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Act like a CFO

How CX Insights Leaders become as powerful as CFO’s?

Founder of and CEO of Success Drivers
// Pioneering Causal AI for Insights since 2001 //
Author, Speaker, Father of two, a huge Metallica fan.

Author: Frank Buckler, Ph.D.
Published on: August 24, 2021 * 4 min read

It was May 2008 when I was sitting in the luxury board room in Delaware, Ohio. I was just three years with the company as a regional marketing director (shortly after, I quit and became an entrepreneur). It made me super proud to be elected as a member of the enterprises’ strategy team.

We had prepared brilliant expansion, innovation, and marketing plans to propel the company to the stars. Instead, most of the plan had been rejected. What I learned in this final strategy workshop is how amazingly powerful CFOs are in a company.

One of the leading thinkers around Marketing Leadership Thomas Barta explains why:  What value does the CFO’s bring to the table? Does he produce great products or services? Does he gains or retain customers? No. Instead, he provides something incredibly powerful.

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Transparency – it is the key

Customer Insights leaders tend to focus on the job they are supposed to do. Deliver insights. Measure the status and trend of our CX performance. Understand what angles work best to improve CX.

All this is great from a technical site. But it fails to drive impact because it neither convinces nor forces stakeholders to listen.

A CFO does not get excited if you tell him how to gain 1 NPS point.

A regional marketing director isn’t pushed out of the comfort zone if you tell him that his region is 5 NPS points down.

Push and Pull

Image the meeting room gets silent just because you are entering the stage. Image stakeholders are expecting your latest reports with tension and are no longer ignore your proposals.

How does this sound? Here is Push & Pull framework that guides the way.

PULL First

Pull means that you are delivering something that is in the genuine interest of your stakeholders.

Do your homework and pinpoint what this genuine interest is. For finance, its probably profits, for marketing its maybe revenue, for operations its certainly costs. Then build a system that links CX insights to stakeholder outcomes. This article has all details on how to pull this off.

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Once EVERY stakeholder sees the impact on their interests, everyone wants the other to perform. This creates a productive pressure to the organization.

The thing you now need to do is this: provide deliberate transparency on how everyone is performing.

Is the region A implementing a consistent level of “competency among service personal”? Is the hotline touchpoint in California improving in this month?

If you can predict the impact (e.g. profit, revenue, costs) of each CX activity and of each customer theme that pops up, then providing transparency on CX performance becomes powerful.

Again, this impact model is state-of-the-art, and here is more.

It’s becoming a table stake

According to the “The State of CX Analystics 2021” 40% of enterprises already measure the bottom-line impact of CX insights. A raising number of them (1/4) is even using ML based modeling.

Thomas Barta says it well “Marketers – as well as Insight Leaders – do not just excel by knowing their craft. That’s the entry ticket. They do by knowing how to lead – down and foremost Upwards.”

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Act like a CFO and you’ll become a rockstar

CFOs are incredibly powerful because they provide transparency on metrics everyone is measured on and therefore interest in.

CX Insights leaders can mimic this and elevate their internal power.

It takes a PUSH & PULL system.

The Pull system provides the evidence-based link between actions, customer themes, and final outcomes like profit, revenue, and costs.

The Push system measures and provides transparency across CX-related actions and customer themes. This is powerful because the PULL system can translate this into impact metrics that everybody cares about.

p.s. here are channels helping you deep dive:

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