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Getting buy-in for a customer experience transformation strategy.

07 May 2021

Customer experience has a direct impact on the bottom line. Satisfied customers bring repeat business and higher value sales. Yet, analysts at Forrester predicted in 2019 that one in four CX professionals who can’t prove their value to the business would lose their job within the year.

Traditionally, the C- suite placed a lot of focus on investing in developing new products or on marketing to grow the business. That’s changing as over two-thirds of C-level executives now prioritise customer experience above revenue growth.

This is good news, as transforming customer experience delivers the best results if there is buy-in right at the top. There is a direct correlation between CEO engagement in customer experience and profitability. Companies with CEOs who lead customer experience initiatives have higher profits than other companies.

There are several possible factors at play to secure board level support to drive more investment in customer experience:

Play the numbers game. If your C-level is just warming up to the central importance of customer experience, it’s a good idea to support your arguments with some killer stats comparing customer satisfaction scores with those of close competitors.

Foster a shared understanding with the CIO, CTO and CMO that customer experience transformation is a strategic goal of equal weight to revenue and profit growth. How? Align customer experience strategy explicitly with broader corporate strategy. Demonstrate that ROI in customer experience will also deliver on corporate goals.

Get ready to answer the “why now?” question. Most C-level executives agree that customer experience is a worthwhile investment. That is, if there’s any budget left after setting up remote collaboration tools for employees or bringing new products and services to market. In practice, that means CX initiatives tend to slip down the priority list.

Answer the “why now?” question with suggestions of quick CX wins that will deliver quantifiable results in the short term. Sales dropped in 2020? Introduce extra digital buying channels. Cost per sale too high? Automating elements of customer service with intelligent chatbots will save money.

Appoint a CX champion. Larger companies are introducing the role of chief customer officer or chief experience officer. This person plays a vital role in driving the importance of customer experience across all the other C-level functions.

Customer experience – from responding to marketing, buying from sales, making payment and taking delivery – should be of consistently high quality. A CCO can help smooth the customer journey through multiple previously unconnected touchpoints.

Hard data is the key to making a successful business case for CX transformation. C-level execs must be able to see a clear return on investment in terms of financial gain, cost cutting or reduced churn. Proof of concept projects that demonstrate quantitative value are a great starting point.

Once there’s C-level buy-in, the increased focus on customer experience will create a virtuous circle of happy and loyal customers, and increased revenue and profits.

Learn how to enhance your customer experience.

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