Convincing Executives to Invest in the “Customer Experience”

Feb 17, 2023

Whether in robust or lean economic times, Executive Briefing and Customer Experience Program leaders find themselves striving to convince their Executive Management of the importance of continuing to innovate and evolve their programs to stay ahead of the competition. As customers move through their buyer’s journey with a company, many will have the opportunity to engage in an executive briefing. The customer’s impression of that company’s brand, products, services, and people will be influenced by their briefing experience. Customers will be observing and gauging whether the content is relevant, the branding is consistent, the technology used in the briefing operates seamlessly, the physical environment is updated and welcoming, the engagement is effectively facilitated, their voice is heard and their challenges and needs are addressed. All those components comprise the ‘whole’ of the customer experience.
One of the biggest dilemmas I have come across in my work as a briefing professional and in coaching clients is how to convince an Executive(s) that they should invest in ongoing improvements and advancements to the customer experience. Often an Executive’s perception is focused on the facility which may be functioning well enough from their point of view. So, why increase the capital budget? Or the Executive may view the company’s subject matter experts as adequate contributors when it comes to getting the company’s point across to customers. So, why invest in training? They may think that good enough is good enough and ask you “What is the problem you are trying to solve?”.

The responsibility of the Briefing Professional is to explain the potential impact of a better customer experience which can include up-leveling discussion leader skills through training, improving storytelling techniques through design, upgrading the physical environment for a more compelling and memorable customer engagement, investing in technologies and training to better support hybrid briefings and broadcast events, and/or implementing an automation tool to capture and report customer insights. Whatever the need, the right investments can make the difference between a world-class briefing program and one that is simply mediocre.

When planning for your customer experience discussion with an Executive, be ready to do the following:
  1. Ask your Executive what their definition of a customer experience is relative to your program.
  2. Share your definition and the elements that comprise a customer experience.
  3. Be prepared to outline your program’s customer experience strengths and opportunities.
  4. Educate your Executive on the importance of investing in the customer experience and show how it can influence business results.
  5. Have your business case ready to share with your Executive. Remember to highlight the downsides of NOT investing in new, innovative approaches.
  6. Collaborate with external partners who are experts in customer experience to build your business case. Those partners might be experience design vendors, presentation and facilitation trainers, digital content management providers, program consultants, etc.
  7. Be ready to provide funding options and or a phased approach that will allow your Executive to make a positive decision.
  8. Show expected results if an investment is made!
  9. Ensure your Executive(s) that you will provide regular customer experience project(s) updates and report results on the business.
Smart companies invest in organizations and programs regardless of an uncertain business environment to be ready for the future and stay ahead of the competition. Wise and astute Briefing Professionals know how and when to make their case to an executive in support of the customer experience.