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In the latest episode of our Minimum Viable Podcast we talked with Eva Šípková from Alza, one of the largest online retailers in Central Europe. Eva is the Head of Customer Experience and if you speak Slovak or Czech language, we highly recommend listening to the interview or reading the transcript on our website. If not, here’s the most important thought!

One of the topics we talked about was finding the common ground between CX and stakeholders / managers in each department. Eva’s approach is simple: "There are some things that helped me. First is the realization that it isn’t our website, logistics nor our developers that bring in cash. It is the customers."

Find common ground

Once everyone acknowledges and aligns with this crucial fact, the next step becomes much easier to navigate. Eva suggests allowing stakeholders and departments to identify a metric connected to customer satisfaction that holds relevance for them. By doing so, they take ownership of that metric and become responsible for achieving it while you gain a clear objective that can be measured and tracked.

Wondering what that looks like in real life? "Let’s say we have a finance department. They argue they shouldn’t be involved in the CX initiative since they have limited direct customer contact.

We thought hard about this and came up with a Money delay index metric. It represents the time it takes for money to reach the customer. Let’s say you’re returning something to an Alza box (note: self-service boxes for picking up / returning orders). The moment you close the box, you should have the money in your bank account.

But here comes the finance department and claims it’s not possible. They have to check the product is undamaged, the packaging is complete, which bank the customer used…"

Put yourself in their shoes

The best way to fight this resistance is through finding an overlap between their challenges and challenges of their customers. If you can prove that changing the process can fix the problem of both sides, they will see the value.

In this case, Eva reminded them it’s also in their interest to transfer the money to the customer faster. "In fact, our finance specialists don’t want pending payments. It creates problems for them too. In the end we made fantastic progress reducing the time it takes to receive the money to hours."

This is a great example of two seemingly unrelated things coming together for the greater good. By allowing stakeholders to select their own relevant metrics, you create a sense of ownership and enable them to contribute to the overall CX objectives.

Stars (and stakeholders) need to align

Whether your company already started or is just embarking on its own CX journey, remember to seek out ambassadors, involve stakeholders in metric selection and foster a shared understanding of the value of customer experience design.

From our experience, it is a great practice to align all stakeholders on the design problem even before we jump to research and development. It allows us to come up with solutions that are better and more easily accepted across any organization. Check our Idea validation canvas and try it yourself at your next alignment with a resistant stakeholder.

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