As the professional responsible for customer experience in your company, you know that great UX and CX can give your company a competitive edge.
You may take a customer journey approach to tracking metrics like Net Promoter Score or CSAT, gathering feedback at moments that can make or break customer loyalty. It’s your job to analyze this data to surface opportunities for product improvement and better customer relations.
While a platform like Wootric will help you surface insights and prioritize action improve customer experience, you still can’t drive innovation alone. You must evangelize your insights from customer feedback across other departments in the company. Product, customer support, operations, and marketing teams are often the ones that must implement projects and process changes that will optimize the customer journey.
Dave Hansen, Senior Marketing Manager at Watermark, shared in a recent webinar, How to Evangelize CX , that one-on-one meetings with leaders of other functions were a key component of his successful launch of the CX program at this EdTech company:
“Basically, I hit the road with our first Net Promoter Score results. I was going department by department sharing, ‘Here’s what we’ve collected and here’s what I see from it.’ Some teams had early objections in these meetings, but eventually having those conversations led to ‘Okay, great, what are we going to do with that data?’ And, when you have that level of conversation happening about customer feedback, beautiful things happen.”
It can be challenging to persuade colleagues to engage with the data and listen to your insights. You want to get them excited about customer feedback and become champions of customer experience themselves, but they are likely busy with their own priorities and goals. How do you influence your counterparts in the organization so they will support your ideas?
These five persuasion strategies will help you inspire colleagues and increase their engagement in CX improvement.
1) Frame Your Message
You need to describe and explain your insights so the recipients would interpret it the way you want. Think like a poker player: use the framing method to communicate the message so others would agree with you.
Framing has three elements for you to consider:
- Choose the right place and time to communicate with leaders of other functions in your company.
- Choose the right approach: they are more likely to agree with you if you leverage positive emotions rather than tell about potential downsides only.
- Watch your words: choose the most appropriate words to communicate your message and explain your viewpoint to counterparts.
2) Use Power Words
Those familiar with persuasive writing know that words are the most powerful weapon to influence decisions and minds. For example, using “we” instead of “you” creates a sense of belonging and makes listeners feel that your strategy is relevant to the whole team, not just your vested interests. It sounds more appealing, right?
Also, use their names in conversation. According to Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, it’s one of the most effective ways to sound more persuasive. When you call counterparts by name, it builds a connection and shows them you value them.
Find words to articulate your clear and concise message: active voice, power verbs, sensory words, etc. Avoid jargon and long sentences full of vague words or redundant adverbs. And make sure to prepare two or three takeaway phrases for the recipients to get your point.
By the way, speaking skills not only help you build a personal brand as a specialist but can also make others listen to your arguments with enthusiasm.
3) Use Data and Evidence to Support Your Idea
When speaking to counterparts, remember three C’s: confident, concise, clear. And while your words and tone of voice matter, colleagues will more likely to agree with you if you give them facts and evidence to support your arguments.
In the business world, metrics are what matters most; and that’s where your customer journey analytics come in handy. Show the results, share NPS, CSAT or CSAT metric results from your CX surveys, and the feedback themes that explain the score. Be sure to also share verbatim feedback from customers alongside the metrics as that will bring humanity to the data.
Don’t forget to connect all the data to a cost-benefit analysis. Explain the potential downsides should your company not respond to issues customers are talking about. Speak about both risks and benefits to addressing CX issues. Don’t just describe–if possible, put cost and upside in terms of revenue numbers.
4) Create a Win-Win Situation
Another great way to persuade people is to give the benefits that would affect them specifically. Offer the advantages and make the conversation about their goals, not yours. Avoid how this benefits you as a CX specialist but instead focus on the desired outcome of the department you are going to persuade.
If you can show how your idea solves their problems, you’ll create a multi-faceted solution, aka a win-win situation for everyone. Describe the future potential and let them see that you think company-wide.
Persuasive techniques to try here:
- “Yes-ladder.” Get them to agree with your minor point first, and they will more likely agree with a bigger idea.
- “It’s working for others.” The human nature is so that we look to others to make own decisions. So, point out that others in your niche use a proposed service or strategy successfully; it will help to persuade counterparts to try it too.
- “But you’re free” technique. When talking, simply remind the recipients that they are free to decide on the discussed subject. This way, you reaffirm their freedom of choice, doubling the chances they will agree with you.
5) Remember Your Body Language
And last but not least:
Your body language is an instrument of persuasion too. When you smile, you look approachable; when you have eye contact with colleagues, you look trustworthy and show your interest in the conversation. Remember this when talking to your counterparts and trying to engage them in your ideas.
- Raise your eyebrows: it’s a signal you are friendly.
- Show your palms: it’s a signal you don’t lie. And don’t cross your arms or put hands in pockets: it’s a signal you feel uncomfortable and uncertain.
- Make your neck visible: it’s a signal you are open to suggestions.
So, go ahead and set those meetings! Just try following these recommendations when talking to your counterparts about customer experience data–and you’ll see positive results.
Written by Lesley Vos, content strategist and freelance writer for publications on business, marketing, and self-growth. Don’t hesitate to say hi on Twitter or check out more of her work.