What’s the verdict from Forrester’s CX NYC Conference?

CX conference CX professionals CXNYC

Forrester’s annual CX NYC event is known in the CX world as one not to be missed, and so we were delighted to be in attendance yet again. If you couldn’t make it this year, we’ve brought you some of our key takeaways from this year’s thought-provoking two day event, with a deeper dive into one theme that we know is a particular pain point for CX professionals.

  1. Authentic commitment to brand values that resonate with your audience is essential to growth and maintaining loyalty, especially as Gen Z are entering the market.

Forrester are defining this as the rise of “values-based customers”: a growing number of consumers who will choose, switch and boycott brands based on its ethical/social justice stance, who expect company CEOs to stand up personally for what is morally ‘right’, and who trust companies more than governments to solve social issues.

Ahead of the curve here are brands like Patagonia for their stance on environmental awareness, foregoing potential revenue to encourage people to reuse old damaged clothes and product instead of buying new ones; and REI, again sucking up potentially significant losses to close down for Black Friday as part of their core belief that people should #optoutside instead, to destress and spend time with loved ones instead of being stuck inside working or part of a frantic shopping melee.

Forrester advises all CX professionals to work with their companies to consciously decide how much they should integrate their values into their business model, and how much they will highlight those values to consumers. No longer can businesses remain aloof and agnostic about issues, if they wish to stay relevant.

  1. CX is stagnating.

Forrester used an early keynote speech in their flagship event as a wakeup call, to brands and to the CX industry as a whole.  The scores in this year’s CX Index report remained largely flat against last year, with no organizations emerging as leaders of the pack.

Forrester recommend two ways that businesses who want to ‘change the game’ can really start to push here: a) understand the impact that emotion has on CX, and really focus – more than ever before –  on how you can start to tip the scales here for your customers; and b) Ensure you’re capable of measuring CX, how those changes you make impact it, and that your measurement tools allow you to tie this to business objectives of loyalty and – of course – revenue (more on this below).

CX NYC 2019 board_what customers really want

  1. Tying CX to revenue growth is absolutely vital.

And yet it’s one of the toughest challenges for CX professionals, according to those we’ve spoken with.

Proving the value and ROI of your company’s CX programs is key to a) getting buy in from the top down – a must if said programs are going to thrive and succeed – b) securing further investment, whether that’s in terms of time, technology or training & recruitment, and c) ensuring that your programs are ultimately successful in terms of your key business objectives: increasing customer loyalty and spend.

According to Forrester, one of the common missteps in tying CX to revenue include over-reliance on NPS as the only metric. They don’t suggest that NPS isn’t valuable by any means, just that there are other indicators that may have even more impact, particularly those associated with enrichment of the relationship.

They note that collecting feedback at point of sale is an important data source when it comes to tying CX to revenue, especially with the additional value of real-time responses and gaining a much larger sample size.

Having a plan for what you want to measure is obviously important. It sounds like common sense, but it’s very easy to get almost too enthusiastic and start trying to capture data that actually doesn’t relate to your core objectives.

Which brings us to the final point – prioritization. How you prioritize which fixes to make first depends on the relationship between CX and revenue, and this is why getting mass, accurate data is key. It’s impossible to prioritize effectively without first measuring which elements of CX matter most – to your brand and bottom line. And most businesses right now don’t have the tools to do this. Accurate, mass feedback from customers at the point of sale, returned in real-time, is a powerfully  effective tool in any CX practitioner’s toolkit.

The opening keynote speech from Forrester at CX NYC 2019 began with the idea that CX as an industry has stalled and needs a fresh outlook. It’s our goal to provide that fresh outlook by giving a voice to every customer, and helping our retailers listen, understand and ultimately change their CX for the better, based on that voice, that truth, that only customers can provide.

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