Five Collaboration Strategies to Power Your CX Transformation
Great customer experiences result in measurable business benefits, including higher revenue, lower costs, and increased resilience. But according to Forrester Research’s Q1 2022 Global State of Customer Experience Programs Survey, only a quarter of respondents say that they have the skills to make a business case for customer experience (CX), and only 12 percent have storytelling skills to sell a business case.
What do successful CX functions do differently? Along with rigorous CX management, they build coalitions around core business competencies. We studied hundreds of CX case studies across industries, geographies, and company sizes and uncovered five strategies based on organizational strengths. Start aligning with stakeholders using one or a combination of these strategies.
Five Collaboration Strategies for CX Transformation
Build an insights engine. If your organization has a strong data science and marketing strategy team, base your CX transformation on finding white-space opportunities within your current customer base and adjacent markets. Don’t just look in the rearview mirror. Look ahead to find areas of differentiation. Example: A ride-sharing service analyzed how many customers traveled to banks and doctor’s offices and launched its own financial services and healthcare products.
Translate the CX vision to daily behaviors. If your organization has invested heavily in brand and employee culture, make your CX transformation about operationalizing brand values. A CX vision is designed to be short and memorable. To rally the organization around the vision, make it concrete. Define how attributes translate into daily work. For instance, does “responsiveness” mean answering emails within minutes, being proactive with project milestones, and/or setting clear expectations at the start of each engagement? Example: A consulting services firm translated the brand attributes trust, responsiveness, and expertise from abstract concepts to specific guidelines for frontline and back-office employees and then included performance metrics in annual reviews.
Break silos with journeys. If your organization has workstreams around key customer journeys, lean in! Partner with functions that cross key customer journeys to see the organization from the customer’s perspective. Move from map-making to prioritizing experience improvements. Remove obstacles that get in the way of employees serving customers. Example: A manufacturing firm organized workstreams around key stages in the customer life cycle to ensure continuity between digital, sales, and support experiences.
Take action through process improvement. If your organization thrives on operational efficiency, cross-train your process engineering team with CX skills to drive measurable improvements for the customer and the business. Reframe CX tools as productivity tools for black belts and lean practitioners, and borrow process measurement tools to prove positive impact. Example: A brick-and-mortar retailer improved process efficiency to compete with online rivals, moving inventory closer to customers and picking and packing orders in-store for curbside pickup.
“Make it rain” with new customers. If growth is your top priority, improve prospect journeys to increase the odds of winning new business. Growth strategies are significant investments for any firm. Use customer research, journey improvement, and co-creation skills to lower the risk of new market entry and product launches. Example: A bank redesigned prospect journeys to lure personal banking customers from other banks, resulting in a 20 percent increase in deposits in a single year.
Which Strategy Is Right for Your CX Transformation?
Consider your organizational strengths as a starting point. They might be mentioned in an earnings call, on your website, or part of informal office chatter.
For instance, if you hear:
- “Our company runs on data” or ”Insights are our competitive advantage,” start with strategy number one: Build an insights engine.
- “Our people are our company” or ”We live our brand values,” start with strategy number two: Translate CX vision to daily behaviors.
- “We’re on a mission to make life better for our customers” or ”We think of our personas as real people,” start with strategy number three: Break silos with journeys.
- “We’re a product/engineering company” or ”We’re process geeks,” start with strategy number four: Take action through process improvement.
- “Innovation drives our company growth” or ”Sales is the holy grail,” start with strategy number five: Make it rain with new customers.
Let’s get real. Your colleagues might be supportive of CX, but they have their own priorities. Build stakeholder support for CX by leaning into your organization’s core competencies and working toward a shared mission. Create a win-win-win for your colleagues, your organization, and for CX.
Su Doyle is a senior analyst at Forrester Research, serving customer experience professionals. She focuses on B2B CX, establishing and funding a CX function, CX collaboration strategies, building a business case for CX, and CX-marketing synergies.