Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What's in Your #CX Budget?

Image courtesy of Pixabay
What's in your customer experience strategy budget?

Traditionally, customer experience professionals have no budget.

By that I mean that they have no allocated financial resources for improvements to be made as a result of the learnings from surveys and other listening posts, journey mapping, and other customer experience strategy exercises that become the catalyst for onstage customer experience or behind-the-scenes process improvements. Those financial resources fall into the budgets of the departments where changes are to be made.

Despite that, customer experience professionals still need to develop a budget for the work that they do and for the resources they need for that work. After all, none of that work or technology is free!

I thought I'd capture some of the items that you should be sure to include in your CX budget. Here's what I've come up with, so far.

1. Personnel
Obviously, this important work cannot all be done by one person. So you'll want to ensure that your team's fully-loaded salaries are included in your budget.

2. Technology
There are various CX technologies that you'll want to include in the budget, including but not limited to:
  • VoC platform
  • VoE platform (if different)
  • Text analytics solution
  • Predictive/prescriptive analytics solution
  • Journey mapping/management platform
  • Project management software
In addition to these external solutions, your budget might also get hit by fees from your IT department for work they perform to trigger surveys, store data, develop an intranet for you to share ongoing progress, and any other tools or data needs they must provide for.

3. Consultants
Yes, you may need to engage with consultants to assist you along the way - whether they are there to coach and advise or to actually conduct a chunk of the work. Be sure to factor in their time, materials, resource, and travel needs and expenses.

4. CX Initiatives
There are various initiatives along your journey that you'll want to be sure to factor into your budget, including:
  • Survey design and associated costs (not technology): these might be allocated under 3. Consultants, but just keep associated costs in mind under this header.
  • Customer journey mapping workshops: even if you don't hire a consultant to conduct the mapping sessions with/for you, you'll still need to factor in location costs, materials, food and beverages, etc.
  • Design thinking workshops: again, even if you don't hire a consultant, you'll probably want to factor in some location, materials, and food and beverage costs for this.
  • CAB meetings: be sure to factor in moderator fees, graphic recorder fees (if any), location fees, materials, food and beverages, any travel expenses you might incur yourself or reimburse for attendees, etc.
  • Persona development: while this may fall under the marketing budget, the CX design personas are more specific and require fine-tuning beyond what marketing and UX (which are often product-specific personas) develop.
5. EX Initiatives
This list for employee experience initiative expenses will look similar to #4. You'll notice that there are no pizza parties or pool tables included in this budget! Be sure to factor the following into your budget:
  • Survey design and associated costs (not technology): these might be allocated under 3. Consultants, but just keep associated costs in mind under this header.
  • Customer journey mapping workshops: even if you don't hire a consultant to conduct the mapping sessions with/for you, you'll still need to factor in location costs, materials, food and beverages, etc.
  • Design thinking workshops: again, even if you don't hire a consultant, you'll probably want to factor in some location, materials, and food and beverage costs for this.
  • EAB meetings: be sure to factor in moderator fees, graphic recorder fees (if any), location fees, materials, food and beverages, any travel expenses you might incur yourself or reimburse for attendees, etc.
  • Culture Ambassador meetings: again, factor in location, materials, food, and beverages for these meetings.
  • Persona development: different roles and responsibilities have different experiences within the company; it's important to understand how the personas differ in order to design the corresponding experience.
6. Training and Education
This is an important part of your career development. Make sure to include in your budget a line item each for CXPA membership, certification, and events, as well as for attending other CX conferences.

7. Miscellaneous
Nobody likes to see a "miscellaneous" line item without good reason, but this is where some things like marketing swag and other branding for this journey will fall. Unless, of course, your marketing team wants to eat that in their budget! I'm sure there are other items that will land in this bucket, as well.

I know I haven't captured everything. What am I missing?

A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. -Dave Ramsey

10 comments:

  1. I suspect the budget will be a long tome coming Annette. I wonder how much you can get done for free?

    Or at least, just an investment of your time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, for many, unfortunately.

      I did write a post about some things you can do without hiring a consultant and/or that cost nothing but time...

      http://www.cx-journey.com/2016/11/understand-current-state-of-your.html

      Delete
  2. Excellent read as always... I would add Incentives to the list. This may be potentially incentives for respondents to participate in the feedback (not that I advocate) or rewards/recognition efforts for internal employees (scores tied to compensation, ad-hoc rewards for excellent service, team events, etc.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Joe. Incentives are a good addition. Do you think bonuses/comp/rewards would fall under the CX budget or under HR?

      Delete
  3. Suggestion made via LinkedIn was to add a category for "CX Research" under 4. CX Initiatives. This category would include things such as: Forrester or Gartner (analyst) reports, benchmark reports, and benchmark data.

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  4. Annette, this is a great post - thanks for sharing. I have worked with a number of clients who, initially, had zero dollars budgeted to enhance the Customer Experience, Engagement, Success and ultimately Advocacy. A blog I posted a few weeks ago may be of interest: Yes, You Do Have Budget for Customer Success http://bit.ly/2tn0QyL

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  5. I would have totally missed the Misc. Line of the budget. That seems to be a big one in any budget.

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  6. Annette,
    I like how you highlight more than just run of the mill training for say products, etc. but for membership in key organizations and even conferences. Sometimes people get siloed and forget that there is a bigger CX world out there..

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