3 Strategies for Getting Executive Buy-In for CX Initiatives


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A lack of executive engagement is one of the top digital customer challenges facing customer experience (CX) professionals. Without proper C-suite support, organizations are almost certainly unable to make the investments necessary for commensurate ROI. 

When used correctly, three strategies can help convince executives of the need for a customer experience program.

1. Focus on the solution.

To ensure executive buy-in for your CX initiatives, you need to clearly articulate the business case for why the company should invest the resources—time, money, people, and technology. 

Use appropriate metrics that speak to the current state of affairs to support your position. Categorize the numbers in a way that’s already familiar to leadership, and demonstrate how a CX program will make a positive impact on that same set of facts and figures. You don’t want to waste time explaining the data instead of the program itself.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is popular because it asks about customer recommendation, and if the answer is yes, then your brand has done something right. Executives like it for its simplicity, but this can also be a shortcoming because NPS doesn’t dig into why a customer gave their rating. In contrast, a CX program creates a three-legged stool of data comprised of NPS, emotion (trust), and effort (how easy is it to interact with your brand) using tools such as speech analytics to understand why a contact went well or where it went poorly. 

2. CX initiatives drive business forward.

Employing certain analytics tools can uncover inefficiencies at various points of a customer’s journey that, when solved, increase brand loyalty. For example, pointing the finger at contact center associates for failed customer satisfaction surveys without examining the reasons for poor ratings leaves your business at a disadvantage. 

This was the case for a large healthcare organization that implemented an app so patients could pay bills right from their phones and avoid navigating the website or relying on the mail. Leadership needed to understand why, then, so many customers were contacting the call center to complete their payments.

Just looking at the company’s NPS would not have revealed where the problem originated. By using speech analytics, executives learned that 60 percent of visitors were unable to complete their payments through the app because of an issue with specific accounts and contact codes. 

Digging deeper into the CX dilemma identified a failure point the development team and engineers could fix. They corrected an issue originating in the app’s development that had a negative impact on the customer experience and the organization’s ROI. 

3. Maps keep everyone on the same page.

A critical component for the success of your CX program is connecting executives and CX practitioners. Bridging that potential gap is the map of your customers’ journey created with market and industry research combined with customer input. It’s hard to argue with the customer feedback obtained through post-contact surveys, call monitoring, speech analytics, and more. 

Executives need to understand why your customers buy from you and not a competitor, as well as what keeps them coming back. Not all customers are the same, so your business possibly solves a different pain point for each of them. 

The customer journey map helps your executive team prioritize which benchmarks need attention, based on criteria gleaned from customer responses, and communicate them to the CX implementation team. Without this agreement, everyone may be working toward different goals.

Final thoughts: Start with short-term wins.

The contradictory reality is that many executives agree with the need for a customer experience program, but they lack the resources to truly put goals into action. Offering quick CX wins that can be realized in 30 days rarely elicits the same C-suite hesitancy as a longer-term program—and these shorter-term wins often make leadership more willing to commit to a more comprehensive CX effort.

Joe Piette
Joe Piette is EVP of customer experience at Andrew Reise. He's helped hundreds of clients with CX and is passionate about balancing brand promises with customer expectations, unifying organizations and their cultures, finding opportunities, removing waste, rallying to drive business growth, and moving customers to be passionate about a brand.


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