Forrester: Customer Experience Top Strategic Priority

Forrester: Customer Experience Top Strategic Priority
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A new Forrester study finds enthusiasm for customer experience is hindered by a lack of maturity in delivery.

Nearly 100% of Australian customer experience (CX) leaders said customer experience is a top strategic priority for their organisations, according to a new survey from Forrester Research.

The findings released at Forrester Research’s inaugural Summit for Marketing & Strategy Professionals in Sydney, report that 50% of respondents indicated that CX was their top strategic priority, and a further 48% indicated it was on their top 10 list.

A key factor among organisations citing customer experience as a strategic priority is the presence of dedicated executive support. 72% of respondents indicated that they currently have an executive who leads improvements in CX across products and channels. Similarly, 66% said that their CEO has advocated for or championed the importance of CX.

Despite the strategic intent and high expectations, the “State of Customer Experience Management in Australia, 2014” research found that most Australian companies focus on incremental change rather than large-scale transformation. CX teams are in place, funded and relatively well-staffed, but they typically work within a CX silo, rather than as part of a company-wide CX program linked to broader business strategies.

In addition, most companies measure customer perceptions – but stop there. Respondents systematically gather customer feedback, but few have the strategy, measurement, design and governance practices needed to provide adequate direction and keep improvement efforts on track.

“While the priority placed on Customer Experience is impressive, many Australia firms are still stuck in the CX maturity assessment’s initial stage of ‘repair’,” says Michael Barnes, Forrester’s Vice President and Research Director, who co-authored the report. “To leverage CX as a true differentiator, Australian firms must honestly assess their current level of maturity and identify the practices needed to drive real transformation.”

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