It’s not uncommon for organizations to consider customer experience (CX) programs a nicety—something powerful, no doubt, but also just a luxury instead of an essential component of business success. This attitude prevails even as today’s marketplaces become more competitive and the COVID-19 pandemic changes customer wants and needs faster than many brands can keep pace with.
As we outline in our recent paper on this subject, proving experience programs’ worth isn’t easy, but it needn’t be the bane of CX practitioners’ existence. In fact, we’ve discovered three ways to convince the C-suite that experience programs are much more than just a garnish. These three methods are:
- Aligning Capabilities With Strategic Objectives
- Pitching Customer Centricity
- Demonstrating The Power of Real-Time Feedback
Method #1: Aligning Capabilities With Strategic Objectives
As we just mentioned, marketplaces and industries are all becoming more competitive, which means that brands must strive to provide the best customer experience possible if they hope to stand out. The specific goals that businesses put forth to accomplish that vary wildly from industry to industry, but there’s one common denominator here: CX capabilities that enable these goals can take a company all the way to the top.
With that in mind, CX practitioners who want to prove the necessity of their programs need to select software that can enable business objectives. A lot of organizations take this to mean that CX software is useful only for measurement. Measurement is important, of course, but the best technology empowers brands to execute something much more important than measurement: action. A brand’s ability and willingness to take action on CX learnings determines whether that organization is a transformative leader, or a follower that’s content with management.
Method #2: Pitching Customer Centricity
This tip may sound too general, maybe even like it’s a Herculean task, but consider that the organizations that do best within their verticals are the ones that effectively disseminate CX learnings throughout the business rather than leave statistics siloed up with an experience team. CX practitioners can pitch their programs by pointing to this example and encouraging their organizations to follow suit. All it takes to create a culture of customer centricity is desiloing CX intelligence and handing it out to the right departments and stakeholders.
This approach has another advantage in that it can help CX practitioners create grassroots support for their initiatives. Creating customer centricity can help employees become more invested in their work and more strongly feel that it matters. Their own insights and feedback is also an invaluable component of any CX initiative, and collecting it can make them feel heard. With this approach, practitioners can ride a groundswell of bottom-to-top support all the way to the boardroom.
Method #3: Demonstrating The Power of Real-Time Feedback
This tip overlaps somewhat with the first method we talked about, but the power of real-time feedback truly deserves its own special mention. Real-time feedback is the only truly effective way for brands to know which customers are promoters and which are detractors, enabling them to both save at-risk customers and identify the themes common to both groups’ view of the business.
Real-time feedback also empowers brands to achieve four business goals that practitioners can use to further assert their programs’ value. These goals include acquiring customers, retaining existing ones, cross-selling or upselling to established customers, and lowering cost to serve. Practitioners who pitch real-time feedback through this paradigm can both better tie it to financial goals and give the C-suite something more specific to chew on than, say, “becoming more customer-centric.”
These three strategies are effective means of introducing or ensuring the longevity of CX programs at any brand, and can help CX teams make the case that experience initiatives are no mere flight of fancy but rather the key to transformational success in today’s business world.
For more information on how to effectively pitch and prove the worth of CX programs to anyone and everyone, check out our new eBook on how you can make a business case to your CFO (or anyone else) here.