you get your local offices talking and sharing.

Try holding monthly or quarterly forums, where teams share what’s worked for them or what they would like help on. Also, be sure to celebrate team success or employee recognition in customer feedback. Another approach would be to host “lunch & learns,” where members of the global office visit local offices


A clear, concise strategy will help focus the efforts of your local offices. It is important to keep track of success so that you can get buy-in, allow for open and transparent communication so that you can build a culture of learning and sharing, and provide a tool-kit with clearly defined metrics to guide efforts across the globe.

An important step in creating a global strategy is to plan for how you will analyze customer feedback data that is provided in more than one language. To learn more about how to handle the complexity that multi-lingual data brings to your global CEM program, read our whitepaper: Multi-Lingual Text Analytics and Sentiment Analysis: How it works and why you need it.


Serina Aswani is Manager of Content Marketing and EMEA Marketing at Clarabridge. As part of her responsibilities, Serina serves as the voice of Clarabridge’s customers, highlighting customer stories and sharing proven best practices for implementing successful Customer Experience Management programs. Serina also oversees content marketing strategy and PR for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region. She is responsible for establishing Clarabridge’s position as an industry thought leader across EMEA. Serina holds a M.S. in Commerce, specializing in Marketing and Management, as well as a B.A in French and Studio Arts, from the University of Virginia. Read more from Serina on Twitter at @SerinaAswani