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Creating value with CX is a team sport

Achieving effective-cross functional collaboration can be tricky, but it's much needed in order to create a CX program that delivers value to your customers and to the business

Picture this: You are hosting a meeting with representatives from your Product, Inside Sales, Marketing, and Operations teams. You’re using a journey map to highlight a significant decline in customer experience after the first sales interaction for a key customer segment. You have brought up this issue for multiple quarters and have struggled to gain the necessary buy-in to drive meaningful change.

This time, however, you see heads nodding in agreement. What changed?

The biggest challenge for many CX leaders is getting their organization to change its behavior. Siloed functions and data in many organizations results in incomplete (or worse, conflicting) views of how to deliver on company goals. The teams you need support from may not trust your data, have competing priorities, or may not be incentivized to take action to drive improvements.

Qualtrics & commonFont worked with a global leader in payment technology that was struggling to fix a broken customer experience. They could see qualified leads and new accounts dropping out of the purchasing funnel but couldn’t understand why. Seven months later, the organization has succeeded in fully integrating behavior change across its inside sales team, enabling business gains.

What does it take to accomplish something like this?

Conduct an assessment of your organization’s CX capabilities

Prior to committing to a CX overhaul, it’s important to assess your organization’s current state to determine what can actually be accomplished with current resources. This often includes documenting known pain points in customer journeys, relevant existing data, existing capabilities to measure customer experience, and the skills and competencies that exist within the organization.

In this case, our client started by creating a rough sketch of the purchase journey and the capabilities available to assess customer sentiment. In creating this sketch, they intentionally reached out to a variety of department leaders to understand each team’s key goals and challenges, creating a holistic picture of the customer journey. With this broad understanding and cross-functional capabilities described, they were able to close internal information gaps, and then appropriately consider a series of potential CX investments they could make to improve the purchase journey.

Prioritize and plan CX investments to create business impact

In order to drive meaningful change, it is critical to prioritize actions based on articulated business value and impact. The following framework can help you discover where to start. It will also serve as a playbook for assessing your impact after delivering your program, which will inspire further confidence among your stakeholders.

Insight Action KPI Change Business Value
How are you going to generate insights? What kinds of insights? What types of actions will these insights drive? What KPIs will these actions influence? What kind of business impact will come from these KPI changes?
Our client identified specific pain points in the customer journey & deployed listening posts to better understand what action to take.

They learned that the key drivers of friction were the usefulness of website information as well as the difficulty of making initial contact.

In response to these insights, our client changed how various departments engage with customers.

They also deployed a closed loop process for sales teams to follow up with customers who dropped out of the purchasing funnel.

As a result of these actions, our client has saved 75 new client relationships. In the first 6 months of this initiative, it has already led to incremental revenue gains, including a $200,000 revenue save.

This example from our client provides insight into how organizations can prove business value and ROI. Instead of pursuing a full overhaul, they identified specific changes that would drive the greatest impact within organizational constraints. In doing so, they were able to drive adoption, program credibility, and buy-in from the organization.

Form a coalition

Most business functions need cross-functional engagement and collaboration to drive change that furthers their goals. If you identify the right shared goals, it will become clear to other teams that there is a win/win opportunity in partnering with you. You get to benefit from their perspectives and capabilities, and they get to benefit from yours.

Our client knew they were going to need strong advocates in the right departments to successfully deploy the program and deliver results. commonFont helped the client engage leaders across sales, customer experience, marketing, and technical teams to agree on the projected value and get buy-in. This shared understanding of the project goals allowed the XM team to deliver greater value to their customers and to their business.

Where do I start?

Start by making a small assessment of your program's CX maturity (you may even consider leveraging the XM Institute’s CX maturity assessment). How does your program measure up to expectations set by your team? Do other stakeholders agree with your assessment? Is it meeting the needs of their teams?

commonFont uses frameworks like the one described above in partnership with Qualtrics to guide clients through the transformation journey, maintain focus, and achieve their ambitious CX vision. Our team can help guide you through this assessment, and can help you clarify a roadmap towards the outcome you’re trying to achieve.

Abby Schlatter

Abby Schlatter is commonFont’s CEO and a co-founder of the company. Abby started commonFont in 2013, inspired by the potential to deliver value and impact for clients and create rich and rewarding employment experiences for teammates. Abby’s prior experience includes executive leadership, strategy, operations, and sales across diverse industries, including technology, education, and the industrial sector. Abby earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College.

Topher Mitchell

Topher is the creator of Qualtrics’ Value Advisory function, which has helped over 1,000 XM professionals to link their programs to financial outcomes. Currently leading the Center of Value, he pioneers reliable methods for securing budget, tracking value, and quantifying impact of experience-related investments. With a passion for education, Topher frequently delivers workshops and training sessions on the subject.

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