Recently I spoke with an executive at a company that collects customer and employee feedback on the topic of ROI. He cited a logistics company branch that identified multiple new customer experience ideas with a potential return of more than 100 to one. The investment costs were minimal, but corporate decided not to implement them. In another example, a chemical company could have achieved a 200 percent ROI on an investment by adding a local resource to an area where a number of clients were located. Again, management chose instead to do nothing.
In both cases, senior leadership were mired in their everyday status-quo, and didn’t give the new ideas a chance. They focused on conducting business the way it was always run, and paid no mind to new but risky ideas, even though the return was nearly guaranteed. They didn’t want to invest money now on programs that would reap rewards in the future. Their immediate gratification approach to business left substantial revenue on the table.
This issue of Customer Strategist is about “finding the ROI of customer experience.” Many customer experience professionals consider this topic extremely important, but answers highly elusive. The above examples represent much of the problem. How can you prove ROI on something your company doesn’t commit to?
In many cases, customer experience initiatives that are approved are small and siloed. Decisions are made based on how easily, quickly, or cheaply a program can be implemented, not whether it’s the right decision for customers or the business over the long term. Of course it will be difficult to prove overall business ROI in such a situation.
The articles featured in this issue break from that mold, and look at the entirety of customer experience projects from an enterprise-level view. A number of enlightened companies are transforming their business and operations to align with customers. New tools, processes, and operations can make a number of ROI connections related to financials, customer satisfaction, or operational efficiency. Leaders just need make the decision to try them.