More than two thirds of C-level executives now prioritise the CX above profit and revenue growth

New research from Engage Hub, the data-driven customer engagement company, shows that for businesses today, customer experience is more important that even profit and revenue growth. Over two-thirds of C-level executives interviewed see customer experience as a top business priority.

The flagship report, ‘The Customer-centric Organisation’, produced in partnership with Sapio Research, explores how much importance UK businesses place on customer experience from those businesses that provide it to consumers, looking at a range of sectors, including telecoms, financial services, retail and utilities.

The report also looks at what defines best practice today.

The research also found that customer experience was an issue worrying those at the very top of businesses: 90% reviewed customer experience metrics at board level, and almost as many consider the impact of customer satisfaction on overall business metrics.

“Businesses have realised that the only way to profit and grow is by getting the customer experience right, and have prioritised accordingly,” said Ray Tierney, CEO, Engage Hub. “With their priorities now in order, the challenge is in delivery—which is where many businesses report significant challenges.”

Bridging technology and people together for better customer experience

Most businesses report that the biggest issue they face is “joining up” siloed systems and people. 32% see their departments working in siloes as a major barrier to progress, while 29% see a lack of integration between business systems as the biggest problem—both will hold back the investments businesses have made in new technology to create a better customer experience.

The research also revealed that while businesses have, as may be expected, made investments in AI, chatbots and big data to help automate and improve the customer experience, a third saw IoT and connected devices as a key part of this.

The findings were consistent across all sectors, with only minor variations. Retailers saw a lack of employee engagement as what was hurting the customer experience most, whereas telecoms saw gaps between systems as the biggest barrier in the way of success.

“The research makes it clear that businesses do understand the need to connect together disparate data and business systems to deliver a connected customer experience,” said Nicola Pero, CTO at Engage Hub. “We expect centralised CX teams, responsible for improving the customer experience, will emerge as a dedicated business unit within businesses, as well as new heads of customer experience – a Chief Experience Officer or Chief Engagement Officer -taking up the fight to keep organisations customer centric. Businesses with no such team or role must consider if they need this within their organisation to meet the challenges they face.”