How to get a seat at the CX table

6 min read by Lauren Boyton 18 Sep 2022

Marketing is no longer an island, but is expected to be the ‘connective tissue’ that delivers uplifts in revenue across the business. For this to be successful, CMOs must be agile, digitally savvy, and most importantly, an influencer in order to drive change.

It can be a lonely place to be, but with the right partnerships, the CMO can work towards this vision with confidence.

CX – Customer Experience – and specifically, how to make it better – is at the centre of many C-Suite discussions. With a deep understanding of digital processes and data, not to mention our successful career of attracting and retaining customers – CMOs would seem qualified to contribute to discussions, and even lead the charge.

But, as we know ourselves, this isn’t always the case. Why is this? We talk through some typical CX scenarios and provide 10 tips on ensuring your seat at the table.

What role does marketing have to play in CX?
When it comes to CX projects, there will often be internal teams that work towards achieving a common goal – usually, solving a pressing customer problem. The issue is that marketing is often left out of the initial conversations and instead, brought in at the end to pick up their traditional tasks of branding and promotion. As we know, creating an incredible customer experience is about understanding and optimising all the touchpoints on that journey – which means that CMOs need to have a seat early on. Here are some things to ensure that you drive the conversation.

Ten ways for CMOs to lead the CX charge

1. Start small, scale fast – pick the customer experience projects that are ripe for improvement to make an impact quickly. Creating an email nurture Welcome series for new customers is a great way to utilise the digital marketing skills within your team. Work on smaller projects like this, then gain the confidence to cut your teeth on areas that cross departmental boundaries – for example, a digital process to reduce queuing times; an app that lets people book appointments online; a tracking system that links with your website.

2. Set metrics – you know this one. But it’s critical to get these right if you’re to justify your customer experience efforts to the business. Dashboards make it a cinch to pull up the figures you need to support your case.

3. Engage the right peers – as the ‘connective tissue’, you’ll need to collaborate across the business right from the start. CEO ‘Pet Projects’ often have limited value when they involve the heads of just a few departments.

4. Engage the right partner – your project will likely need to involve an outside agency, especially when it comes to complex integrations. As many CX projects naturally converge at your website, then it makes sense to work with your digital partner to do a viability analysis. What do you need to build? What should you buy? Do this early, before the costs spiral.

5. Use your experience of UX to drive good CX – your UX designers, whether in-house or outsourced, should be involved in the early stages to bring usability considerations and to implement best practices across the project. Having a strong and consistent experience across all touchpoints, not just digital media, is essential. By mapping the journey, you can see more easily what these are, and how they should look – from a counter display pack to a digital point of sale unit.

6. Review your talent – your team, and that includes your digital partners, are an indispensable part of making this work. And don’t forget to engage your team. Appoint roles to skills. Bring your marketers into the conversation and let their voices be heard. Does your head of social media have a secret ambition to get stuck into a research project? Is your lead copywriter a dab hand at secret shopping?

7. Take care with data – you’ll need access to data, lots of it. Take time to reassure your C-Suite peers that this is all above board. So, build your case; explain clearly, with examples, of why you need to see GDPR compliant presales/finance/ops data, before jumping in. Consider engaging a partner to help you with this.

8. Communicate good CX internally – internally, use examples of successful CX projects to reinforce the benefit to them, and to the customer. Sometimes people are so close to a piece of ‘digital transformation’ that they don’t recognise it as such. If you don’t have any good examples, try leveraging a great example from a household brand or relevant industry to hammer it home.

9. Take the journey for yourself – discover the good, the bad and the downright ugly about your business by acting like a customer. Call your company. Buy something from them. Go on an appointment or visit with your engineer/sales team. Visit the warehouse.

10. Own it when you get your seat at the table, don’t come into the CX meeting with mission statements and visions. Present hard data, talk in plain English about what you want to achieve. Ensure that you are able to create clear, engaging presentations of your data to support your ideas. And then: keep the flow. Make sure to gain traction by providing regular progress updates in small, digestible fact based evidence to gain traction and ensure that you retain your seat at the CX table.

Need help to engage the right partner for your CX journey? StrategiQ offers the help you need. Start the conversation today.

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