Top 10 Customer-centric Design (CCD) Frameworks Used by Consultants

Mark Bridges
18 min readApr 8, 2024

Business frameworks and methodologies are structured tools to approach complex, but common business challenges. They allow us to cut through noise, zero in on the key issues, and facilitate the development of insightful recommendations.

The importance and usefulness of business frameworks in the consulting world — especially among the global strategy firms — cannot be overstated. For consulting firms, these frameworks are part of the bread and butter that enable them to consistently deliver value to client organizations across industries and geographies.

Frameworks are helpful for several reasons:

  • They provide structured and detailed process for addressing the business challenge at hand.
  • They help ensure that the analysis is comprehensive and that critical aspects of a problem are thoroughly examined.
  • They accelerate the problem-solving process, as they allow consultants to apply proven methods and best practices, rather than reinventing the wheel each time or wasting time and effort pursuing dead ends.

Consulting firms with extensive resources pioneer their own consulting frameworks through a combination of research, years of accumulated project experience, as well as subject matter expertise gathered from working across different sectors and functional areas. This development process is iterative and ongoing, with frameworks being continuously refined and updated to reflect new business realities and emerging best practices. Each global consulting firm maintains an internal knowledge management library of consulting framework presentations.

At FlevyPro, our team of former McKinsey and Big 4 consultants with several decades of combined experience have developed the largest publicly available knowledge base of consulting framework presentations, known as the FlevyPro Library. Each FlevyPro consulting framework presentation follows the standard “headline-body-bumper” design structure that is utilized by all the global strategy consulting firms.

FlevyPro is currently used by 100s of consultants and business executives. Based on sales and downloads of the FlevyPro frameworks, here is what we found to be the top 10 Customer-centric Design (CCD) frameworks used by management consultants.

1. Customer Journey Map

Customer Journey Mapping stands as a pivotal tool in today’s dynamic market, essential for organizations aiming to deeply connect with their customers and deliver experiences that surpass expectations.

Given the intricate web of touchpoints, channels, and interactions customers navigate, capturing the entirety of the customer engagement with a brand poses a significant challenge. Customer Journey Mapping offers a strategic solution by presenting a detailed visualization of the entire customer journey, from initial awareness through to post-purchase interactions.

This methodological approach to understanding and designing the customer experience is built around several critical elements:

  • Persona: Developing fictional representations of target customer groups to tailor the journey map to specific needs and preferences.
  • Stage: Breaking down the customer journey into distinct stages (e.g., awareness, consideration, purchase, and loyalty) to identify key moments that matter.
  • Action, Emotion, and Touchpoint: Mapping out customers’ actions at each stage, their emotional responses, and the touchpoints where interactions occur, providing insights into the customer experience.
  • Supporting Content and Features: Identifying the content and features that support the customer’s journey and meet their needs at each stage.
  • Insights and Opportunities: Analyzing the journey map to uncover insights and identify opportunities to enhance the customer experience.

By integrating these elements into a cohesive Customer Journey Map, organizations can align their processes, resources, and strategies to significantly improve the overall customer experience, thereby driving customer satisfaction, loyalty, and business growth.

This presentation delves into each element in detail and introduces a structured 4-phase Customer Decision Journey, offering a comprehensive framework for understanding and optimizing the customer journey. Furthermore, it outlines a pragmatic 3-phase approach to Customer Journey Map implementation, including 10 key considerations to ensure effective execution and provides examples of Customer Journey Maps, illustrating their practical application and impact.

Customer Journey Mapping serves as a critical tool for businesses seeking to navigate the complexities of customer interactions and engagements. It enables organizations to visualize the complete customer experience, identify pain points and opportunities, and ultimately, design interactions that build stronger relationships with their customers, fostering a customer-centric culture that is crucial for long-term success and differentiation in the marketplace.

View the full presentation here:

2. Value Creation: Impact of Customer Experience

In today’s technology-driven market, continuously evolving Customer Experience (CX) Strategies is essential for leaders aiming to unlock new revenue streams and maintain competitiveness. Developing robust Data Analytics capabilities becomes crucial, as these insights into customer preferences are pivotal for delivering tailored offerings. However, Digital Transformation efforts often fail to maximize their value potential when leadership focuses solely on enhancing specific touchpoints rather than addressing the entire Customer Journey, which spans multiple departments and channels.

Transforming CX into a sustainable, customer-centric model requires a comprehensive overhaul of business operations and employee behaviors, moving beyond mere front-end customer interactions to revamp underlying support processes. This presentation introduces a 5-phase approach designed to help organizations enhance their CX and unlock maximum value:

  1. Understand What Customers Value: The first step involves gaining a deep understanding of customer needs, preferences, and the factors that drive their satisfaction and loyalty.
  2. Simplify and Streamline Offering: By simplifying offerings and streamlining processes, organizations can remove complexities and make it easier for customers to find and engage with the products or services they need.
  3. Link Customer Value to Operational Drivers: This phase focuses on connecting customer value directly to operational processes, ensuring that the entire organization is aligned towards delivering exceptional CX.
  4. Focus on Most Important Customer Journeys: Identifying and prioritizing the customer journeys that have the most significant impact on overall satisfaction and loyalty is essential for targeted improvements.
  5. Adopt Continuous Improvement (CI) Thinking: Embedding a culture of continuous improvement within the organization ensures that CX initiatives remain dynamic and responsive to evolving customer needs and market conditions.

This structured approach offers several key benefits:

  • Enhanced Customer Insight: Understanding customer values enables organizations to tailor their offerings more effectively, increasing relevance and appeal.
  • Operational Efficiency: Simplifying offerings and aligning operational drivers with customer value streamline operations and reduce costs while improving the customer experience.
  • Strategic Focus: Concentrating on critical customer journeys allows organizations to allocate resources more effectively, targeting areas with the greatest potential for impact.
  • Agility and Responsiveness: Continuous improvement fosters an organizational culture that is agile, adaptable, and always looking for ways to better serve customer needs.

By adopting this 5-phase approach, organizations can transform their CX, creating a sustainable competitive advantage that drives growth, customer satisfaction, and loyalty. This presentation not only outlines the steps needed to achieve this transformation but also underscores the importance of viewing CX as an integral part of the organization’s DNA, rather than a standalone initiative.

View the full presentation here:

3. Customer-centric Segmentation

In the quest to become truly customer-centric, more and more B2C companies are leveraging Market Segmentation as a cornerstone strategy. Segmentation allows for a deeper, more intimate understanding of customers, based on solid, actionable data.

Despite the wealth of data available, many organizations struggle to extract meaningful value from it, often due to a lack of integration with their Corporate Strategy and across business units and functional departments. For Market Segmentation to truly drive customer-centricity, it must be embedded within the organization’s strategic framework, offering clear and actionable insights across all facets of the business.

The 4-phase approach to Customer-centric Segmentation arms organizations with the tools needed to develop and execute effective segmentation strategies:

  1. Delineate Purpose: Establish a clear objective for the segmentation effort, ensuring it aligns with the overall corporate strategy and addresses specific business challenges or opportunities.
  2. Plan around Purpose: Develop a detailed plan based on the defined purpose, including methodologies for data collection, analysis, and the criteria for segmenting the customer base.
  3. Functionalize Segmentation: Translate the segmentation into functional strategies across all business units and departments, ensuring the insights drive decision-making processes, from product development to marketing and sales.
  4. Control Implementation: Monitor and manage the implementation of segmentation strategies, making adjustments as needed to ensure alignment with customer needs and organizational goals.

Organizations that adopt this structured approach to Customer-centric Segmentation stand to gain significant advantages:

  • Enhanced Customer Understanding: Deep insights into customer preferences, behaviors, and needs enable more targeted and effective customer engagement strategies.
  • Strategic Alignment: By embedding segmentation within the corporate strategy, organizations can ensure a unified approach to customer-centricity across all operations.
  • Increased Operational Efficiency: A functionalized segmentation strategy enables more efficient allocation of resources and streamlined operations, tailored to meet the needs of distinct customer segments.
  • Improved Customer Engagement: Tailored strategies based on segmentation insights lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction and engagement, fostering loyalty and long-term relationships.

Implementing a Customer-centric Segmentation approach allows organizations to transform customer-centricity from a mere buzzword into a strategic imperative, driving growth and competitive advantage. By systematically delineating purpose, planning around it, functionalizing segmentation, and controlling its implementation, companies can more effectively meet the evolving needs of their customers, ensuring a sustainable, customer-focused strategy that permeates every aspect of the business.

View the full presentation here:

4. Voice of the Customer (VOC)

Understanding customers — their desires and requirements — is paramount for delivering exceptional Customer Experiences (CX). As organizations increasingly recognize CX as a key driver of competitive advantage, the shift towards customer-centricity becomes imperative. Placing customers at the core of every decision-making process ensures that businesses are aligned with their needs and expectations, leading to enhanced Customer Satisfaction, which in turn fuels a range of strategic benefits such as Customer Retention, Loyalty, positive Word of Mouth, Competitive Advantage, and an increase in Customer Lifetime Value.

The Voice of the Customer (VOC) Strategy emerges as a critical component in achieving these objectives. By employing VOC techniques, organizations can:

  • Identify early signs of potential brand crises.
  • Assess new ideas, concepts, and solutions.
  • Customize offerings to better meet customer needs.
  • Improve customer retention rates.
  • Deliver solutions that effectively address customer demands.

This PowerPoint presentation delves into the essence of the VOC strategy, highlighting its role in the systematic collection, analysis, and integration of customer feedback into business operations. Implementing a VOC initiative helps businesses navigate the complexities of modern markets and ensures they remain attuned to their customers’ evolving needs.

To successfully deploy a VOC program, organizations must address three pivotal questions:

  1. What objectives does the VOC program aim to achieve? Setting clear goals for what the program seeks to accomplish is crucial for its success.
  2. What should be the focus of our VOC efforts? Determining the specific areas of customer experience and satisfaction to target is essential for directing resources effectively.
  3. Which survey technology should be employed? Selecting the appropriate tools and technologies for gathering and analyzing customer feedback is vital to obtaining actionable insights.

The presentation also outlines best practices in VOC, including the importance of active listening, leveraging diverse feedback channels, and applying advanced analytics to distill valuable insights from customer feedback. Furthermore, it provides a glimpse into the various tools available for data gathering and analysis, alongside a real-life example of a VOC program in action.

Included slide templates offer a valuable resource for integrating VOC insights into organizational strategies, enabling businesses to craft presentations that effectively communicate the importance and impact of VOC initiatives.

The adoption of a Voice of the Customer strategy provides organizations with the tools to deliver unparalleled customer experiences, drive exceptional customer satisfaction, and secure a formidable position in today’s competitive marketplace. By listening to and acting upon the voice of their customers, businesses can foster loyalty, attract new customers, and achieve sustainable growth.

View the full presentation here:

5. 10 Principles of Customer Strategy

Simply targeting a select group of customers and developing products specifically for them is no longer sufficient.

A robust and thoughtful Customer Strategy is critical, encompassing a deep understanding of customer needs, anticipating those needs, and devising innovative solutions even before the customers articulate them. This approach requires a comprehensive strategy that not only speaks the language of the customer but also integrates this understanding into every facet of the business model.

This presentation outlines 10 key principles that are foundational to crafting a Customer Strategy that focuses on creating unique, long-term value and exceptional experiences for customers:

  1. Innovate with Speed and Judgment: Embrace agility in innovation while making informed decisions to quickly meet evolving customer needs.
  2. Recognize Your Customers Well: Invest in understanding your customers deeply, beyond just demographics, to grasp their behaviors, desires, and underlying motivations.
  3. Link Customer Strategy to Organizational Identity: Ensure your customer strategy reflects and is integrated with your company’s core values and identity.
  4. Focus on Core Customers: Identify and prioritize your core customers to tailor your strategies for maximum impact and value creation.
  5. Treat Customers as Assets: View every customer interaction as an opportunity to invest in a long-term relationship, recognizing the lifetime value of customers.
  6. Draw on Your Relationships Network: Leverage the broader network of relationships that your customers have with your brand, including social proof and community.
  7. Build an Omnichannel Customer Experience: Ensure a seamless and consistent customer experience across all channels, both digital and physical.
  8. Develop a Delivery Strategy: Align your delivery mechanisms with customer expectations to ensure convenience, speed, and quality.
  9. Restructure According to Your Customer: Organize your business operations, teams, and processes around the needs and journey of your customers.
  10. Align Culture with the Customer Strategy: Foster a company culture that is customer-centric at its core, encouraging every employee to think from the customer’s perspective.

By centering your Customer Strategy around these principles, organizations can stay ahead of the competition and foster deep, enduring relationships with their customers. This approach not only drives customer satisfaction and loyalty but also fuels business growth by aligning product offerings, channels, operating models, and capabilities with the true needs and preferences of customers.

Adopting these principles into your Customer Strategy ensures that every decision and innovation is guided by a clear understanding of your customers, ultimately leading to enhanced customer value and a stronger market position. This strategic alignment between customer needs and business operations is crucial for delivering exceptional customer experiences and achieving long-term success in today’s dynamic business environment.

View the full presentation here:

6. Connected Customer Strategy

The strategies deployed by organizations to connect with their customers are transforming at an unprecedented pace. The advent of technology and personalized digital interactions has enabled leading companies to forge deeper, more meaningful relationships with their customers, positioning themselves at the forefront of innovation and customer satisfaction.

To excel in this dynamic environment, top-performing organizations are adopting “Connected Strategies,” a proactive approach to meeting customer needs in real-time or even predicting those needs before they arise. This involves significant investment in Data and Analytics to foster regular engagement with customers, monitor their activities, and tailor experiences and offerings to individual preferences.

This presentation delves into 4 distinct Connected Customer Strategies that are pivotal for crafting exceptional and delightful Customer Journeys:

  1. Fast Response: This strategy focuses on quickly addressing customer needs as they arise, ensuring swift and efficient service that enhances satisfaction and loyalty.
  2. Personalized Recommendations: By understanding individual customer preferences and behaviors, companies can offer personalized recommendations, enhancing the relevance and appeal of their offerings.
  3. Proactive Recommendations: Going a step further, this approach involves anticipating customer needs based on past interactions and data analysis, allowing companies to make proactive suggestions that delight and surprise customers.
  4. Automatic Execution: The most advanced strategy, automatic execution involves the use of technology to automatically fulfill customer needs without explicit requests, based on a deep understanding of customer preferences and behaviors.

In an era where startups are continually challenging traditional business models, it’s imperative for established firms to strengthen their bonds with customers proactively. Waiting passively for customers to initiate contact is no longer viable. Instead, embracing Connected Customer Strategies enables organizations to remain competitive, adapt to changing customer expectations, and cultivate long-term relationships that are both rewarding and sustainable.

By implementing these Connected Customer Strategies, organizations can not only meet the evolving demands of the digital age but also set new standards for customer engagement and satisfaction. This proactive and anticipative approach to customer interaction marks a significant shift in how companies view and value their customer relationships, driving a future where customer-centricity is not just a goal but a fundamental aspect of business strategy.

View the full presentation here:

7. Omni-channel Customer Journey Design

In the era of Digital Transformation, organizations, especially those born in the Digital Age, are undertaking comprehensive digitization of their critical Customer Journeys to enhance Customer Experiences and Engagement significantly. This shift towards becoming truly digital businesses involves a fundamental transformation across various dimensions — from products and processes to legacy systems, technology infrastructures, and organizational culture.

Achieving a complete overhaul of multiple Customer Journeys simultaneously demands substantial restructuring efforts, integration of existing systems with new digital capabilities, and a strategic reallocation of competencies. In this competitive landscape, maintaining customer engagement and staying ahead of the competition necessitate a holistic digitization of all vital Customer Journeys.

This presentation outlines a 5-phase Omni-channel Customer Journey Design approach, crucial for elevating Customer Experiences and driving superior Customer Engagement:

  1. Develop Enterprise Customer Experience Story: Crafting a compelling and unified customer experience story that resonates across the enterprise, setting a clear vision for the customer journey transformation.
  2. Prioritize Technology Transformation Projects: Identifying and prioritizing technology projects that are critical for enhancing the digital aspects of customer journeys, ensuring they align with the overarching customer experience strategy.
  3. Develop a Flexible Ecosystem of Technologies and Platforms: Building a dynamic and scalable technology ecosystem that supports seamless omni-channel experiences, enabling integration across different platforms and touchpoints.
  4. Adapt Principles of Strong, Agile, and Lean: Embracing agile and lean methodologies to ensure rapid development, testing, and iteration of digital solutions, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and responsiveness to customer needs.
  5. Be Adaptive in Performance Management: Implementing adaptive performance management systems that track the effectiveness of customer journey initiatives, allowing for real-time adjustments and optimizations based on performance data.

By adopting this 5-phase approach, organizations can systematically design omni-channel customer journeys that not only meet but exceed customer expectations, driving engagement and loyalty. This strategic framework emphasizes the importance of a cohesive narrative, prioritization of digital transformation efforts, development of a flexible technology infrastructure, adoption of agile principles, and adaptive performance monitoring.

Embracing the Omni-channel Customer Journey Design approach enables organizations to transition from traditional business models to becoming customer-centric digital enterprises, where every touchpoint is an opportunity to deliver value and deepen customer relationships. This shift is fundamental to achieving competitive differentiation and long-term success in today’s digitally driven market.

View the full presentation here:

8. Service Blueprint

Service Blueprints stand as a cornerstone in the domain of Service Design, offering organizations a potent tool for visualizing, analyzing, and enhancing Customer Experiences in a structured manner. They provide a comprehensive perspective of a service by illustrating not only the elements directly encountered by customers but also the internal processes, interactions, and touchpoints that constitute the service’s backbone.

By capturing key service touchpoints across various categories such as physical evidence, personnel actions, and procedural steps, Service Blueprints facilitate a deeper understanding of the service ecosystem.

Given the intangible nature of services, convincing stakeholders and leadership of the need for improvements can be challenging. Service Blueprints address this challenge by making the service’s components and their interconnections visible and understandable, thereby aiding in the communication of the value and necessity of proposed changes.

The development of a Service Blueprint typically follows 7 implementation steps:

  1. Differentiate activities, order, and relationships: Clarify the sequence of actions, their interdependencies, and how they contribute to the service delivery.
  2. Determine the line of visibility: Establish which parts of the service process are visible to the customer and which are not, highlighting opportunities for improvement in customer interaction.
  3. Identify criteria, variations, instructions, guidelines, services, and stock: Catalog the resources and rules governing the service process to ensure consistency and quality.
  4. Depict extra lines: Include additional layers of interaction or support processes that impact service delivery but may not be directly visible to customers.
  5. Provide timeframes and identify responsible individuals: Assign timelines and accountability for each step of the process, ensuring clarity in execution and responsibilities.
  6. Identify failure points and waiting periods: Pinpoint areas where the service process may break down or cause delays, offering insights into critical areas for intervention.
  7. Manage divergence and complexity: Evaluate the variance in service delivery and complexity, looking for ways to streamline and simplify the customer experience.

Delving into these steps reveals actionable insights, enabling organizations to dissect complex services into manageable components. This structured approach empowers teams to enhance operational efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, and collaborate more effectively. Furthermore, the Service Blueprint diagram can be applied at any stage of the Service Design process, providing flexibility in its use.

This presentation on Service Blueprint also sheds light on the historical evolution of Service Blueprints, discusses strategies for managing service design such as modifying divergence and complexity, and explores elements crucial to operational efficiency and effective service blueprinting. Included slide templates offer a practical resource for integrating these insights into business presentations, facilitating the application of Service Blueprint principles in organizational contexts.

By employing Service Blueprints, organizations can systematically address the intricacies of service delivery, fostering an environment where customer experiences are meticulously crafted and continuously improved, driving towards excellence in Service Design.

View the full presentation here:

9. RATER Model

Measuring and enhancing service quality stands as a cornerstone for boosting Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty, and achieving overall business success. Organizations, regardless of their industry, engage in service provision, necessitating a systematic approach to collecting customer feedback, analyzing performance, and refining service delivery.

The RATER Model offers a structured framework for assessing and improving the quality of service offerings, focusing on five critical dimensions that significantly impact customer perceptions and experiences.

The RATER Model delineates these dimensions as follows, providing a comprehensive guide for businesses aiming to elevate their service quality and foster exceptional Customer Experiences:

  1. Reliability: This dimension emphasizes the service provider’s ability to deliver services dependably, accurately, and consistently. Reliability is fundamental to building trust with customers, ensuring that services meet promised standards every time.
  2. Assurance: Assurance encompasses the competence, courtesy, credibility, and security provided by the service staff. It focuses on the staff’s ability to convey trustworthiness and confidence through their knowledge, skills, and professional demeanor.
  3. Tangibles: Tangibles refer to the physical evidence of the service, including the appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and communication materials. This dimension highlights the importance of the service environment and physical cues that contribute to the overall service perception.
  4. Empathy: Empathy addresses the provider’s ability to understand and cater to individual customer needs through personalized attention and care. This dimension underscores the importance of building strong, empathetic relationships with customers, recognizing their unique requirements and circumstances.
  5. Responsiveness: Responsiveness is characterized by the willingness and ability of the staff to provide prompt service, helping customers efficiently and effectively. This dimension stresses the importance of timely and proactive service delivery to enhance customer satisfaction.

This presentation further explores each dimension, providing insights into how businesses can assess and improve their service quality across these areas. Additionally, it introduces GAP analysis and the SERVQUAL model as tools for evaluating the discrepancy between customer expectations and their actual service experiences, offering a methodological approach to identifying areas for improvement.

This presentation provides organizations with the knowledge and tools needed to implement the RATER Model effectively, driving service excellence and creating differentiated Customer Experiences that promote satisfaction, loyalty, and sustainable business growth.

View the full presentation here:

10. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) stands as a critical metric for measuring Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty, relying on a straightforward approach to assess the likelihood of customers recommending a company, product, or service to others. Introduced by Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company, and Satmetrix, NPS is celebrated for its simplicity and effectiveness, providing clear insights into customer loyalty and serving as a basis for strategic improvements.

The calculation of NPS involves a three-step process:

  1. Survey Customers: The process begins with surveying customers, asking them to rate on a scale of 0 to 10 their likelihood of recommending the company, product, or service to friends or colleagues.
  2. Categorize Respondents: Based on their responses, customers are segmented into three distinct groups, each representing different levels of satisfaction and loyalty:
  • Promoters (9–10): Highly satisfied customers who are enthusiastic about the brand and likely to be repeat buyers and referral sources.
  • Passives (7–8): Satisfied but indifferent customers who might be susceptible to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (0–6): Unhappy customers at risk of damaging the brand through negative word-of-mouth.
  1. Calculate NPS: The score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. This resulting score, which can range from -100 to 100, serves as a direct indicator of customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Adopting NPS offers several key benefits:

  • Insightful Feedback Loop: NPS provides immediate feedback on customer satisfaction, allowing businesses to identify areas of excellence and opportunities for improvement.
  • Customer Loyalty Measurement: As a benchmark for customer loyalty, NPS enables organizations to track changes over time, understanding how modifications in service or product offerings impact customer perceptions.
  • Focus on High-value Actions: By distinguishing between promoters, passives, and detractors, companies can tailor their strategies to convert satisfied customers into loyal advocates and address the concerns of detractors.
  • Benchmarking Tool: NPS allows for comparisons within and across industries, providing a standard metric for evaluating customer loyalty.

Employed by a wide range of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, NPS serves as a vital tool for enhancing products and services, ensuring customer happiness, and maintaining a competitive edge. By understanding their NPS, organizations can take targeted actions to improve their customer experience, aiming to convert detractors into promoters and ultimately boost their overall score. This focus on cultivating customer loyalty is indispensable in today’s competitive business environment, where customer advocacy is a key driver of growth.

View the full presentation here:

Additional Consulting Tools for Customer-centric Design (CCD)

Here are links to additional consulting resources related to CCD:

Utilizing these CCD consulting frameworks empowers organizations to place customers at the heart of their Innovation and Strategy Development processes.

These frameworks provide structured approaches for deeply understanding customer needs, preferences, and behaviors, enabling organizations to create products, services, and experiences that truly resonate with their target audience. By adopting Customer-centric frameworks, organizations can significantly enhance customer satisfaction, foster loyalty, and drive growth in a competitive marketplace.



Mark Bridges

I blog about various management frameworks, from Strategic Planning to Digital Transformation to Change Management.