Five ways to kick start your CX program

BY Australian Retailers Association
06 January 2020

Most organisations no longer compete based on the products they sell. Today, businesses predominantly compete on the experiences they provide to customers.

Undoubtedly, momentum for customer experience (CX) is growing. The State of CX Management 2019 report - from Qualtrics’ XM Institute - found 81% of respondents plan to increase their focus on CX in the coming year. And with good reason - the same report showed 71% of leaders said CX had positively influenced the company’s financial performance.

With organisations looking to the future and considering how they can optimise their CX, Qualtrics has identified five ways they can build a great program that will stand the test of time:

1. Focus on effort and emotion, not just success

A customer’s expectations and experience form their perception of the company, which can be seen through three lenses: success (level of achievement), effort (how easy or hard it was to deal with the company), and emotion (how the experience made the customer feel). While success can play a large part in ensuring a positive experience in the short term, effort and emotion play an integral part in forming the customer’s long-term perceptions.

For example, success can mean the customer purchased a product. But if the process was lengthy and painful, then effort and emotion come into play. Ultimately, the customer would be unlikely to return to that company.

Therefore, not only does the customer require a successful experience, positive outcomes in the two other perception lenses are needed for the organisation to create customer loyalty over time.

2. Establish and track a core relationship metric

Relationship metrics look at customer attitudes formed over time, focusing on what customers feel about a company. This could be elicited by asking how likely customers are to recommend a company or product, or whether they trust a company or brand.

Tracking attitudinal relationship metrics helps us understand which relationship metrics connects with the business results that we want to have, such as buying more from a company. We do this by understanding which perceptions that matter most to driving attitudes that, in turn, lead to more valuable behaviours.

3. Start small with a mind towards building scale

While it can be tempting to launch and make big changes to current CX programs, this can be a risky approach. By starting with small changes and adapting not only the company’s efforts but also its internal culture, the organisation will have a better understanding of what works in a particular sector or within specific customer sets. This can be vastly different for each customer set, and the insights gained at a small scale can be used to build on and improve overall CX over time.

4. Improve EX as an enabler of great CX

Employee experience (EX) is vital when creating or adapting to a new CX. Research has shown that in organisations where EX was implemented alongside CX, both EX and CX thrived. Volkswagen Australia is a great example of a company improving EX to drive CX - not only was the company able to reduce turnover, but it also increased NPS and CSAT scores too.

5. Keep pushing for change while remaining positive

Change never happens as fast as anyone wants it to. A CX program is a long-term investment and often takes time to manifest in the organisation’s culture, not just on paper. Therefore, to maintain forward momentum, organisations need to remain positive throughout the transformation period and celebrate the small wins along the way.

These five principles provide a strong CX framework that will help brands compete and win on experience. They will help CX leaders understand the how and why of their CX, unlocking insights into the key moments that matter. It’s a powerful ability, enabling leaders to design and deliver CX programs that drive business performance.

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Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $320 billion sector, which employs more than 1.3 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating, and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit or call 1300 368 041.

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