How to Win Over Leadership with your Customer Experience Plan
Your Customer Experience (CX) Program can’t succeed (or even start!) without backing from your executive team. Any successful CX program needs buy-in from the top of the organization – to fund it, shape it, rally support for it, and help embed it from the top-down. Here’s how to get executives on board with your plan.
The ‘Three E’s’ for winning over the leadership team are engagement, explanation, and expectation.
Involve leadership in the strategic decisions that affect them most, right from the beginning of your plan and at multiple stages. Ask for their input on your vision and invite them to challenge the ideas and assumptions.
There may be some naysayers who worry about potential disruption; get to the bottom of what worries them and appreciate their value and contribution.
Reassure executives that a good CX program delivers unique insights to make better business decisions – it doesn’t dictate how to run the business. Engaged leaders who feel heard make better strategic decisions and are more committed.
A good example of this is Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty – when setting up their Total Customer Centricity program, their CX team sat down with each board member to understand their expectations and objectives before designing their program.
When you get executive buy-in from the outset, you understand exactly what the organization’s leadership is looking to achieve.
Some of your leadership team will be the ones signing off on your CX program, so it’s essential you explain to them the benefits in light of their areas of responsibility.
Different leaders will have different understandings of how the program works. The CEO will appreciate the implications of unsatisfied customers. The CFO’s focus will be on the financial impact and the impact on Customer Lifetime Value The CMO will want to know about cost to acquire, cost to serve, ROI, etc.
Tailor the explanation of your program’s benefits to each leader’s area of responsibility for maximum understanding and buy-in.
Expectation – Providing Clarity
CX is a relatively new field and many leaders are uncomfortable with change. Show them how a new strategy to track and improve customer experience will be implemented before they buy in.
By establishing new targets and milestones, clarifying who is going to do what, and demonstrating how you will measure and communicate the results, leaders will know exactly what is expected of them and of you.
Clarity eliminates stress and confusion from your plan and invites collaboration. A ‘no blame’ culture also ensures that any failures become learning opportunities. With clarity and shared risk, leaders can concentrate on delivering results as part of a team and everyone involved will feel good about your CX program.