The ROI of a Strategic CX Foundation

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We often hear from clients that they need to tangibly demonstrate the ROI of their VOC program and, more broadly, their CX strategy to senior executives.  Sometimes this need is indirect, an implication from questions like, “How can I convince senior leadership to buy in to my CX roadmap?” To, “Our execs don’t seem to value CX, even though they know it’s important from a competitive perspective…”

Other times it’s very clear and direct, seen when senior leadership won’t sign off on this without a strong business case.

In our world, return on investment is important.  Calculating, then communicating the financial return of a CX-focused strategy isn’t just important for justifying your CX roadmap (let alone your CX department’s existence), but it also helps you find alignment. A common language, so to speak. After all, if you and your CEO are each missing what the other is saying, how can you convince her to make the Customer Experience central to your company’s strategy?

When you find common language, real communication and progress can occur.  At MaritxCX, we know from our forty-plus years of experience that there is real demonstration of ROI in relation to CX. We want to help our clients communicate this, and with data we’ve found a way.

Our new CXEvolution framework was designed specifically around what a company stands to gain when it’s structured to maximize CX success, as well as what stands to lose when it lacks key CX capabilities. Concretely and tangibly, we continuously make the program applicable to the kinds of companies we work with every day.

Below are some top line results from the study. Does CX matter? Yes, and not only to a company’s loyalty scores, but the vital deliverables are seen most clearly in the financial return to the business.

The CXEvolution study is geared toward identifying what your ROI might be when you deliberately orient your company toward the goal of CX, to the point where delivering a great customer experience becomes almost effortless.

In our CXEvolution study, we identified six key domains that we think of as foundational capabilities that must be presently working together to provide a great customer experience. Those foundational capabilities include some of the things you’d want for any VOC program, like procuring the right CX technologies and learning/applying key customer insights.

But they also include crucial things like having a company strategy that explicitly includes CX, implementing processes that make it so CX is built-in to the everyday company workings, and hiring people that not only have a natural aptitude for CX but that are surveyed VoE trained. It’s also important to create business milestones and rewards for continuing to have a customer-first focus.

And lastly, the measurement of results that come from all these efforts. Because as we all know, it’s awfully hard to manage what you don’t measure – and in any business effort, you need to show results, right?

I mentioned that these six domains are foundational capabilities.  That’s an important point, because these domains are not so much about the financial return on specific customer-focused initiatives, but the benefit possible from structuring your organization to deliver a great customer experience.  That CX-focused organizational structure is the springboard, and, I’d say, prerequisite for success with CX-focused initiatives. It’s all about getting specific with actionable findings.

In our CXEvolution study, more than 10k,000 CX practitioners were surveyed, measuring 54 indicators of those six key organizational domains. Using that data, we’ve identified 4 levels of performance (which you see here) culminating in a “best practice” level (aka Stage 4) Oh, and of course we have tied those levels to ROI!

As you could imagine, focusing on 54 different specific capabilities could quickly become overwhelming.  To help companies figure out which best practices are worth striving for, we apply our CXEvolution framework to what we know about a company by having a representative sample of their employees complete our CXEvolution survey. From there we can prioritize which of the 54 drivers that company should focus its’ tie to for financial impact.

That means that a company does not have to perform at a “best practice” level in every sector to achieve financial benefit. Regardless of what stage the company is at, we can identify which capabilities have direct impact in driving the biggest financial return. Focus can constantly be discovered and adjusted for increased benefit.

A cool thing about our huge CXEvolution dataset is that we have enough information to see what this looks like by industry, and what the specific next steps are for companies to utilize those key foundational capabilities to their fullest potential. That’s where our individual-level business case comes in. Our data, and our ROI estimates can even be applied at individual company level.

And that brings me back to my initial point. We know from our clients that it’s helpful (if not necessary) for CX leaders to speak the same language as their CEOs.  That language universally is the language of financial return, so the argument should be in dollars and cents (or your local denomination).

At MaritzCX, our empirical, data-derived tools can not only help you make your business case, but will simplify the vast net of possibilities into top priorities that will deliver the greatest impact. Resulting in a win-win for all; a business case for your CEO, and a prioritized roadmap for you.

Partly adapted from the webinar “Ending the Data Debates on the Value of Customer Advocacy

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