...turning the voice-of-the-customer
into management actions

Home >> Buzz, blog and dialogue >> Customer experience questions your leadership team needs to get answered

Buzz, blog and dialogue

Customer experience strategy

Questions your leadership team needs to get answered  

Customer experience questions your leadership team needs to get answered - even if they haven’t yet asked

Traditional scores and indices for measuring customer experience can be powerful performance indicators, but they mostly fall short of providing senior leadership with compelling evidence or justification for the need for improvement, investment or change.  They also seldom identify what specific actions need to be taken to improve it, and typically fail to quantify the financial benefit of any improvements subsequently achieved.

Hence for many, nothing effective ever gets done!

In a previous article I reflected upon the decades of measuring customer experience that’s left the boardroom, and entire businesses, spending more time debating “what numbers to use” to measure customer experience, than “what actions to take” to improve it.  In this article I want to close that gap by offering a set of questions that your leadership team needs to get answered - even if they haven’t yet asked.  And indeed, if you are a member of the leadership team, these are the questions you should be asking.

Instead of discussing potentially abstract numbers like satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy scores, leadership teams must first measure customer experience in terms of its impact on strategic outcome objectives such as customer retention, positive referrals, revenue, profit, and cost containment.  A leadership team using the dollar as their unit of customer satisfaction, combined with an actionable measurement methodology, will have the clarity needed to set reasoned priorities and justify investment in customer experience improvement initiatives. 

If “customer experience” isn’t a scheduled leadership and board-room topic in your organisation, it may be because it hasn’t yet been given the vocabulary, metrics or agenda to make it measurable, accountable and actionable.  So, consider what would happen if the leadership team in your organisation asked the following key questions about customer experiences.  Would you have the answers?

Questions from the Chief Executive: “Strategic risks, threats and solutions”

Chief executives need to have clarity on why customer experience is important and why it should be a priority with the executive team and the board.  For customer experience to have enduring and meaningful executive and board-level buy-in, the chief executive needs to get the answers to the following questions:

A chief executive, armed with the answers to these questions, will be empowered to set priorities and justify investment in customer experience improvement.

Questions from Financial leadership: “Financial risks and returns”

The financial leadership in the organisation needs a more quantitative assessment of the current risks and damage, and the potential opportunities from improving customer experiences.  With a robust approach to expressing customer experience in financial terms, the following questions can be answered:

Financial leadership driven by these key metrics will find it easy to support customer experience improvement initiatives and be well-placed to monitor the results they yield.

Around the leadership table

Baseline QuestionsBut it’s not just the Chief Executive and Financial Leadership that need to expect more clarity about customer experience.  As you take a look around the leadership table, passions often vary from enlightened customer champions through to battle-weary sceptics.  Marketing and communications, Human Resources, Operations and Retail, Customer Relations and Complaints Handling - all armed with the right baseline insights, can unite around a shared vision for customer experience and a clear set of priorities for improvement.

Consider how many of these questions your organisation could reliably answer today, and where possible, express the answers in financial terms. 


© CTMA New Zealand Ltd.

Baseline questions your leadership team needs to get answered.

How many of these important questions you can reliably answer for your leadership team today?

Put your customer experience performance clarity to the test with our practice guide.

 Questions your leadership team needs to get answered

Request a copy

For more...

For more information about the CTMA approach to turning the voice-of-the-customer into management actions, join our reading room, or if we can help you more directly - please get in touch, and we can schedule an introductory discussion.
Schedule a call

© CTMA New Zealand Ltd.

View more posts


About the author: Paul Linnell

Paul Linnell Paul Linnell is a customer experience and service quality improvement champion, working internationally with senior managers and their teams to help them achieve business success, reduce risk and build customer loyalty and advocacy by taking actions to improve customer experiences.  Paul specialises in the design and deployment of customer experience measurement, service quality improvement, complaints handling and preventive analysis programmes. Industries he has worked with include, Automotive, Consumer electronics, Consumer goods, Electricity & Gas retail, Financial services, Information technology, Local Government and Public Sector, Media / Publishing, Passenger travel (Rail, Air and Sea), Pharmaceuticals and Telecommunication. Paul has worked with clients and presented on these subject at conferences and corporate events in the UK, Europe, North America, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.  Originally from the UK and now based in New Zealand, he continues to serve clients globally.

View Paul Linnell's profile on LinkedIn Google+