Customer Experience (CX) Return on Investment (ROI) machine demonstrating the concept of business growth with money flying out

Proving CX ROI

This is going to be a year of momentous change.

Experts are predicting that, like the year 2000 and those ‘Big Birthdays’, next year will see many of us triggered to review our career and personal journeys - and to make adjustments if we’re not #livingourbestlife.

According to the latest Forrester report, corporations too will continue to initiate significant change. In the next 12 months, it’s predicted that one in four CX professionals will lose their job. The lead indicator for who will be retrenched? A lack of clarity on CX ROI.


If improving the customer experience is high on all major companies radar, why are their CX people being let go?

We believe there are a number of reasons why. Here are five challenges that leaders must overcome to prove CX ROI:

  1. Tech has trumped customer

  2. CX leaders aren’t focusing on the things that their customers value most and have spent their CX budget on apps and platforms that feel progressive but aren’t customer-led. We call this “shiny iPad syndrome”which you can read more on here.

  3. Too many ideas, not enough validation

  4. Not everything on a CX wishlist can or should be implemented, especially when the ROI’s not there in the short (or even long) term. We often find that customer-led recommendations need to be tempered with how important that job actually is to a customer and what the revenue/churn implications of solving it are. Here’s a few ways Protoyping can quickly validate ideas.

  5. Initiatives aren’t timed to maximise cashflow

  6. By tying design to dollars, a financially validated customer-led program can recycle initial returns to drive future plans and increase impact. As each initiative brings in its own clearly identified savings, these can fund the next initiative. A full rollout of the roadmap is self-funding based on the success of each preceding element. You earn the right to continue to invest in the areas that deliver tangible value.

  7. Monitoring and measurement lose momentum
  8. Collecting data is one thing, but you need to be set up to do something with it. That is, analyse data to derive insights that provide customer evidence and a business case for CX initiatives. Then, ensure the leadership team has an appetite to implement the initiatives which arise from this analysis.

  9. Misaligned KPIs that aren’t customer focused
  10. KPIs need to support the delivery of improved CX. Often KPIs are siloed and impede the empowerment of employees to act in the best interest of the customer and become resolution focused. Create a culture that supports and rewards customer-centred behaviours.

    It is only when this work has been completed that a clear business case for the appropriate CX action can be mapped out ensuring that when we are delivering what matters most to the customer, there is also a clear business benefit to be gained.

For example, we’ve recently completed a 3-year calculation for one of our clients that included; lost opportunity revenue, margins, Capex, depreciation and total benefit. Over this period, their return on service design initiatives more than pays back its investment in less than 12 months. Beyond that, it's all gravy.

It's going to be a big year of change. Without hard data to evidence the viability of their CX transformation, CX professionals will be called upon to demonstrate clear ROI of their initiatives. And rightly so.

The numbers don’t lie. We’d love it if you’d count on us for your next project.

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