3 Key Findings From the 2019 Gartner Customer Experience Management Survey

January 11, 2020
Contributor: Laura Starita

As customer experience programs mature into cross-functional C-suite priorities, marketing plays a bigger role in execution.

Customers are more likely to renew a relationship if their interactions with a company are fast and easy. These positive experiences also make them more likely to recommend the company’s product to friends or family. In these ways, customer experience (CX) directly impacts business performance.

Results from the Gartner 2019 Customer Experience Management Survey show that the word is out. Organizations are committing to CX with stronger execution, dedicated leaders and more money.

“Having a single line of authority means marketing can move forward on CX, but that can come at the expense of cross-functional cooperation. ”

“There are signs of greater CX commitment and execution,” says Augie Ray, VP Analyst, Gartner. “More organizations have chief experience officers (CXOs) or chief customer officers (CCOs) or equivalents than in 2017, and more companies are demonstrating the connection between customer satisfaction and business outcomes.”

The 2019 CX Management survey highlights how marketing plays a central role in CX, even as programs mature to become a cross-functional C-suite priority.

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Marketing drives CX programs, but does too much alone

CX covers a range of activities, from voice of the customer (VoC) to customer journey mapping and user experience — and we see them more often consolidating within marketing. Between 49% and 56% of marketers say their functions are solely responsible for these activities.

Having a single line of authority means marketing can move forward on CX, but that can come at the expense of cross-functional cooperation. 

“Efforts such as VoC, personas and journey mapping shouldn’t be the responsibility of any single department,” says Ray. “Collaborating on CX efforts improves the quality of CX outcomes by encouraging better cross-functional CX execution.”

Action Items:

  • Improve collaboration by aligning CX with key objectives in different functions and engaging with peers across the organization.

  • Use cross-functional data to define personas and map customer journeys as part of a cross-functional exercise.

Businesses quantify the impact of CX

Seventy-five percent of organizations are now able to show that customer satisfaction leads to revenue growth through increased customer retention or lifetime value. Organizations that know customer satisfaction drives business and financial outcomes are also more likely to say a CX program exceeds or meets management expectations.

Despite these positive results, CX programs have not yet produced as much competitive value as organizations expect. This may be because competitors are also getting better at CX in lockstep, making it more difficult for a brand to differentiate on CX without major improvement. 

Action Items:

  • Develop CX dashboards to reflect corporate and departmental goals. Communicate CX impact with peers using metrics that matter to them. 

  • Pursue continuous improvement with a proactive stance. Continue to fix broken experiences (reactive) while looking for unmet needs (proactive) to differentiate from the competition. 

Organizations are showing their CX commitment with leaders and budgets

More organizations are declaring their commitment to CX by hiring leaders to drive it. Only around 10% of organizations have no CXO or CCO (or equivalent) today, compared to 39% two years ago. More than 70% of these leaders report directly to the CEO or COO, while 18% report to the CMO. Whatever the reporting lines, marketers with CX responsibilities must build strong lines of communication with the CXO or CCO to ensure alignment with the larger strategy.

Seventy-four percent of organizations expect increases in their CX budgets in 2020. Organizations with quantified business returns from CX efforts are more likely to expect a significant budget bump. But the money comes with the expectation that CX align with business priorities.

Action Items:


  • Align CX activities with CX oversight. Establish strong CX governance and leadership to ensure consistency and reduce conflict between different activities.
  • Use customer data to demonstrate impact. Quantify the ways in which more satisfied customers buy more and cost less, and advocate for the business.

Learn more about the CX management in the complimentary Customer Experience Management Survey 2019  by Augie Ray.  


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