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The harsh truth about the ROI of CX that nobody talks about

By Mark Slatin

If you don’t make the business case for your customer experience initiatives, they will hit a wall.

But the harsh truth is that most CX leaders don’t come from the world of finance

Yet without a clear and convincing argument of why your work should be prioritized over another department’s work, it will get delayed or denied.

It’s more common for CX leaders to express their version of success in terms of enablers like improvement in NPS, less customer friction, or shorter wait times.  While these may be 100% accurate, enablers aren’t outcomes.  They must be translated into the language of the C-Suite to get traction. 

Too often, this leaves CX leaders feeling frustrated, irrelevant, and deflated.

The Delighted Customers with Mark Slatin Podcast

Check out Mark’s podcast, The Delighted Customers Podcast, available on The Agile Brand network.

The bottom line (pardon the pun) is that you need to translate enablers into outcomes in financial terms that clarify how the investment (time, money, or resources) will provide a return like revenue growth, cost reduction, or increased profits.

To go a step further, align those outcomes in the terms that your leadership has identified as current organizational goals.  Like so many other “things CX,” take an outside-in perspective.

The diagram below illustrates the models we use in The Trusted Guide Roadmap™ Master Class that includes templates and calculators in the “Prove the Value” Module.

5 ROI Models that “Prove the Value:”

  1. Statistical inference
  2. Net Revenue Retention 
  3. Cost Efficiency 
  4. Share of Wallet 
  5. NPS Segment Shift – Loyalty Drivers
5 Financial Models to illustrate the ROI of CX

By no means is this list intended to be all-inclusive or even the best choice for your organization.

But it does provide a good starting point to help reframe your narrative so you can get past the wall.

Building your CX Roadmap is the third of four steps to becoming a trusted guide:

  1. Earning Trust
  2. Becoming a Guide 
  3. Building Your CX Roadmap 
  4. Proving the Value (this one)

If you’re interested in taking your CX leadership to go beyond CX fundamentals, see the special offer for The Trusted Guide Roadmap™ Master Class which begins on June 5.  


Mark Slatin, CCXP is the CEO of EmpoweredCX,  Top 25 CX Leaders Globally (CX Magazine), MSU Professor of Practice, Trusted Guide Roadmap™ Master Class creator, and Delighted Customers Podcast host (Top 20 Apple/Business Podcasts in US)