As we near the end of 2019, it’s again time to reflect and anticipate what’s in store for the coming year. Alongside our partners at Forrester Research, we were grateful to present an exclusive webinar on November 20, 2019.
Co-hosted by Forrester’s Vice President and Research Director Harley Manning, and Usabilla’s Katie Hickey, the webinar brims with fresh insights on the role of CX professionals today. We could chat for days on the topic (and we do), but below you’ll find key takeaways to act upon straightaway.
With content so in-depth, we thought we’d offer a few ways to soak up as you please. Continue reading or watch the full webinar recording here. Hope you enjoy!
Prediction 1: One out of four CX professionals will lose their jobs.
This might sound alarming, but those at risk carry a common thread worth considering. CX professionals who are unable to prove business impact will be booted.
While CX is a major key to success, it’s now a matter of showing it. This will vary by goals and industry, but earning C-Level support often means speaking in financials. Consider revenue growth, profitability, cost control, and for public companies, stock price. Monetizing your KPIs is mission critical for 2020. Present stakeholders with what they want to see, and in terms they understand.
Companies with the least advanced CX are predicted to especially make cuts to programs. In the words of Harley Manning: it’s get rich or get fired. Now’s the time for professionals to make the CX connection to business outcomes and show relevancy.
What does this mean for you? Always be thinking: how have I proven my value to the business today?
Why is proving the value of CX so difficult?
- Lack of ownership – When it’s everyone’s responsibility, it’s no one’s responsibility.
- Difficulty identifying root cause – With so many moving parts (data, customer input, tools and technology), it can be difficult to spot the problem.
- Inability to drive action – It’s key to Ask, Analyze, Act on feedback, but this is a difficult trifecta to master.
Prediction 2: The ranks of CX execs will grow by at least 25%.
On the flipside, those who are able to prove the ROI of CX efforts will drive decision making in 2020. Businesses are looking for business-savvy CX pros who can talk earnings per share, return on invested capital, etc., and off the top of their heads.
Since 2014, the number of CX execs grew explosively, from 925 to 10,305 – a 1,100% increase. To continue to fill jobs, firms will raid competitors with successful CX improvement programs in 2020. Companies are aggressively hiring data scientists, data analysts, and experienced business leaders with track records of success in non-CX roles.
These professionals will sophisticate CX teams as a guiding light for organizations. They will help 1) identify projects teams should be working on, and 2) allow teams to speak to CFOs (or similar) at a level that’s compelling.
What does this mean for you? If you are tying CX to financials, there is a great opportunity for you.
How do you prove the value of CX?
- Get a pulse on your customers.
- Empower your departments with the right insights.
- Monetize your CX programs.
- Hire the right people to champion CX within your organization.
How Nespresso uses data to speak to business objectives
Applying customer insights to business strategy is a clear path to brand growth. This leads to both improved CX and product offering.
The most advanced firms are those fixing underlying CX problems and scoring competitive differentiation with innovation. At the core of CX measurement, however, is understanding what customers want and avoiding assumptions.
Usabilla customer Nespresso is one example of keeping this constant pulse:
New innovations will never stop leading your new features, but whatever you implement in your services, try to make it 100% operational and serving your customers. Listen to the needs of your customers and find ways of establishing two-way communication with them. Maybe they don’t want drone delivery or talking refrigerators. They might be looking for more information about products in video form or accessibility to services.
Ela Çelebi, Nordic e-commerce analyst of Nespresso
Prediction 3: 25% of firms will lose >1% of revenue by flubbing a social issue.
Firms that think they can ignore values-based consumers or earn their loyalty with half-hearted efforts will suffer unprecedented revenue losses. From ethical issues, corporate responsibility, community impact, diversity & inclusion, gender equity and sustainability, customers care about a range of topics. And brands must be aware.
41% of US consumers want to buy from a company that is closely associated with social, environmental or political issues.
This trend is longer emerging; it’s here. Without a strategy in place for dealing with these issues, companies will fall behind both in the face of PR crises, brand reputation and overall customer retention and acquisition. In 2020, CX professionals will be called to help drive preemptive action on issues that resonate with customers and are relevant to the business. IKEA Israel, for instance, saw a 43% spike in online revenue following the launch of its accessible design products in Israel. In this example, IKEA made the case that it considers its customers as people, not just numbers.
P&G is another example of a brand listening to its customers. Following a flop with an ad promoting gender stereotypes, it carried out extensive market research with our parent company SurveyMonkey. P&G has since driven change and has even won an Emmy for a recent campaign that tackles the topic of racial inequality.
[Stakeholders] expect more from brands than just selling products. They want to know what they believe in.
Carolyn Tastad, Group President of P&G North America
What does this mean for you? The relative newness of this trend means mistakes will happen. Brands today need a guiding structure of values, while constantly measuring and keeping their finger on the pulse to what matters to customers.
- Architect your VoC and CX measurement programs to tie customer feedback to business results. From incremental purchases and calls to care, make sure you get the credit you deserve.
- Pick improvement projects that move the needle the most for both CX and business results like revenue and profit. When reporting on your accomplishments, always include a metric that’s a number with a $ in front of it.
- As CX professionals, empower your departments with the right insights. Encourage everyone in your teams to take a seat at the CX table.
A big thanks to Forrester for teaming up to provide this great content. If you’re like us, this piece has you eager to jump in. Ask for anything, as we’ve most probably already written about it! We’d love to share more on the topics we covered, so don’t hesitate to learn more.