Workforce Optimization Software Featured Article

How to Build a Business Case for Customer Experience

December 06, 2017
By Special Guest
Laura Bassett, Director of Marketing, Enterprise Solutions, Avaya -

Struggling to prove the tangible value of customer experience? You’re not alone. About half of businesses report being ineffective at measuring the impact of customer experience, and 27% are unsure if there is even a ROI for customer experience.

However, any successful company will tell you that your strategy will never truly take off until you create a business case for customer experience; one that secures buy-in, builds momentum and hammers through the tough questions.

Here are five questions you need to ask to build a solid business case for customer experience:

1.Who is responsible for customer experience?

Many organizations speak to the importance of customer experience without ever actually putting someone in charge of it.

Currently, board executives own customer experiencea non-board manager in charge of customer experience. For another 28%, customer experience is independently owned by channel managers.

To implement a successful customer experience strategy at your business, senior leadership should always be heavily involved because they have the influence to make it a priority while creating alignment across the company. 

2.What is a good ROI from customer experience?

The return on customer experience is often anecdotal or informal and doesn’t have to be in dollar terms. In fact, a recent study from Gartner (News - Alert) found that only 12% of companies measure ROI with a dollar value. But when they do, the results are evident. A recent report, for example, shows that when customer engagement is done right, companies boost revenue by 19%, lift sales cycle acceleration by 20%, and increase overall customer lifetime value by 22%.

These are numbers you can hang your hat on, and they don’t even account for things such as agent productivity gains. In this way, you may want to consider modeling ROI for better Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) impact.

3.What are appropriate goals for your customer experience program?

Specific goals depend on the business and the kind of return you’re targeting. In dollar terms, for example, a goal may be increased revenue through higher online sales. Other objectives can aim to increase retention rates or customer satisfaction.

Essentially, you need to determine what measures will create the most significant impact to key strategic priorities. And remember, simple changes can drive improvements across multiple facets to influence certain measures. Customer satisfaction, for example, likely provides measurable improvement across the business—from agent retention to revenue.

4.In what areas should you invest to maximize ROI?

Employee training? Technology? Third-party services? Once you know, dig deeper. Take employee training for example: does it require on-site crash courses or off-site conferences? Do you need to train everyone or only specific resources? To maximize your hard-earned dollars, you must identify the areas that will drive real results for your business.   The important message here is to take a moment to stop and think about it, do the legwork, make your plan, and then you will realize your results.

5.Should customer insights be used to drive customer experience innovations?

Surprisingly, 37% of companies report that they only occasionally use customer insights to drive decision-making. However, these measurements must be put into practice. If you don’t know which ones to focus on, then backtrack.

Ask yourself, which customer experience metrics are you looking to target, and how can you impact them?  By concentrating on things like “Customer Effort Score”, you’ll see how your customers want you to invest in their experience.

To stay relevant, businesses must invest in customer experience now. If you need to further justify an investment in customer experience, consider Forrester’s (News - Alert) Customer Experience Index: a one-point gain was found to be worth $175 million in additional revenue to a wireless provider, $118 million to a luxury automaker, and $65 million to an upscale hotel chain.

The proof of tangible return is there; it’s just a matter of answering the tough questions as part of building a business case for customer experience. Start mapping out your strategy today.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz