2012 Research

The Future of Customer Experience

August 2012

Companies are increasing their focus on customer experience (CX) as they discover its link to loyalty and overall business results. This growing discipline around CX management is creating different stages of evolution. We’ve passed through the initial phases of CX Intrigue and CX Exuberance and have entered into the era of CX Professionalism. As firms build more CX capabilities, they evolve through six stages of CX maturity: Ignore, Explore, Mobilize, Operationalize, Align, and Embed. Over the next few years, companies will need to adopt a new set of CX skills that include journey-centric alignment, mobile-infused experiences, and predictive personalization.

North America has entered into what we describe as the era of CX Professionalism. With a critical mass of people working on CX initiatives, we see the sharing of best practices which creates standard approaches like voice of the customer programs and customer journey maps. As this era evolves, CX approaches will become more codified and we’ll see more people with CX titles—pushing CX management to become a recognized CX professional discipline.

What’s driving this evolution? The CX capabilities that organizations are building. The report describes six stages of CX maturity:

1) Ignore: Company does not see customer experience as a key differentiator.
2) Explore: An ad-hoc group is established to understand how the company can improve customer experience.
3) Mobilize: A full-time executive leads the effort to improve customer experience and the company establishes a cross-functional governance system.
4) Operationalize: Company redesigns many of its operational processes using clear insights about customers.
5) Align: Customer experience behaviors are widespread across employees and they are supported by the company’s standard measurement and incentive systems.
6) Embed: Company delivers great customer experience without focusing on it explicitly. It comes as a result of the entire organization being committed to the company’s clear sense of purpose.

The research report identifies eight emerging customer experience skills:

> Journey-centric alignment
> Mobile-infused experiences
> Predictive personalization
> Distributed contextual insights
> Federated CX capabilities
> Business rhythm integration
> Rejuvenated purposefulness
> Promoter activation


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