Customer experience savings are NOT about automation or slashing value to customers! That’s a recipe toward many unexpected costs. Whenever you think about savings, think about value expansion. Your enterprise goals are to continually increase value to investors, so by definition, you must continually increase value to customers.
Everyone says “quick wins are your best route to CX success”. Bah! Customers need you to permanently resolve pervasive pebbles in their shoes. They will reward you grandly. And cost savings for you pay off continually in GROWTH!
1) Costs of Poor Experience. Take 1 prevailing CX issue: how much is it costing you in service (salary and fringe, technology, facilities, supervision, self-service, channels, etc.), remedies, escalations, churn, and trust? A ballpark figure is fine. Add these together: it’s huge! These are sunk costs: you’ve committed to spend this forever. What if you could cut this figure in half? What if you could stop this figure forever except for the random small occurrence? Well, you CAN!
2) Operational Savings are Operational Gains. Customer experience gains are what everyone’s pushing. Let’s flip that. What are customer experience savings? Not what most people think. They’re LESS churn and cost of acquisition, less negative word of mouth, and longer retention. How do you get that? Via reduced demand for Support, refunds, remedies, escalations, etc. NOT by deflection or skimpflation!
Do this instead:
- Absorb customer comments across every work group for lifetime value mindset, emphasizing right the first time per customer comments.
- Mistake-proof processes and policies: making them seamless contributes to employees’ ease of work and productivity, too.
- Use customer comments as the basis for performance standards for every work group, for reviews and approvals of people and processes and organizations, and for EVERY cost containment effort: do things in alignment with what customers want and do not want: they are paying for your salaries, budgets, and profit sharing. Respect that 100%.
3) Speak Executives’ Language. When you get to the root cause of prevalent pebbles in customers’ shoes, facilitate cross-functional collaboration and accountability to permanently resolve the root causes. This is how you generate massive customer experience savings. We did this at Applied Materials, a semiconductor equipment maker, when I led CX companywide. The table above is a glimpse of our root cause resolution. Use the translation box to point out to your Senior Leadership Team how these massive customer experience savings contribute significantly to sales velocity, earnings per share, compound average growth rate, return on assets, customer lifetime value, etc.
4) Urgently Increase Trust. 33% to 50% of people do not trust businesses. This is a weak foundation. Low trust raises customer experience costs! In all of your efficiency efforts, growth efforts, initiatives of all kinds, decisions, and daily handoffs, put TRUST FIRST. Ask yourselves: Is this increasing or decreasing relationship strength? Is this fostering internal and external trust? If not, rethink it!
5) Celebrate Your Experience Annuities. Stopping prevalent pebbles in customers’ shoes generates Experience Annuities. An annuity is a fund that perpetually generates gains. When you STOP remedial costs for a prevalent issue, you free-up budget permanently. When you redeploy those resources to higher value opportunities, you’re shifting from value-rescuing to value-creating. Those are perpetual gains. When you free-up customers from prevalent pebbles, they are more productive in their business and life, and they engage more with you in numerous ways. And you make our society more positive, productive, and prosperous.