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CEO engagement in customer experience initiatives drives competitive advantage - report

24th Jun 2015

There is a direct correlation between how much chief executives invest both time- and money-wise in customer experience initiatives and the organisation’s ability to retain those customers, according to research.

A survey undertaken among 516 senior executives in 21 countries by the Economist Intelligence Unit revealed that 59% reported higher revenue growth if CEOs took charge of customer experience (CX), while 58% experienced enhanced profitability.

On a global level, CEOs in China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia in general were the most likely to take charge of such programmes, while the same was true of only 40% in Europe and one third in North America.

But Paul Segre, president and CEO of customer experience and call centre software provider Genesys, which commissioned the survey, said it was clear that “C-level engagement in customer experience initiatives drives competitive advantage”.

Some 63% of organisations that had made CX a priority claimed they provided a superior customer experience to their competitors as a result. The keenest advocates were found in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, with 71% indicating that it had been a “very important” investment focus over the last three years.

The same focus was also true of two thirds of Europeans, with organisations in the UK being the most eager to boost their investment in the area. Around one in four said that they had upped expenditure by more than 25% over the last three years and expected to continue doing so over the following three.

But European firms were less likely than those in other regions to believe that customers would rate their overall customer experience highly (20% versus 26% elsewhere) and more likely to expect them to view it neither positively or negatively (24% versus 15% elsewhere).

Despite this, there was found to be a direct correlation between organisations that invested in quality CX initiatives and their ability to retain customers. Some 62% of respondents overall also found that their projects were more likely to succeed if they took the time to measure them - although some 37% of Europeans failed to do so.

The most frequent reason given as to why (41%) was that it was difficult to understand the impact of CX projects because there were so many other factors that might simultaneously also influence success.

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