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.

5 Ways to Get CX Buy-In from Frontline Employees

Frontline employees are constantly tasked with metrics—handle time, occupancy, attendance, and, of course, customer experience (CX). However, all of this focus on metrics can prevent our frontline teams from realizing the wealth of value they can bring to a CX program. 

So How Can You Engage Your Frontline Employees in CX Programs?

There are a myriad of ways that I have operationalized during my time as a practitioner. And, additionally, I have also been able to see how many of our InMoment clients engage their employees in their CX programs. 

For my post today, I’ve compiled a list of my top five methods for gaining CX buy-in from frontline employees. So without further ado, let’s get going!

Top Five Methods for Frontline Employee CX Buy-In

  1. Broadcast the Value of Customer Experience
  2. Create Recognition Opportunities
  3. Show Employees How They Make a Difference
  4. Include Customer Experience in Frontline Training
  5. Use Customer Experience to Solve Specific Issues

Method #1: Broadcast the Value of Customer Experience

It is vitally important that the frontline teams (really the entire company) understand the importance of customer experience and, if practical, the primary CX metric that everyone is measuring. Having a theme or tagline that is shared everywhere is recommended. One of the health care companies I work with has a “Members First ” tagline that is used all around the company but especially in the contact center. All the representatives have been trained as to what their target metric, Net Promoter Score (NPS), is and why it is important.

Method #2: Create Recognition Opportunities

Create frequent opportunities to appreciate the frontline effort. “WOW” alerts, reader board messages (if we are ever in offices again), notes from site leaders when a positive comment is received from a customer …. It all goes a long way to instill a culture where excellent customer experience is celebrated.

Method #3: Show Employees How They Make a Difference

Leverage the frontline employees for continuous improvement initiatives. When I was a practitioner, I did employee roundtables and I Y-Jacked with frontline employees. I used those opportunities to validate what I was seeing in survey data. I actively solicited feedback and ideas on how to reduce customer friction directly from the source—the agents. I found that even if I could show just a small change as a result of my own or my team’s face-to-face interactions, the frontline teams became more bought into our CX program.

Method #4: Include Customer Experience in Frontline Training

Make customer experience a module in frontline training. Even if it is only a few minutes, show the trainees the survey text, share the “beacon” metric, and tell them why we emphasize customer experience. Explain how we learn from our customers what works well and what we can improve and truly stress how important they are to the process. Doing this in training introduces customer experience before they ever take a call or interact with customers.

Method #5: Use Customer Experience to Solve Specific Issues

Leverage very specific interactions for employee feedback with regard to customer experience. Many of our clients use our Resolve tool for case management. Part of our Resolve process is to capture employee feedback about the escalation interaction as part of the case closure process. We specifically ask them to help identify the root cause of the case and their suggestions to eliminate similar cases in the future. This creates a defined opportunity for the frontline reps to have a voice in how customers are served.

At the End of the Day…

Our frontline employees are the face of the company. If we get them bought into the program, they are the best advocates and ambassadors for customer experience. Celebrating them and asking for their opinions and insights are the best ways to get them—and keep them—engaged.

Want to learn more about how to engage your employees in the customer experience? Check out this eBook, “Better CX Begins with Employees”

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