CustomerThink Research Finds 75% of Customer Experience (CX) Initiatives Fail to Prove Business Value

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Groundbreaking research reveals key success factors for the 25% of “Winning” CX initiatives.

CORONADO, Calif. Jan. 22, 2019 — The Customer Experience (CX) industry is at a crossroads. Despite much enthusiasm at executive levels, with massive investments in CX teams and initiatives over the past decade, only one in four companies are able to quantify CX benefits or gain a competitive edge.

The research goal was to understand what differentiates Winning CX initiatives to help CX leaders improve their odds of success. A rigorous quantitative study of over 200 CX initiatives found the majority (58%) in a “developing” stage — seeing signs of progress but unable to clearly demonstrate business value to top management.



Home to over 50,000 articles and blog posts, CustomerThink.com is a leading resource for business leaders who wish to build and execute a customer-centric business strategy. The site has 40,000 registered members and serves 2 million web visitors annually.

CustomerThink founder/CEO Bob Thompson, the research study’s author, says the results are a wake-up call for CX leaders. “While a lot of good work is being done, three out of four CX leaders are at risk of losing funding due to the lack of a compelling business case.”

The study also found these major factors in CXM success:

  • Defining a CX vision beyond fixing touchpoints (e.g. customer service) to improving customer journeys or delivering unique experiences.
  • Executing five core CXM practices more fully, including customer feedback, journey mapping, brand alignment, business case, and executive engagement.
  • Investing more in the CX skills needed to drive change, create innovative experiences, and measure success.
  • Supporting CX initiatives with the right technologies and systems for customer feedback, analytics, and omnichannel experiences.

While honing CXM practices is important, setting the right direction is critical to long-term success, says Thompson. “Unfortunately, for the vast majority of companies, the CX strategy can be summed up in two words: process improvement. While a necessary first step in many cases, CX leaders must look beyond this ‘find and fix’ paradigm and focus more attention on improving customer journeys or designing differentiating experiences. Because that is CXM’s real payoff.”

CustomerThink received financial support for this important research from Comm100, Gongos, and Verint. The study was supported by an elite Research Council of industry experts:

  • Dave Fish, CuriosityCX (CX)
  • Amanda Forshew, Customer Alignment (CX)
  • Ian Golding, Customer Experience Consultancy Ltd (CX)
  • Bob Hayes, Business Over Broadway (VoC Analytics)
  • Lynn Hunsaker, ClearAction Continuum (CX)
  • Gautam Mahajan, Customer Value Foundation (Customer Value)
  • Nancy Porte, CCXP, Verint (CX)
  • Bill Price, Driva Solutions (Contact Center Analytics)
  • Ernan Roman, ERDM (VoC Marketing)
  • Chris Ryan, Fusion Marketing Partners (B2B Marketing)
  • Krista Sheridan, TELUS (Employee Engagement)
  • Barry Trailer, SalesMastery (B2B Sales)
  • Jeremy Watkin, FCR (Customer Service)
  • Thomas Wieberneit, aheadCRM Ltd (Customer Engagement)


More information about the research and final report is available at the CX at a Crossroads research home page.

About CustomerThink

CustomerThink was founded in 2000 by Bob Thompson, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, who is responsible for the site’s editorial vision and research agenda. Thompson conducts research on leading trends in customer-centric business management; blogs about industry developments; writes articles and reports; and gives keynotes at conferences worldwide. Contact him at [email protected] or 619-319-5183. For more information please visit CustomerThink.com.

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