When looking to improve your Customer Experience, it is easy to get depressed before you begin, especially with a quick glance at the business headlines. June 2022 (alone) has given us: persistent inflation, rising interest rates, slowing consumer spending, rising rents, and increased warnings for a recession coming from nearly every industry sector. I have not even mentioned continued challenges with hybrid work environments, enduring workforce quit rates, employee COVID absences, and continued inconsistency in supply chain performance.
Good news comes from the Gartner 2021 Customer Experience Management (CXM) survey that surveyed approximately four hundred Marketing professionals in late 2021 to discover what works in the field of CX management. Gartner defines CXM as, “the discipline of understanding customers and deploying strategic plans that enable cross functional efforts and customer-centric culture to improve satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.”
In this data analysis, we are going to focus on identifying steps that “Moderately or Greatly Exceeded Customer Perceptions” of their CX. Based on this data, we identified clear action steps that help marketing and CX professionals win more effectively with customers to lead them towards customer satisfaction, loyalty, and growth.
- Data Point to Action Item – Spend More Time on Journey Mapping.
- QUESTION ASKED: Gartner asked, “Which of the following [Marketing and CX] activities do you have some involvement in?” Respondents were allowed to select from options in branding, metrics, Voice of the Customer (VoC), customer research, and other marketing and CX activities.
- GARTNER INSIGHT: Additional time spent Journey Mapping was a significant differentiator between survey respondents that Moderately or Greatly Exceed Customer Perceptions. 91% of respondents that had involvement in Journey Mapping exceeded Customer Perceptions vs. 76% that did not.
- RECOMMENDED ACTION: Journey Mapping is the critical steps when the persona is activated. Journey Mapping with a complete persona is when we see / hear / feel / understand the how and why of where we are or are not serving the customer. Journey Mapping is a critical activity because the outcome is an effective and actionable understanding of what needs to be improved or maintained for an effective customer journey outcome.
- Data Point to Action Item – Focus on Existing Customer Retention.
- QUESTION ASKED: Gartner asked, “In 2021, What did/does your organization prioritize more over the following timescales: acquiring new customers or retaining existing customers?”
- GARTNER INSIGHT: Survey respondents that moderately or greatly exceeded customer expectations focused more on customer retention that acquiring new customers. Most survey respondents that exceeded customer perceptions prioritized a majority of their efforts on customer retention. The remaining respondents that did not exceed customer expectations spent a smaller amount of their time focusing on customer retention. Customer retention efforts helps towards exceeding customer expectations.
- RECOMMENDED ACTION: Customer retention is not only maintaining the customer at their current levels of revenue. Importantly, customer retention is a future opportunity for continued revenue, expansion for more products and services, creating referrals from existing customers, and creating advocates for the organization. Organizations should closely examine Voice of the Customer (VoC) data as well as available metrics to look for where they are and are not capturing customer needs through the end-to-end customer journey.
- Data Point to Action Item – CX Strategy Must be a Central Component of Organizational Strategy.
- QUESTION ASKED: Gartner asked, “Please rate to what degree your organization competes or will compete on the basis of the enterprise-wide, end-to-end Customer Experience (CX) over the following timescales?” The percentage shown in the chart below is the top two boxes of six or seven respond options.
- GARTNER INSIGHT: Organizations that are “Moderately or Greatly Exceeding Customer Perceptions” are more focused on competing based on enterprise-wide, end-to-end customer experience (See chart below). The chart demonstrates that organizations that greatly or moderately exceed customer perceptions have a consistent, and growing over time, focus on enterprise-wide, end-to-end CX.
- RECOMMENDED ACTION: Organization-wide CX strategy consensus does not just appear overnight from a short-period of research and a limited understanding or current and emerging CX needs. Organizational CX strategy harmonizes the current and future needs of customers alongside the organization’s portfolio of goals. Together, the customer-centric and brand-oriented needs can be prioritized to existing resources and the calculated business impact. CX strategy must be and must continue to be a central chair at the organizational strategy table and never is a” nice to have.” CX is a central strategic “must have” focus for effective organizations and their customers.