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Step 1: Design Your Directory

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Start Your Journey with XM Directory

With these pages, we will walk through the steps to set up XM Directory for your brand and leverage its capabilities to effectively accomplish your organization’s goals.

We’ve outlined the journey in three broad areas: Design, Implement and Improve.

Think About Your Organization’s Objectives

Before we can recommend what features or directory settings you should use, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself what you want to accomplish with XM Directory. Defining these goals up front will help you make more purposeful decisions about what questions you want to answer with XM workflows, what kind of data insights will be useful to you, and what additional data can augment these insights to help you make critical decisions.

Example 1: I want to leverage Qualtrics to understand our company’s delivery experience and identify pain points for key customer journeys.
Example 2: I want to leverage Qualtrics to get a holistic understanding of our customer-base, so we can deliver personalized experiences via customer care or critical touchpoints.

Identify Your Data Needs

Determine what operational data will help your organization achieve its objectives and goals. Operational data is all the data you already have on your contacts, whether it be their basic contact information, additional demographics, or the products they’ve purchased from your company in the past.

When it comes to making decisions or deriving insights, not all data is going to be equally valuable. For example, operational data regarding how often digital ads are clicked won’t give you deep insights into how respondents interact with your website, but the feedback they submit might. Another example is demographic data such as customers’ age; at first glance this might seem unimportant, but age could be used to determine if customers of a particular demographic report more technical issues or difficulty when accessing mobile apps.

XM Directory offers a lot of flexibility in how you define and store these fields, and you can refine the type of information you’re saving over time as your company’s data needs evolve.

Here are some ideas to consider when determining your data needs:

  • What kind of contact data you want to be available for customer profiles, employee data, and anonymous customers visiting the website. It’s okay for these to differ from each other.
  • What kind of ever-changing (or transactional) data you might want to record – for example, key interactions these customers may have with the brand, like different stores they might visit or purchases they might make.
  • How various touchpoints and experiences were perceived by customers, and how you can take that data and leverage it to make insights about those experiences.
  • Determine where this data is currently stored, and what systems you use to save it. This will ultimately affect how you bring the data into XM Directory and keep it up to date.

Identify Your Data’s Organizational Requirements

Next, you should determine your data organization needs in order to determine the best XM Directory functionality to capitalize on. Here are some things you can ask yourself to help define these needs:

  • Sources: What are the different sources where your data currently lives? For example, an SFTP server, Salesforce, SAP Customer Data Cloud, or another CRM system.
    Qtip: We’ll go over some of XM Directory’s capabilities in the next few steps; but if you’re curious what platforms can sync with Qualtrics, try typing the ones you use into the Support Site search to see what comes up.
  • Security and compliance: Take into account security and compliance considerations. Which users will have access to this data? Do you need to isolate one program from another? Are there additional considerations to keep in mind with respect to sensitive fields? These questions can help determine the best directory structure for your brand – for example, you may need multiple directories, and to manage who has access to what with directory roles. We will review this in a little more depth later.
  • Key fields and how they’re formatted: Define a starting schema for the profile data you plan to import to XM Directory. XM Directory supports standard fields such as first name, last name, email, phone, and language for all profiles, provided a certain format is met. For any other fields you want to include, consistency is key; make sure your users stick to the same naming (e.g., always “Country,” capitalized, not “country” or “location”) and the same values (e.g., “United States,” but not “USA” or “US” or any other iteration).
  • Identifying the same contact across touchpoints: Identify how you want to consolidate data in order to build a holistic view of the same contact across the directory. Will you use email to identify a contact? Last name? Some sort of ID?
    Example: Let’s assume you’re always guaranteed to get the email, last name, and customerID for a customer. You can use contact consolidation settings to consolidate any records where the contact has the same email address, last name, or customerID. (To deduplicate by customerID, you could map it to ExternalDataReference.)
  • GDPR and other contact frequency regulations: Manage the messaging and communication patterns for your organization. These can be configured with contact frequency rules defined at directory level or custom contact frequency rules defined by survey or contact list.

Think From the Perspective of a Directory, Not Just Mailing Lists

If you upgraded to XM Directory from Contacts or XM Directory Lite, you are probably used to thinking of your contact lists as being completely separate from each other. You’re used to changes to contact details like email address or demographics not carrying over to other lists.

In XM Directory, all contact data is consolidated across mailing lists, which means that to update someone’s personal details in one list carries across wherever they appear in other lists created from the same directory. Thus, when moving to XM Directory, it’s important to think about which mailing lists’ additional data (demographics, preferences, embedded data, etc.) you want to keep, who in your organization should have access to which contacts, and how you can upload the same person in multiple lists without the directory recognizing them as someone new.