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New Research: The ROI of Customer Experience

The XM Institute recently published a new report, The ROI of Customer Experience, 2019. It examines the connection between customer experience and loyalty across 20 U.S. consumer industries: Airlines, auto dealers, banks, car rentals, computers, credit cards, fast food, groceries, health insurance, hotels, insurance, investments, Internet/TV service, parcel services, retailers, software, streaming media, TVs & appliances, utilities, and wireless.

To understand the relationship between CX and loyalty, we examined feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers describing both their experiences with and their loyalty to different companies. The CX scores used in this model come from the 2019 XMI Customer Ratings - Overall (Customer Ratings), which evaluated 294 companies across three areas of the customer experience — success, effort, and emotion.

Here’s one of the 11 figures in the report, showing the correlation between CX and Net Promoter Score (NPS):

ROI of CX - CX and NPS Correlation

The research shows that CX strongly influences how likely customers are to:

Recommend a company. Ninety-five percent of consumers who rate a company’s CX as “very good” are likely to recommend the company, compared to the only 15% of those who rate a company’s CX as “very poor.”

Repurchase from a company. Ninety-four percent of the consumers who give a company a “very good” CX rating report being “very likely” to repurchase from that company, while only 18% of those who gave a company a “very poor” CX rating say the same.

Trust a company. While 90% of the consumers who gave a company a “very good” CX rating say they are “very likely” to trust that company, only 15% of those who gave a company a “very poor” CX rating say the same.

Forgive a company. Seventy-five percent of consumers are “very likely” to forgive a company for a mistake if they think it delivers “very good” CX, whereas only 14% of consumers are “very likely” to forgive a company if they think it delivers “very poor” CX.

Try a new offering right away. Of the consumers who gave a company a “very good” CX rating, 64% of them report being “very likely” to try that company’s new product or service immediately after it’s introduced. Meanwhile, only 12% of consumers who gave a company a “very poor” CX rating feel the same.

The report also shows that:

Small changes count. Even modest improvements in CX performance corresponds to improvements in consumer loyalty. In particular, likelihood to recommend a company and intention to make future purchases can be significantly impacted by even modest improvements in CX. On average across the 20 industries, modest improvements in CX performance correspond to a 34-percentage-point increase in future purchase intentions.

Emotion really, really matters. Emotion is the component of the customer experience that has the biggest impact on consumer loyalty behavior. Consumers who gave a high rating in emotion to a company are more likely to purchase more from, recommend, forgive, try, and trust that company than consumers with a high rating in success or effort.

Grocery stores have the highest potential. While all industries see improvements in consumer loyalty by increasing CX quality, Grocery Stores see the largest difference in when examining modest changes in CX. Across the five loyalty metrics, Grocery stores have on average a 33-percentage-point difference in loyalty likelihood between consumers giving “good” and “bad” CX ratings.

There’s a lot more detail in the research, including industry-specific data, so make sure to download the free report, ROI of Customer Experience, 2019.

Download the full report: ROI of Customer Experience, 2019

Bruce Temkin // Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute

Bruce Temkin leads the Qualtrics XM Institute and is widely viewed as an experience management (XM) visionary. He has helped executives across many of the world’s leading brands dramatically improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. Given his work in establishing the discipline of CX, Bruce is often referred to as the “Godfather of Customer Experience.” He co-founded and was the initial chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association. Prior to joining Qualtrics, Bruce ran Temkin Group, a renowned research and advisory firm, and was a VP at Forrester Research, where he led many parts of the research organization, including CX, eBusiness, financial services, and B2B. He was the most-read analyst at Forrester for 13 consecutive quarters.

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