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Making the case for CX tech: 12 tips for sign-off success

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Customer experience tech budgets seem tighter than ever at present. So how do you successfully secure sign-off on your planned CX tech investment? 

31st Mar 2022
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It’s fair to say that customer experience (CX) technology spending has grown over the past ten years, with CX becoming a dedicated driver of growth and revenue. IDC has predicted that global CX technology spending will reach $641 billion in 2022, reflecting the significant demand for digital solutions to meet heightened customer expectations. 

However, speak to any CIO or customer success leader, and you’ll soon see that IT budgets are being monitored just as closely (or even closer) than ever, with an expectation to do less with more and to use resources intelligently. In the age of digital transformation, innovation and day-to-day operational tech are continually vying for budget. Even generous CX tech budgets may seem tight when they need to cover more bases. 

So, how do you secure sign off for your CX spend? Essentially, it’s about having a clear view of your business problem and the obvious benefits the CX technology will deliver to the largest number of stakeholders – and your willingness to collaborate and be agile in your approach. 

At Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting UK, we believe and invest in technology that makes a real difference and we put the customer at the centre of everything we do. With that in mind, we’re sharing 12 things to think about when making your case for CX tech, especially when budgets are at a premium. 

  1. Be very clear on the end business problem you are trying to solve. Is your proposed CX technology dedicated to delivering insights you don’t currently have on the customer journey, or will it open up a new way of serving customers? Is it designed to help your customer service employees to lower employee attrition? These are all very different business problems. In making your case for technology investment, you’ll have to be clear on the specific financial and long term impact the business problem is having before you move on to indicate how the technology will solve it. 

  2. What value will the CX technology bring to those affected? Is it going to make the customer experience demonstrably better and drive KPIs measurably? Why, and by how much?  As a general rule of thumb, you should start off by tackling pressing, but manageable business issues that will demonstrably show progress.   

  3. What is the reach of the investment? By this we mean, how many employees or customers is it going to impact? In an increasingly global and digital world driven by the cloud, is what you roll out in this implementation going to impact every customer or every employee, or a smaller pool of key individuals?  

  4. Will this technology demonstrate a noticeable impact? Will it represent value for money? This is not to say that technologies such as customer analytics platforms, which may not present a visual and immediate impact, are not worth the investment. Justifying technology spend, like any other financial investment, needs support from data and financial models to back it up. When it comes to customer analytics, what you don’t know about your customer may truly be a differentiator in the customer journey, and this needs to be qualified as well as possible in making the case for investment. 

  5. What is the likely return on investment – consider both the qualitative and quantitative outcomes. The finance department may turn out to be your closest ally in developing a model based on quantitative historical data of previous CX and tech investments. 

  6. Qualitative outcomes such as employee satisfaction and engagement need to be included as they matter now more than ever. Speaking to your customers or other end users themselves may be your best way to develop the qualitative outcomes you need to prove the technology’s worth.

  7. If you are proposing customer-facing technology, what will the investment do for your customer’s emotional engagement with the brand? Will your proposed technology help customers feel more positive and engaged? A highly engaged customer is a customer that is likely to be more loyal and will continue their purchase journey into the future. It’s important to explore and explain how the technology will increase engagement. 

  8. Have you engaged with the relevant stakeholders to ensure you are making the right investment? This may be customer focus groups if your proposed investment is customer-related, or business stakeholders from multiple teams. 

  9. Join forces with other teams or business units (for those in larger organisations). Economies of scale can help in procuring the best possible deal. Customer experience is embedded into our organisation from the frontline to the boardroom. This means that our customer service team assigns tasks to different stakeholders across the business to make them accountable for CX improvements.

  10. Be willing to be agile in your approach. The full investment you want may not be possible, but is a smaller component enough to complete a proof of concept to help enhance the business case? 

  11. Look at what is already in use in your organisation. Bolt-ons to existing platforms or plugins are often easier to embed and get investment from than tools that will require a full integration or potentially add further disjointed processes. 

  12. Think beyond the obvious. Today, there are other factors that come into play during the tech procurement decision making process. Budget holders may consider sustainability or environmental impact initiatives (will the technology help to remove paper-based interactions and reduce waste?) and considerations such as digital accessibility (is the technology lowering barriers to entry across a representative base of users?) There’s every reason to give your decision makers a bigger picture point of view. 

At the end of the day, business leaders are very aware of the power of CX as a top growth engine, alongside data and analytics and other digital capabilities. CX is driving new revenue opportunities more frequently than ever.

If you can justify your intention to stakeholders with a clear view of your business problem and the obvious benefits, you’ll be in a great position to drive CX and digital transformation in 2022 and beyond.

 

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