Elevating Your Argument For More Investment Into CX And Digital Transformation
Convincing your board to invest more in customer experience (CX) and digital transformation is always a challenge. Many board level executives will never invest in projects that fail to offer a rapid Return on Investment (ROI) and, as I explained in an earlier article, it can often be difficult to draw a direct line from a CX initiative to increased sales or revenue.
Difficult, but not impossible. As my most recent article explains, it is often difficult to find the ROI of CX investment because CX is not integrated into all customer-facing activities. Most sales teams are rewarded based on their performance - why isn’t the customer service team managed in a similar way?
But I think that when exploring new investment in customer service any manager facing down the board needs to stress at least these three important points:
Although the conservative option appears to be spending nothing, or spending less, this choice can actually be dangerous. If your company existed in a bubble without any interactions with the outside world then doing nothing may be an option, but we live in a world where customer preferences and tastes are constantly changing. Competitors are launching new and improved services and entirely new market entrants may challenge your business. Kodak is a classic example of a business that was trying to be innovative and yet in all the wrong ways. Often, doing nothing can be the more dangerous option for your business.
Who still thinks of Amazon as just a retail brand? One third of all cloud computing globally is now handled by Amazon. If Amazon Web Services (AWS) ever has a problem then it becomes a major news story because thousands of other companies rely on their systems. Look around at your industry now. I bet there are leading brands that did not even exist a decade ago. Look at the banking sector for an example of just how fast things can change. Traditional banks are now playing catchup as dozens of bright start-ups are using financial technologies to offer extremely customer-centric financial services.
Your industry will not stand still. New market entrants are always appearing and leading companies, such as Google and Amazon, are always ready to enter a new market if they can see how to disrupt it and change the rules.
It’s time to stop thinking of customer interactions as individual exchanges lasting just a few minutes. The customer journey should now be measured in years - Google thinks about customer relationships in decades. Are you just measuring the length of a call? How are you using your customer service processes to stay in touch with existing customers so they return again?
Look at the global network of running clubs organized by Nike. Actions like this keep customers engaged over the long term and keep them connected to the brand. Customers today want a relationship with the brands they love - we are no longer talking about just managing complaint calls in a contact center. We are building relationships that last.
It’s always tough to prove ROI conclusively when the board asks for a plan, but CX and digital transformation need to be at the top of the board agenda. The real question to ask is whether your brand will still be around a decade from now if you do not invest in improving CX.
My last three articles have all focused on CX and the boardroom - in particular how to justify the required investment in creating great CX for your customers. I’m going to continue adding new articles so watch my LinkedIn for the next update. Feel free to also use my LinkedIn if you have any questions or just want to get in touch.