The State of CX Management: A Story of Haves and Have-Nots

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Customer Strategy
Customer Experience
Temkin Group has completed its third annual study on the state of customer experience management. The research examines feedback from hundreds of large companies. As always, it's great to see a snapshot of where companies are on their customer experience journeys. For this post, I've decided to assemble some interesting tidbits from the research.

Temkin Group has completed its third annual study on the state of customer experience management. The research examines feedback from hundreds of large companies. As always, it's great to see a snapshot of where companies are on their customer experience journeys. For this post, I've decided to assemble some interesting tidbits from the research:- High CX ambition. Seven percent of companies see themselves as CX leaders today, but 59 percent want to be CX leaders within three years.
- Low CX maturity. In companies that completed the Temkin Group CX Competency Assessment we found that 7 percent are customer-centric organizations, the highest level of maturity; 35 percent are at the other end, the lowest level of maturity.
- Strong CX focus. More than half of companies have significant CX efforts under way that are guided by a centralized CX organization, and 59 percent have a senior executive in charge of those CX efforts. More than half of companies have more than five CX employees, and 25 percent have more than 25 CX employees.
- Lots of VoC. Seven out of 10 companies have a formalized voice of the customer (VoC) program, which has grown steadily from 56 percent in 2010. About 80 percent have already seen positive returns from their VoC programs. These efforts are least effective when integrating data from CRM apps, analyzing social media, and analyzing email and chat.
- Increasing NPS usage. Fifty six percent of companies use Net Promoter Score, which is an increase from 49 percent last year.
- Under-engaged employees. Only 35 percent of companies received strong ratings in employee engagement, one of Temkin Group's four CX competencies. The number of companies that view improving the company's culture as a key business goal dropped from 68 percent in 2011 to 55 percent in 2012.

Some of the most interesting findings came when we examined the difference between companies with high CX maturity ("CX leaders") and those with lower CX maturity ("CX laggards"). We found that CX leaders have:

- Stronger commitment. CX leaders are significantly more likely than CX laggards to have highly coordinated and centralized CX efforts, a senior executive in charge of CX, and 12 or more CX employees on staff.
- More successful VoC. CX leaders and CX laggards both use VoC and NPS, but CX leaders achieve better business results. The largest gaps in VoC performance between the two groups of respondents are found in taking action based on feedback, analyzing email and chat conversations, using executive dashboards, and using feedback from frontline employees.
- Fewer obstacles. For both CX leaders and CX laggards, the top obstacle for improvement is "other competing priorities." But CX Laggards run into all of the obstacles more frequently than CX leaders, especially when it comes to lack of a clear CX strategy, lack of commitment from senior executives, lack of leadership for CX efforts, and an unclear understanding of customers.

Overall, companies are making progress on their CX journeys, but the difference between haves and have-nots is increasing. So the final data points that I want to share are that companies with the highest level of CX maturity grew from 3 percent in 2011 to 7 percent in 2012, while companies with the lowest level of maturity grew from 32 percent to 35 percent.

We're seeing a path for CX winners and for CX losers. What's your CX trajectory?

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About the Author: Bruce Temkin is customer experience transformist and managing partner of Temkin Group, and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association. He blogs at Customer Experience Matters

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