Building a business case for CX initiatives requires getting buy-in from senior executives. And the best way to do that is to talk about revenue.

That’s our key takeaway from a customer panel at Zendesk’s Showcase event in Melbourne last week.

“A business case is absolutely a PR exercise. I think if you start the business case process by putting pen to paper, you’ve skipped some of the most important steps,” said Sarah Edwards, Head of Client Operations ANZ, CoreLogic.

Edwards explained the PR exercise should start with the executive leadership team, in particular the CEO and CFO, to explain why a program is required in the organisation.

“I think one of the great things about customer experience initiatives is that it’s a really immersive story, so there’s a lot of great content to share that really digs into the customer experience movement that so many organisations are going through now,” she said.

Edwards also noted the importance of networking across all levels of the organisation to build a focus on CX.

“It’s important to create that groundswell within your operation staff and your support staff to ensure that they’re clear on your direction as an organisation, are supporting you and getting excited about rolling out the new customer experience initiative.”

Having a long term approach to the PR campaign helps keep customer experience front of mind, she said. For example, sharing customer stories at the beginning of meetings to amplifies the voice of the customer across the business.

Myles Lawlor and Sarah Edwards in conversation withZendesk CIO Colleen Berube.

And it’s also important to tie those stories of happier customers or employees back to the goals of the business.

“Being able to link the customer experience initiative to those high level outcomes, like Net Promoter Score, revenue and our initiatives is key to garnering the momentum and support for your initiative,” Edwards said.

For Myles Lawlor, Chief Technology Officer at Youfoodz, the most important metric is revenue.

“Ultimately, my boss wants to hear me talk around revenue, right?”

“I’d be kidding if I said it was NPS,” he said.

To get to the point where they can clearly measure the revenue generated from new projects, Youfoodz underwent a journey mapping exercise to understand every process in the business and assigned value to it.

This allows the food delivery company to measure the value of any new process, both from a revenue perspective and on a personnel level such as decreasing stress.

For example, Lawlor said Youfoodz takes a “huge amount” of customer service calls and customers who have had that interaction go on to spend more with Youfoodz. Even if they were calling with a complaint, resolving the issue helps drive revenue for the business.

That led the company to make it as easy as possible for people to contact them Lawlor said.

“Everybody who contacts Youfoodz customer service team will, on average, order, more. So put on more customer service people, open up more phone lines, get your chatbots going.”

Prove value quickly 

Both Edwards and Lawlor advocated for starting small in order to prove value quickly.

Whether its ERP or a delivery system, Youfoodz always starts small with tests on a subset of users. “We’ll figure out if that actually deliver some value or joy. And then and then we’ll go from there.”

“There are no big bang projects at Youfoodz because inevitably they fail at some level, or the expectation is never met,” Lawlor said.

“We’re such a fast moving business — we’re doubling in size every 12 months — we can’t afford these big approaches, because the business literally changed overnight.”

Edwards says CoreLogic is currently using Zendesk with a small group in the organisation, and other parts of the business have approached her to be part of the project when it is expanded early next year.

“You can start small and create a little group of champions that are out there selling that message to the rest of the organisation, that’s incredibly powerful,” Edwards said.

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