I’m particularly happy to announce a new research report, The State of CX Management, 2019. In the past, Temkin Group published similar research and we charged for the reports. One of the great things about now being a part of the XM Institute is that we can give it away for free.

To understand the current state of customer experience (CX) management, we surveyed 212 CX professionals around the world from companies with at least $500 million in annual revenues. Respondents at these large firms not only answered questions about their organizations’ CX efforts, they also completed our CX Competency & Maturity Assessment, which evaluates the Six Experience Management (XM) Competencies: Lead, Realize, Activate, Enlighten, Respond, and Disrupt.

Since you can easily download the report, I won’t provide a full summary. Instead, here are some of my favorite data points along with additional commentary:

  • The focus on CX is growing. Eighty-one percent of respondents plan to increase their focus on CX in the upcoming year, while only 4% plan a decrease. That represents significant momentum for CX.
  • CX and EX make sense together. Seventy-two percent of respondents felt that it was at least moderately important to improve employee experience (EX) while they are improving customer experience. That shouldn’t be a surprise. As I’ve said in the past, CX and EX are inextricably linked.
  • CX professionals are leading the way. About two-thirds of companies have a senior executive in charge of CX and a centralized CX team. And a third of those CX teams have 11 or more full-time employees. This makes me feel great. When we launched the Customer Experience Professional’s Association in 2010, our hope was to create a thriving CX profession… we’re there! Check out my comments about the future of the CX profession.
  • Digital channels need an XM infusion. When we asked respondents to evaluate the experiences they deliver across multiple channels, the two experiences they rated most highly were on the phone with an agent (59% said it was at least good) and in a store/branch (41% said it was at least good). Digital channels fell well behind. Companies not only need to better understand these experiences, but they should also learn from human interactions. Check out our report, Humanizing Digital Interactions (yes, that one’s also free).
  • Companies get in their own way. What challenges do companies typically encounter as they work to improve their CX? At the top of the list is other competing priorities, which was selected by 59% of respondents. This has been the top problem for years. It’s important that CX teams link their efforts to business results that the company cares about and the individual goals of the senior executives. It’s worth taking a look at another free report, Activating Executive Commitment.

Comparing CX Leaders With CX Laggards

The XM Institute has built an XM maturity model based on the Six XM Competencies. Respondents completed our assessment and only 6% of companies ended up in the top two (out of five) stages of maturity. We compared companies with higher levels of maturity (CX leaders) with those who had lower levels of maturity (CX laggards). When compared with CX laggards, we found that CX leaders:

  • Enjoy stronger financial results. Seventy-one percent of CX leaders report that their CX efforts had a positive impact their financial performance over the previous year, while only 38% of CX laggards report the same.
  • Have more senior executive support. Fifty-seven percent of CX leaders consider their most senior leader, such as their CEO, to be a “strong” or “very strong” champion of CX, compared with only 38% of CX laggards.
  • Have more coordinated CX programs. Sixty-four percent of CX leaders report having significant CX efforts underway across the company with significant coordination across these efforts, compared to only 26% of CX laggards.
  • Foster a more empathetic culture. The two groups differ across a number of cultural elements. We found the largest gap in agreement with the statement our organization demonstrates empathy for its customers; 80% of CX leaders agreed, while only 37% of CX laggards agreed.
  • Deliver better digital experiences. As you’d expect, CX leaders report delivering a higher percentage of “good” and “very good” experiences across every interaction channel we examined. Leaders and laggards diverge most when it comes to the experience they deliver in mobile apps, online self-service, and online chats.

As I’ve said, we’re excited to be publishing this research as part of the XM Institute. Make sure to download the free report, The State of CX Management, 2019.

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