How to be a CX rainmaker

Forrester shares its insights into how to use CX to help your brand rain customers

There’s a disconnect between the priorities of CX teams and C-suites, said Forrester senior analyst and CX executive partner, Su Doyle, speaking at this week’s CX APAC 2021 event.

“I believe it's high time we brought the two disciplines of CX and growth strategies together,” Doyle said.

CX teams are focused on keeping customers happy, while executive teams are focused on winning new customers and getting existing customers to spend more. There’s a significant gap between.

“What CX teams care about - loyalty, customer journeys, NPS - is very different from what CEOs care about - growth, market share and innovation. With this kind of disconnect, it's no wonder we have to defend our CX budgets,” she said.

While researching what makes successful CX teams stand out from the pack, Forrester uncovered a group of ‘Rainmaker' leaders who built their business case with new products, ventures, markets and customer segments. Rainmakers do things differently, but their growth strategies can be applied more widely to bring CX success to other organisations, according to Doyle.

“When you think about the traditional CX money story, it's about great CX creating happy customers who spend more money. Rainmakers raise up that CX money story to include new customers, and new product sales from new and existing customers. They're telling the growth story,” she added.

Most customer service teams think about customer journeys - the ‘C’ in CX - but rainmakers take that one step further and include prospect journeys as well to provide more opportunities for more customers to be more loyal, according to Forrester's research.

Doyle pointed to the example of car brand, Nissan, which has mapped prospect journeys, as well as customer journeys, and actually now has more prospect journeys. It has even moved away from KPIs, replacing them with journey success measures

“Nissan has optimised the prospect journey to optimise the buying experience from exploring vehicle options to configuring the perfect vehicle to booking a test drive and arranging financing,” Doyle explained.“When you're implementing a growth strategy, growth is never guaranteed, you are venturing into the unknown. CX teams can help remove the risk from these new growth ventures and CX teams can help the organisations play smarter when venturing into a new market or launching a new product."

Forrester has found tools used to map customer journeys also help improve the prospect experience. “So does customer research and use design thinking, all the tools in your toolkit can help you bring growth to your company. And not only do you have an opportunity, but you have a responsibility to ensure your company's continued growth,” Doyle said.

3 steps to making it rain

There three key strategies is be a CX rainmaker start with ensuring the success of strategic growth initiatives. “Provide deep customer understanding and answer the questions: What's your customers really want? How do they research buying options? And how do they make buying decisions? This is information that is not found in classic market research,” Doyle said.

The second thing is to start tracking progress with growth metrics, which means tracking metrics about new customers along with existing customers. As well as tracking existing customers, there are many metrics to track prospective customers. These include tracking prospect experience metrics, the number of new unique customers and new incremental revenue by customer among quite a few.

The third key metric is looking at value over time. “Quantify the value you bring. Think about the influence you have on a new product or prospect journey improvement, or a new market segment,” Doyle concluded.

“Rainmakers align CX with business growth, new market, new ventures and new products."

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