As most companies look towards new technology platforms and solutions to deal with legacy challenges and enabling digital customer experience – customer impact, change and migrations should not be ignored

Downstream Changes That Typically Require an Integrated Migration Approach:

  • Changes to customer account numbers that could impact debit orders etc.
  • Legal consent required from customers as the new offering conflicts with the original contract.
  • Additional mandates required as the new offering introduces additional risk to the customer.
  • Pricing options or changes that requires customer selection.
  • Product rationalisation that impacts the feature of the current offering i.e. reducing old or introducing new.
  • Data clean-up actions that require input and information from the customer.
  • Changes to “channels” that could result in new passwords or security tokens issued.
  • Changes to interface processes that requires customer training.

Why Take This Seriously:

Firstly from an outside-in (customer) perspective, the migration process will precede the actual exposure to the new offering or product and typically the first step in the journey to adopt the new product.

The complexity of the migration process might require various critical customer interactions. An integrated holistic approach between business functions might be necessary to manage the customer change seamlessly. These teams could include marketing, sales,training, operations and support.

The migration process will sit at the heart of the “benefit realisation plan”. The business typically ends up seconding some of the most expensive and scarce resources (sales and enablement) to manage the customer change. A pro-active approach will ensure that these elements are properly scoped, planned and costed. Given the long turn-around time of customer transformation, the migration process should be aligned with other customer initiatives. Customer migration introduces attrition risk. Change brings new options. Customers will, in return have the opportunity to consider those of your competitors.

So Where Do You Start?:


Impact = change in account number, password, training required, installation.

Input = consent, selecting product or pricing options, supply mandatory information.


Before you “overcook” the problem, understand the customer migration complexity by plotting your customers in each of the quadrants above.

The number of customers in each of the quadrants will form the basis of your overall customer migration strategy. If they fall into the top right quadrant where there is no impact on your customer and your customer does not experience any change, then you have little to no customer migration challenges.

If most customers are in the bottom left you will require an integrated well thought through migration strategy and approach.

Consider These Practical Recommendations

These considerations are not always simplistic or cheap. They will need to be justified with the cost benefit of the overall project intent and success.

Include your customer migration project from the onset of the overall technology transformation. Too often this is left too late. Scope, cost and plan the migration in line with all project streams. Make sure that all project principles that will impact the customer migration are documented and agreed from the start (even technical decisions). These are decisions like a big bang vs phased approach, interoperability, access to the old or history, stop selling the old product, project support vs line of business support, relationship responsibility for change etc. Try and integrate all customer interactions and changes into one project representing all functions.

Make sure all hidden costs are properly calculated and integrated during the business case phase of the project (these are line of business secondments, communication, travelling costs etc)

Ensure the project scope and business case clearly articulate the migration success ( 100% customer retention, 10% upliftment in revenue etc.)

Secure dedicated line of business resources for the project. These resources should typically have a project responsibility only and not be shared with business as usual requirements.

Make sure the project provides for “dry runs” to test assumptions, migration processes and tools to be used.

Ensure there is a tracking mechanism to monitor customer behaviour before, during and after the customer migration to enable pro-active retention actions.

In Conclusion

If you are considering upgrading or replacing a technology platform, do not ignore the potential customer impact.

Consider your challenges from a calculated perspective by starting with the customer impact and input required.

Ensure these considerations are properly clarified from the start (scope) of the project. Adopt a “customer view” when considering these challenges and turn customer change issues into opportunities.

Leaving these challenges too late, will lead to a rushed attempt at a stage where the programme is already struggling to meet budget. Benefits will be delayed and ultimately the customer’s initial exposure to the new offering will not do justice to the original intent or justification.