Gaining Executive Buy-In for Your Customer Experience (CX) Program

Steve Reasner, Chief Innovation Officer at LIFT

CX is not just a department or a service, over time, it should be core to your organization’s DNA. The challenge is that most companies still view it as a cost center and put it in the same bucket as customer support. To ensure the long-term viability of your program, make sure you are always highlighting how your CX practice is driving revenue, retention, and increased wallet share. Here are some tips on how you can gain executive support for your CX program:

  1. Create Your Strategy – Develop a plan that includes the vision for your CX Team. Outline your ideal customer profile and engagement process. Create 2 to 3 repeatable service offerings based upon vertical markets (healthcare) and/or horizontal markets (HR). It is just as important to outline what is out of scope as it is to determine what is initially in scope.
  2. Build Your Case – Develop the measurements and metrics you will use to track the progress of your CX practice. Remember that a great customer experience is all about benefit realization. List out the resources and costs required to get the program started and include a plan for ongoing expansion to show confidence in the program. The stronger you can make the connection between a strong CX program and business outcome realization, the stronger your case will be.
  3. Build your Team – Customer Experience should be core to your organization’s DNA. This means that everyone in the company has a role to play in CX. This will take time, so recruit your internal champions and sales leaders who want to partner together for success. The great thing is that outsiders will see your success and ask for your help. Develop a customer selection criterion so customers that are not a match will be excluded automatically. This will create scarcity and scarcity creates demand. Once you gain momentum, sales reps will ask for help rather than you having to sell them on why they should work with you.
  4. Present Your Plan – Start with the problem statement highlighting the downside of not having a CX program. Next, discuss the impact to your organization including, increased revenue, customer retention, customer loyalty, and the ability to expand your wallet share over time. Review how you select and engage customers and be specific as to why some customers may not qualify. This is key so you can focus on quality initially rather than quantity. Finally, outline the milestones and metrics that you will provide to your leadership team to validate CX outcomes.
  5. Be Assertive – if you Nobody likes to hear about more problems, especially executives who already feel under the gun. Instead, give them solutions. Remember that you are backed by best practice research and methodologies that can help your organization achieve higher levels of success. They need to hear and know this. You may be a pioneer in your organization with knowledge others don’t have. Don’t wait for someone to ask you for help. Assert yourself!

Remember, when you’re sitting across from a C-level exec, you only get one shot to pique their interest. If you don’t come to the table armed with enough knowledge and insight, they’ll shut you down without a second thought, and you won’t get another opportunity. The key thing is to be prepared.

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