Customer Experience is more important to businesses than profit and revenue growth, new data has revealed.

Research by Engage Hub shows over two-thirds of C-level executives interviewed see Customer Experience as a top business priority. The flagship report, The Customer-Centric Organisation, produced in partnership with Sapio Research, explores how much importance UK businesses place on CX from those businesses that provide it to consumers.

The report focussed on a range of sectors, including telecoms, financial services, retail, and utilities, and looks at what defines best practice today.

The research also found that Customer Experience was an issue worrying those at the very top of businesses: 90 percent reviewed CX metrics at board level, and almost as many consider the impact of customer satisfaction on overall business metrics.

Ray Tierney, CEO of Engage Hub, said: “Businesses have realised that the only way to profit and grow is by getting the customer experience right, and have prioritised accordingly. With their priorities now in order, the challenge is in delivery – which is where many businesses report significant challenges.”

Most businesses report that the biggest issue they face is “joining up” siloed systems and people. A total of 32 percent see their departments working in silos as a major barrier to progress, while 29 percent see a lack of integration between business systems as the biggest problem – both will hold back the investments businesses have made in new technology to create a better Customer Experience.

The research also revealed that while businesses have, as may be expected, made investments in AI, chatbots, and big data to help automate and improve CX, a third saw IoT and connected devices as a key part of this.

The findings were consistent across all sectors, with only minor variations. Retailers saw a lack of employee engagement as what was hurting the Customer Experience most, whereas telecoms saw gaps between systems as the biggest barrier in the way of success.

“The research makes it clear that businesses do understand the need to connect together disparate data and business systems to deliver a connected customer experience,: said Nicola Pero, CTO at Engage Hub.

“We expect centralised CX teams, responsible for improving the customer experience, will emerge as a dedicated business unit within businesses, as well as new heads of customer experience – a Chief Experience Officer or Chief Engagement Officer – taking up the fight to keep organisations customer-centric. Businesses with no such team or role must consider if they need this within their organisation to meet the challenges they face.”

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