Customer Experience Leaders Must Deliver Gains That Justify Growing Budgets
Customer experience (CX) efforts remain inconsistent in many organizations, but there are signs of greater commitment and execution for 2020, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner’s 2019 Customer Experience Management Survey revealed that more than two-thirds of CX leaders expect budget increases in 2020 (see Figure 1). This is a considerable change compared with the 2017 survey where only 47% of CX leaders expected budgets to increase.
“Organizations have matured in their understanding of the business outcomes that CX delivers,” said Augie Ray, VP analyst, Gartner for Marketers. “As a result, the budget outlook is expected to grow to match. This raises the stakes for CX leaders to select metrics that demonstrate impact and prove the value of CX to business results.”
Figure 1: Significant Majority Expect CX Budget to Rise in 2020
The survey revealed that CX leaders who know how customer satisfaction drives business results get a larger budget. Those respondents whose firms have established a positive relationship between improving customer satisfaction and business impact are more likely to expect significant budget increases.
“CX leaders should consistently measure the value of improved customer satisfaction to the organization to justify and sustain growing CX budgets,” said Mr. Ray. “This is especially important in a period where many expect an imminent economic recession and organizationwide budget cuts.”
To positively demonstrate success and prove the value of CX to business results, Gartner recommends CX leaders take the following actions:
- Use customer data to demonstrate CX’s business impact: One of the keys to sustain attention from leaders and collaboration from peers is to make CX matter in terms of the results that are important to them. Prove how satisfied customers drive up revenue, lower churn, reduce costs and grow the business by combining customer satisfaction data with transaction and operational data.
- Budget for effective CX execution in the future: Developing a CX budget isn’t just a once-a-year process. Always monitor budget and performance and consistently promote the organization’s CX successes and impact. Plan ahead for the annual budgeting process by collaborating with key stakeholders, gathering data and drafting a persuasive budget to accomplish the organization’s CX goals.
Additional details on the survey findings and further recommendations are available to Gartner for Marketers clients in the report “2019 Customer Experience Management Study: Marketers Take More Control as CX Expectations and Budgets Rise.”
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