3 Tips to Bridge the Gap Between Your CX Team & C-Suite

Oftentimes, the c-suite and the customer experience (CX) or customer success team live on the same planet, but almost in separate countries—they simply speak different languages. The former is interested in counting dollars and profitability and the latter with measuring metrics. So how should a CX practitioner go about bridging that gap in communication? How can you take the invaluable insights your CX team is discovering and translate it into meaning that executives will understand and act on? 

We know that customer experience can be a tough sell—after all, your business has so many priorities! Proving that your CX program has direct ROI and impact on your bottom line can be nebulous at best. But when your CX team has the c-suite’s backing, many organizational walls are broken and it becomes easier to demonstrate the insurmountable value that a successful CX program produces for a business. To help your brand along, here are three essential tips to close the gap between the C-Suite and CX teams.

Tip #1: Break Down Metrics

Customer experience metrics are core to any CX program—whether it’s NPS, CSAT, CES, etc. The challenge is how do you present those metrics in a way that makes executives regard them as crucial data points? At InMoment, we start with an approach we like to call the “Solving for X:” take your executives through your business objectives and what you’re truly trying to solve for customers. Then put it under categories like customer acquisition, customer retention, cross-sell and up-sell, cross-savings, etc. By parsing out the problems your team is solving for, you can show executives how they map onto the customer journey. And eventually, how those metrics directly inform the important touchpoints in that journey.

Tip #2: Tell Stories

Beyond all the data, numbers, and statistics, there’s a human customer at the heart of your CX program. So how do you get executives to see and empathize with the customers they don’t interact with on a daily basis? Stories, stories, stories. It can be a customer story, verbatims, videos, etc., but the point is that storytelling connects humans together—and it can do the same with your customers and executives.

And it doesn’t have to stop at just customers. Employees play a significant role as customer experience providers, especially as frontline ones. Getting executives to understand a day in the life of frontline employees or customers can shift their perspective on how your program is adding value to the company. It’s easy to latch onto numbers as concrete evidence, but stories can make the numbers come alive.

Tip #3: Use Small, Real Money Examples

When you’re presenting a business case, the goal shouldn’t be complexity. Even the most simple of cases can prove to be a persuasive argument. For example, let’s say there’s a rental car business that sells at airports. What if we could save one customer per month at each of the top airport rental locations? If you multiply that customer by ten and then by hundred, that’s millions of dollars of value saved. So asking small questions like that can be a huge game changer in how your executives understand the value in a successful customer journey.

Building a Strong CX Foundation with the C-Suite

Luckily, your relationship with executives is an ongoing one. Which means there will be countless meetings and presentations, and most importantly chances to learn to speak in the C-Suite language. Each conversation is an opportunity for your CX team to prove that CX value and business value is one and the same. So don’t be devastated if it takes a few swings. Fail and adjust your strategy for the next meeting.

And when you’re looking for a boost of confidence and CX expertise, watch this webinar: Eric Smuda (Principal, CX Strategy & Enablement) speaks on Translating CX Value into the C-Suite’s Language.

3 Elements to Consider When Selling CX to Your Boardroom

Getting your C-suite onboard with customer experience (CX) programs can be a real challenge. If you’re reading this, chances are it’s the same story at your organization! While there’s no silver bullet for getting boardroom approval on more CX resources or program renewals, we’re going to break down three elements that can help warm the execs to your Experience Improvement (XI) initiatives. Those three elements are:

  1. Reporting Frequency
  2. Content Formatting
  3. Cross-Functional Teamwork

Element #1: Reporting Frequency

One of the most important elements to consider when speaking your C-suite’s language is its preferred reporting frequency. You can figure out how often your C-suite would like reports by considering each executive’s thinking style, as well as those of your teammates. Some leaders are quantitative, and may want numbers-heavy reports more frequently. Others are qualitative and more concerned with the aspirational elements of your program. Reporting frequency preferences vary wildly between brands, but understanding those preferences is crucial to winning—and maintaining—that support!

Element #2: Content Formatting

This piece dovetails with reporting frequency quite a bit, which only makes sense, right? Once you determine how frequently your executives want reports, it’s vital to press that advantage by figuring out how best to present them. Usually, this presentation takes the form of scorecards, but we challenge you to use something much more powerful if you aren’t already: customer stories! Executives love seeing their brand vision presented in a human light, and stories of how that vision creates genuine connections with people go a long way toward program approval.

Element #3: Cross-Functional Teamwork

This is a big one. If you want to make sure your program is presented from all its best angles, you need a cross-functional team to do just that. Identifying and recruiting the folks you need from other departments is never a quick or easy process, but it’s essential for so much more than ‘just’ more budget. In fact, desiloing program data and uniting your organization around it can provide everyone the exact same customer profile. And when everyone is working off of that holistic, united customer view, every experience you provide will be meaningfully improved. Powerful stuff for your next presentation!

Going Deeper

How else can your team speak the C-suite’s language when it comes to Experience Improvement? Asia-Pacific Managing Director David Blakers has written a full-length point of view on this subject that you can read by clicking here. Check it out to gain additional, powerful insights on how to speak to executives, gain the program approval you need for brand success, and maintain those connections over time!

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