Customer Experience

Three Ways to Preserve Customer Experience During Cost Transformation

The waves of economic uncertainty continue. Persistent inflation, layoffs, recession fears and recent bank failures have unnerved the market. This has led some companies to ride out the macroeconomic mess in a safe harbor, prioritizing cost transformation initiatives, (more specifically expense reduction), until the storm settles. 

While the idea of battening down the hatches seems responsible when there are so many unknowns, not all budget-tightening decisions deliver the value they promise. And often, they come with long-term effects that hinder growth.

Indiscriminate Cost Cutting Can Affect Organizational Health Tomorrow 

Harvard Business Review (HBR) warns companies that one result of across-the-board cost consolidation is the sacrifice of future growth and organizational health. Indeed, nearly half of cost consolidation measures don’t achieve the projected savings for which they were designed. So, organizations abandon long-term digital transformation and growth strategies in exchange for immediate savings that don’t materialize.

The publication reports that just 4 of 10 companies achieve the cost reductions they attempt in the first year. Even fewer - 1 in 10 - maintain the “prudent behaviors” into year three. “The ultimate failure comes from taking their eyes off the future,” the article states. “Just 9% of companies create enough capacity to take on growth and innovation to support their long-term aspirations.” 

It’s not that cost transformation doesn’t benefit an organization. Of course, it does. What HBR is saying is not all cost-cutting is the same, and it’s a mistake to treat it like it is. When done with an eye only on the present, cost consolidation decisions can inadvertently rob companies of the future engine they need to compete effectively out of a downturn.

An enterprise’s ability to compete and even lead the market after a downturn rests on precise decision-making about when and where to streamline expenses during challenging times. 

Short-Term Cost Savings vs. Long-Term Growth 

No one said cost-cutting decisions are easy, but they can be easier if companies adhere to their north star, which should align with their long-term corporate strategy. HBR urges companies to ask the following question as they ponder their options: Is the potential cost consolidation measure aligned with the organization’s future goals or attached to past performance? 

Cost transformation efforts must protect both the company’s ability to innovate and grow and the customer experience. Why? It is difficult to win customer loyalty, and dangerously easy to lose it. Let's face it... customer revenue funds everything else, so if attrition rises and share-of-wallet drops, you have another set of problems that may be harder to solve. 

Businesses have become consumerized, and they expect a lot from their customer experience. Enterprise-sized organizations especially are quick to find alternatives when things don't go as planned. 82% of business buyers want the same buying experience in their work as they have in their personal lives. It’s not surprising then that the highest-performing companies are customer-centric. That’s why organizations that brush aside customer experience during cost consolidation do so at their peril. 

Three Ways to Transform CX and Consolidate Costs

Redundancy is often a culprit in organizations. We maintain the same information in multiple places because it is used across the enterprise. And of course, these siloes all need to be maintained.”

Forrester discovered that organizations obsessed with their customers’ success grow almost 2x faster than all other businesses, across every industry. Forrester and other analysts offer a number of recommendations to streamline operations while protecting customer experience. 

  • Reduce technical debt: Every time an organization adds custom code on top of what’s already there, it adds to its technical debt, already a massive part of any IT budget. It’s costly to manage legacy systems, and more code equates to more maintenance. An alternative is to leverage third-party, best-in-breed microservices to deliver specific functionality instead of writing lines of code. Let third-party providers own the code, the updates, and the security.
  • Decrease redundancy: Data silos and distributed teams and systems lead to hidden pockets of valuable customer interaction data that are scattered throughout the organization. Usually in duplicate.  Connecting internal systems together with third-party platforms into a single holistic view of the customer can boost greater efficiency by empowering more communication, collaboration and visibility. 
  • Implement smart technology: It may seem counterintuitive to write a check for new software during a weak economy, but intelligent platforms can reduce operational costs and remove the redundancies that are slowing down workflows and profitability. An article from Synoptek summarizes by saying, “You must also be able to exploit the tools and systems you already have in place and maximize returns from them.” 
“Sometimes, the best starts are born during a recession. Ironically, the smartest investment to your out-of-control technology spending is more technology – but better suited for leaping past your competition and growing revenue.”

OvationCXM Helps You do More with Your Existing Tech

OvationCXM's CXMEngine is the first platform that provides companies with tools to optimize broken customer journeys in real time. Create end-to-end journeys in our platform without code and publish them in a matter of minutes. See every interaction - every touchpoint across customers, internal teams and third-party providers. 

Many of our customers have tripled their satisfaction scores, reduced operating expenses through powerful automation, and plugged sources of revenue leakage in under three months. Curious? See it in action.

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