Europe Perspective: Building a Business Case for Customer Experience

By Danny Rippon, CRM Business Solutions Director

As a Customer Experience (CX) professional you’ll be used to dealing with questions about the CX return on investment. You’ll also know that sometimes it’s challenging to elicit from colleagues the same CX fervour you have.

Well, the following insight from an Oracle CX report may change all that:

NOT offering a positive, consistent and brand-relevant customer experience could see revenues drop by as much as 18% among European organizations.

Doing nothing clearly isn’t an option, yet despite its potential impact on revenue, only 36% of the survey’s respondents are getting started with a formal customer initiative.

While European executive insights contained in the report underscore the importance of delivering brand differentiating customer experiences, along with the potential revenue loss if not explicitly focused on, they also flagged the barriers hindering CX progress. Building a business case for CX can be tough; it typically requires organisational, technological and cultural change in order to be successful. Siloed organisations and difficult tracking performance/customer feedback were identified as two of the highest scoring issues CX professionals need to overcome before emba
rking on successful CX execution.

In my experience, it’s often the cultural change that’s the biggest barrier to overcome, bringing together key stakeholders from across the business and uniting them with a common goal requires a really strong vision of the brand promise.

The challenge of galvanising an organisation to become customer centric is amplified when you consider that lack of budget is the biggest barrier to great customer experiences. My argument is that one doesn’t come without the other.

Even though we have concrete evidence that non, or under, investment in CX impacts revenue directly through customer attrition and indirectly through socialised dissatisfaction, in an economically sensitive climate, the projects most likely to get funded are those that are transformational and so have the attention of the board. The only real way to achieve such status is through departmental collaboration–the more functional leads lending voice to the requirement the more likely it is to become a fully funded business imperative.

71% of respondents agree that customers have more power than they did three years ago. What’s surprising is that, despite this acknowledgment, amazingly few organisations are doing enough to bring customer experience up to the standards required by the modern market, leaving to chance the possibility of being competitively outmanoeuvred.

My advice?

It’s time to break down organisational siloes. A good place to start is by getting folks from different departments in a room to map out a customer journey to understand how a customer moves through a research, buying and owning cycle. Documenting where processes, technology and departments are successful and where they are fail makes explicit the need for investment and what the positive impact of that investment will be.

Afterall, when consumers interact with an organisation, they don’t think ‘sales, marketing or service department,’ they think ‘brand.’ And they don’t think ‘online, store, mobile’ either. They think ‘what’s convenient for me at this precise moment,’ and they expect brands to think like that too.

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