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Investing in your customer experience strategy has a significant financial impact on businesses, says a new study released by Avanade, the leading digital innovator on the Microsoft platform, and Sitecore.

The study conducted with 880 decision makers in six countries found that for every dollar invested in improving the customer experience, businesses generated three dollars in return. In addition, they expect to see an 11 percent increase in revenue in the next 12 months.

The global research study focused on businesses’ customer experience strategy, its adoption, benefits, challenges as well as the importance of building a long-term relationship with customers. In fact, 65 percent of respondents expect further opportunities to improve profitability when they focus on improving the overall lifetime value of customers. As expected, an overwhelming 96 percent of those surveyed have or are developing a customer experience strategy. Also, 92 percent of those with a strategy in place report that the customer experience strategy is one of their top three priorities.

The research revealed that competition and customer feedback were the main reasons behind prioritizing a customer experience strategy. A full two-thirds of respondents said that competition made their organization realize the need to prioritise customer experience, while 52 percent reported customer feedback as the driver.

There are still several obstacles preventing businesses from delivering an effective customer experience. These include outdated services and systems, a lack of internal skills, and an inability to provide a seamless experience across different channels, according to the research.

“For brands to truly succeed, they need to move beyond standalone marketing tools and shift marketing to their customers in context across every brand touchpoint,” said Scott Anderson, Chief Marketing Officer, Sitecore.

“Companies need to understand that customer experiences are now built around knowing what each individual is trying to achieve at that very moment in time and create the right brand experience around those insights. In fact, almost half of those surveyed have experienced increased customer loyalty over the past 12 months by prioritizing a customer experience strategy.”

“Today’s digital customer has a myriad of options for the way they interact with businesses. The right customer experience strategy can help companies provide a seamless and consistently excellent experience across all those channels. In an increasingly competitive digital world, brands need to challenge traditional business models and consider what could be done differently to attract, win and retain their customers by meeting or exceeding expectations at every touch point,” added Stella Goulet, Chief Marketing Officer, Avanade.

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