European investment in customer experience up ten percent in past three years to offset decline in customer loyalty

Genesys, the market leader in omnichannel customer experience (CX) and contact centre solutions released a global study with The Economist Intelligence Unit, demonstrating the link between CEO investment in CX and business profitability. The research comprises 516 senior level executives in 21 countries and explores the impact of customer experience efforts and leadership on business performance.

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According to the study, 42 percent of European companies have increased investment in CX by ten percent over the past three years, and 48 percent believe investment will increase the same again in the next three years.

Companies in the UK are most likely to increase investment by a substantial margin, with more than one in four UK companies (26 percent) saying that they have increased investment by more than 25 percent in the last three years. C-suite engagement and initiatives are key to this process, and this investment demonstrates C-suite commitment to customer experience in the UK.

CEO Engagement Connected to Profitability and Growth

The Economist study shows a direct correlation between CEO engagement in customer experience and profitability. When CEOs lead CX initiatives, those initiatives are more likely to transform a company’s future success, the survey found. 58 percent of companies reported much higher profitability than their competitors when the CEO is in charge of customer experience, and 59 percent experience better revenue growth as a result of prioritising CX investments.

“This study clearly demonstrates that C-level engagement in customer experience initiatives drives competitive advantage,” said Paul Segre, President and CEO of Genesys. “In an era when consumers have more choice than ever, the research validates that investment in CX is a sound investment in sustainable competitive differentiation.”

Prioritising CX Has Lasting Benefits

Measuring customer experience directly impacts profitability and customer loyalty, and companies that fail to consider CX as a priority are in jeopardy of losing market share. The study discovered that 63 percent of executives who make CX a priority actually deliver a better customer experience than their competition.

When measured and optimised, customer experience initiatives have the greatest chance of success. 62 percent of companies globally that measure their customer experience initiatives are more likely to deliver better customer experience. The research found that more than half of companies will be increasing their CX investments by more than ten percent in the next three years.

CX Helps Customer Retention

One in three executives felt that customer retention is the primary benefit of CX investment, and a majority measured their CX strategy for customer retention and satisfaction. With customer loyalty on the decline, the study showed a direct correlation between companies that invest in the quality of their customer experience and their ability to retain customers.

CX channels changing

Not surprisingly, the survey found that in the next three years, face-to-face interaction between companies and customers will decline, as digital channels such as social media, web self-service and online support become more prevalent. More than one third of European countries (34 percent) say that web self-service is an important channel. However, face-to-face communication is still considered the most important channel in Europe (42 percent). In the UK, the three channels set to increase substantially in importance are social media, web self-service and online self-service.

This reflects how customers are demanding to use the same channels for contacting companies as they do in their personal lives. Progressive companies are using Skype for Business to contact customers, and Genesys is one of the first enterprise-class contact centre solutions providers to achieve a native integration with Skype for Business to help companies achieve this.

“Ambitious companies are driving large investments in customer experience initiatives to adapt to the digital communication channels customers are demanding,” said Charles Ross, senior editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit and lead researcher of the study. “By prioritizing CX and placing the CEO in charge, companies are taking an extra step to drive revenue growth and improve profitability.”

Methodology

The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 516 senior-level executives in April 2015 from 21 countries. The vast majority of respondents (464) were C-suite executives, including 165 CEOs, while the remaining 52 respondents were business unit leaders. Sponsored by Genesys, this Economist research and survey included executives from a wide range of industries worldwide, spanning four regions: Asia Pacific, Latin America, North America and Europe.

The complete global and UK reports are available for download, and click here to download the infographic.