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At Alida Activate 2021, industry leaders around the world gathered to share the latest and greatest in customer experience (CX) best practices, thought leadership, and more. One of the most impactful sessions was with Maxie Schmidt, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester breaking down the best approach to implementing a successful CX program. 

Read on to see the top takeaways from the presentation. For the full session, including downloadable workbooks and checklists, check out the on-demand recording.

There’s no one-size fits all approach to CX. Depending on who your customers are and what your goals are as an organization, the path to success will be different. Here are four tips—for any organization—to build out a successful CX program: 

    1. Don’t skip the goals 

    2. Build a CX program ecosystem

    3. Face facts and don’t be shy

    4. Show your value

 

1. Don't skip the goals

“Improving CX can improve revenue, cost, and risk.” — Maxie Schmidt, VP and Principal Analyst, Forrester

Every successful CX program must start with clearly defined goals and objectives. Three areas in which CX can significantly improve your business outcomes are revenue, cost, and risk aversion. When you are building your objectives, frame your program around these three pillars. 

Examples include:

Revenue: Increase customer retention by X%

Cost: Lower cost of product development by X%

Risk: Reduce credit risk by X% this quarter

Forrester has been documenting the key results from improving CX efforts for years: increased customer retention, revenue growth, and customer cross- and/or up-sale. Having objectives in mind when developing your CX strategy will guide you in your efforts.

The Value Realization Framework will help you shape your projects to help you achieve your objectives. The framework is broken down into 3 components: Activity, Adoption, Value. 

 

 

To see if your current goals have been effectively laid out and projects are supporting their achievement, Schmidt provides a checklist which you can view by downloading the workbook here.

 

  1. Build a CX program ecosystem

Don’t keep your insights in a silo; share your research results with all relevant stakeholders. This lets you find, and work on, issues that might extend beyond your marketing or customer service teams. Cooperation amongst different departments that affect the lifecycle of a customer increases the impact of CX efforts and can significantly improve your chances of achieving your previously set goals. Lack of collaboration across the organization is a more significant obstacle to improving customer experiences than lack of budget or clear strategy.

 

 

Schmidt offers five different collaboration strategies you can implement individually or in conjunction to gain stakeholder buy-in across the company.

    1. Build an insights engine

    2. Translate the CX vision into daily behaviors

    3. Break silos with journeys

    4. Take action through process improvement

    5. “Make it rain with customers”

If you are not sure who to include in those strategies, evaluate each stakeholder along the customer journey and how much impact they can have on the satisfaction of your customers. This should allow you to prioritize the most significant stakeholders and you can start with those. However, ideally CX becomes an integral part of all company departments.

 

  1. Face facts and don’t be shy

To strengthen the previously built stakeholder relationships you should continuously share the results from your CX efforts. Measuring before, during, and after a project and benchmarking those numbers against your objectives, highlight how these projects positively contribute to the business. This can inspire more stakeholders to get involved. 

Schmidt breaks down the measurement and evaluation stages down into Preparation, Execution, and Post-project. The first stage is focused on creating benchmarks and deciding on what to achieve with the project. The second stage, while the project is occurring, should be used to ask questions on changing circumstances or key goals. The last stage asks the most important question: “Was the project a success?” and to what degree. However, whether it was a success or not is not enough. If problems arise those need to be documented and shared as well, to avoid repeating them during the project but also for future projects. 

The Alida platform offers a variety of measuring and reporting tools that can help you collect your findings and share those with your stakeholders. 

 

  1. Show your value

“CX pros know their reporting isn’t engaging enough.” -- Maxie Schmidt, VP and Principal Analyst, Forrester

55% of CX practitioners struggle to create reports that engage and inspire their stakeholders. This has a detrimental effect on showing how CX efforts contribute to business goals and get buy-in from your superiors. Having a clear and concise dashboard that demonstrates your key insight and how they affect business is key in developing more successful processes in the future.

Schmidt delves into some examples of excellent dashboards to share with colleagues. Map your CX insights alongside the customer journey allowing for tangible understanding of where the customers’ opinions and experiences are most affected. 

Rather than having an overarching dashboard for all your CX efforts, you may want to have individual case files for each project. These files should include key details such as the problem you aimed to solve, the goals you set out to achieve, the business and customer benefits that resulted from the project, and the overall ROI of the project. A template can be found in Schmidt’s slides for reference.

 

If you wish to further develop your CX strategies and need additional guidance, watch the whole Forrester Keynote with Maxie Schmidt on demand here. Download the workbook and additional resources here, and discover how the Alida tools can assist you in bringing your CX strategy to life.

 

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