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Jan 17, 2018 @ 02:01 by Mischa Rogov

Customer Value Framework – building great products & services based on deep understanding of your customers

For the product and service development Customer Centricity recently became a marketing mantra. We at dgroup designed a flexible Customer Value Framework which has proved itself at numerous projects.

As experience has shown the Customer Journey not only allows us to see and analyze how customers get to their preferred product and/-or service to become brand advocates. Furthermore, it enables the identification of all their pain points and highlights along their way which can be used for product and service improvement. By managing a wide range of projects dgroup developed the Customer Value Framework which is based on the concept of the Customer Journey.

Figure 1: Customer Value Framework (dgroup).

Not only does it depict the Customer Journey, but it also helps in deriving actions to improve brand image and customer experience (CX). As studies have shown superior CX drives not only revenue growth but also a number of overall KPI’s compared to their direct competitors with relatively inferior CX.

"To what extent do you believe that your organization has realized the following benefits/outcomes of leveraging digital technology to improve customer experience?"

Figure 2 Base: 702 respondents responsible for customer experience at their organization across the globe. (Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Accenture Interactive, May 2016).

Developing Persona and its Customer Journey

The Customer Value Framework is based on a deep customer understanding. Using personas is highly recommended to achieve utmost customer focus. A persona is an archetypical representation or a proxy of the target group and makes it more tangible and clear. It can be described by a number of (relevant) dimensions like Social Demographics, Buying Behavior, Media Orientation, etc. [friendly hint: data from prior marketing research and statistics on target groups – all these pieces of information are considered of value when developing persona].

Figure 3: Template for persona description.

In the following step, you create the Customer Journey from the perspective of the specific persona. At dgroup we are usually using these phases of the buying process:

  • I need – recognition of a need and initial search for information

  • I buy - selection of a particular product and purchase

  • I use - delivery to the consumer and usage of the product

  • I stay - repurchase of the product and interaction with brand and other consumers

You can add detail hence increase the customer understanding by dividing these phases into needs [friendly hint: use phases/needs that fit the best the path to your product/service].

After you have finished describing activities you start identifying barriers or pain points (e.g. limited payment methods or long queues at the pay desk) and highlights which help the customer on his journey and inspire him (e.g. fast delivery or relevant product recommendation) [friendly hint: make sure you are developing customer journey from the point of view of persona and not the participants].

Deriving the Customer Value

After specifying the most relevant customer journeys, the company’s value proposition(-s) must be framed. It has to fit both – activities as well as highlights and/or barriers. Based on that you will be able to derive opportunities, which could be products and/or services, which eliminate these barriers and/or improve the highlights. Undoubtedly, not all the opportunities are relevant for the consumer to the same extent thus providing not the same uplift for the company. Therefore, it is recommended to prioritize them using dimensions like relevance for the persona, complexity and/or business impact. As you identify the most relevant opportunities you can prepare detailed characteristics sheet for each of them [friendly hint: CVF is a tool with an inside-out perspective. The result should be validated by consumers via interviews, surveys etc. prior to implementation].

Figure 4: Template for characteristics sheet for opportunities (dgroup).

Customer Value Framework

Customer Value Framework is a helpful instrument...

  1. to deal with customers and to understand their journey including pain points and highlights

  2. to sharpen own value proposition according to the customer journey

  3. systematically develop and/or refine products and services which benefit the value proposition

CVF represents one of the many tools and methods we use at dgroup to develop customer centric products and services. Design Thinking (or dThinking as we call it at dgroup) is another framework which has been successfully used in multiple projects for understanding customers, brainstorming, ideas, building prototypes and testing them on real users.


Mischa Rogov is Management Consultant at dgroup. His interests lie in the field of new business models as well as developing customer-centric digital products and services.

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