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Listen Up CX Execs. Have you forgotten your most important customer?

Everyone working in the world of CX is an expert in keeping customers happy. You understand that good customer listening, feedback and insights will fuel a superior customer experience, and you are passionate about moving your dynamic CX programmes up the company agenda.

Is everyone in the business as enthusiastic as you about the transformative benefits of CX? Probably not.

That’s not to say that your company’s board and senior managers don’t get it. They do. They know that retail customer expectations are soaring and people are more likely than ever to walk away if they’re not happy. They understand that losing customers means losing revenue and paying out for the costly business of acquisition. And they agree that in 2020’s volatile retail environment, improving the customer experience must be a key differentiator.

With the first retail casualties of 2020 already down, all of this means it’s likely that the C-suite will be open to listening to anything you have to say on delivering happy, loyal customers – and fast. Amongst Critizr’s network there is growing confidence that CX is finally getting the attention it deserves. Companies are interested and ready to commit. Gartner’s recent report shows that more than two-thirds of CX leaders are planning budget increases in 2020, a significant increase on the previous year’s figure of less than half. (Gartner 2019 Customer Experience Management Survey). And with few companies having the infrastructure and technology to deliver CX improvement, there is a strong case for investment – and a golden opportunity for CX executives to get their plans up and running.

So why does insight running alongside this show that 1 in 4 CX professionals may lose their jobs this year? (Forrester Predictions 2020 Guide)?

The problem lies in what we call ‘The CX Money Story’. The task of quantifying and articulating the ROI of CX initiatives. At a time of sustained turmoil in the retail industry, we predict that this will be the year’s biggest challenge for everyone working in CX, as projects and priorities from across the business compete for backing and budget.

So in 2020 I’m urging everyone working in CX to reset the way they think about their senior teams and start viewing them as your most important customer. Without their buy-in, carefully crafted and potentially transformative plans risk going nowhere. Don’t assume your bosses will share your belief in the power of CX. You need a compelling business narrative that demonstrates value and financial impact. In short, you have to show them the money!

To secure your company’s buy-in in 2020, here are Critizr’s five golden rules for building a powerful CX money story

  • Talk the C-suite talk: understand what makes your bosses tick and what the strategic priorities are across your business – not just in your department. The Critizr ethos is ‘whole company’ customer-centricity to effect powerful change and business value. If you don’t break out of your own CX focus and create a whole business story linked to the company’s big commercial plans for the next few years, your CX strategy may not land as well as you hope.
  • Use the right metrics: it’s likely that you will have a lot of data sitting in silos across your business: CRM, loyalty, POS, referral and VOC. Be completely clear on which metrics will be improved by your CX programme, whether that’s an increased NPS score or better customer satisfaction rates. But focus your plan also on what this means for the business metrics that matter most to your senior team: increased revenue and reduced costs. To put it bluntly, how will your programme impact the bottom line?
  • Show a clear roadmap: assess where your company is now with CX – your CX maturity – and start there. Use trusted industry CX ROI models to demonstrate the impact of your proposal. Present a clear roadmap of where you want to get to and the actions that would be required to augment existing systems and introduce new ones to get there.
  • Showcase the drivers of CX ROI: this is where the strongest money stories lies, particularly if you back your strategy with some of the available CX ROI financial models to help you monetise business value. The key points to look at:
    • Enrichment: happy customers spending more. Critizr’s research shows that a 1 point increase in your NPS score translates to 0.75% increased revenue. Forrester reports that 77% of customers who are happy plan to increase spending with a brand (Forrester The UK Customer Experience Index, Nov 2019).
    • Retention: happy customers staying with your brand. This is a big selling point for your plan, since it delivers consistent revenue and profit, plus it saves your company money in terms of ‘customer churn’.
    • Advocacy: happy customer referrals. 81% of customers who are happy plan to advocate for the brand (Forrester The UK Customer Experience Index Nov 2019) which means saving money on acquisition (your happy customers are doing this for you). It also means increased revenue, since our research shows that referred customers actually spend more than acquired ones.

Alongside these three points, don’t forget to include the business value of other factors such as increased e-reputation and happier and more satisfied staff leading to lower recruitment costs.

  • Build a long term vision: retail industry experts are agreed that CX isn’t going to fall out of fashion any time soon. So take a long term, sustainable view to your board. You want them to invest in this year’s plan, but also to commit to growing the CX budget for the long term. Gartner’s recent survey revealed that CX leaders who show how customer satisfaction drives business results get a larger budget – and firms which have established a positive relationship between improving customer satisfaction and business impact are more likely to expect significant budget increases.


About Critizr

Hazel Morton leads Critizr’s UK marketing team and was named in CX Networks 30 under 30 game changers within Customer Experience in 2018. Critizr is Europe’s leading Customer Feedback platform. Founded in in 2012, the Critizr platform is used in 25 countries by over 80 of Europe’s biggest companies. It is transforming the way these businesses listen to and understand their customers, empowering their staff to take action and deliver a great customer experience every day.

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