Over the past few years, numerous research studies have shown that customer experience has become a vital source of competitive advantage for enterprises in virtually all industries. Studies have also shown that most enterprise marketers now view improving the customer experience as a top strategic priority.
Several studies have also sought to quantify the financial benefits of improving customer experiences. A recent study by Avanade and Sitecore (both ADAM partners) provides additional strong evidence that improving customer experiences will have a significant impact on an enterprise’s bottom line.
This study was conducted by market research specialist Vanson Bourne and consisted of online and telephone interviews with 880 business leaders with responsibility or influence over their organization’s customer experience efforts. Respondents were based in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia, and Singapore, and were predominantly from enterprises with annual global revenues of more than US$1 billion.
The headline finding of this research was that, on average, respondents reported that their company received a return of US$3 for every US$1 spent on improving customer experiences.
In this study, Vanson Bourne identified respondents who said their organization “prioritizes” its customer experience strategy, and some of the study findings were based on the responses from this subset of the overall sample. For example, respondents in this group reported seeing increased revenues (40%), better financial performance than competitors (38%), and improved sales cycles (37%) over the preceding 12 months. Respondents who had seen these benefits reported an average improvement of between 18% and 21%.
Respondents in this group also reported the following “customer-based” benefits in the preceding 12 months:
- Increased customer satisfaction (58%)
- Increased customer loyalty (45%)
- Increased customer acquisition and retention (41%)
- Improved customer lifetime value (38%)
Where these “customer-based” benefits were seen, respondents reported an improvement of between 19% and 22% in each area (on average).
Vanson Bourne also asked all study participants to identify the obstacles that were preventing their company from delivering a good customer experience. The table below shows the percentage of respondents who selected each of six specified obstacles: