Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Customer Experience and the Bottom Line

Image courtesy of dizzycage
Still trying to show executives how your proposed customer experience improvement initiatives impact the bottom line?

As you know by now, I'm no stranger to advocating for - and writing about - ROI and building the business case for you employee and customer experience improvements.

The implications of investing in both the employee experience and the customer experience are measurable against the bottom line. There's a lot of evidence out there, and yet, customer experience professionals are constantly asked to prove it. 

I've written on this topic numerous times, from different angles...

The Elusive ROI of Customer Experience
What is the #CX End Game?
The Business Case for a Great Employee Experience
Help! My Execs Don't Get It!
So, You've Got Executive Commitment...
What's the Cost of Listening to Customers
The Economics of the Customer Experience

 ... and I'll continue to write about it because it's one that will never go away, as evidenced by some research published recently by Avanade and Sitecore. Their report summarizes interviews conducted with 880 high-level decisions makers in a variety of roles and industries around the globe. I've highlighted some of their key findings below.

Focusing on the customer experience has clear benefits.
  • For every dollar invested in the customer experience, expect three times that in return on investment ($3 for every $1 invested). Some industries, like financial services, saw even higher ($5) returns!
  • Having a solid customer experience strategy can result in a 22% increase in lifetime value of customers.
  • Customer experience improvements lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • A better customer experience also yields increased revenues, improved sales cycles, and increased profitability.
Interestingly, among those interviewed for this research, the competition is driving the need to focus on the customer experience more than the customer is. Not surprisingly then, only 14% are able to get ahead of their customers' changing wants and needs.

I've written twice before about what a bad idea it is to chase the competition.

Innovate - Don't Imitate
Are We Dumbing Down the Customer Experience?

It's still a bad idea! Focus on your customers and their needs, not on your competition. Listen to, and understand, your customers. Don't let the competition dictate your business decisions and your customer experience.

When it came to naming those things that hold companies back from delivering a great experience, the top three mentions were:
  • outdated systems and technology
  • lack of skills to implement and manage and end-to-end customer experience
  • inability to deliver a seamless experience across various devices 
As a result, the authors end the report by outlining three items that clearly need to be a part of your customer experience strategy going forward; invest in...
  • innovative marketing technologies
  • your people and expertise
  • a seamless customer experience management system that brings it all together
Sounds easy, right? You and I know it's not. And we also know it's a bit of a circular argument and effort: you need to prove the numbers before executives will invest in those three items. Hopefully you can build your own business case, but it doesn't hurt to share some of these findings to demonstrate what's possible.

If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, you can bet the water bill is higher. -Debbie Macomber


4 comments:

  1. Annette, thanks for the post and the other articleslisted, this a very relevant topic and one that impacts the success and continuity of the CX team in any organisation.

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    1. You're welcome, John. Thanks for reading!

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  2. Hi Annette,
    When you say "Don't let the competition dictate your business decisions and your customer experience".....I talked about this very thing at a conference I was chairing last week when I suggested that competing means keeping up not leading. To lead you have to be brave, to be willing to do the work that no other wants to do, to take risks and to be willing to make mistakes/fail. I wonder how many firms and executives that say they want to deliver a great CX are really willing to do what it takes?

    Adrian

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    1. Great way to differentiate between competing and innovating. To answer your question, whatever the number is, it's not enough!

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