A good customer experience can prompt buyers to purchase more from a company, as well as increase the likelihood of them recommending and trusting a company. And, as marketers put more emphasis on retaining customers, some 7 in 10 (71% of) executives surveyed for a report from Designit say their organization is committing more budget towards improving customer experience this year.
With a focus on improving business performance, the more than 1,000 marketing and customer experience (CX) executives surveyed – all representing companies with at least $100 million in annual revenues – are trying to break down internal silos (74%), make successful changes to products or services offerings (73%) and streamline processes and protocols (72%).
About two-thirds (64%) are also trying to improve business performance by adjusting messaging to be more authentic, compassionate or transparent. It’s these same characteristics that respondents feel are also critical to brand success. Some 4 in 10 (39%) consider transparency critical, followed by authenticity (23%) and empathy (17%).
Fewer than 1 in 10 (8% of) respondents consider being purpose-driven integral to brand success. However, earlier research shows that consumers tend to have a more positive image of and are more likely to trust purpose-led companies. Indeed, 7 in 10 respondents to this more recent study are implementing purpose-led initiatives in order to stay or become leaders in their industry.
The Elements of CX
To stay ahead of the pack, about three-quarters (76%) of executives are also prioritizing improving CX. In their eyes, user experience is one of the top elements of CX — with 85% saying as much.
Tying back to those characteristics that are critical to brand success, executives rank customer perception of the brand (75%) and connection to the brand (73%) as top elements of CX. This is possibly one of the catalysts for 8 in 10 (82%) saying that, in the next 12 months, their organization will align their offerings with new or changing customer sentiments and expectations.
Some 6 in 10 (58% of) survey respondents consider personalization across channels to be an important element of CX. One such channel is the company website. Research from Ascend2 shows that website optimization is one of the areas marketers are focusing on to improve digital CX. Indeed, two-fifths of survey respondents also list an intuitive website and digital interactions as a top CX element.
The Future of CX
Surprisingly, fewer than one-quarter (22%) of executives consider engaging content to be a top element of CX. That said, looking ahead to the next two to three years, a majority (82%) say they plan to create a new breed of content and generate experiences to gain a sustainable, long-term competitive edge.
Added to that, executives also believe that personalization and ease for the customer at every digital touchpoint will be critical (81%). Some 3 in 5 (62%) foresee a need for a 360-degree, data-driven view of their customers, with technologies such as AI (63%), machine learning (55%), headless commerce (42%) and digital marketing software (32%) anticipated to change how businesses operate and perform.
The full report can be found here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a global Q1 survey of 1,011 marketing and CX executives across industries from companies with at least $100 million in annual revenues.