How to Manage Your Customer Experience Stakeholders
Many people will have a stake in your customer experience (CX) program. Leaders will shape it. Program owners will communicate about it. Staff will deliver on it. Here’s our guide on how to manage all the moving pieces.
CX stakeholders can be split into two groups:
- Directly involved – these are the people who influence and shape CX program decisions. They include some C-suite members, program managers, CX ‘champions’ and the frontline employees who ultimately deliver the experience to your customers. Without buy-in from these leaders, your CX program may not get the funding, staffing, or visibility it needs to succeed.
- Indirectly involved – these are the people who aren’t involved in implementing the program but may still be affected by it, like those accountable for finance and people-focused parts of the business. It may also include shareholders, business partners, suppliers, and distributors.
Employees are the face of your customer experience, even if they’re not in roles with face-to-face contact with customers. Take a retail business for example – the staff on the shop floor are obviously key, but behind the scenes, there will be plenty of others who shape the experience, from staff in the distribution center, to agents in the customer contact center, to the web team and many more. In fact, it’s harder to find staff who don’t directly impact the customer experience!
The key to getting them on board is to be transparent. So from the outset, make clear what the aims are and how the program will benefit the business. Once you’re up and running, share your CX results frequently so everyone knows how the program is performing.
For some staff, role-based dashboards are a great way to show real-time customer experience metrics – this approach means they only see the metrics relevant to their role. This helps them focus on how they can impact the customer experience and gives them more ownership. It’s not very valuable, for example, to show the digital team how your call center agents are doing and vice versa.
You will probably need to get high-level sign-off for your CX program from someone in the C-suite, not only to fund it but to get the rest of the organization behind it. Learning how to drive CX support from executives is crucial to your program.
It’s key to build relationships here – at the design phase make sure you meet with them regularly and involve them early. Spell out a very clear goal and strategy for your program and be very clear what their support looks like, whether it’s financial or affecting change in the organization.
Once you’re up and running, report back regularly to executives and be sure to tie your CX initiatives to ROI – The more you can show that the program is affecting the metrics they care about most (sales, leads, revenue, average spend per customer etc.), the more they’ll get behind it.
Shareholders own the business, and will want to see the business performing well so they can see a return on their investment – but they don’t need to know every detail of your CX program. Provided a CX program delivers in terms of revenues and profits, shareholders are generally satisfied and leave you to manage it as you see fit.