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Proving ROI
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Prove ROI or pay the price, CX leaders warned


A new report implores CX leaders to prove their financial and personal value, or else risk being casualties of company cost-cutting crackdowns.

10th Mar 2023
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As organisations prioritise cost-cutting over revenue growth, customer experience leaders must follow suit and identify ways to cut costs quickly — but without sacrificing CX quality.

This is one of the key recommendations from Forrester in a new report sharing advice on how customer experience leaders can navigate the economic downturn in 2023.

During the current cost-of-living crisis, with people and businesses alike suffering from financial instability, it is essential that CX leaders step up to help support and boost the resilience of their colleagues.

It may sound obvious, but in the present circumstances the most effective way that this can be achieved is by proving the ROI of their work.

Compiled by a number of experts, the report argues that whilst cost-cutting is inevitable, it is the role of CX leaders to ensure that only well-informed cuts which do not negatively impact the quality of CX are made.

A key tool in assisting CX leaders in arguing their cases, is the use of prioritisation frameworks. These frameworks can help  to identify what changes will lower costs and how these changes will affect customer experiences.

For those leaders without an existing prioritisation framework, the report recommends the employment of Forrester’s beginner-level CX prioritisation approach – which can help justify novel solutions to long-standing cost issues.

The report goes on to outline three of the most common solutions to these issues:

  • Simplifying the online customer login and payments experiences.
  • Consolidating employee-facing tools so they can provide better CX in less time.
  • Moving to a virtual contact centre.

How valuable is your team?

Whilst having a voice in the cost-cutting process and proving the ROI of CX were the major takeaways, the report also outlined other ways in which CX leaders can prosper during the economic downturn.

Peacocking; being unique; thinking outside the box; standing out from the pack; or for this writer, due to a poster in his primary school of a group of zebras with their faces towards the camera and one turning away, being the backwards zebra – whatever your tipple, being distinctive and able to provide different perspectives and viewpoints is always a strong skill to possess, and this situation is no different.

This is particularly pertinent during a year when CX differentiation is set to erode in an unprecedented 75% of industries.

In order to stay ahead of the curve, the report suggests leaders should ditch CX strategies that try to appeal to the entire market, and instead focus on existing devoted customers who are already deeply loyal to the brand and cheaper to serve and retain.

Another key area discussed in the report, is the skillsets of new and existing staff – and how to get the best out of these people.

Just as proving the financial value of CX is vital, so too is proving the value of the individuals within your CX teams.

Just as proving the financial value of CX is vital, so too is proving the value of the individuals within your CX teams.

CX leaders should find opportunities to use their teams’ skills beyond the usual scope of their day-to-day CX tasks. In doing so, this will deepen the value of the CX teams to their organisations and cement their place at the centre of future customer obsession transformations.

This same mindset should be adopted when it comes to recruitment. CX leaders who are hiring in 2023 should prioritise candidates with a wide variety of skills – including those not traditionally associated with CX.

In particular, the report outlines candidates with experience and expertise in the areas of critical data, design, and journey skills as those who can add the most value to your CX team.

There is no denying that CX, along with most professions, is going to have a tough year. And in tough times, ruthless decisions must be made.

Whilst it may not be possible to incorporate all of the suggestions in your company, CX leaders must take action sooner or later, or risk being amongst the first casualties when the inevitable cuts do come.

The overarching theme that comes out from this report above all else, is to make yourself valuable. 

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