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Say you prepare what you think is a winning customer experience strategy that will provide tremendous benefits to the company. No matter how fantastic a strategy it may be, without corporate buy-in, you'll never get the funds to turn your project into a reality.

“One of the most important strategies is to make every single CX initiative measurable and related, either directly to money or a money-facing KPI,” said Robert Rabe, head of insights, experience design at SAP Digital. “For example, if you’re looking at ecommerce or m-commerce, web and/or mobile conversions would be a measurable metric that can show how an initiative has real value. Ego-metrics, like number of registrations or whitepapers downloaded, for example, wouldn’t count.”

If a CX project is particularly costly, it's key to run a test balloon first, something we call “hypothesis management.” This is basically an A/B test or a low/no-tech experiment to put something specific in front of a customer or give them a specific experience to react to, Rabe added. “This is fast, doesn’t cost much, and at the same time, allows you to see the value or lack thereof. It makes debates fact-driven. You can use this kind of analysis to test out whether there’s merit and good potential for ROI in implementing or building a CX initiative.”

Additionally, according to Rabe, marketers should effectively tie any CX project seamlessly and effectively into the corporate narrative. This practice may not get the attention it should, but it’s a highly valuable asset in attaining buy-in in your company. A marketer can use this to show the corporate team how a specific CX project would help to further build brand recognition and loyalty among customers through the brand's own existing narrative.

Related Article: How to Convince Your CFO to Invest in Customer Experience

Use Demonstrable Metrics

“When an organization is contemplating any kind of CX project, it bears considering whether management views it is a cost center or a new revenue generator. It is imperative that teams understand the value of CX and believe that it is a necessary component for brand growth and improvement,” said Pete Sena, CEO of Digital Surgeons. “The best way to do this is through benchmarking and measurement, and assuring that teams know where money needs to be spent based on those metrics.”

Sena recommended using competitive benchmarking, horizontal analysis and company insights to provide executives with compelling data.

“It is important to quantify the many regular interactions and residual memories that influence future behavior. Tools like journey mapping can offer a window onto where in the customer experience journey the breakdown is occurring, whether it’s on the road to purchase, online, in-store, returns, customer service etc. This way, teams know what has to be fixed, and an investment needs to be made there, rather than retooling the entire journey.”

“One example of using metrics would be to identify that Customer Lifetime Value is decreasing, and there is need to buy into CX where there is a breakdown in either customer journey or the purchasing behavior,” Sena said. “It’s important to understand the context in which data is being used to make companywide decisions.”

Related Article: Keys to Building Customer Lifetime Value

Link CX Projects, Corporate Objectives

“There have been many studies in recent years about the close link between improved CX and an increase in company revenue,” said Ben Harris, CEO at Decibel. "Forrester, for example, has an entire report dedicated to it: How Customer Experience Drives Business Growth, 2018. Facts and insights from these types of reports can be extremely valuable in helping demonstrate the impact of CX on business performance. It’s key to express the value of change in a medium that stakeholders understand. Only you will know what this is, but revenue is always a safe bet.”

Use visual representations of the links between CX and company results, Harris adds. “One great example would be showing corporate what customer journeys look like, where customers are dropping off and how journeys impact CX. There is often a disconnect between what stakeholders believe the most common journeys are and what’s actually happening on their digital properties. Visualization makes data more tangible and a lot harder to ignore.”

Corporate executives are interested in a few main financial drivers, according to Koren Stucki, Clarabridge vice president of strategic consulting and analyst relations:

  • Saving money, which is often associated with contact centers or other operational teams and is focused on improving inefficient operations that cost time and money. Companies can use customer analytics insights to find and fix issues faster in products, services, and support functions. They can also reduce customer and agent effort resulting from multiple calls that produce interactions causing frustration or that don’t result in positive outcomes due to hold times, channel switching and transfers.
  • Making money, which is often a focus of marketing and product organizations as well as contact centers managing cross/up-sell programs. Organizations can identify the levers that drive brand equity, the affection a customer has for a brand or a product that brings them back. Customer analytics can help companies correlate specific drivers to key outcomes they know will drive loyalty so that organizations can make sure those products are always performing at peak levels.
  • Reducing liability associated with risk by understanding and reacting quickly to customer feedback. 

The right CX can help companies with each of the above.

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