CX Skills Builder: How to articulate your CX Value and secure your budget
Two weeks ago, we urged you to find CX problems and fix them instead of diagnosing and mapping them. That is the right strategy when you are building buy in with the operation and when you are acting as a customer experience evangelist in your organization. It is necessary so you can have the right content for your business case and funding requests. To fix more impactful, systemic customer experience inefficiencies you need real money and executive buy in. To obtain that, you must articulate the business value of customer experience to your senior leadership.
Often, this is where all CX efforts stop. That is a shame because, if you have a seat at that table, that means your executives WANT to give you the money. They just need you to seal the deal, to walk them through the value prop for their shareholders.
But you fail at articulating the business impact of customer experience. Why?
You cannot articulate something you don’t know. The first roadblock for CX professionals is not going into the details enough. When faced with good questions from executives you are unable to answer them and unable to fight for that critical buy in.
To sell better customer experience, first clearly communicate how bad the current experience is and what the business impact of the bad experience is. Note that the harm to the business needs to be significant enough for your leaders to CARE. The level of negative impact must correspond to the level of investment you are requesting. For example, if you ask for funding to fix the recovery experience for your customers, but that only impacts 1% of your total customers, you may have to find a cheaper way to do what you want. In essence, all you are arguing is that you MAY increase the retention of SOME of the people in this 1%.
Demonstrate the Business Impact of Customer Experience
On the other hand, you could take the next steps and chase your company’s operational and reputation risks.
You can claim that, if the problem is not fixed and the company grows, experience disruptions will go on for much longer and will cost the company more and put your reputation at greater risk. With this approach, you have a shot at getting real money for customer experience from executives.
To succeed, think broadly.
Contrary to popular belief among CX professionals, you don’t only need to know the details of the business impact of customer experience in your CX program. You also need to know HOW you will spend the money. The details of the spend. When some CX leaders are asked how they will actually build the solutions they are seeking to fund, they answer “that is for IT to answer” or “most of it is IT.” These vague responses do not instill the confidence that you are knowledgeable enough to control the dollar spent once it is given to you.
As CX professionals, we all need to become more familiar and comfortable with the IT language and the IT world. Whether you like it or no, we are all becoming IT specialists too (just like IT professionals have a CX role). That does not mean you need to learn coding. It does mean you need to understand what data storage is and how much it costs, where IT Security sits and when you need them to approve your project, or how to look at and approve wireframes.
Last, but not least, a successful CX leader has control over the financial projections and management spend. Ideally, your finance group will be diligent and track your spend in real time. In reality, that rarely happens. You are the one who benefits from knowing where your money is going and if the rate of spend is matching the rate of product delivery. If you are told that 60% of your capital funding is spend and you are “on track” the first question to ask is have you build 60% of the deliverables? Are all the big ticket items allocated evenly, or is there a big bill that will come at the last minute and push you over budget?
If you don’t ask those questions, no one will. Even worse, your senior leaders will ask you and you will not know the answers. In general, you gain more credibility with your executives if you present comprehensive monthly financial reports, than if you are silent for the duration of your CX project and as surprised as your leaders are by the financial health of your portfolio at project end.
Use your CX skills to lead
This is the last piece of our CX Skills Builders series. The theme in throughout is to take action and to own your work. Too many people work hard and waste energy on the wrong things. Focus on results, acknowledge true Customer Experience roles, and think about what your company’s investment is fixing (or not) through the lens of your customer. If you follow these simple steps you will be a successful CX professional who communicates effectively the business impact of customer experience and leads the way for the future.
Enhance Your CX Skills
Become a Member of The Petrova Experience.
Why you need a defined culture for customer experience?
When designed and built correctly, customer experience expresses an organization’s brand. Your brand and marketing promises serve as a guiding light to your experience team. Similarly, organizational culture serves as a goalpost for the service side of customer experience.
Human Experience: Do You Really Know Your Customers?
Steve Jobs said: “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need before they realize it themselves.” He did not just say that….
Travel Experience Stories: How Not to Leave Customers Stranded
Meet Diane, and get to know her travel experience story. Diane is traveling with her 2 year old and 5 year old to her in-laws’ house for Thanksgiving. This is…
Organizational Culture and Access to Information
By and large, people perceive culture as an HR discipline. The most common perception is that culture covers the soft side of performance. Culture is about how you do things, not so much about what you do. This approach to culture could not be more wrong. In fact, organizational culture is about so much more than a few words in a performance review sheet. It is about leaders expressing values, and the action guidance their cultural behaviors provide.
The One CX Goal You Need to Set for 2019
For 2019, I urge you to make only one CX goal – bring about business success with your customer experience work. Don’t just do work in the general sense. Rather, set a CX goal that has a real impact on your customers and their experiences with your brand.
Autonomous Customers, Traveler Privacy and More Questions for CX Professionals in a Changing World
“As we move toward a more automated culture, most travelers will adapt to a Jetsonian, automated lifestyle. Every industry we know will be disrupted. For those of us in aviation,…
Would You Pitch In To Save Toys “R” Us For Your Children To Experience? #ToysRUsGoFundMe
Last week we laid out the big moves that the leadership of Toys ‘R’ Us failed to take to evolve with customer needs and thus joins other brands as examples of…
Freelance Customer Experience Lessons for Freelancers
For small businesses and freelancers alike, it’s important to recognize that your business is as strong as the relationships you build with your customers. That’s just one of the key…
Why Bt2B Businesses Must Think Like B2C in the Next Decade
B2B vs B2B thinking makes a real difference when it comes to customer experience. According to Gartner at least 80% of B2B buyers now expect the same buying experience as…
Culture Starts at the Top
Without a leader who believes that today’s business success is about acquiring and retaining customers, you cannot even begin the process of building a culture. Leaders who are passionate about the customer are also passionate about creating culture and employee engagement.
4 Career Tips to obtain a Customer Experience Role
In honor of the 4th of July, we are rounding up 4 career tips for CX professionals. Set aside some time during the break from work to take stock in your CX career and evaluate the steps you need to get to the next level.
Let’s Get You Certified as a Customer Experience Professional!
Like all mature professions, customer experience has a certification that is internationally recognized. Adding it to your resume will signal to the business community that you are serious about customer experience and your aspiration to be part of its leadership ranks…
Poor Integration is Bad for Customer Journey and Worse for Brands
Although we all have bad customer experiences, there is still a big debate about “the CX field” and whether it will survive the test of time. There is no doubt…
Aviation Industry, Coronavirus Isn’t the Only Thing Killing Us
Eighteen years ago, September 11th caused a three-day halt of the US commercial airlines and resulted in a 31.6% reduction in travel in September 2001 compared to the previous year….
Is Covid19 What We Needed to Build Seamless End-to-End Travel Experience?
On January 10th, we published an article called The Future of Travel We Deserve. In it, we laid out the foundation necessary to implement innovation at scale. Four months later,…
Customer Experience, Self Service, and the Gift of Time
Time is the most precious gift in life. If you think about it, time is the one thing we all want more of. As we get older and busier, time gets even more valuable to us.
How a Personal Interaction builds Customer Loyalty
A customer-centric methodology is key to the successful outcome of my interaction with Hello Spud. It is the reason this story appears here, and not among the CX Big Fails! The company did not send an automated response. It did not deliver a message stating “sorry we couldn’t help you, would you like something else.” Instead, the company co-founder reached out to me personally across multiple channels (a handwritten note, followed by personal emails).
Customer Facing Experience: Communication and Hospitality
Today, we are talking about communication as part of the customer facing experience. This is one of the most misused and misinterpreted notions both in our professional lives and our…
What is the survey question that will prioritize your #CX roadmap?
As customer experience professionals, we need to factor in this disconnect when we design surveys. And when we react to survey results. Customers have an image of who they want to be. However, their behaviors do not always reflect that image.
Employee Engagement and Wellness In The Workplace: Guest Post
Today, The Petrova Experience brings you a guest article about employee engagement, by Natlie DeVito of Commonwealth Joe. Commonwealth Joe is an innovative company, new to the New York City…
Customer Experience Audit: Mobile Provider Eliminates Remote Workforce
How to balance the efficiency call center metric FCR (first call resolution) with wait and talk time? JetBlue promotes human interactions as a brand promise.
How to Be an Entrepreneur: 5 Things I Learned in 5 Months as an Entrepreneur
The life of an entrepreneur is different every day, but the one thing that remains the same is that we are always learning. These are my lessons in how to…
3 Ways to Create a Better Employee Experience Strategy
Guest Post by Gabe Smith, CCXP for The Petrova Experience The relationship between employee experience strategy and customer experience has long been discussed. Without engaged employees, we’re told, it’s difficult…
How to Extend Your Travel Experience Value Proposition
Last December the Ladders published that discusses business travelers who extend travel beyond the timeline of the business trip. The article says, “[a]ccording to a new study by La Quinta by…
United CEO does not care about #customers happiness. Really?
Lately, I have been thinking about United Airlines. In the beginning I thought about them because someone asked whether it is possible to build a customer-centric culture in a company…
From Pain Points to Magical Moments: Transform the Customer Experience
Argyle Journal interviewed Liliana Petrova about emerging self service technology and meeting and exceeding customer expectations in airports. One such way, as Liliana explains, it to create magical customer experience…
Customer Experience Technology View of your Call Center
By 2022 the global cloud based contact center market is growing from USD 6.8Bn in 2017 to 20.93Bn in 2022. This makes for CAGR of 25.2%. If you do not…
Customer Experience Audit: Uber Bets On Self-Driving Cars With Big Volvo Purchase
The question that remains unanswered is who will be part of the future of transportation. Uber is going for the vertical integration – the whole pie. The future industry of urban transportation will be made of players in three different categories: cars, self-driving software, and ride-sharing network. In contrast, Lyft approaches the future through partnerships.
Even the US Government is Jumping on the Customer Experience Train
As we get ready for 2021, we have been diving in to the top customer experience trends we see on the horizon. So far, we have looked at why customer…
Leadership During the Pandemic: Guest Post by Rachel Dreyfus
This is a guest post by Rachel Dreyfus, President, Dreyfus Advisors, who researched leadership during the pandemic. How has Covid19 influenced leadership over the past three months? Research results show…
Customer Experience Design – How Do You Want Customers To Feel?
Last week, we talked about CX Design in terms of space and function. Today, we continue our CX design journey to talk about the design of emotions and feelings. The new…
Liliana Petrova Talks Patient Experience in Healthcare Podcast
Recently, we recorded a podcast on patient experience in healthcare with Stacey Richter. And today, we are excited to share it with you. Patient Experience in Healthcare vs Passenger Experience…
Customer Experience Audit: New York Times Beats Google
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audits. In this series we walk you through customer experience examples across industries. We feature brands that made…
Customer Experience Design – Make the Customer Know Who You Are
Now that we have helped you become experts in the design of space and function and the design of feelings, it is time to turn our attention to aesthetics, and to connect customer experience…
Customer Experience Audit: eBay’s Vibrant Marketplace of the Future
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audits. They highlight advances in artificial intelligence in retail and other technologies. See all audit stories. Two years…
Coronavirus Travel: What Does Hospitality Mean Now?
I want to tell you about my recent passenger experience. Earlier this week, I traveled to New Orleans from JFK Terminal 5 in New York. I had planned an airport…
Hiring Tips: Who Should I Hire First on My CX Team
The pressure to demonstrate business impact and ROI on your Customer Experience initiatives quickly makes your first hire even more important. As usual, there is no answer that fits all scenarios perfectly. We have some helpful strategies to consider based on the structure of your organization and your goals.
How To Define Your Purpose And Have Unique Culture
If you Google the word “purpose” you get the definition “the reason for which something exists.” This is a challenge if you think about it in the context of an…
Why You Need Culture Not Call Center Training for Customer-Centric CX
If the organization does not understand what customer experience is, you will not get the funding or organizational support you need to build customer-centric experiences.
Holiday Wishes for Great CX: Career Advice Edition
Every successful customer experience initiative starts with a skilled CX team. Brush up on your CX skills to strengthen the business case for CX; to develop relationships within your organization; and to deliver standout customer experiences in the new year.
Why Customer Retention is the True Measure of SaaS Success
Guest Post by Callie Reynolds for The Petrova Experience In SaaS (Software as a Service), like in most businesses, sales is king. Sales gets the glory, and while I’d like…
Culture Is King – The Power Of Employee Engagement
In 2017 we introduced our ROI series recognizing the challenges all customer experience professionals have to obtain funding for CX initiatives and to prove their positive returns. Our second ROI…
Lessons Learned at the Forrester Conference: “Data is the New Sexy”
Once a year I look for an event to attend where I can learn something new and get better at what I do. This year, I attended an event hosted…