If you’re in the business of customer experience (CX), you’ve really got your work cut out for you right now: customer expectations are changing at a dizzying rate, and concerns over the sustainability of the profession persist. Back in 2019, Harley Manning predicted that up to 20% of CX professionals would lose their jobs – and those worries still are prevalent today.
With that in mind, it’s crucial that CX teams prove their worth to the business – particularly in light of predictions for 2023.
Forrester continues to predict that CX programs will struggle for some time to come: this year, they expect 20% of programs to disappear due to a lack of demonstrated ROI, a shortage of CX professionals, and organizations losing ground on CX differentiation. But customer experience – and linked customer success is just as important as it ever was.
Why CX is still vital
Customer experience (CX) is all about the perception customers have of an organization, based on the various touchpoints they have with employees, technology, and anything else that makes up a brand. There may be turbulence afoot, but there is still a very clear need for CX: consumers rely on trust and transparency from the brands they do business with, and at the heart of that is a successful CX strategy.
Customers are increasingly calling for speed, personalization and automation – prompted in large part by the changes in behavior occasioned during the pandemic. The role of the CX professional is instrumental in helping an organization to enhance its results by understanding, designing, and improving experiences across the entire customer relationship. Especially as businesses respond to their customers desire to be seen as whole humans, more than just their data and metrics.
But this is not an entirely “feel-good” exercise. A customer-focused approach to business has been shown to generate positive financial returns. Consider the following:
- 43% of consumers express that they would pay more for greater convenience; 42% would pay more for a better – friendly, welcoming -experience 
- Stock returns of CX Leaders outpace those of CX Laggards (as well as the market in total) 
- From a cost reduction perspective, customers are willing to handle many tasks themselves; in fact, 69% want to fix their own issues. 
From a CX team investment perspective, demonstrating the ROI of CX leads to greater investment in CX. So – CX is not a cost; it is an investment that can generate great dividends.
Good CX professionals keep their finger on the pulse of customer sentiment, so they can help steer business decisions to align with customer needs and expectations.
So, if this is an opportunity, how do we take advantage of it?
8 practical steps to ensure CX success
- Start with the end in mind
As with most strategies in the dizzying world of business, you need to start at the end. Sounds contrary, we know, but what’s the desired outcome? What’s your end goal? And how does that align with your organization’s key strategies and objectives? Once you’ve got that clear in your mind, the journey becomes a whole lot more straightforward.
- Consolidate your data
When it comes to CX, data is everything. It can also be extraordinarily confusing – especially when you’re dealing with disparate data streams. It is, however, absolutely essential that you consolidate all of your data, and start to build a story. If you’re not sure how, Forsta has some elegant software solutions dedicated to making sense of data from multiple sources so you can focus on the decisions, rather than the data.
- Expand the tent
What on earth do we mean by that? In short, add talent to your team from unconventional areas. We’re talking finance, IT, and any other area that houses the sort of transferable skills that make for a great CX professional. With skills shortages threatening to impact the sustainability of CX, it’s time to start thinking outside of the box.
- Data tell, stories sell
Numbers and metrics are great – you love them, we love them – but make sure you’re augmenting them with compelling, engaging customer stories. This can make CX really come alive! We’ve actually written an entire blog on data storytelling, if you’re interested?
- Don’t forget action
You absolutely cannot achieve positive financial impact without taking strategic action and tracking the effectiveness of those efforts. Decide on how you plan to monitor your successes, and how often you’ll evaluate these. Which leads us on to…
- ROI, ROI, ROI
Any CX program that’s unable to show return on investment (ROI) is ultimately doomed to fail. As a CX professional then, you must remember to constantly link your efforts to the organization’s top- and bottom-line goals and communicate them accordingly. Never be afraid to sing your own praises!
- Don’t boil the ocean
Wow, we’re really going to town on the idioms today, right? What we’re trying to say is make sure you’re using an effective prioritization technique; after all, it’s far better to focus on three things and do them all, than to tackle ten and not execute on any of them.
- Don’t add to an already full plate
Try to keep in mind that the very best CX programs are the ones that prompt us to re-think how we work. CX shouldn’t be one more thing we have to do – it’s how we do what we do! Got it?
How Forsta can help
As leaders in customer experience (CX), Forsta’s customer experience survey software can help you to make the changes your customers actually care about.
By making your data easy to analyse and act on, our software lets you weed out underlying problems, share best practices, and make decision based on real insights. And because we partner with big businesses and forward-thinkers – from agencies like Kantar and Yonder Data Solutions, to industry giants like Microsoft, Facebook, Bupa and eBay – you know you’re in safe hands.
Forsta thrives on collaboration and can flex and scale to suit your needs; that’s why we lead the market in our go-live times and speed-to-business value. So, if you’re ready to discover how our customer experience software can help to enhance your company’s CX strategy, request a demo – and let’s get going!
 PWC study – https://www.pwc.com/us/en/zz-test/assets/pwc-consumer-intelligence-series-customer-experience.pdf
 Watermark Consulting – https://watermarkconsult.net/blog/2021/10/18/customer-experience-roi-study/
 Zendesk – Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2020, https://d1eipm3vz40hy0.cloudfront.net/pdf/cxtrends/cx-trends-2020-full-report.pdf
 Based on a Gartner survey – see https://cxm.co.uk/prove-the-roi-of-your-customer-experience-programmes-in-3-steps/?utm_source=CXM&utm_medium=Newsletter
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