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Customer experience is on everyone’s minds, so what’s holding marketers back from delivering it?

How are companies tackling the customer experience in 2021?

With worldwide retail e-commerce sales growing an estimated 46% in 2020 due to the pandemic (eMarketer), there is now a higher degree of receptiveness to digital communications and a noticeable push towards digitalization. The competition is tougher than ever and everyone knows that improving the customer experience (CX) is critical to business.

That’s why Mapp commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a survey on 200+ global decision makers to evaluate how customer insights are used for CX improvements. The survey was conducted among midmarket and enterprise companies across all industries, including e-commerce, multichannel retail, B2C and D2C.

The main challenge: a lack of insights

This findings comes as a surprise, given the topic of customer experience has been a hot one for several years. Insights are valued but implementing the findings for automated CX improvements is still in its infancy. While 89% believe that a good CX strategy is important or even very important to their business, nearly half regularly review their CX strategy. Customer needs are changing daily, yet only 1% review their CX strategy weekly, 47% annually or even less frequently.

The obstacles are not new: respondents state that they lack a skilled team, are unable to break down data silos and struggle to define the metrics for measuring success. 54% state the lack of customer knowledge is their biggest challenge for their CX strategy. Surprisingly, 53% are even unable to reliably identify visitors to their websites.

The decision makers are aware of the gap and see it as their number one priority for 2021 to optimize overall customer experience strategy. Companies are still struggling to keep up with their customers’ expectations. The potential of insights is often lost when not actively used for constant and automated CX improvements.

Will hiring more talent really solve the issue?

The research paints a different picture. Although missing talent is seen as one key challenge in improving their CX strategy by 57%, improving talent only shows mixed results (36%) in the end.

Data shows that it may not be the talent that is improving CX quality, but rather customer insights. The better customers are understood, the easier it is to serve them and decrease the bounce and basket abandonment rate. It seems like everyone knows of the importance but is struggling to find a starting point to improve the discrepancy.

CX professionals have missed the opportunity to create insights-based strategies and are only beginning to understand the impact now. Customer insights are the base for all improvements. If you are struggling to identify and understand your consumers’ needs, you will not succeed in implementing a consistent customer experience strategy.

Meanwhile, consumers’ expectations are growing. A missing CX strategy means losing potential customers every day, reducing revenue every day. A coherent and efficient CX strategy needs to be able to predict customer behavior and proactively personalize website content. While third-party data and cookies are rapidly losing significance, collecting and activating first-party data becomes even more important to understanding customers.

Best practices by industry experts

While this might not sound like the most positive reading, we assure you the study also found encouraging developments. Successful leaders share how they succeeded in implementing customer insight technologies to improve the customer experience. The report also covers which tools will provide you with the most value in improving your customer experience and what should be at the forefront and center of your CX research. It presents a new approach to efficiently align investments in staff and technology that make it significantly easier to reach CX goals ­­– and ultimately gain higher revenue.

Download the Forrester study for free by filling in the form below and start improving your customer experience strategy right away!