How to Score CX Wins on Tight ROI Timelines 

Encouraging investment in customer experience (CX) initiatives is nothing new. Proving the value within the same year? That’s a different story—but it’s one many CX leaders now find themselves in as pressure mounts to justify the spend early on, or risk losing funding.

Once an end goal, showing return on investment (ROI) is now expected in a program’s initial budget cycle. Yet instead of doubling down on delivering strong results, the average CX quality in the U.S. has only fallen further. Forward progress is dwindling. Case in point: In 2023, Forrester predicted that one in five CX programs would dissolve.

As internal risk tolerance shrinks, CX investments continue to expand. Teams can’t afford to wait for the returns to reveal themselves down the road. They need to show value now—but many don’t know how.

There is a solution: CX leaders need to take a crawl-walk-run approach to prove ROI with quick wins. Follow these three guiding principles to evidence impact without sacrificing quality on the road to success:

1. Manage your momentum

Maximize the value of your CX initiatives and stay on track by evaluating progress along the way—not just at the project’s conclusion. Show the impact of the steps taken today to protect their outcome tomorrow. Measure and report quick wins to:

Build momentum. Business teams want to know if their last investment was worthwhile before they back the next one. Earn continued buy-in by demonstrating their dollar’s impact before the project ends. For example, leverage journey analytics to showcase the incremental revenue lift from the first months of a new CX enhancement. By documenting quick wins, CX teams can build momentum within departments.

Course-correct. CX teams must be agile. If the strategy isn’t playing out as predicted, it’s time to adjust. Tracking progress in phases creates room to pivot before going too far down the wrong path. If a strategy you’ve implemented lifts revenue but results in more calls to the contact center,hat could be a sign to change tactics. Measuring quick wins and losses along the way exposes what’s working and what’s not, maximizing the budget spend.

Prove value by tracking incremental progress. Quick wins add up to positive trends that bolster continued investment in CX initiatives.

2. Measure ROI before you begin

The most successful CX enhancement projects are the ones that can end. By starting with a target metric in mind, such as increasing customer lifetime value (CLV) or reducing customer churn,eams can identify a clear conclusion and accurately calculate the result.

Decide what to track before a project goes live to quantify ROI effectively. Working backwards to measure progress six months into the effort is inefficient and error prone. Rather than attempting to make the results fit the metrics, design the project with the parameters already set. Determining benchmarks ahead of time allows teams to stand up to scrutiny on CX spend by quickly pulling data when justification is needed.

Considering ROI before embarking on a new CX initiative leads to faster and more demonstrable proof of progress—which ultimately translates to continued business investment.

3. Focus on microjourneys over macrojourneys

Which moments in the customer journey make a big difference to your customers? They aren’t always the big ones.

To capture the greatest value along the end-to-end macrojourney, identify the most impactful microjourneys—then refine them. By smoothing out the fleeting high-friction touchpoints, CX teams can build CLV that stretches further, faster.

A credit card company that struggles to capture the total ROI from awareness to purchase can shift its focus to a key customer interaction: submitting a fraud claim. For a healthcare provider or cable company,he goal might be streamlining appointment scheduling. A retailer could target simplifying returns.

Making the microjourney effortlessly easy translates to greater retention and CLV—both measurable ROI metrics that you can take back to the business.

Play the Long Game With Quick Wins

CX teams can adjust to ROI pressure by prioritizing easily provable wins. Aiming for immediate impact over big picture improvements sets the stage to demonstrate a pattern of forward progress that builds shareholder trust and momentum. Smaller, more manageable goals help realize value creation at every step of a CX investment.

Explore more ways to move CX metrics with real strategy in the 2024 CSG State of the Customer Experience report.

2024 State of the Customer Experience

Go beyond the buzzwords and learn about the new CX era. Learn what it is and what it’s not to understand how to craft the best strategy for your business.

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How to Score CX Wins on Tight ROI Timelines