How to encourage CX investment from C-suite executives

Why is CX investment important and how do you encourage buy-in from c-suite executives?

How to encourage CX investment from C-suite executives

Why is CX investment important and how do you encourage buy-in from c-suite executives?


Why is CX investment important and how do you encourage buy-in from c-suite executives? Read more to find out…

According to an Acquia report, 77% of UK consumers say that their digital experience with brands has changed and 43% are buying more online than they did before.

This presents an opportunity for disruptive startups (e.g. Monzo, Revolut) to take advantage of the increased online touchpoints and leverage the customer data it provides to make better decisions. 

Startups have the advantage of developing from the ground up and embedding CX into every part of the organisation. For larger companies, this is more challenging. 

A Walker report found that 39% of CEOs consider CX the most effective tool to gain a competitive advantage. Whilst this number has grown, it is still not proportionate. High customer satisfaction scores should, in turn, bring increased shareholder value over the years. 

By 2022, 25% of organisations will be able to show a positive relationship between CX and ROI measured as a financial value1. Though some larger firms recognise this, progress is slow. Part of the reason for this is getting buy-in from all levels of the organisation, in particular, C-Suite executives. 

Why is CX investment neglected?

While customer data is collected, more often than not, it is done in siloed teams and organisations find it difficult to translate this into useful insight ultimately showing little ROI. This could be due to the culture, legacy processes & tech. Fixing these issues can be expensive, time-consuming and take some persuasion to implement. The lack of actual metrics on customer experience initiatives makes CX investment harder to gain.

It could also be due to a lack of focus as they are focusing on too many things at once, in which case there needs to be a shared vision on CX priority. Or perhaps a lack of understanding, whereby CX initiatives are not explicitly linked to business benefit.

4 Ways to show value in CX Investment

1. Focus on business value

Look at what the business is trying to achieve over the next five-ten years. Is it to increase revenue? Reduce operational costs? Become a market disruptor? Focus on the ‘bottom line’ and demonstrate the tangible business value and ROI CX can have on the specific person you are speaking to. There is a strong relationship between NPS and profit that is well documented as we can see in this example. It is necessary to describe the differences between promoters, passives and detractors and the impact they can have on your brand. Acquiring a new customer can cost 5 times more than retaining an existing one, whereas increasing retention by 5% can increase profits by 25-95%, a Harvard Business School study has found. Though you may not yet have internal metrics, there are plenty of case studies that you can draw from. You can benchmark against other competitors in your industry and use this to determine where you stand and what the possibilities are. It may also be worth conducting a proof of concept (POC) to secure a compelling case for funding.

2. Use CX tools

Create end-to-end inclusive journey maps to show other departments how they can impact the customer experience at many points in the process. Talk about things related directly to their work, their team and their experiences to begin showing the interconnectedness of employee and customer experience and its positive impact. Seeing things that C-Suite executives have personally been involved in will help relate it back to their own experiences. Running a CX maturity assessment is also a great way to help to align the organisation on where you are as well as illustrate the work needed to have CX truly embedded. 

3. Create agile cross-functional teams

Ensure that your teams are not working in silos, encourage collaboration and continuous improvement. This is crucial to create an effective customer experience. CX is not static, expectations are constantly changing, and you have to change and adapt with it. CX is therefore not a one-off project, it has to become part of your BAU and standard ways of working. Setting cross-department targets which link to the organisation’s strategy can help to drive this behaviour (instead of sales/marketing targets). It is important to ensure that these teams have accessible and real-time customer data so that they can drive relevant business challenges. You may want to encourage job shadowing from different parts of the company so that employees can see the impact something that they do has on others (internal & external). 

4. Change the culture/mindset

Though creating cross-functional teams will help with this, it does not solve the underlying issue. If you want to begin seeing results you need to change the whole culture of the organisation; think bottom-up, not top-down (i.e. customer needs creating business decisions, not business decisions pushed to customers) and ensure that every employee has the customer ingrained into their way of working. Though this may seem a momentous task, it will likely have other benefits and you can start small; empower employees to make decisions/deliver change that is within their control to progress and start having regular performance dialogues about how people are performing as a team. For example, empower individuals to resolve customer problems without going through layers of approvals.

Ultimately, whilst there are many ways to increase CX investment, it is important to think of it in an agile way. Focus on delivering the quick wins first so that executives can claim small victories, whilst providing benefits to customers. Of course, this is not to ignore the long term wins which will likely provide broader business benefits. But by showing tangible business value early on, can at least get the ball rolling.


  1. Source: Gartner, Inc., How to Drive Value From Customer Experience Analytics, Melissa Davis, Refreshed 25 August 2021, Published 20 March 2020.

In 2021, we conducted a survey of 504 senior decision-makers across marketing, operations, technology, and customer experience following the huge, forced shift in customer behaviour during the Covid pandemic. To discover the surprising details our survey has uncovered around how business are using their customer insights, as well as actionable recommendations to unlock the value of customer insight in your organisation, download our whitepaper here. Or, to find out how we can help with your customer experience transformation, get in touch

This post was originally written by: Nicholas Ward

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