Companies talk about experience. But only 31% are truly experience-led businesses, according to a new study conducted by Forrester Consulting, commissioned by Adobe (CMO.com’s parent company).
For purposes of the research, Forrester defined an experience-driven business as one that invests in the customer experience across people, processes, and technology. The study surveyed 1,269 business leaders at global enterprises who are responsible for selecting technologies to support CX and marketing initiatives and for defining metrics to evaluate success.
“This study was very specifically focused on whether experience-driven businesses have better business performance,” explained Maxie Schmidt, Forrester principal analyst serving customer experience professionals. “What it found is that good experience is good for business.”
Indeed, the research found that experience-led businesses have 1.6x higher brand awareness, 1.5x higher employee satisfaction, 1.9x higher average order value, 1.7x higher customer retention, 1.9x return on spend, and 1.6x higher customer satisfaction rates.
In addition, experience-driven businesses are more likely than others to have dedicated budgets for specific CX and marketing initiatives, and are more likely to increase their spend for them over the next year, according to the study. These advanced organizations sacrifice short-term wins in order to build out a holistic customer experience journey, the research found.
However, Schmidt noted a gap in the number of companies that believe they are experience-driven vs. those that actually are. “We have seen for a number of years now that companies are talking about CX,” Schmidt told CMO.com. “We see lip service from executives, but the efforts aren’t going anywhere because there isn’t a real commitment.”
Ready to get started? Forrester suggests companies first determine the level of urgency for transforming into an experience-led organization. Is it to give customers greater freedom of choice? Are competitors likely to do the same in the near future? Then, model and track the ROI of becoming an experience business.
Executive buy-in, Schmidt said, is also key. Once in place, you will get a trickle-down effect in which everyone across the organization understands that they are on the hook for customer experience, she said.
But getting executive buy-in is “not about shouting from the rooftops that customer experience is important,” she said. “It’s about understanding what your executives and your firm’s strategic growth goals are and being able to tie customer experience to those.”