Many customer experience (CX) initiatives and projects are currently failing to meet the expectations of both customers and businesses.
That’s not news.
What is new, however, is that in recent months we have seen rising calls for CX projects to prove their return on investment (ROI). And, if that wasn’t enough, Forrester is predicting that ‘One in four CX pros will lose their job’ in 2020.
Now, anyone who has experience in a corporate environment and hears about a project facing a new ROI challenge knows that this is often code for things like ‘why are we doing this?’,’ I don’t understand it’, ‘I don’t agree with it’, ‘I don’t like it’,’ what’s the best way to kill this?’, and ‘who approved this?’
When this happens, what is clear is that the project owners have not demonstrated their value and relevance to the core business.
Forrester’s prediction is a manifestation of that in human terms, i.e. if you can’t prove the value of your work, then we will eliminate your job.
That may have many in the CX community gripped with fear.
But, what is clear is that too many CX projects are not aligned with their business’ objectives and strategy. And are being viewed as ‘nice to have’.
I’d go further and suggest that many CX leaders don’t know how their initiatives or projects support or enable the achievement of the business’ overall strategy and objectives.
I know this because I’ve asked a lot of them.
When I do, I usually ask two questions:
The first question is: What is your experience strategy?
This typically gets a response something like ‘We want to create an effortless, digital, AI-enabled, connected, omni-channel blah blah blah buzzword buzzword buzzword ……customer experience.’
I tend not to dwell on their first answer and move quickly onto the second question, which is: How does your experience strategy support or enable the achievement of the business’ overall strategy and objectives?
Now, this question is more often than not met with silence, blank faces and, sometimes looks of confusion.
And, therein lies the problem.
As a CX professional or leader, if you can’t answer the second question with clear links back to the outcomes that you want to achieve and what they mean in terms of pounds and pennies or dollars and cents for the business then stop right there and consider starting again.
I’d suggest that you start by thinking about what the business wants to achieve and what that means in terms of outcomes that you can influence.
Once you have done that, then that should help you focus on what the right things to do and focus on are. That, in turn, will help you deliver both ROI and worth to the business.
If you don’t do that, then you might just be one of those folks that will lose their job in 2020.
This post was originally published on Forbes.com.