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, Inc.
Gartner surveyed 362 global CX practitioners from October through December 2021 to understand CX priorities, processes, and measures that currently exist as well as the organizational structures in place 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.
Thirty-one percent 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 that follow.
“A journey map that focuses merely on the purchase funnel, and 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 in place 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 their customer persona development has been in place for three years or longer, and 79% of respondents report their organization struggles to use customer personas to effectively support CX efforts.
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 in order to acquire and retain the best customers.
Additional information is available to Gartner for Marketers clients in the report: CX Challenges, Wins and Opportunities: Insights From the 2021 Customer Experience Management Survey.
About the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo
Gartner analysts will discuss the key issues facing CMOs during the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo, taking place virtually May 23-25, 2022. This conference provides marketing leaders actionable advice about the trends, tools and emerging technologies they need to deliver business results. Gartner analysts address the biggest opportunities, challenges and priorities marketers face today, including data and analytics, customer experience, content marketing, customer insight, marketing technology (martech) and multichannel marketing. Follow news and updates for the event on Twitter at #GartnerMKTG.
About Gartner for Marketers
Gartner for Marketers provides the objective, expert advice, and proven tools that CMOs and other marketing leaders need to seize the right opportunities with clarity and confidence, and to stay ahead of the trends that matter. With in-depth research and analysis, Gartner for Marketers helps you focus on the opportunities with the greatest potential to deliver results. More information on Gartner for Marketers is available online at www.gartner.com/marketing. Follow news and updates from the Gartner Marketing practice on Twitter and LinkedIn using #GartnerMKTG. Members of the media can find additional information and insights in the Gartner Marketing Newsroom.