Does Your Budget Reflect the Importance of Customer Experience?

by Jeannie Walters

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As with retail and many other industries, from now until the spring is typically the slowest season of the year. What will you do with the down time? Most industries report a dramatic dip in sales and acquisition, and even loyal customers tend to go on hiatus. And not to mention tax time… The budget gets tight for most everyone. Dare we consider the importance of customer experience during meager times?

importance of customer experience

Hibernation is for the bears.

How will you spend your 1st Quarter? Due to dwindled resources and harsh weather, bears find a cozy place to curl up and go to sleep, conserving their energy until things warm up. As a business owner, it may be tempting, or even recommended to do the same: Thin out your staff and scheduling, conserving your resources while business is slow.

importance of customer experience

Flying south is for the birds.

Geese migrate to a warmer climate during winter months to mate and indulge in bountiful exotic food. Party on, geese! Perhaps you’d like to check out for a while yourself, have some fun, take it easy and pick up where you left off in the spring.

You’ve made it through 2013 and the holidays.

So by all means, take a breather! But…

All that down time can be very useful, and this is the perfect time for a customer experience reality check. Make sure your customer experience is getting the attention it deserves in the new year, before things get too busy. And yes, while cash flow may not be at its best, it’s time to dedicate the appropriate resources and funding to improving the experiences you provide. Face it: If you don’t sit down and work out a budget for improving customer experience now, it will never happen.

Don’t be like this guy

importance of customer experienceAccording to Forrester’s Competitive Strategy In The Age Of The Customer, even though 92% of the surveyed companies identified customer experience as a top priority, 45% said they did not have adequate funding for the necessary improvements and analyses.

Simply put, if you want to be customer-centric you must put your money where your mouth is. It’s time to dedicate qualified personnel and ample funding. When you leave customer experience improvement at the mercy of the surplus in your budget, it will never truly be a top priority.

Now that you’re planning a budget for customer experience, how are you planning on making the busy seasons magical for your customers?

Photo Credits: katsrcool (Kool Cats Photography)Dave Williss via Creative Commons

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

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