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
- C-Suite Buy-In
- Design with the End in Mind
- Holistic View
- 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!