The end of the year is always the time to make plans for the next year. If you are in charge of  customer experience (CX) development in your organization, here’s a short list of things you should remember (if you are an experienced CX developer please feel free to add comments on these 5 key ideas of CX development).

Build a team of believers. To reach your goals of better CX you need “a team of believers”. The first team member is obviously you, but you must find also other people who believe that CX gives your company a competitive advantage which cannot be reached just with the traditional action plans related to products, pricing, sales etc. In the beginning it is quite common that there is no business case, project or organization committed to CX, so you’ll just have to believe to the idea and find others who share your opinion. Your team members will be the first change agents to start putting CX more on the company agenda. Finally, when your “team of believers” covers all the employees of the company, you know that you have truly achieved something (!)

Focus on strategy. The ROI of CX comes on the long run, so you have to keep this in mind and also remind your colleagues and management team about this fact. Sometimes CX is seen as “a magic trick” which is used to save the business when sales is declining and all other actions have failed. In this case there is a risk that CX development will not meet the high expectations. To avoid this kind of situation you need a CX strategy and vision which is clear to everyone in your company. It is especially important that the board of directors knows the strategy and what are the concepts in the strategy. The board makes the decisions where to focus, so they must be very familiar with the CX strategy and the goals of the strategy.

Get your quick wins. CX development is not a project, but since it is often seen as one, you need also quick wins to keep the development going on. One way to do this is start measuring CX in touchpoints and bring that data to the table (this is the way our actions have effected) – or, if you are already measuring CX (for example with NPS or CSAT) you can combine the results with other data and build a business case out of it (are customers with better CX more loyal or is our share-of-wallet larger among customers with better CX).

Collect customer insight from multiple sources. Measuring CX is important, but it is not everything. To build a solid and comprehensive business case on the impacts of better CX you must combine also other data with the CX measurement results. This means customer insight research data, sales- and contact center reports, journey- and web analytics etc. This should be “a no-brainer”, but today most of the companies still analyze data in organizational silos and you have a great chance of combining all of this in a one multidimensional model which explains what correlates to CX and how CX relates to better business.

Talk about customers and ROI. One thing that is always on the company agenda is money. If you are able to talk about CX with a business case with clear return on investment, you have a better chance of being heard than if you are just talking about your plans to develop CX. Sometimes even CX may be the wrong word (since it is often misunderstood as a concept). So talk about customers. Everybody knows that a company cannot survive without customers and if you can state that “according to our survey data this is what creates value to our customers”, nobody can argue against that. Just like Peter Drucker said already in the 1950’s  – “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”

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