Leading CX from a faith to budget

How to build solid CX business cases

Today I would like to write about one of the topics that moves me most in Customer Experience Management: how to build solid business cases. The topic has been around for a long time and it still hasn't been solved properly. I don't understand why, because it is relatively simple. Today it's much more than 15 years ago because the data situation is completely different. When I started in CX, there was much less data and information about customers and to evaluate the data that was there was very time-consuming. We CX professionals need to get away from asking management to "believe in the right thing". Of course it is the right thing to invest in customers and their experiences. If you don't see the simple connection between customer and turnover, you have tomatoes on your eyes. But we also have to do our homework. A business is not run with faith but with numbers. Investing in CX projects brings money, we just have to show it. In this article we would like to show you how to do this. You can build solid business cases with CX and even start a CX project from the data. The recipe for solid and successful business cases is based on these four elements:


Groups x Behavior x Data x Procedure


Customer groups x behaviour x data:

  1. take the groups from your customer loyalty measurement.
  2. take the example of the NPS: Divide the customer data into three groups: "Promoters", "Passive" and "Detractors".
  3. now search for data linked to behaviour such as Spending, Share of Wallet, Customer Lifetime Value, number of contracts, etc.
  4. search for differences in the groups.


The easiest way to understand this is to use an example with simple numbers.

We have 300'000 customers. Per group we have 100'000 customers.

So we know that promoters buy more from your company than passives and detractors. The question is why are they spending less? The common assumption is that these are "bad" customers. The correct assumption is: these are not entirely happy customers. Here's your starting point. I see why passives spend less with you, for example. Understand why they spend more with the competition. Understand their goals, their experience needs (if you don't know the 8 experience needs yet: read more here), their behaviour, their pain and what inspires them. It can very well be that different persona profiles are behind this. The probability is very high that you will discover something to serve them better.


What if you do not have any behavioral data? Then you will have to do a study in which you collect the customer groups and the data. With a good institute this can be done in a few weeks.


For your business case you have to do the following:

  1. define what a customer analysis will cost. For example, I have always had good experiences with a Persona/Customer Journey Analysis (more about Persona/Customer Journey Analyses) (Tip: usually a few $10'000 are enough for this). Get offers from professionals.
  2. estimate what the measures could cost. This is the big unknown and you have to make a clear scoping and expectation management. More about this in the "Procedure" section.
  3. estimate how many customers you can move from one group to another. Better stay in the low percentage range. If we stick to our example: if you can move 10% of the liabilities to promoters, that's $200'000 turnover per year. If you move only 5%, your company will win $100'000 turnover per year. If the break-even point for the project has to be reached after 12 months, the project budget is already a respectable $100-200'000. That's quite a lot to move.

As mentioned before, you don't know exactly which measures you will implement. But you must make a difference with your budget. If you make a good analysis, this will definitely be possible. But you have to be aware that it is unusual for a project not to know the exact measures yet. Make it transparent in your scoping. Set the correct expectations. Bribe with a solid approach that gives the stakeholders the certainty that they are constantly informed and can make decisions for further steps on a solid basis. Another aspect is that you have to prove YOUR success with data on an ongoing basis. If your project is successful (and it will be), other projects will want to take credit for its success. Fight back with facts. You have to take this into account from the beginning of your approach. The key is:


Data x Procedure


A good project approach is central to your success. With the focus on facts and figures, it means that you have to plan for these steps:

  1. determine which behavioural data are likely to change and record them on a score card
  2. plan a zero measurement of the data
  3. carry out a pilot project
  4. carry out follow-up and control measurements
  5. calculate the final business case and present it to management for the implementation decision

CX projects are somewhat different from "normal" projects. In the last blog article I showed why successful CX projects are set up the other way round compared to "standard" projects. If you haven't read the article yet, you can do it here . For every blog article I also do a live Q&A webinar, the recording of the webinar in project management in CX (Episode 3) can be found here.

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Episode 5 | How to build solid business cases in CXM

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