Customer Experience at a Crossroads: What Drives CX Success?

Customer Experience at a Crossroads: What Drives CX Success?

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Executive Summary

The Customer Experience (CX) industry is at a crossroads. Despite much enthusiasm at executive levels and investments in CX teams and initiatives over the past decade, only one in four companies are “winning” – able to quantify CX benefits or achieve a competitive edge.

The majority (58%) of the approximately 200 CX initiatives studied in this research are in a “developing” stage, able to cite some benefits. But tangible results are proving elusive for most CX leaders. The goal of this research was to understand what differentiates Winning CX initiatives to help CX leaders more rapidly and effectively deliver the business value required by senior executives to continue or expand investments.

Here are the five main conclusions, based on quantitative data primarily from CX team leaders, supplemented with qualitative research conducted with three dozen CX leaders and industry experts, with the support of a Research Council of 14 global thought leaders.

1. Winners define a CX vision beyond fixing problems.

Improving major touchpoints such as customer service, while a common and often necessary starting point, does not yield the best returns. CX initiatives enjoy greater success when they improve the customer journey or deliver a unique experience to differentiate in the market.

2. Winners insist upon a CX business case.

While senior management will want to see “hard numbers,” building a business case is not just about an ROI calculation. Ideally, value from a CX initiative should be clear to each stakeholder. Even when not formally required, CX leaders should prepare a business case in the language appropriate for decision makers.

3. Winners are more advanced with feedback sources, loyalty metrics, and journey mapping.

Winning CX initiatives make more extensive use of non-survey sources such as text and social media. They are also more likely to use custom loyalty metrics to track success, at the expense of generic metrics like NPS and CSAT. Journey mapping is also done more thoroughly, including future state maps and customer validation.

4. Winners invest more in CX talent and technologies.

Areas of relative strength include driving organization change; experience design and innovation; and metrics and ROI – three of the six major skills recommended by the CXPA. Winners also cite better tools and systems to support customer feedback, analytics, and omnichannel experiences.

5. Winners have a stronger customer-centric culture.

Executives at companies with Winning CX initiatives do a better job of “walking the talk” in customer value creation, customer delight, and customer feedback and action. Winners also have fewer issues with executive sponsorship, management support, employee motivation, and measurement systems.

Each of these conclusions will be explored in depth in the following report. CX leaders and executives should use
the insights to identify improvement opportunities that will drive future success. Good luck!

Bob Thompson
CustomerThink Founder/CEO

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