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Realizing the Value of Executive Alignment Around CX

Creating better executive alignment can skyrocket CX program ROI

Is your company still struggling with getting executive buy-in for customer experience initiatives? If so, you’re not alone.

Today, the customer experience (CX) has become the competitive battleground and differentiator for all businesses. By delivering a consistent, memorable experience, companies can create a competitive advantage that increases customer engagement, conversion, loyalty, and advocacy.

We know that having executive commitment is critical to the success of any CX strategy. Without it, you’ll never get the resources needed to execute or sustain a successful customer experience program.

Executive buy-in at the CEO and C-suite level leadership requires a commitment to propel change throughout the entire journey, as well as set the direction, lead communication efforts, model desired behaviors, align resources and hold all organizations accountable.

63% of executives who make customer experience a priority actually deliver a better customer experience than their competition. (Source – The Economist Intelligence Unit)

 4 Ways to Get Executive Buy-In

Executives who are emotionally invested, motivated by visible success and self-defined goals will be committed to the CX initiatives within their organization.  It’s up to the CX leader to ensure the CEO/executives are kept in the loop, informed of the quick wins/successes that demonstrate how the resources are being used and the risks managed.

So, how to we get the C-suite level invested, motivated, and committed?

Emotionally Invested

Emotions play a big role in CX.  Happy is definitely an emotion you want your customers to have when they think of you, but what about the CEO/C-suite level leadership?  Think back on a time when you were emotionally invested in something.  How strong was your involvement? Did you think of it as “your baby?” Were you upset when someone said, “your baby” was ugly (metaphorically speaking of course)? How did you react? The more involved executives are in building and defining the structure, goals and organizational changes for your CX program, the more emotionally tied and committed they will be the overall success of “their baby.”

Motivated by Visible Success

Have you ever been on a diet?  If we are honest, I think most of us have not only been on a diet, but might have been dieting our entire lives.  What is the best way to get/stay motivated when dieting?  Losing weight/inches that are visible, right?  Once you start to see the results, it’s the only motivation you need to stay on target and reach your goal.  Customer experience is no different. Once a company starts to actually see the results of behavioral changes within the organization, engaged employees, positive customer feedback and increased ROI it’s a no brainer.  Positive visual results are the best way to stay motivated and on target to ultimately reach your CX goals.

Self-defined Goals

Have you ever heard of the phrase – “skin in the game?” This should be a familiar term as it is frequently used in business, finance, and politics.  To have “skin in the game” is to have incurred risk by being involved in achieving a goal.  C-suite level executives must have “skin in the game” or in other words, be invested enough to take a risk that will ultimately be sweet success or complete failure. Setting goals that achieve CX success must be a part of the action planning and the overall CX program. The more “skin in the game” the more invested the C-suite level will be to ensure the goals are met and even exceed.

Continued Commitment

To keep C-level executives committed to the company CX initiatives, they must be convinced that the program they helped build will be successful. These are busy individuals and may vary in the time and energy they are willing to give to this project. If they are not directly involved and see wins along the way their dedication and belief in the CX program may vary.  It’s critical for the C-level to continually believe in the cause and as mentioned above see continues results that increase overall ROI.

58% of companies reported much higher profitability than their competitors when the CEO was in charge of customer experience. (Source – The Economist Intelligence Unit)

The CEO and C-suite level executives will want to see immediate results, and why not…a lot of resources, both headcount and financial are being used to create a customer-centric culture/strategy that over time will result in increased ROI throughout the organization

Quick wins are easier to obtain than you may think. When mapping out your strategy, goals need to be set to obtain those quick wins that will not only be highly visible, but have the greatest impact of change throughout the organization.

Executive Buy-in Defines CX Programs

It’s essential to be competitive in today’s market, (and WILL be the differentiator that sets you apart from your competition). Creating a customer-centric culture with strategy, engaged employees, and customers, all starts with buy-in from the CEO/executive leadership. Making sure the C-suite is emotionally invested, motivated by success, and has self-defined CX goals will ensure continuous commitment.  With a well-tuned CX program, you’ll be able to keep your finger on the pulse of your customers’ experience throughout their journey.