Does Your Organization Trust Your CX Insights?

By: Lisa Sigler

May 5, 2016

Customer Engagement
customer experience
customer experience management

True or False: People across your organization trust what your Customer Experience team provides.

That’s one of the questions Clarabridge CMO Susan Ganeshan asked a panel of CX experts at the Clarabridge C3 conference last month, but it’s worth considering for any customer experience management practitioner. Implementing a full customer experience management program can mean a new team, new processes, and new technology. If employees don’t trust the CX insights being provided enough to act on them, there’s no reason to make that big investment.

So, how do you earn the trust of your organization?

Give them time.
Of course, you must be patient. Change is seldom easy, and changing the way that your organization uses and responds to customer insights might be a complicated process. Even with full executive buy-in and a clear mandate, convincing your organization to trust your data to help them make business decisions won’t happen overnight. And if you don’t have overwhelming c-level support for your initiative, it will likely take even longer.

One of our C3 speakers, Mika Tatar, Consumer Insights & Systems Analyst from Jarden Consumer Solutions, noted that there is another reason that you must give your colleagues time: as your insights team gets better and faster, it can raise flags earlier by noticing the earliest trends in the customer data. In fact, insights sometimes come so early that the effected teams haven’t even seen any evidence of the problems that the insights team is raising. Since they haven’t felt the effects of the problems yet, the effected teams have a hard time believing in the issues right away.

Once those same problems “catch up” to them, they’ll realize that you were providing an early warning system that they will trust in the future.

Show them the evidence.
The trends and red flags you uncover may have a huge impact on your bottom line, but don’t expect your colleagues to take your word for what you’re seeing. Create and distribute reports that show them the data that supports your suggestions, to establish your credibility.

If you can key in to the specific ways that your audience likes to see your insights (maybe graphs for your finance team vs. actual supporting customer quotes for marketing), you should consider presenting them in a way that is easiest for everyone to digest.

Then, when your insights start to produce positive outcomes for the company, make sure to let everyone know. Proof of your success will start to make other groups more comfortable with using your data.

Be specific and directive.
There is an overwhelming amount of customer data available, which can mean an overwhelming number of insights being passed along to your colleagues.  Do your best to pinpoint the most relevant data, the most important insights, and the most impactful actions they can take based on what the data is telling you.

It’s impossible to improve every aspect of the customer experience at once, so it is important to be strategic in what you ask colleagues to tackle. As Forrester’s Megan Burns put it during her C3 keynote, “You have to focus on a handful of moments of truth. Tell employees, ‘Here’s what we want you to aim for.’”

Include them in the process.
Employee feedback is a vital component in a mature customer experience management program. Not only does it improve the quality of your insights by providing a different perspective, but it also helps employees to feel comfortable believing in your recommendations.

Another C3 speaker, Dave Leasure Senior Manager, Customer Insights at United Airlines, emphasized that earning employee trust is a large part of their CEM strategy, adding, “We listen to employee feedback. Employees are great advocates for customers.” When you stop listening to employees, they will stop listening to your recommendations.

Make their jobs easier.
At the close of her C3 presentation, Ioana Theoktisto, Customer Insights Coordinator for Copa Airlines, was asked directly how to get other groups to listen to what her Customer Insights group recommends. “Prove it works,” she replied.

If you provide solid recommendations based on real data, you can help your colleagues across the organization make business decisions every day. You can make their jobs easier and their projects more successful.

Be transparent, persistent, and patient. Admit your missteps and loudly proclaim your successes. When your colleagues understand that your work makes their work easier and more successful, you’ll earn not only their trust but their enthusiastic participation in using customer insights to improve the customer experience as well.

The accuracy and depth of insights derived from the Clarabridge platform can help you earn the trust of your colleagues. See it live to find out how. 


Lisa Sigler is Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at Clarabridge. For over 16 years, Lisa has used her writing and editorial skills to bring the value and benefits of technology to life. In her current role, she works to demonstrate Clarabridge’s position as thought leader and trailblazer in the Customer Experience Management market. Lisa holds a B.A. of English from Kent State University. Read more from Lisa on Twitter @siglerLis.