Our latest POV on how customer experience drives everything from concept and creative to design and technology

The Financial Value of Experience Management

by Diane Magers, CCXP

There is a fundamental shift in the way organizations need to think and work that is being driven the customer expectations. It is the realization that employees and customers are the ultimate source of value. Defining success for your experience discipline takes more than voice of customer and metrics. It requires linkage to true financial impacts.

Taking action from data and demonstrating measurable financial results are the most commonly mentioned obstacles when discussing customer experience data and analytics. In many organizations, there are so many opportunities and so much data (the old fable “water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink” comes to mind), it’s difficult to know what to action on and how to weave together the actions will impact the customer’s lives and our organizations. Multiply that by the challenges of showing the results of the work to improve financial results. There are steps you can take to enlighten your way past these obstacles.

Really understand the human side of the data

Great CX is about understanding, empathy and kindness. When starting CX, we tend to focus on data, response rates and scores. But all intelligence and information about customers isn’t created equal. Numbers, clicks, calls, and scores only get us so far. We need information that tells us the why. Data can inform, but not tell you why customers stay, buy more, or leave. We have to anticipate their needs and we can only do that by knowing what those needs are and why they behave the way they do in the first place.

  • Tip: Try looking at your customer intelligence (data) and ask yourself if it reveals any whys about how they are feeling about your brand or if it tells you how to anticipate their needs. If not, build in ways to achieve answers to these burning questions.

Always tell the human stories

Graphics, charts and numbers only tell a part of the tale. We are really using information to understand and design human experiences. We have experiences everyday with organizations. Think about a recent great experience you had, the emotions involved in that experience, and how you feel and act with that brand today. Psychology and neuroscience are playing a much bigger role in our experiences. So, tell the human story behind the data.

  • Tip: Try creating engaging videos of your customers sharing their experiences and get it in front of everyone in the organization. It brings life to the data and analytics.

Understand your customer’s desired outcomes

What would they consider success or delight? Or how interacting with your brand creates value for them (giving them back time, reducing stress, creating great memories)? By building your experiences around those answers, your brand will become much more valuable to your customers. We are trying to improve their lives, not just our survey scores.

  • Tip: Try exploring what customers are trying to achieve by using your product or service. How do they define success, how are you helping them achieve that success, and how does that impact your organization (i.e. they buy more, tell others, stay longer)? This will help drive your actions toward the most optimal impact.

For example, leaders might ask: why do customers choose us, why did they leave us, what are they saying about us, what’s the impact of those activities on our success? It’s finding the ‘Why’ of how they behave the way they do – based on their experiences – that is the core of what we do to be customer centered. Understanding the answers to these questions can help This becomes the basis for creating both customer and business value and generating positive financial results.

  • Tip: Try asking each leader what customer behaviors matter to them and defining how improving CX can help them achieve their goals

Have a value plan and work the value plan

Clearly define how you will help the organization achieve their goals. Our role as customer experience professionals is to helicopter up and oversee direct, orchestrate and facilitate how the organization views the customer, each other, the brand, and everything they must do to drive improvement.

  • Tip: Define the story you want to tell a year from now. How will you leverage the data, how will it provide value to the organization, what changes will it drive and how will you measure it?

Learn how to define value creation with customer experience

If you don’t know how to tie customer experience to business results, it’s difficult to make progress. Leaders will want to see the brand progress to support or change what they do to continue to support your efforts.

  • Tip: Try storytelling about a project that impacted customers and the business. Link that story to the outcomes the organization is trying to achieve. For example, one company I worked with optimized their Request for Proposal approach by consolidating knowledge systems, capturing tribal knowledge, created a virtual, RFP Rapid Response team and created an online working collaboration site rather than using email. The results were reduced systems costs, increase productivity, and a higher win rate – all reflected in revenue and cost numbers. We shared those numbers with positive feedback from employees and customers as well as positive metrics on NPS, Effort Score and Likelihood to continue business.

Creating simple, human centered ways to look at the data and analytics can help you get to insights and action. Keeping the element of value – for customers and the organization – can help you focus on driving intentional action and results.