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The 3 Biggest Challenges Facing CX Teams In 2019

Earlier this month I attended the CXPA conference in Salt Lake City.

CXPA or the Customer Experience Professionals Association is an organization dedicated to cultivating the CX profession.

Check them out.

The conference brings together CX experts from a variety of industries to talk about pressing issues affecting teams and practitioners.

As a first time attendee, I was exposed to the challenges that a modern CX team are face. Such as:

  • proving customer experience ROI
  • scaling CX across international borders, and
  • best practices for prioritizing CX for the C-suite.

I hope the learnings I took away from the conference will help you when it comes to building your own CX team.

Let’s get started.

Proving Customer Experience ROI

CX professionals know that this discipline is as scientific as they come. Sure they don’t use beakers and test tubes… But customer behavior is at the heart of how we evaluate new initiatives.

And as we’ve previously shared at Thematic, the fastest growing companies like Airbnb and DoorDash are using customer insights to drive their product roadmaps.

I really liked the way Andrew Million from ThyssenKrupp Elevator put it: “We get to connect the dots into one bigger picture”.

1. Turn the CFO into your biggest ally

To demonstrate the customer experience ROI of new initiatives, the CX team must tie financial and operational metrics to CX projections. This is how the CFO will become your best friend.

If your CX project reduces the amount of time that agents have to spend on the phone, that is a significant cost saving for support and call center teams.

You can also prove how improvements in CX metrics can drive revenue growth. We created a free toolkit that can help you model that for your own organization and share with your CFO.

2. Beyond simple metrics

What I also kept hearing was that CX experts are trying to move beyond “CX 1.0 metrics” like NPS and CSAT, and start establishing CX as a function that makes the customer happier AND creates cost savings and additional revenue through its new initiatives.

Some teams lead CX projects that make it easier for customers to find new products and services at just the right moments in their customer journey.

A clear case for customer experience ROI!

customer experience roi
CXPA 2019 – Source

Scaling CX And How A Modern CX Team Uses Quick Wins

“When we started looking into CX internationally, we realized one region was spending what corporate spent annually on CX in a single month.”

Are you further along the CX journey?

You might be looking for ways to scale up successful efforts to other regions or countries. Whichever situation you’re in, looking for optimization opportunities that allow you to bring learnings from existing programs into other groups is vital.

Quick wins allow you to demonstrate value in the shortest amount of time. Here are some ideas that practitioners who had expanded their teams said were useful.

1. Develop a CX playbook

Develop a CX playbook that other regions can use to kick-start their programs.

Be sure to include information about the vendors you’re currently using so that other areas don’t start buying software tools when you could add seats to your existing suppliers’ tools.

2. Create a customer advocacy program

Create a customer advocacy program where new employees from throughout the organization can learn more about its customers by answering support tickets, listening to customer calls and interactions with customers on social media.

3. Use team exercises to highlight how customer service feels in your company

Organize a team exercise that demonstrates what customer service currently feels like in your organization – by using another product/service.

If you think your organization does a poor job of teaching its customers how to use their product, one such exercise could be to bring in specialty kitchen, medical, or landscaping equipment and ask team members to start using the product without instructions.

Use this to kick start conversations about how your team currently treats customers who may have limited knowledge about your products/services.

customer experience roi
CX professionals at CXPA 2019 – Source

Replicating existing best practices is ideal; but it’s not always possible.

Cultural difference, incongruent technology stacks, and other difference will make it challenging to copy paste existing frameworks.

As a CX leader, you should listen to the goals of these regional efforts and lead the conversation with your own experiences and learning to make recommendations for the broader team.

Prioritizing CX for the C-suite

When it comes to CX, the C-suite can either be your greatest ally or your biggest roadblock.

To give your CX team visibility and attention in front of company leadership, making CX initiatives easy to digest and actionable will provide you considerable leverage when asking for additional funding and resources.

The team from Airbnb provided a great example of making CX easy to digest by piloting a video feedback solution.

Raj Sivasubramanian, the Customer Experience Insights Manager at Airbnb started using video during meetings with stakeholders on the product team.

Raj presented two versions of the same piece of feedback – one with transcribed text and another with actual video footage.

The difference in efficacy was night and day.

Seeing the elderly gentleman in the video, still hooked up to machines on his hospital bed – expressing gratitude for not being charged a cancellation fee due to his medical emergency… It was powerful stuff.

It demonstrated why CX practitioners should bring in video or audio to humanize the importance of their initiatives to the C-suite.

AirBnB HQ – Source

CX professionals should find solutions and methods that can quantify their qualitative data. Whether you are manually coding verbatims or using AI-powered technology like Thematic to create visualizations of themes for your C-suite, CX professionals need to marry both qual & quant to be effective in the boardroom.

As CX teams mature and become more sophisticated, the challenges we’ll face will also change.

One thing is for sure; CX professionals should continue to participate in events like the CXPA to learn from practitioners globally so we can all further the CX field together.

If you found this content valuable, please feel free to subscribe to our blog for further insights into the CX profession.

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