Why Many CX Strategies Fail

Great CX is not the result of desultory or half-hearted actions.  Though your company may agree that it is an essential component of your overall strategy, it takes more than a conversation or the mere recognition of its importance to boast a winning CX program.  In many cases, it takes a movement.  The reality is that more CX programs fail than succeed.  According to CustomerThink Corp.’s CEO, less than a third of initiatives are successful. [1]

When You Try Your Best But Don’t Succeed

What is the reasoning for this alarmingly low number of success stories? Why do so many seemingly valiant efforts fall short? While success in CX is won from a collection of purposeful, driven actions, there are a couple key obstacles that often keep brands out of the competition all together.

Lack of Ownership

Customer Experience has existed as a standalone field long enough to deserve its own spot on the company’s org chart, accompanied by a dedicated team who monitors its health and consistently pushes for its growth. Ambiguous allocation of the highly important practice will only result in weak outcomes.  Establish responsibility and accountability behind the program. Whether this means building a team internally or starting from scratch, it is key to band together a group whose sole focus is CX.

This is helpful for the longevity of enthusiasm towards the program’s goals.  Many leaders have discussed the excitement towards fresh CX initiatives within their companies, earning enthusiasm from high-level executives and leaders in the beginning. Yet as time goes on and the idea is no longer shiny and new, the momentum slows to a halt.  With no one there to pick up the ball, the program becomes stagnant and uninspired.

With a lack of overall investment in CX’s potential, there is little drive to make improvements.  According to Gartner, in the past, 81 percent of customer experience leaders had claimed that CX would be the sole differentiator amongst competition in the coming years, yet today less than half of them have outlined its fundamental role in relation to actual business outcomes.  [2]  This leads us to the second issue that keeps brands from creating a stellar CX program.

Failure To Link To Business Initiatives

Your CX team may deploy the most meticulous measurement methods in your industry, but unless the measurements tie back to relative business goals, their strengths are diminished.  Without the appropriate underlying context, it is difficult to understand which factors are truly leading to variation. You cannot confidently determine whether implementing a chat bot helped to increase net profits unless you track its implementation in a way that ties back to customer spend and revenue.  

Floating metrics that point to positive results or growth can be reassuring to leaders but ineffective in terms of overall success. Gartner research revealed that while 48 percent of leaders claim their CX efforts exceed management’s expectations, only 22 percent of them report the same efforts exceed customer’s expectations. [3]  Simply because your measurements reveal a positive trend does not mean your customers feel the same.  

Choose metrics based on what will contribute the most valuable insight to the health of your business.  Some examples may be Customer Churn, Average Customer Spend, Cost to Acquire and Serve a Customer. [4].  These measures help to outline the ROI of CX while pointing to potential explanations as to what is working and what is not.  

Silos

 Implementing a successful CX program requires the backing of leaders, departments and employees alike. Silos both across, and within, departments threaten consistency in culture and attitudes towards any initiative.  Introducing a new CX program in a way that includes all employees will help to increase momentum and support.  

Think of your company as a stadium of fans attempting to do the wave. While it takes key, influential leaders to communicate information across sections, in order to achieve the desired effect the entire crowd must be on the same page.  As the word spreads, more and more people get on board, encouraging those, who may have originally been apathetic, to participate.  Implementing a successful CX program requires company-wide support.    

The most important aspect of sharing information across the company is the opportunity to collaborate and partner with different teams.  Different departments may offer special tools and skills that could help strengthen and build the program. Additionally, it allows for the consolidation of customer data.

Failure To Innovate 

Every successful CX program requires a solid foundation, though the foundation should be created with the intention to be built upon.  Creating your program with the ability to evolve towards innovation will ultimately separate your brand from the rest.  Predictions point towards CX as a key differentiator in the coming years, requiring brands to continuously improve with each iteration of their programs. 

According to Harvard Business Review, a key method to ignite meaningful innovation is through driver analysis.  CX teams must identify the most important metrics, establish goals for these metrics and continuously analyze the discrepancy between the two.  The objective is to execute the most change in the fewest possible moves. [5]  This eliminates wasteful activities that keep your CX from productive change. It is about constructing a system geared towards innovation that is efficient while leaving room for brainstorming and analysis.

While many companies have fallen short, it leaves the opportunity to reorganize and re-approach the task at hand.  Creating a successful CX program requires a company to take all the right steps forward while avoiding the obstacles that lie between. Be careful to consider these common mistakes, and always make decisions with intention.    

[1] http://customerthink.com/an-inconvenient-truth-93-of-customer-experience-initiatives-are-failing/

[2,3] https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2018/07/30/why-many-customer-experience-programs-are-still-failing-to-deliver/#5730027a35d2

[4,5] https://hbr.org/2016/12/the-most-common-reasons-customer-experience-programs-fail

[-] https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180730005056/en/Gartner-Customer-Experience-Pyramid-Drives-Loyalty-Satisfaction

 


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