Curveballs can come up fast. If your organization needs to make a change that affects your customers, do you have the right internal processes documented to put new operations in place with minimal customer disruption? If the answer is no, the customer impact template is for you. It can help your team implement a lightweight and easy-to-maintain system for smoothly executing your new agenda – from figuring out your timeline to managing requests to assessing the risks – without derailing your customers.
How to use the customer impact assessment template
Step 1. Change initiation
First and foremost, your teams need to be able to tell your change management team that there is an upcoming change that will involve your customers so you can plan accordingly. The team or the department making this change will need to submit a change request. Maybe you’ll use a Google form, SmartSheet, dedicated email address, or a Slack channel, etc. to streamline the intake of requests. Use the table to tell your teams when they need to submit change requests, what they’ll need to provide, and what to expect after submission.
Step 2. Impact assessment criteria
This table is for the assessment team to show how they rank requests in consideration of risk and customer impact. You can show, like the Zendesk example, how each tier of customer-facing impact will affect customer experience, PR, and the financials of your company or customize the template in any way you like. The larger the impact, the longer the lead time, with more weight being given to changes with higher influence. Similar past changes should be weighed as well.
Step 3. Roles and responsibilities
Here you’ll detail the key players for each tier, who will review the submissions and ultimately approve them. There’s also space for listing who will manage the communication to customers at each level. To help your stakeholders understand what they can expect, give examples for each tier.
Step 4. Customer comms
Considering the information in the tables above, choose which communication plan you should be using for the next 3-12 months. The table provides the cadence for each scenario to help you plan ahead and avoid any last-minute scrambles.
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