How To Win Funding For CX In B2B – 4 Steps To Building A Burning Platform To Spark Action

Are you working as a CX pro in a B2B company? And do you find it challenging to make the case for your CX program? You are not alone.

In fact, many CX pros in B2B companies we spoke with struggled to get funding for their efforts --because they can't isolate the role of CX in driving financial success, they lack insight into how different clients’ experiences affect purchasing decisions, or they don't gather sufficient data about these experiences.

That’s why Deanna Laufer and I researched how B2B companies like Cisco Systems, Sage Software, Optum, Shell, and Tetra Pak have conquered these challenges and built a burning platform for their CX initiatives.

CX professionals managed to overcome these challenges by creating the preconditions for success. Following their lead, you should:

  • Rethink metrics and analytics to link CX to financials. CX pros need to look beyond the usual metrics like revenue or NPS to find the metrics that help link CX to business success.. For example food packaging company Tetra Pak found that a custom partnership index was a better predictor of sales and volume growth than other metrics they tested.
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What Do CX And The Environmental Movement Have In Common (AKA Top 10 Tactics To Rally Your Organization Around CX Metrics)?

We all share this sentiment that we want to protect our resources — our planet for generations to come — so that our children and their children can live happily ever after. It’s that warm and fuzzy feeling we get when we see a little girl holding a flower in her hand. I realize that we all share this sentiment every time the press reacts with irate reports criticizing the extent of pollution in China — or when “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” became part of pop culture with Jack Johnson’s song of the same name (sorry if you have that song playing in your head now). Protecting the environment is the right thing to do. But how many times have you used disposable dishes or cutlery when there were other options that were just less convenient? And why do you do that? It’s easy: Life gets in the way.

As a customer experience (CX) professional, you’ll have noticed the parallels by now. You regularly try to share insights from CX measurement or the voice of the customer (VoC) program with your colleagues across the organization to tell them what important customers think about their experiences with the company and what their pain points are. Using these insights is the right thing to do. But how many times have you met polite but superficial interest? And why is that? Life gets in the way. Your colleagues are busy, don’t know why to care, or have other priorities. It’s no wonder then that 72% of CX pros we asked in our recent survey on the state of CX maturity said that their organizations have only been somewhat or not effective at all in improving customer experience.

I looked at ways that CX pros have managed to rally their organizations around CX metrics and found 10 tactics that companies like Avaya, Elsevier, Hampton Inn & Suites, Sage Software North America, and Verizon have proven to work in the real world.

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Pitting Big Data Versus NPS Isn’t The Way To Success In CX Measurement

You might have seen a recent blog by Tony Cosentino on how “Big Data Analytics Will Displace Net Promoter Score (NPS) for Measuring Customer Experience” because “NPS is prone to error, lacks a causal link with financial metrics, and lacks actionable data.” And while Mr. Cosentino’s blog highlights a critical issue in CX measurement, it only tells part of the story.

The problem in most CX measurement programs — whether that company uses NPS or not! — is that CX pros rely too much on surveys. That’s because of a number of factors:

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What's New With Customer Feedback Management (CFM) Vendors: A CX Pro's Guide To The Evolved CFM Vendor Landscape

Forrester published a new report with highlights of changes among customer feedback management (CFM) vendors to give you the crucial insights you need to understand your CFM options. Why? Since the 2014 reports on the VoC vendor landscape and VoC vendor go-to-market strategies, we saw some big changes in the CFM market. Many changes are good news for CX pros who are looking to support their enterprisewide VoC and CX measurement efforts. But they don't make navigating this market any easier. 

 

Key changes in the CFM market include:

  • Consolidation of established CFM vendors. CFM vendor Mindshare acquired Empathica in September 2013 and then relaunched the newly combined company in June 2014 under the name InMoment. Maritz Holdings acquired Allegiance and merged it with Maritz Research to launch MaritzCX in January 2015.

  • Entry of new CFM vendors. Clarabridge, formerly a specialist vendor that focused on text analytics, moved into the CFM category by adding significant capabilities to support all stages of the VoC cycle through a combination of an acquisition and native development. Qualtrics, formerly a survey platform specialist, entered the CFM category by adding capabilities to interpret unstructured feedback and act on VoC.

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New Research On Making The Case For CX In B2B — Be Part Of This Research

Deanna Laufer and I are collaborating on a new report on how to make the case for customer experience in B2B. And we'd love your inputs.

How will clients benefit from this report? 

With longer sales cycles, fewer customer accounts, and an abundance of client roles and influencers, B2B companies are challenged in making the link between improving customer experience (CX) and financial results. But without this link, B2B companies will struggle to get adequate funding to sustain their CX programs over the long term. To help CX professionals at B2B companies overcome challenges to justifying their CX programs, this report will explore:

  • What do customer and business data CX pros need to collect to support their business cases?
  • Which are the right metrics for modeling the relationship between customer experience quality and business success?
  • How can CX pros apply their models to proactively improve business outcomes?
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Contribute To New Research On VoC Vendors In China By My Colleague Sam Jaddou

My colleague, Samantha Jaddou, who’s an analyst on the CX team covering the China market, is working on a report about the customer feedback management (CFM) vendor landscape in China. This report will better help Forrester clients, particularly companies that operate in China, understand to whom they should turn to satisfy CFM needs. She is in the middle of fielding a survey, which will be the research foundation for this report.

If your firm is interested in being included in this study to show your product and service capabilities in China in the CFM space, please consider one or both of the following:

1. Fill out the survey prior to February 13th.

2. Schedule a briefing with Sam with regard to your CFM capabilities in China by contacting Forrester’s briefing team to make arrangements.

As a thank you for your time and participation, you will receive a complimentary copy of the published report resulting from this research.

Voice Of The Employee Can Cure Broken Customer Experiences, But You Need An Effective Program To Mine It

Last week, many of our customer experience  (CX) analysts  including me and my colleague Sam Stern were glued to their computer screens, watching a presentation by a big bank. It had introduced a tool to capture and manage ideas from its employees on how to improve the customer experience. This presentation mattered to us because only 25% of CX professionals say their companies’ CX programs actually improve customer experience. Those who fail lack insight into the root causes of poor CX. And those root causes lie in the customer experience ecosystem. So while many companies have programs in place to mine voice of the customer, customer feedback alone is insufficient to get at root causes of bad CX because it penetrates only the top layers of the ecosystem.

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There is a secret to better CX metrics: Journey mapping

There is a way to better identify and share customer experience (CX) metrics. And it is a tool that your company – like many others may already be using… but not for that purpose. I am talking about journey mapping. Recently I have done more and more workshops for our clients on how to use journey mapping for defining CX metrics so I wanted to put that thinking into a new report for all clients to read.

Why journey mapping? It helps overcome some of the key challenges for CX measurement programs: Only if you understand the end-to-end journey your customers take for accomplishing a goal are you likely to have the right metrics in place to judge CX performance. If you don't understand the journeys, you'll rush to judgment with ill-timed surveys, miss important moments of truth and fail to align operational data with customer perceptions. That means you’ll fail to identify ways to improve critical touchpoints. 

So if you, too, are struggling with CX metrics, my new report “How to use journey mapping to improve CX measurement efforts” is the right read for you. It is very practical because it describes a four-step process for how you can use customer journey mapping to improve your customer experience measurement programs – from mapping the customer journey with metrics in mind to identifying gaps, to defining CX metrics that fill those gaps, to building on journey maps to share CX metrics more effectively.

And please - if you have any thought on the report - let me know what you think.

Is your company moving beyond surveys when measuring customer experience? I’d love to include you in my new research

CX professionals rely on surveys a great deal to measure customer experience. That’s because surveys have their advantages but they have limits, too.

If your company has taken steps to move beyond surveys to measure customer experience, I'd love to hear your opinions, experiences and advice for my new research on “CX Measurement – Beyond Surveys”. Goal of this research is to share what companies do to measure customer experience in addition to surveys, which approaches are most promising and which challenges companies face doing that.

Your insights are appreciated, so if you would like to share your story (on or off the record), please contact me at: mschmidt@forrester.com

Looking forward to speaking with you.

Want to Drive Action With Your VoC Program? Cater to Your Internal Customers!

In our latest survey on the state of the art of VoC programs, 71 percent of respondents said their VoC program was not fully or mostly effective in driving actions. That's jarring. No matter how much effort you put into collecting VoC, the insights are still only as good as what stakeholders in the company do with them.

As a VoC program owner, you therefore need to get better at leveraging your internal customers so they drive the action required to improve customer experience and your bottom line. This is what my new report "How To Drive Action In VoC Programs" is all about.

First, you have to figure out your internal audiences. Some are more in tune to the VoC than others. Your audience often falls into three categories:

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