Maximizing CX: The Game You Must Win

How a business engages its customers at every point of their buying journey is critical to connecting the organization’s brand promise to, and delivering on, an exceptional customer experience. Does the board understand what the organization does to differentiate itself with its customers? If not, it should.

Performance management is on the radar of every board. Customer satisfaction and loyalty metrics are an integral part of the dashboard directors use to discharge their oversight responsibilities with respect to strategy formulation and execution. But customer satisfaction and loyalty are outcomes.

In contrast, “customer experience” (CX) refers to the totality of all touchpoints through which a business engages with its customers. These touchpoints are often described as the buyer’s journey, or the process by which customer satisfaction and loyalty outcomes are achieved. The CX conversation applies to both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies. Everything from marketing to sales to customer service, product usage satisfaction, and even website and digital platforms impacts the customer experience. The CX is reflected through customer sentiment throughout the buyer’s journey as well as a customer’s decision to return to the brand.

This issue of Board Perspectives explains why CX is important for performance management, customer retention and satisfaction, and competitive advantage. It provides five suggestions for building and maintaining CX — adopting an “everyone is responsible” mindset, communicating with customers, finding the brand’s North Star, aligning the right incentives and innovating the process continuously. The payoff of a successful CX strategy is improved business performance in terms of revenue growth, lasting customer loyalty, a higher customer lifetime value and sustainable competitive advantage. In the digital age, CX could prove to become the ultimate differentiator. And that is why CX is “the game you must win.”

Finally, this issue discusses the implications for boards of directors, for example, how best to organize the board’s approach to CX oversight, setting the tone for CX and engaging in strategic resource allocation conversations with management in prioritizing CX improvement opportunities, among other things. It also offers some suggested questions that the board should consider.

(Board Perspectives — Issue 177)

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Bryan Comite
Bryan Comite is a Managing Director and leads Customer Experience Strategy within Protiviti Digital. With over 20 years of experience, he regularly partners with clients to solve complex challenges and connect to value across the end-to-end customer lifecycle through ...
Bryan Throckmorton
Bryan Throckmorton is a Managing Director at Protiviti and leads the Global Digital Strategy & Transformation Segment. Throughout his 20+ year career, Bryan’s work has been on the leading edge of data driven and digital strategy and execution, transforming business ...