How to maximise the financial impact of your CX programmeby
Rachel Williams, founder of The Experience Corporation, opines on one of the most contentious topics in the current CX sphere – drawing on her considerable expertise and experience to provide advice on achieving and proving the ROI of your CX programme.
Most of us would agree that we are in uncertain financial times with the collapse of major banks, the cost-of-living crisis, and job cuts in the masses across tech companies.
Despite this, customer experience still remains a top priority for organisational leaders across most industries. The findings of a recent study by MyCustomer – in collaboration with the European Customer Experience Organisation (ECXO) – supported this point.
The study showed that 43% of respondents expect a rise in their company’s CX budget over the next 18 months. However, 79% of CX Leaders interviewed agreed that showing a financial contribution as a result of their CX programmes will become an increasing priority.
When a company invests in a customer experience improvement programme there are several challenges to demonstrating the full value of the initiative.
Firstly, successful CX programmes will often produce different types of results, such as increased revenue, improved customer satisfaction and a reduction in complaints. The challenge is that some results are easier to track than others. For example, measuring a reduction in complaints is much easier than tracking customer satisfaction rates as some customers may not complete a feedback form.
Another challenge is that results from a CX programme can sometimes take a long period of time to be evident. This could be due to long implementation times, bureaucracy and issues with legacy technology.
So what can CX leaders do to maximise the financial impact of a CX programme?
What can CX leaders do to maximise the financial impact of a CX programme?
Let’s look at six strategies which can boost the ROI of any CX initiative.
Understand the current state of customer experience
Organisational leaders should have a good understanding of customer experience within their company – including strengths, weaknesses and key challenges. To get a clear picture, a corporate analysis should take place before a CX programme is implemented. The following metrics and information can be included within the analysis:
- Customer feedback: scores and a sample of written feedback.
- Public reviews: a sample of public reviews from trusted customer review sites.
- Customer retention: a customer retention rate measured over four quarters.
- Revenue: quarterly revenue data.
- Staff interactions: observations should take place to analyse customer interactions with frontline staff to identify key issues and any common training needs.
Once the analysis has taken place, a report should be written and presented to key stakeholders to show the current state of CX. This will provide a reference which can be used as a tool for comparison once any CX programmes are implemented.
Set measurable goals
To make the best use of any CX programme budget, setting measurable goals is absolutely essential. Goals can be set around different metrics such as customer feedback, revenue and customer satisfaction scores.
Goals should be aligned with the overall company vision and should be measurable over time. Avoid setting a goal to make your company more ‘customer centric,’ as this is objective and almost impossible to prove. Instead, opt for SMART goals such as the following:
- To increase the number of positive reviews on Trustpilot by 10% over 12 months.
- To improve your Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) from 80% to 90% over 18 months.
- To improve the quality of customer service calls by providing communication training to all of your frontline teams by the end of the fourth quarter.
Create a clear plan
Every CX programme needs a clear plan of action to achieve its goals. The person in charge of the programme should have a documented plan broken down into annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly action steps.
The plan should also include milestones of achievement across various metrics. For example, metrics can include meeting a new revenue goal, training a certain amount of customer service staff, or implementing a new technology aimed at enhancing the customer experience.
Gain corporate buy-in
Ensure to communicate the details of your CX programme before it goes live and aim to get staff excited and involved in the programme. If new ways of working are being introduced, then help staff to adopt the changes by highlighting the benefits and giving them plenty of time to understand the new arrangements.
Encourage employees to get involved with the CX programme by offering reward and recognition for their contributions.
Additionally, encourage employees to get involved with the CX programme by offering reward and recognition for their contributions. When I worked at Santander many moons ago, the bank offered ‘Red Letter Days’ to anyone who scored high on mystery shop results. I can proudly say I won a dinner for 2 in London, which was certainly a great bonus!
To get the best ROI from a CX programme, key stakeholders should have a clear picture on how the programme is performing. This can be achieved by the Head of CX providing the following information to the C-Suit:
- A monthly performance report demonstrating the progress of the programme.
- A Quarterly budget report showing how the budget has been spent.
- A Quarterly ROI report showing how the programme has impacted the company’s bottom line.
- A substantial Annual CX Programme Report to demonstrate the ROI, how the budget was spent and a measurement of CX improvement metrics.
All CX programmes should be flexible with the ability to pivot and change. For example, if an improvement initiative was supposed to improve customer acquisition by 10% and it has only increased by 2%, then the programme may need to change. The person in charge should be able to analyse, troubleshoot, tweak and improve the programme to realign its activities leading to the desired financial outcomes.
Overall, a CX programme can make a positive contribution to the financial outcomes of an organisation. Companies who focus on improving CX report an 84% increase in revenue.
To achieve these results, your CX programme should have clear goals, a specific direction and the ability to change and refocus if the financial benefits are not materialising.
Rachel is the Founder and CEO of The Experience Corporation. The company helps organisations of all sizes to create meaningful, profitable and wonderful customer experiences. This is done through online training programs, consulting and free resources.
Rachel has over 14 years of experience working in professional CX roles including a...