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I saw the results of a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit reported this week and it made some interesting reading for CEOs concerned about improving the customer experience of their organisation.

The data is focused on the Australasian market, but with a sample of over 500 senior executives in several industry verticals, including banking, retail, insurance, telecoms, and media, it is worth paying attention.

58% of Australasian companies report that there is a positive impact on their profitability when the CEO is directly in charge of managing the customer experience.

You heard that right. Almost two-thirds of these executives believe that there is a significant effect on the profitability of their company when the CEO directly takes responsibility for the customer experience, rather than handing it off to a marketing or customer service manager.

 

Other findings in the report said:

  • 86% considered improving customer experience a key driver for digital transformation,
  • 40% said investment led to increased customer retention, and
  • 20% plan to boost investment by more than one quarter in the next three years.

 

These findings are fascinating for a number of reasons.

First, there is a clear link between an improvement in the experience the customer has and the profitability of the company. This is not some sales chat from a company selling customer management software, the EIU polled these executives and they overwhelmingly believe that improving the customer experience now has a major impact on how their company performs.

Second, these companies really are investing. Just look at the numbers, not only are companies already spending on the systems and processes they need to improve the customer experience, but a surge of greater investment is expected over the next few years. Nobody wants to be left behind.

Third, as we move into a world where brand engagement creates loyalty, it is more important than ever to see that there is a figurehead as the face of the brand. This could be the CEO or it could be an executive close to the CEO, but tasked with the complete responsibility for how customers see the brand. This means that one leader needs to run all external facing functions such as marketing, advertising, PR, and customer service, in addition to the way those functions feedback to the product designers.

There are major changes ahead, not just in the way that companies define their future strategy, but also in the way that companies are structured and led. People with a solid background in customer care or management are going to be more valuable that ever in an environment where the CEO personally oversees the customer experience.

For more information visi the website Businesss Insider Australia

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