It takes a village, right? Well, maybe not exactly a village, but it’s no secret that anything pertaining to Customer Experience will require multiple stakeholders across the organization. One of the challenges that we frequently see is getting buy-in and resources to start a CX transformation. Since we have spent so much time thinking about what’s possible with a CX program, it can be difficult to understand why some people don’t want to jump right in.
The problem isn’t necessarily the strategy or how it’s being presented, but simply that it represents change. Many people are unwilling to let go of the status-quo because change means uncertainty and all of the feelings that come with it: fear, frustration, doubt, denial and anxiety. No wonder so many organizations avoid changing their CX.
That being said, it’s also a strong indicator that an opportunity exists to rally everyone behind the cause. Here’s how you can make it happen:
1. Identify what’s in it for them. Start here. Always. For example, if you want help from Customer Service, show how a CX transformation will reduce both call the cost to serve customers, either through volumes and the contact center turnover. Frame the discussion around the things that keep the VP of Customer Service up at night, and there’s a great chance you’ll leave that meeting with an advocate.
2. Show them the vision. What does the road ahead look like? This doesn’t mean you need to paint a Picasso. Just illustrate one part of the experience: “What if we dramatically simplify our online ordering process?” Or “What if we were able to eliminate call volume by anticipating customer needs?” Show how that new experience will wow both the customers and the people who interact with them in that moment. It doesn’t mean you have to fully implement that exact idea, but without an example, the conversation will be too philosophical to gain any momentum.
3. Illustrate the “Do Nothing” option. Many times we forget this option. It’s always an option, but often conflicts with our desire to advance the business. It helps to identify data points of how the business is trending and how likely to continue if something isn’t done. There had to be a fundamental reason that led you down this path. Make it real for your audience. Is customer churn increasing? Are new competitors entering your market? You get the idea. They will, too, which helps them understand why a transformation is necessary.
4. Start somewhere small. An assessment is an easy and quick way to do that. Not only does it bring people together, but it will also allow you to identify tactical next steps that may not otherwise be apparent. A third party can be helpful for validating something you already suspect and thus convince others to get onboard. This can allow you to start to understand WHAT needs to change, and with the key team members in the room, you can start to discuss the HOW.
For additional insight on engaging others in your CX ecosystem, you can also check out a Forrester report where we are highlighted in this topic. It’s Getting To Yes: Five Strategies To Earn Cooperation From CX Ecosystem Stakeholders (Forrester Research, Inc., December 2015) by Rick Parrish. We’d love to hear from you so connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Andrew_Reise.