In the CX Academy, we define the power of persuasion as the ability to influence a person’s beliefs and actions. When you are leading the CX Agenda in your company, it is important to understand that nobody can do this alone.
Your role as the CX Director / Leader is to get everyone in the company working together toward a common goal to deliver an excellent customer experience. Delivering excellent customer experience for all your customers requires action from various departments across your organization.
As a CX Leader, you will have to spur people into action – this is where the power of persuasion is needed.
Challenges when delivering great CX
- Lack of Budget
- Lack of Resources
- System Issues
- Competing Priorities
- The Level of CX Knowledge in each department
- The role of each department in delivering CX
- How different departments interact with each other
- Specific challenges of each department
- Potential blockers to delivering a great CX
The 6 Key Principles of Effective Persuasion
I scratch your back; you scratch mine.
This is the practice of exchanging things with others and being the first to offer support to others. By giving your support to someone first, they will be far more likely to return the favour and act on future requests.
This principle draws upon the strong desire we have for not having any debts and an obligation to give back when we receive something. This means that if you can find a way to offer something to the key decision-makers or your team, they will be more likely to return the favour and support your CX initiatives.
The key to reciprocity is to be the first one to give and to make sure that the support you are providing is personalised and unexpected.
People want more of the things that are in short supply. In essence, people don’t want to feel that they are missing out on something. This is why you should try to convince key stakeholders that by not taking action with CX, they are missing out on the opportunity to be involved in dramatically improving key business metrics.
You can do this by providing them with useful CX Statistics or by building a proposal for a strategy that shows a clear Return on Investment (ROI).
CX is tricky to measure since it’s not made up of one clear metric you can use to measure its success. CX is a combination of your tech and all the departments working together while having the customer at the centre of all decisions.
However, if you can get a business case together demonstrating the benefits to the business of investing in CX. Using this information you can convince key stakeholders that by not investing in CX now they are missing out on improving key business metrics.
Understand that people are far more likely to be influenced by credible and knowledgeable experts. You need to position yourself as an expert and ensure that you have credibility
To have credibility you have to:
- Know about the business, not just the business of CX or your sector but also of the specific department you are trying to influence.
- Talk about your past experiences and successes with similar projects.
- Be able to demonstrate clear and tangible outcomes from previous projects, such as changes to key metrics.
- Use the insights that you have gained from your Fact Find to show that you have listened to them and that you understand their business and their challenges.
- Getting an introduction from someone else in the business who is respected and who will attest to your expertise will also help to position you as a credible source.
4. Consistency & Commitment
People like to be consistent with the things they have previously said and done.
One way to gain commitment from your key stakeholders is by initially seeking small, voluntary commitments that are realistic and achievable. For example, you could ask to have a short time at the end of the next meeting where you could provide an update on CX and explain briefly what it means to everyone in the team.
By simply starting a dialogue you are already getting their commitment.
An interesting study by abc News (based on a 1972 study by Thomas Moriarty) showed that any connection you create with someone they are more likely to be committed to follow through for whatever you need.
The study was a set up of two actors on the beach, one was the beachgoer, and the second was a thief.
In their experiments, abc News asked the actress to:
- Make no contact with her beach neighbours
- Make a small initial conversation (Hey have you been here all day? etc)
- Become a very annoying neighbour (blast loud music, carry out personal hygiene like shaving etc.) ]
In all scenarios, the actress left her iPod on her towel while walking away giving the chance for the thief to come in and steal it. What is interesting is that her neighbours reacted and stopped the thief in the two latter scenarios.
This shows that as soon as getting an initial commitment can be as simple as starting a conversation. Once people have made it, they are far more likely to agree to a further request as they want to appear to be consistent in their actions
We are far more likely to say yes to people we like and there is science and logic behind what makes us like another person.
- We like people who are similar to ourselves
- We like people who pay us compliments
- We like people who work with us toward shared goals
People look to the actions and behaviours of others to determine how they should react or proceed themselves. It is also called social proofing.
By pointing to what others are already doing, you can persuade other key stakeholders to take action. You can explain how they have already bought into CX and the actions they have taken to support the CX agenda.
On top of that if you provide case studies or examples of other similar companies who are also doing what you are asking them to do it will touch on the scarcity principle too.
Are you ready to get the buy-in from all your key stakeholders and team? Enrol in our professional Diploma today where we go into much more detail and teach you how to do your Fact Find and prepare a business case for CX. Learn More: Professional Diploma in Customer Experience (CX)