The state of financial operations within most businesses is nowhere near where the company wants it to be. Finance leaders struggle every day to steer their organization through treacherous waters—supply chain problems, inflation, changing customer preferences, and a changing regulatory landscape. And yet they freely acknowledge they’re drowning and unable to build the capacity they know they need. In the banking and insurance industry, 78 percent of CFOs admit that the finance functions of their organization are in need of a major overhaul, according to 2022 IDC industry research. The reality is that most financial teams are not set up to properly support their organization’s long-term financial goals. In fact, most financial teams lack revenue visibility altogether. What this means is that finance teams don’t have access to the data and insights necessary to do their jobs effectively.
One of the easiest, most effective ways that finance leaders can improve revenue visibility for their teams is by focusing on and supporting their organization’s customer experience (CX) initiatives. For most finance leaders, focusing on CX feels inherently counterintuitive: CX is often associated with soft metrics and intangible feelings and experiences that cannot be quantified. But modern technology solutions are making it possible for companies to quantify CX—in other words, to methodically collect and analyze hard CX data to understand and predict customer behavior and sales trends. Let’s explore four ways that focusing on CX will improve revenue visibility for finance teams:
Focusing on CX requires developing scalable infrastructure
One of the most important things that finance teams do to keep their organizations stable is to keep operating costs predictable and even. This work is well-aligned with CX’s focus on building scalable infrastructure to support seamless interactions with customers. Indeed, behind most successful CX initiatives is a goal to deliver more services through cloud infrastructure. Not only are cloud-based services like Salesforce more cost-effective than legacy on-premises solutions, but the cloud delivery model can deliver extremely reliable, user-friendly service at scale. Cloud services can literally handle millions of users with ease, and won’t require the organization to commit to extended implementation timeframes and costly infusions of internal resources. That’s music to the ears of finance leaders—and something they can readily quantify and track.
Focusing on CX requires tracking and understanding customer behavior
Finance teams rely on data to forecast sales and revenue over extended periods. As a result, forecasts are only as good as the data that goes into them. Fortunately, a major focus of CX initiatives is to track and understand customer behavior by collecting data. Improving CX requires businesses to generate detailed metrics on customers’ engagement and buying habits, as well as customer frustrations and problems. The company uses these metrics to tweak its CX initiatives to optimally resonate with customers. The same data and insights can also be mined by finance teams to improve forecasting—a synergistic leveraging of information that benefits the entire organization.
Focusing on CX requires tracking ROI
Modern CX is powered by modern, best-in-class CX technology, and this technology requires companies to make sizable, long-term investments. Companies need to know that their CX investments are paying off, so they’re designing metrics that enable them to quantify ROI. These metrics focus on how many hours of manual labor are saved each week or each month, how much customer churn is reduced, or how many additional successful root-cause analyses are completed to assess the source of revenue leakage and other problems. Finance teams can turn to these same ROI metrics to provide revenue visibility, as these metrics collectively paint a picture of the organization’s overall financial health, including what direction financial health appears to be trending.
Focusing on CX requires streamlining and automating workflows
To deliver seamless customer-facing experiences, companies must invest in streamlining, automating, and connecting all of the behind-the-scenes workflows that power CX. Often, companies undergo significant changes as part of rearchitecting their workflows. They design new, more integrated, more foolproof processes. They consolidate multiple systems into a single, interconnected business ecosystem. They introduce AI and workflow automation to save time and money while simultaneously delivering more consistent, higher-quality experiences. In some cases, companies methodically track and quantify the impacts of all of these CX-driven changes; other times, they don’t. Either way, workflow modernization can and should be a key area that finance teams track and quantify. Finance teams not only can measure saved time and money from workflow modernization but also how much more consistently CX is delivered and how customers respond to this difference in quality.
Most finance teams struggle with revenue visibility, but by supporting CX initiatives within their own organization, finance can gain the elusive revenue visibility they need to protect the financial health of the company. When finance leaders rally behind CX initiatives, they gain the ability to quantify and track multiple key areas of the organization, including the scalable infrastructure behind many CX initiatives, customer behavior and buying patterns, the ROI from CX technology investments, and workflow streamlining and automation.
Simplus specializes in connecting finance teams to the insightful data and information that companies generate through their CX initiatives. To learn more about how Simplus helps companies use CX data to improve revenue visibility, please reach out to Simplus today. We look forward to helping you optimally leverage CX insights to understand and predict customer behaviors and revenue trends.