Is Your CX Program Falling Short?

Without focusing on customers, investing in skills, and consolidating inputs, organizations cannot grow and demonstrate CX success.

Organizations that demonstrate how customer satisfaction is associated with growth, margin, and profitability are more likely to report customer experience (CX) success and are 29% more likely to secure more CX budgets, according to a survey by Gartner.

Gartner surveyed 362 global CX practitioners to understand CX priorities, processes, current measures, and the organizational structures to support these efforts.

“Being able to demonstrate that your most satisfied customers deliver more growth, margin, and lifetime value is important for CMOs in securing resources for CX programs,” said Augie Ray, vice president analyst in the Gartner Marketing practice. “By showing this positive relationship, CX teams are better positioned to prove why CX matters to financial performance and the importance of customer-centric practices to long-term brand health.”

Marketing’s Role in CX

The survey identified three key drivers to help CX practitioners exceed management expectations. The first and most powerful driver speaks to marketing’s overall role in CX. CX programs that exceed management expectations are 2.3 times more likely to have CX efforts in marketing not primarily focused on the path to purchase but on the journey after acquisition. 

31% of respondents inside marketing departments reported they end their journey maps with purchase, lead acquisition, initial transaction, or delivery of the product or service, omitting the important journey stages. 

“A journey map that focuses merely on the purchase funnel, not the entire end-to-end customer journey, is not a CX journey map,” continued Ray. “Those sorts of journey maps may assist with efforts to build awareness, inbound traffic, and acquisition, but they cannot uncover the opportunities that influence customer satisfaction, loyalty, and long-term advocacy.”

The Role of Planning and Development in CX

The last two key drivers are similar and demonstrate the value of experience and maturity in a CX program. CX programs that exceeded management’s expectations were nearly twice as likely to have customer persona development initiatives for more than three years. They also were twice as likely to have end-to-end customer journey mapping in place for more than three years. 

Persona development is immature in many organizations. Just 36% of respondents reported that their customer persona development has been in place for three years or longer, and 79% of respondents reported their organization struggles to use customer personas to support CX efforts effectively. 

Similarly, journey-mapping processes also improve with time and experience. Just 34% of respondents report they have three or more years of experience developing end-to-end journey maps, and 83% report their organization struggles to use customer journey maps to identify and prioritize CX efforts. 

“In discussions with clients regarding CX efforts, the importance of time, experience and maturity is a common theme,” concluded Ray. 

To improve customer-centric culture and enhance the CX strategy, Gartner suggests CX leaders explore the following actions:

  • Consolidate Inputs: Combine any voice of the customer feedback with customer-level transactional data to uncover how customer satisfaction drives commercial outcomes.
  • Invest in Skills: Develop the team’s skills around personas and journey maps in creating the essential tools for CX success. The processes to develop these tools are strengthened with time, data, experience, and iterative improvement.
  • Focus on the Customer: Reinforce the organization’s focus on the end-to-end customer journeys that seek to understand what drives customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy to acquire and retain the best customers.