Customer experience is going to be a top priority for brands in the years ahead. This, according to new research out of Temkin Group that saw 165 large companies surveyed about the impact of customer experience on their profitability and customer retention efforts. While it’s rare to find a brand that doesn’t see customer experience as an overall positive, many still fight to achieve full buy-in from those at the executive level. 
 
This internal alignment often comes as a result of measurable improvements, something that has sometimes been a challenge, especially as CX moves further toward emotion-based customer relationships.
 
Moving forward in 2017, however, companies have begun to embrace customer experience as a true driver of customer retention and concrete improvement. Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed reported a positive business impact from CX over the last year, compared to 79 percent the previous report. Consequently, 67 percent of these companies plan to increase spending within the CX sector.
 
“There’s a lot of momentum around customer experience as large companies are very bullish about driving business results through better customer experience,” said Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group.
 
Customer insights and data analytics were the top CX activity once again, falling in line with what Loyalty360 has seen as one of the biggest challenge facing brands today: Understanding the customer and cutting through heaps of data to refine it into actionable insight.
 
Sometimes underrated as a core tenet of CX, frontline employee engagement is crucial to creating positive customer interactions. Engaged employees are far more likely to convey the brand’s ideals if they’re passionate and well versed in the brand promise. This is reflected in Temkin Group’s findings, with a majority of companies looking to increase frontline employee CX training over the next year.
 
The elevation of CX from a nice-to-have to a necessity has created a distinct dichotomy between brands that are truly committed to the customer experience, and those that are finding themselves on their heels in adapting. If this Temkin Group research is any indication, however, the number of brands ready to transition into greater CX is growing by the day, which makes for a bright year ahead for consumers.
 

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