Drive Your CX Strategy With Dashboards

My time as a CX practitioner (as opposed to a consultant) is a bit dated, in that I left that role more than a decade ago. But it’s still important (even more so in my current role) to keep up to date on the state of the practice.

That’s how I deliver best-in-class services to our clients. And why I regularly interview CX leaders to learn more about their efforts, successes, and challenges.

Before COVID, I did this by spending two days on-site, embedded in a selected organization. During that time, I’d shadow a CX leader, attend meetings, and ask interview questions.

In the eight years since I founded Heart of the Customer, these were the days I learned the most.

[Speaking of our efforts to stay abreast the current state of CX, we are honored that we were selected by the CXPA, along with our partner Quadient, to interview first-year CX leaders to learn more about their experience. Read more about this exciting new undertaking here.]

Lesson learned

One surprising revelation from this shadowing was seeing the importance and impact of using CX dashboards to showcase the current state of the experience.

If you had asked me about dashboards before my extensive series of interviews with CX pros and executives last year, I would have acknowledged that they’re probably important. But I didn’t truly understand the central role they play – and their game-changing potential – until our 150+ hours of 2020 interviews.

Pairing the voice of the business with the voice of the customer in your dashboard engages executives, driving repeat visits.

Whenever I talk with a CX leader now, I ask about their dashboards. The most successful program leaders can easily wax on about them for the entire interview.

But while many CX programs utilize some sort of dashboard, what separates the best programs is that their dashboards don’t focus on survey metrics. Instead, they use what our CTO Shawn Phillips calls a “sentiment sandwich.” This kind of dashboard includes customers’ feelings, and shows their impact on the health of the business by surrounding that with the behavioral, operational, and financial data.

Pairing the voice of the business with the voice of the customer in your dashboard engages executives, driving repeat visits.

That’s what makes them so powerful.

A tale of two dashboards

Imagine two potential dashboards:

Dashboard #1 shows survey responses, including the response rate and improving survey scores – that’s  typical for most programs. It’s interesting, and executives will take notice occasionally. If they receive a bonus for those scores, you can predict they’ll log in shortly before the bonus is paid…but probably not much more frequently than that.

Because that dashboard data doesn’t impact the day-to-day work of an Operations, Marketing, or Finance executive.

Dashboard #2 goes further. Sure, it also includes the improving survey scores. But then it amps up the results by showing how those improved survey scores correlate to a decrease in calls to the contact center. Even better, it shows the cost savings associated with that decrease in calls.

That’s a surefire recipe for executive engagement. (Because what executive isn’t interested in reducing costs?)

Great dashboards meet executives where they are. They answer their questions before they even ask them. And they show the link between customer sentiment and the critical business outcomes that keep executives up at night. That’s a crucial step in engaging them on customer experience.

It also shows you’re a business-first leader, rather than simply another CX person reporting CX scores.

If you’re struggling to engage executives, take another look at your dashboards, then use these tips to turn them up to 11.

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