On a recent research about Customer Experience Management, Global Leader Survey (GLS), Beyond Philosophy engaged top executives in Customer Experience Management (CEM) to learn more about what were their plans for 2014. The data was released late last year and there was one point from it that called my attention. You can read the whole thing here.
According to this research, respondents were interested in practical application of CEM to their organization, as well as demonstrating the return on investment (ROI) for CEM practices. While the first point looks into a brighter future, where CEM goes from empty words on whiteboards to factual implementation, point number 2 immediately defeats it.
It is adamant to be able to justify investments in saturated industries. Too many years of cowboy growth led to far too many investments that didn’t generate justifiable returns. Sleepy Finance departments were more worried about justifying quarterly numbers than supporting actual business decisions. And just as long as numbers were not red, everyone was happy. Nowadays, numbers are red. So there is a pressure to justify every single investment. However, if the key concern of executives is the ROI for customer experience initiatives, then they are totally missing the point. It is not a matter of IF, it is a matter of HOW WELL. Anyone failing to allocate resources in customer experience because they need a business case for it has their priorities totally mixed up – and a poor conception of business cases. There is no price tag to being friendly, recognizing customers, knowing what they want and pampering them. It is a matter of survival in 2014. And every year after that. It is called competition.