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Customer experience set to lead to “significant business model changes”

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10th Jun 2015
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Gartner’s Customer Strategies and Technology summit is in full-swing this week, and as part of the festivities the research firm has released its latest study into customer experience strategies among leading global businesses.

It found that the top three ‘customer experience’ (CX) projects planned for 2015 were related to self-service solution development, multichannel orchestration activities, and, as in 2014, collecting and analysing customer feedback.

The leading CX priorities for 2015 were stated to be projects aimed at improving consistency across multiple channels and delivering on the mission of being a more unified organisation.

Improving customer satisfaction is still deemed to be important, but there is increased focus on driving customer loyalty and advocacy as the year progresses.

Interestingly, the survey found that organisations implemented an average of 5.7 CX projects over the course of last year, with the biggest focus on programmes to improve the collection and analysis of customer feedback and "opening up" the organisation.

When presented with a list of 16 generic CX improvement projects conducted during 2014, the most frequently cited projects were ‘capturing the voice of the customer’ followed by reconfiguring customer process.

Third was activating self-service and tools to select, order, track and stop product purchases. The least-cited projects were standardising approaches to segmentation and honouring data privacy and focusing on the benefits of building trust.

"The study examines what CX projects have been carried out in 2014 and what projects are being worked on in 2015. This provides a great overview of how things are changing in CX," said Nick Inglebrecht, research director at Gartner.

"The findings also underline the fact that customer experience improvements are complex undertakings. There is no silver bullet that will, by itself, improve the overall experience. But the combination of projects, if implemented well, can cumulatively contribute to the improvement of an organisation's customer experiences."

More than one-third of survey participants said their customer experience improvement projects during 2014 involved significant changes of their business models. In one-third of cases, the business model changes related to changes in the way the customer interacts with the organisation.

"Not all business model changes are of equal significance, but there appears to be a recognition among the more mature organisations that CX projects span organisational boundaries and fundamentally affect the way the organisation operates," Ingelbrecht added.

"As a result, Gartner predicts that by 2018, more than 50% of organisations will implement significant business model changes in their efforts to improve customer experience."

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