With customer experience now viewed as one of the greatest things since sliced bread you would think that marketers would be falling over themselves to implement a CX strategy, however, a new study reveals that over a third (36%) of CMOs admit their brand has still not invested a penny in the discipline.
This is despite the fact that the vast majority (88%) expect a focused CX programme to yield long-term customer loyalty and increase sales over time.
The survey of over 100 senior CX professionals from national and international brands of all sizes was carried out by digital agency Amaze Realise and forms part of its new report: The CX Challenge.
It shows that over three-quarters (77%) of CMOs confessed that their business has spent less than 1% of its annual turnover on enhancing CX. The top three reasons cited for this lack of investment were that they did not know enough about it, the perceived cost of implementation and that they had trouble building the business case for its positive impact based on results.
In addition, around one in five (22%) said the lack of investment came from organisational blockers and team structure and 11% blamed a lack of C-suite support and senior buy-in.
Amaze Realise customer experience officer Chris Barnes said: “There’s still a huge and growing gap between customer expectations and the reality of what brands are delivering, especially when you see smaller, more agile disruptors entering the market place and being able to be much more forward-thinking with their digital experiences.
“According to Forrester research, CX improvements have stalled for a third year in a row. It’s clear that brands need to build trust with consumers, actually listen and take action.”
In spite of the lack of investment, the survey found that the long-term business benefits of dedicated customer experience programmes were well understood by all CMOs. As well as providing improved loyalty and sales, half of those surveyed (44%) expected CX initiatives to lead to a decrease in costs and 25% thought they would attract new customers through word-of-mouth recommendation.
At the same time, those brands that had invested significantly in CX were experiencing those benefits in full: 25% of those who had invested in CX said the primary benefit to the business was increased sales, 22% said it was greater customer loyalty and 22% said it was receiving deeper consumer insight that enabled better decisions.
Barnes added: “We all need to face up to the fact that customer experience is now a key factor in driving business growth. The key is to bring everyone along on your journey. It can be immensely satisfying when you can see that the changes you’re making have a tangible impact on your bottom line.”
The research also asked CMOs to identify some of their CX challenges and to what extent they’re being managed. It revealed that over half of respondents (55%) do not have a single view of all customer interactions across the business; 50% cannot track their customers from offline to online; 55% have no processes in place to measure the impact and costs of their CX; and the same percentage are aware that other brands in their industry are improving their own customer experience.
Barnes concluded: “Brands don’t need to do everything at once. They can start small and go for quick wins – and shouldn’t shy away from getting customers involved in beta testing.
“Every company has some key customer moments, from the welcome experience to how a business reacts when things go wrong. You can identify these key moments by talking to people and place the focus on doing them better.
“A new brand could release a customer-focused service tomorrow that almost immediately makes another look behind the times. A Customer Experience journey should never end. It requires a culture of constant improvement.”
To download the report The CX Challenge, visit the Amaze Realise website>
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