Customer experience (CX) leaders understand the importance of demonstrating financial impact, but 50% aren’t confident in their ability to do so. On top of that existing pressure, timing is of the essence with more than half of leaders expected to connect CX investments to financial benefits in less than a year.
Proving ROI is more than an exercise in accounting—it’s about aligning CX targets with growth strategies + tactical plans of action. To demonstrate the ROI of your customer experience program and drive enterprise adoption, you need a strategy that connects CX insights with financial results.
In your quest to prove ROI, make sure your CX insights are defined in accordance with at least one of these business outcomes:
4 business outcomes to prove program ROI
- Generate new revenue by attracting customers, opening new channels, + expanding product offerings – Success (and survival) rely on being future-focused; history tells us it’s simply not enough to maintain. Brands must steadily seek ways to attract more customers, open more channels, and offer better products. It’s about uncovering new ways of doing business that open new streams of revenue. Customer feedback makes it possible—providing necessary perspective on what works, what doesn’t, and what you must do to move your brand forward.
- Grow existing revenue through increased transactions + lifetime customer value – Challenge the status quo of loyalty. Create fierce advocates for your brand and find ways to broaden and deepen every interaction. Consumers and employees want to stick with what works, putting their time, energy, and dollars toward brands they love. By listening to their hearts, you can move your organization toward a lifetime of reliable loyalty (not to mention a rising bottom line).
- Reduce churn + detractors by lessening at-risk revenue, recovering lapsed customers, + curbing employee turnover – There’s a certain amount of loss every business must stomach. It’s what you do with that loss that determines whether you’ll move forward. In this case, ignorance isn’t an excuse; instead it denies you a successful future. But with the right tools in place, brands have the chance to save at-risk revenue, recover lost customers, and curb employee churn. Open every door (and window) for feedback, and be willing to make changes based on that feedback.
- Drive operational efficiencies to better serve customers, reduce operating costs, + increase employee satisfaction – It’s up to you to make your business run better, faster, more efficiently. When your data directs you to the right levers to pull and the right changes to make, you can redefine what it means to serve your customers. Not only does that mean more positive interactions with consumers, it means more satisfied employees who can recognize shifts toward making their jobs easier. And all of it can lead to reduced costs to operate. You’ll be leaner, stronger, better equipped for the future.
ROI in practice: How leading brands transform CX insights into revenue-generating initiatives
Because successful CX initiatives focus on specific business challenges, ROI can (and should) look different for every organization—but the one commonality should be a direct tie from actions to results. Leading brands put ROI into practice by transforming CX insights into revenue-generating initiatives.
Let’s look at 4 brands that succeeded in an outcomes-driven approach to experience management:
- Tractor Supply Co – Pivoting to curbside pickup as the primary touchpoint amid the pandemic, Tractor Supply Co. revamped communication processes, updated their mobile app to allow customers to check in, + reallocated labor—resulting in three quarters of triple-digit e-commerce growth and 130% comp sales YOY.
- Wendy’s – After venturing into the breakfast daypart, Wendy’s used product-level analyses and text analytics to identify improvement opportunities for new menu items—yielding an 8% increase in total sales.
- Boots – With a HUG3 training initiative focused on key service standards (Hello, Understanding of Needs, Go the Extra Mile), Boots established targeted field-level reporting + refocused training on business outcomes—helping the brand achieve 31% customer spend increase when all three pillars of HUG3 were executed.
- Heinen’s Grocery Store – When customers cited out-of-stock items when purchasing less than intended, Heinen’s set up real-time Product Availability alerts + invested in predictive analytics software to uncover purchasing patterns—resulting in a $250k impact to the bottom line over three years.
Chart your path to consistent, sustainable ROI
When you’re able to demonstrate the causational relationships between CX initiatives and critical business outcomes across channels, proving ROI isn’t a challenge—it’s an opportunity to align cross-functional strategies and build a customer-centric culture.
To earn the long-term investment needed to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, you need a program that delivers actionable insights and impacts the bottom line. Learn more about building a proven ROI strategy by downloading: The ultimate guide to experience management ROI.
Todd Leach | Chief Client Officer