Challenge 5 – How to link your CX initiatives to numbers your CEO cares about

July 20, 2021

The metrics that interest your C-Suite are very specific — but you’re probably not reporting them

The old way: Justify CX investments using traditional CX metrics

Each year, customer experience executives submit budgets for planned CX initiatives for the coming year. In justifying these requests, the terminology used is associated with the CX metrics favoured by their business. These could be increases to customer satisfaction (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), reduced customer effort score (CES) or other CX metrics their company favours.

Whilst the CX executives are focused on CX metrics, the CEO and C-suite are more interested in top-level business outcomes like revenue, customer numbers and improved profitability and the link between the two is not always obvious.

Old result: Your CEO doesn’t see the benefit of CX initiatives 

Your CEO needs to connect the dots between CX metrics and business outcomes.

An example initiative might look like this:
We are improving the onboarding process to make it easier for new customers.  The expected outcome is that we will improve new customer satisfaction by 21%.

In this example, improving the onboarding process will increase new customer satisfaction which is a positive outcome and will lead to happier customers, who will spend more and be loyal and loyal customers improve customer lifetime value which relates to business outcomes like increased revenue and customer numbers, but that is quite a few dots for the C-suite to connect.


If your initiative promises improvements to traditional CX metrics rather than improvements in business outcomes like customer numbers or revenue or profit, then it is not likely your initiative will be seen as a priority for the business.

The new way: CX initiative directly delivering business outcomes and CX metrics

This approach reminds me of the English proverb “Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves“.   We focus on a metric that delivers on one of the CEO metrics and the CX metrics will take care of themselves.  The metric to do that is customer retention.  Retention increases customer numbers, retains revenue and improves profit.


we identify individual customers who are at risk of leaving and step in to retain them. The retention activity is a service contact with the unhappy customer providing them with an opportunity to raise any issues or problems they are experiencing.

This approach retains customers delivering customer number targets, retaining revenue and hitting the business outcome targets for the CEO and C-suite.

New Result

An example might look like this:
A prediction and treatment initiative will improve customer retention by 20%, enabling us to meet our customer number target.

This retains the customers and delivers financial benefit. Retaining the customers directly and immediately delivers to the bottom line.

In parallel, this method of reaching out to unhappy customers to retain them turns unhappy customers into happy customers which will improve the traditional CX metrics too.


Unique Useful Insight (UUI)

Rather than describing the benefit of CX initiatives as NPS, CSAT or CES improvements which hopefully lead to improved business outcomes, connect the dots for your C-suite by describing all CX initiatives in terms of their impact on the business outcomes the CEO is measuring.

More reading here:

Do your CX metrics translate to the financial metrics your CEO needs?  For metrics your CEO cares about, check out the marketing calculator.

See the Forrester article: There’s Just One CX Metric That Matters To Your C-Suite — But You’re Not Reporting It


We at SmartMeasures are helping our clients create CX initiatives with measurable business outcomes that connect to the numbers the CEO loves.

If you would like to know more, get in touch.