Here’s Where Marketers Are Struggling Most with the Customer Experience and Personalization

December 9, 2020

Gartner Top Challenges CX Delivery Dec2020Consumers who enjoy a very good customer experience are more likely to purchase more, recommend the company to others and trust that company. As such, companies are recognizing the benefits of delivering a good customer experience (CX) – but that doesn’t come without its obstacles. Here’s what Gartner discovered about CX delivery from a survey of more than 150 respondents from the Gartner Research Circle, all of whom have involvement or visibility into strategic decisions related to their organization’s customer experience (CX), privacy or data and analytics.

The February 2020 survey found that one of the biggest challenges to delivering desired customer experiences was a lack of an appropriate CX strategy (47% citing within their top 3). For 4 in 10, issues related to collecting, managing and storing customer data ranked within their top 3 challenges, with the largest share (12%) of respondents ranking it as their #1 challenge.

Another 39% are finding the inability to reach organizational consensus on what customer experience is to be an obstacle. And, at a time when a majority of consumers consider it a risk to give companies their personal information, one-third (32%) of respondents note challenges associated with privacy concerns in using customer data.

Personalization Challenges and Approaches

About 1 in 5 (21%) respondents say that the inability to personalize customer experiences is a challenge to achieving desired CX. It appears that a lack of strategy also presents an obstacle when it comes to personalizing the customer experience, with a little less than half (47%) of the 120 respondents (excluding those who said they were unsure) ranking lack of or no clear organizational strategy for personalization among their top three personalization challenges.

Many respondents (45%) feel that personalization is hindered by data management issues associated with creating and maintaining a 360-degree view of the customer. Another 2 in 5 (38%) find it challenging to deliver value to the customer through a more personalized experience.

Technology for Personalization

In an effort to try to reap the rewards that personalization can bring, some are exploring different approaches. Among the roughly half (49%) of respondents who say they have implemented at least one personalization initiative, technology appears to be a key approach. Eight in 10 (82%) say they have acquired or built at least one technology to support personalization, while another 7 in 10 (71%) have at least one technology to support data management.

The largest share of Gartner Research Circle members who have implemented a personalization initiative are using (36%) or plan to use by the end of the year (22%) a digital experience platform. And, if all went to plan by the end of the year (barring, say, a pandemic), 57% planned to be using a customer engagement hub and 55% thought they would be using a multichannel marketing hub. Slightly fewer used or planned to be using a customer data platform (45%).

Requirements for Success

For those respondents who will have implemented a personalization initiative by 2023, about half (52%) feel that in order to be successful at personalizing the customer experience they will need a comprehensive customer data management strategy. Another 48% believe that successful personalization will require a customer-centric culture, with 37% believing that the ability to use sophisticated analytics and AI to understand customer intent is necessary.

More information can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a February 2020 survey of 156 respondents from the Gartner Research Circle, screened for “having involvement or visibility into strategic decisions related to the organization’s CX, privacy or data and analytics.”


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