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Metrics & Measurement
Customer Experience
I often hear many marketers and customer service leaders deliberate over a common struggle: proving to executives that investing in customer experience initiatives and technologies is worth it.

I often hear many marketers and customer service leaders deliberate over a common struggle: proving to executives that investing in customer experience initiatives and technologies is worth it.

Executives typically perceive sales numbers as a means of determining the ROI impact from their CX investments. If marketers and customer care leaders can't link revenue to customer experience, then often their plans are dead in the water. In tough economic times, it's also easy to fall into the traditional trap of focusing on short-term cost-cutting efforts. Best-in-class organizations are learning that maintaining healthy relationships with their customers across all channels requires long-term investment. Such companies are reaping the financial benefits of a thoughtful, long-term customer experience strategy.

Today, Anna Papachristos, talks with industry analysts, a 1to1 Media Customer Champion, and a 2014 Gartner & 1to1 Media Customer Experience Excellence winner to get their advice for tying CX to profits. They explore the types of customer-facing strategies crucial for driving profits.

In the article, Urvashi Sheth, senior director, global customer support at SanDisk Corporation and a 2014 Gartner & 1to1 Media Customer Experience Excellence winner, says growth and revenue starts with understanding culture. "You can't sell your products and create customer loyalty if you don't understand the cultural needs of your customers.... People will pay a bit more for the peace of mind that comes with buying from a company they trust will listen to their needs."

SanDisk Corporation won Customer Service "Gold" last year in the Gartner & 1to1 Media Customer Experience Excellence Awards. The company recognized that higher sales meant increased need for customer support. So the organization embarked on a four-pronged strategy geared toward providing extremely high quality, quick, and efficient pre- and post-sales services.

By the beginning of 2014, the whole strategy led to an improvement in customer satisfaction for call center services of up to 97 percent, up from 91 percent in 2011. The improvements also helped SanDisk's retail business unit increase market share in the United States by 5 percent year over year and the company gained market share in both India and China.

Executing such a revolutionary strategy required commitment from more than one department, and SanDisk ultimately got the support of the entire organization by creating awareness about the project through corporate-wide events to promote the importance of a customer-centric culture.

Tying profits and revenue to customer experience investments is difficult, but as SanDisk proved, not impossible. Our 2015 Gartner & 1to1 Media Customer Experience Excellence Awards aim to recognize, highlight, and award those organizations that can successfully show how their customer experience initiatives reaped financial gains that benefits the bottom line. The deadline to enter this year's program is this Friday, April 17th. Enter your company today and prove to everyone how tying CX to profits can become a reality.

EXPERT OPINION
EXPERT OPINION