4 Keys to Transforming Your CX Program to an ROI-Focused, Revenue Generating Machine

2022 is being branded as “The Year of the Squeeze.” Challenging economic conditions that are bordering on a recession have forced businesses to either raise prices, cut costs, or a combination of both. And due to these conditions, businesses need to justify the return on investment (ROI) for every initiative—including their customer experience (CX) program.

CX Network, an online CX organization sponsored by InMoment, recently asked a panel of over 250 customer experience experts across the globe what the top obstacles complicating customer experience investments were and compiled them into a report. Unsurprisingly, the answers were return on investment, finding budget space, and enabling stakeholder buy-in. 

The key to facing these challenges is to build an ROI-focused customer experience from the ground up (and not as an afterthought). Customer experience strategist Simon Fraser has developed a list of four tools, tips, and techniques to help do just that!

4 Keys to an ROI-Focused CX Program

  1. C-Suite Buy-In
  2. Design with the End in Mind
  3. Holistic View
  4. Don’t Stop

#1: C-Suite Buy-In

Before you can further invest in your CX program, you’ll need the approval of your board or c-suite. In order to do this, you need to talk about the situation and possible complications, as well as answer any questions they are going to ask. 

The situation refers to the environment or sector that your business is operating in. Then, it is important you state the complication. What is giving your c-suite headaches? What problems are they facing? What are they worried about in regards to a customer experience program? Lastly, what questions are they asking that you need to be able to answer through your customer experience program? 

One common question is, ”How can I hold on to my happy, loyal customers who prefer the way things have been, and are opposed to change?” Your customer experience program needs to be able to provide those answers. 

You also need to be able to prove the value of what you are doing in regards to your customer experience program in the terms that matter most to the c-suite. At InMoment, we focus on four economic pillars that most businesses are trying to focus on. 

  • Customer Acquisition: This comes from supporting the brand positioning and positive word of mouth.
  • Customer Retention: Forrester research shows that a customer who receives a positive experience is 2.7x’s likely to remain with your brand as opposed to a customer who has had a negative experience. 
  • Increasing Customer Lifetime Value: Additionally, Forrester research also proves that a customer who receives great experiences is 2.7x’s more likely to purchase additional products.
  • Minimize Costs: This can take many different forms. It might be how you focus to try and move customers to a digital experience or how you can improve to receive less complaints. 

You need to ask yourself: What is it that my business is looking to solve and how am I designing a customer experience program that supports each of these pillars? That is what the c-suite is hungry to understand.

#2: Design with the End in Mind

Have you ever undergone a major home renovation? If you have, you’ll know that during the first meeting with the architect, you don’t discuss where the power outlets are going to be. Instead, the architect asks why you are doing this renovation, what lifestyle you hope to achieve with it, and what will that look like in five years? 

The same train of thought can be used for CX programs and CX strategy. Everything should be tied into your vision as a business. While designing surveys and preparing email marketing campaigns are important, you need to make sure the designs are in line with your customer vision and brand promise, and that your customer experience program can support the changes that you need to deliver. 

#3: Holistic View

A fully functioning CX program cannot rely on transactional surveys alone. You need to be measuring and managing customer journeys, not just transactional data, so that you can improve on the customer experience as a whole. 

There are four categories of data to be examining to accurately run your CX program:

  • Customer Surveys: Aside from transactional surveys, you need to be measuring journeys from a customer perspective and being able to access those points
  • Other Feedback: To build on customer surveys, you need to be managing complaints, social media, and creating a space where your employees feel comfortable providing feedback. 
  • Internal Data: Most businesses will have a strong customer relationship management system (CRM) that will store all customer and behavioral data. Along with that, it will also store financial and operational data from within your business. Integrating this data against your CX metrics is essential to the success of your business. 
  • Market Data: You need to know what your competitors are offering so that you can continue to improve your customer experience and keep delivering on your brand promises. It is also important to know how your potential customers are feeling and what changes you can make to convert them. 

You need to be listening to social media, complaints, and your employees who are likely to understand where your paint points are. By measuring data from transactions, along with internal data, market data, and miscellaneous data, you’ll be able to complete the picture of your customer’s experience. 

#4: Don’t Stop

It is vital that you maintain momentum in your CX program transformation. Remember, customer experience is not a linear piece. Rather, it is a continuous improvement journey. 

You need to ensure that you have the governance around your customer experience program to drive change. Most businesses are looking at experience data that has happened in the past. What you need to be doing, is measuring and managing your CX program and making sure it is continuously evolving with your business. Furthermore, it’s important to develop a “Culture of Commitment” where every employee across every department is focused on continuous Experience Improvement (XI) and understands (and is dedicated to) that mission. Only then will your CX program be truly ROI-focused—and achieve all the success it’s capable of.

For more in depth information on these four steps to building an ROI focused customer experience program, watch the full webinar here!

The Employee & Customer Experience Framework for Improvement You Need in 2022

Every year, we at team InMoment like to look back and reflect on what we’ve learned about employee and customer Experience Improvement, and then put those top learnings into a “cheat sheet” of sorts for our readers. Building a customer experience program that helps you to differentiate from the competition is difficult—that’s where InMoment’s customer experience framework, the Continuous Improvement Framework comes in. This employee and customer experience framework will provide you with some of the best practices in the business to help you get the most out of your customer experience program.

So, sit back and read on to learn how our customer experience framework can benefit your business!

What Is a Customer Experience Framework?

As a starting point, it is important to define what a customer experience framework is. 

A customer experience framework is a set of processes a company implements in conjunction with its customer experience program to help the program be as successful as possible in its efforts to improve the customer experience, create a customer-centric culture, and positively impact the bottom line. It is like an map that you follow as you go through all the steps of gathering feedback from customers and improving processes based on the feedback.

Without a customer experience framework, it is hard to get consistent results you want. But with a customer experience framework, you’ll be able to make your CX program consistently successful, and adapt your program to scale and evolve with your company, customers, and the greater market.

The Continuous Improvement Customer Experience Framework

Your Path to Employee & Customer Experience Improvement Success

The key to InMoment’s customer experience framework, the Continuous Improvement Framework, is to move beyond merely monitoring employee and customer feedback. Instead, experience professionals need to focus on using that feedback to inform action plans. Customer narratives are a goldmine for companies looking to eradicate superficial and deep-seated problems. Their feedback allows you to identify issues, define remedies that positively impact the bottom line, and ultimately create more meaningful experiences.

Brands can achieve all of this by sticking to a simple, five-step  customer experience framework that we call the Continuous Improvement Framework: define, listen, understand, transform, realize.

Continuous Improvement Framework for employee and customer Experience Improvement

Step #1: Design

When folks start up their employee and customer Experience Improvement programs, they’re often tempted to start listening right off the bat. However, it is absolutely essential that experience professionals design their programs before they launch listening posts. 

Here are some notes from InMoment expert Andrew Park about the first step of the customer experience framework, design:

“Listening to customers is obviously an integral part of any well-built experience program, but it isn’t enough on its own, especially when brands don’t truly know what they’re listening for. Listening broadly can be helpful, but far more useful is the capability (and the willingness) to listen purposefully.

There are mountains of data out there, and the only way for companies to own the moments that matter (when business, customer, and employee needs intersect) and thus achieve transformational success is to figure out how to listen purposefully. That’s why it’s important for brands to design their experience program’s goals, objectives, and other factors before turning the listening posts on.”

Want to read more from Andrew? Click here to access “Why ‘Just’ Listening to Your Customers Isn’t Enough”

Step #2: Listen

Now that you know what you’re listening for, you can start setting up your listening posts. And whenever most of us think about employee and customer listening, we tend to also think about surveys. But what are the best practices and philosophies successful listening programs follow?

Here’s Andrew Park again:

“Traditional forms of listening usually involve long-winded surveys that focus on single points within brand channels. These surveys may also take a spray-and-pray approach, asking about everything the brand cares about—but that customers may not. Finally, brands may also spend too much time focusing solely on solicited customer feedback, which results in fragmented data. Fortunately, brands can be more versatile when it comes to collecting feedback.”

Want a succinct look at how to achieve meaningful survey listening? Get the four steps you need to follow in “How to Achieve Meaningful Listening Through Surveys”

Steps #3: Understand 

You’ve collected data at strategic touchpoints using best practices. Now it’s time to leverage analytics to get to the actionable insights in your data. That’s when text analytics come into the picture. 

Text analytics are vital to your brand’s ability to understand your customer and employee experiences. You can have listening posts across every channel and at every point in the customer journey, but if you don’t have the best-possible text analytics solution in place, your ability to derive actionable intelligence from that data is essentially moot. And your ability to create transformational change across the organization and drive business growth? That’d be a non-starter without effective text analytics. Without them, all you have is a score, not any context or information on what actually went well or needs improvement.

It’s obvious that text analytics are vital, but in an industry full of jargon, claims about accuracy, and a huge amount of conflicting data, how can you tell what solution attributes will be the best for your company?

Learn everything you need to know about text analytics in this eBook.

Step #4: Transform

In our experience, we’ve found that the hardest step for programs to conquer is going from insights to action—and therefore, to transformation. This is also arguably the most important step in the employee and customer experience framework. 

Transformation is an important step of the process not just because brands can actively improve themselves, but also because it’s what your customers expect is happening. Customers wouldn’t provide feedback if they didn’t expect brands to do something about it, so bear this in mind when working toward providing the best experience for them.

So how do you go from insights to transformation? Learn the process in this article.

Step #5: Realize

This is what you’ve been building toward all along: realizing employee and customer Experience Improvement. But what does true success look like? How do you prove it to your business stakeholders? 

Here are some thoughts from InMoment XI Strategist Jim Katzman:
“Realizing success occurs when you can evaluate how well your program is hitting goals and when you can quantify the results. Even if you don’t hit a homerun against all your goals, evaluating what you have achieved—and what you haven’t—still gives you a great idea of what exactly about your program might need tweaking.

There’s another, more profound way to evaluate your experience program’s impact on the business, and that’s through the lens of four economic pillars. The handy thing about our model is that it’s broad enough to be of use to any company regardless of size, brand, or industry while also giving experience practitioners a foundation from which to evaluate additional financial metrics.”

Want to learn about the four economic pillars and other ways to quantify program results? Read Jim’s full piece here.

A World of Possibilities

With the right mindset and a proven employee and customer experience framework for success in place, the possibilities for your employee or customer experience improvement initiative are truly endless this next year.

With that, we’d like to say happy holidays from our team to yours!

Marketing Myopia and the 21st Century Automotive Business

It may seem like ancient history, but in a landmark 1960s article in the Harvard Business Review entitled “Marketing Myopia”, Theodore Levitt put forward the thesis that most companies take too narrow a view of the business they are in. He challenged executives to re-examine their corporate vision and take a wider perspective of the markets in which they compete. His argument was that organizations miss opportunities they are presented with simply because they fail to take a wider view.

An example he uses is the railroads whose failure to grow was due to a limited market view. The problem was that management saw themselves as being in the railroad business rather than the transportation business. There was a growing demand for passenger transportation but it was being filled by cars and airplanes, non-traditional competitors to the railroads. Management was railroad oriented instead of transportation oriented, product oriented instead of customer oriented.

Many credit Levitt with ushering in the era of modern marketing with many concepts we consider commonplace today. Levitt’s argument is that what usually happens is that management emphasizes selling, not marketing. The problem is that selling focuses on the needs of the seller, but marketing concentrates on the needs of the buyer. For companies to grow, he argues, they have to define their industries broadly to take advantage of growth opportunities. They must understand and act on their customers’ needs and desires, not bank on the presumed longevity of their products.

He says that an organization must learn to think of itself not as producing goods or services but as doing the things that will make people want to do business with it. And in every case, the chief executive is responsible for creating an environment that reflects this mission.

In the context of the automotive industry, product is key and I am encouraged by many of the technologies that are being incorporated in new vehicles being launched since they do seem to address genuine needs that customers have told us about. Who would complain about advances in safety, fuel efficiency, or navigation?

But a different perspective needs to be established, and this perspective must be squarely focused on customer needs. Does any new technology considered for a new model truly address a need that customers have or is it just cool technology that the engineering department has come up with? (Just so you don’t think I’m throwing engineers under the bus, I’m not. My brother and uncle are engineers and our son is currently studying to be one too!)

And in a wider context, do CEOs define their business as being in the car business? Or, taking a page from Levitt’s book, should it be defined as being in the transportation business? Defined in this way, it has the potential of broadening opportunities that CEOs will pursue for the company.

There is benefit in dusting off the old business management articles and books that we may have dismissed simply because “they’re too old.” Often the writers have already thought and written about business issues that we’re facing today and if we can learn from their insight and experience, then so much the better.

What do you think? Should manufacturers “stick to their own knitting” or should they consider seeing themselves as being in the transportation business, and not just the car business? Tell me what you think.

 

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