What’s the single most-effective action you can take to improve the customer experience? Centralize customer experience (CX) responsibility under a single leader or team.
That’s just one key learning from the CX Leader of the Future 2022 report.
To uncover today’s best customer experience management (CXM) practices, 7.ai partnered with CMSWire for this second annual survey. The CMSWire research team interviewed hundreds of CX leaders, examining how organizations address the customer experience and whether their approaches have changed from a year ago.
If you prefer watching and listening to reading, register for our upcoming (August 31) How the Leader of the Future Drives CX Forward webcast.
This session features a discussion of the research results with Sarah Kimmel, CMSWire VP, Research, and Nidhin Varghese, 7.ai Sr. Director, Solutions and Product Marketing, and Lisa Matherly, 7.ai SVP, Marketing.
If you prefer a quick snapshot, read the infographic.
The bottom line is that organizations do better when responsibility rests in the hands of a single person or team. Leaders in a centralized CX team often see that their work significantly impacts business-critical priorities including customer satisfaction, company growth, and responsibility. Centralizing CX also increases the impact on net promoter scores. Yet only 40 percent of survey respondents have centralized CX teams within their organizations, slightly down from 43 percent in 2021.
Figure 1: Who owns CX? (all respondents)
Centralized CX organizations are more likely to use objective metrics, such as customer lifetime value and acquisition costs. Distributed CX organizations, on the other hand, are more likely to use anecdotal metrics, such as customer satisfaction and customer retention rate. Perhaps most important, centralized CX teams are more likely than their distributed counterparts (85 to 68 percent) to be fully committed to a customer-first strategy.
This poses an interesting question: Are organizations centralizing their CX operations because they are committed to being customer-first? Or are they fully committed to being customer-first because they are centralized?
The truth is, we don’t know for sure. But we do know that, even though having a Chief Customer Officer role isn’t a requirement for your organization to be fully committed to CX, it sure helps a lot.
Figure 2: KPIs used to assess the customer experience (by CX responsibility)
Centralized CX organizations are thinking ahead and reacting to the new reality of acquiring and retaining customers over a long time, especially because this has also become harder than ever before. Decentralized organizations are less focused on that. However, focusing on creating exceptional customer experiences will keep customers coming.
Another key learning: Most organizations are increasingly focused on improving CX—but to be successful, the CX leader of the future must embrace digital transformation, be data-driven, and always put the customer first.
The truth is customer experience has a direct impact on the bottom line, and not having a customer-first approach is more likely to create unhappy customers and lost sales. Put another way, your organization will significantly improve the customer experience by centralizing its CX operations. Such organizations have these characteristics in common:
As customer loyalties shift and customers become more particular about what brands they align with, delivering exceptional CX is essential for organizations. The pandemic brought about a considerable shift in customer behavior almost overnight. As a result, organizations need to adapt to these new behaviors.
All hope is not lost. Drive your customer experience forward by taking a deeper dive into our resources: