Making Leaders Successful Every Day

February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience,
2010
by Bruce D. Temkin
for Customer Experience Professionals
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best available
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For Customer Experience Professionals
EXECUTI VE SUMMARY
We surveyed 141 executives from large North American rms to nd out about their customer
experience endeavors. It turns out that 90% of respondents think that customer experience is very
important for their companies and 80% are trying to use it as an area of dierentiation. While the lack
of funding was the top problem last year, the lack of a clear strategy has emerged as this year’s No. 1
obstacle. ere’s a lot of activity underway: 62% of companies have a voice of the customer (VoC)
program, and nearly half have an executive in charge of their overall customer experience eorts. Our
data shows that companies with this type of leadership have fewer obstacles and are more mature in
their customer experience eorts.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Customer Experience Is Active In 2010
Customer Experience Leadership Makes A
Difference
RECOMMENDATIONS
Get The Entire Company Thinking Outside-In
Supplemental Material
NOTES & RESOURCES
In Q4 2009, Forrester surveyed 141 decision-
makers from North American companies with
annual revenues of $500 million or more.
Related Research Documents
“The Customer Experience Index, 2010”
January 11, 2010
“The State Of Customer Experience, 2009”
April 24, 2009
“Obstacles To Customer Experience Success, 2009”
February 20, 2009
February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
Lots Of Action, Especially In Companies With Customer Experience Leaders
by Bruce D. Temkin
with William Chu and Rachel Zinser
2
10
16
16
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
2
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IS ACTIVE IN 2010
To understand what companies are up to in their customer experience endeavors, we surveyed 141
executives from large North American rms. eir feedback highlighted that:
· Customer experience is critical. When we asked respondents how important customer
experience was to their 2010 plans, 90% told us that it was very important or critical (see Figure
1-1). But rms aren’t aiming to just keep up with their peers: 80% of the rms want to use
customer experience as a form of dierentiation (see Figure 1-2).
· Most companies have some customer experience discipline. Nearly two-thirds of respondents
say that their companies have a disciplined approach to customer experience management —
although only 11% see their eorts as being very disciplined (see Figure 2).
· ere’s a lot of eort underway. We asked about the customer experience activities that
companies are working on. More than six out of 10 companies have a voice of the customer
program and use a single set of customer feedback scores (see Figure 3). Nearly half of the
respondents have an executive in charge of their cross-channel customer experience eorts.
· Missing strategy has replaced funding as the key problem. About half of the respondents
identied three areas as key issues to their customer experience eorts: lack of a strategy, lack of
processes, and lack of cooperation across the organization (see Figure 4). When we compared
the problems from last year, funding has become less of an issue while the lack of a strategy has
become a bigger concern (see Figure 5).
1
· Firms need more customer experience maturity. We asked the executives whether they agreed
with 12 statements that represent key competencies for Experience-Based Dierentiation (EBD).
Only three items got the nod from a majority of respondents (see Figure 6). Unfortunately, less
than one-third of these companies have employees who share a common view of the customer,
make decisions that take the customer into consideration, and reward employees for improving
customer experience.
· Brands are getting more of the attention they deserve. We compared the results from our
competency evaluations between Q4 2009 and Q4 2008 (see Figure 7). e two areas with the
largest improvements both had to do with brands: employees fully understanding the brand
attributes and infusing the brand in customer experience design.
· All interactions fail to deliver, especially online. Our 2010 Customer Experience Index (CxPi)
shows that customers aren’t being treated well (see Figure 8).
2
But how do these executives think
their companies are doing? Not so well either. For ve of the nine interactions that we asked
them to rate, less than half of the respondents thought they satised customers at least 75% of
the time (see Figure 9). e online channel received the lowest marks, especially when it came
to customer service.
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
3
Figure 1 Customer Experience Is Critical
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 56316
Base: 141 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more
Not at all important (1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
Critical (5) 62%
28%
7%
2%
0%
Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey
Base: 141 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more
Stay slightly behind the
mainstream in our industry
Stay in the mainstream
in our industry
Keep from falling too far behind
leaders in our industry
Maintain parity with other
leaders in our industry
Dierentiate ourselves from
competitors in our industry
Dierentiate ourselves from all
rms across any industry
13%
67%
13%
4%
3%
0%
80% want to
dierentiate with
customer experience.
“How important will customer experience be in your company’s strategy in 2010?” 1-1
“How would you describe your executive team’s goal for customer experience?” 1-2
90% think it is
very important
or critical.
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
4
Figure 2 Most Companies Have Some Customer Experience Discipline
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 56316
“How would you describe your company’s overall approach to customer experience management?”
Very undisciplined
Somewhat undisciplined
Somewhat disciplined
Very disciplined
64% have a disciplined
approach to customer
experience.
11%
53%
25%
11%
Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey
Base: 141 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more
Figure 3 Customer Experience Activity Is Underway
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 56316
“To what extent has your company put in place the following items?”
Been doing for six
months or more
Been doing for less
than six months
Not doing but actively
considering
Not doing Don’t know
Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey
Base: 141 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more
(percentages may not total 100 because of rounding)
52% 10% 14% 16% 8%
35% 18% 17% 23% 7%
36% 13% 11% 33% 7%
53% 10% 19% 10% 8%
53% already have this
62% already have this
49% already have this
63% already have this
A companywide program focused
on improving customer
experience across channels
An executive in charge of
improving customer experience
across products and channels
A single set of customer feedback
scores (e.g., satisfaction,
Net Promoter Score) that are used
across the company
A voice of the customer program
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
5
Figure 4 Obstacles To Customer Experience Success
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 56316
Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey
Base: 141 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more
Percentage of respondents who identiñed the foIIowing as signiñcant obstacIes to
improving their companies' customer experience
None of the above
Lack of urgency
Lack of understanding
about customers
Lack of executive
involvement
Lack of clear customer
experience strategy
Lack of customer experience
management processes
Lack of cooperation
across organizations
Lack of budget
53%
50%
49%
43%
32%
16%
15%
11%
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
6
Figure 5 Obstacles To Customer Experience Success Are Shifting
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 56316
Source: Q4 2006, Q4 2007, Q4 2008, and Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Surveys
Base: North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more
Percentage of respondents who identiñed the foIIowing as signiñcant obstacIes
to improving their companies' customer experience
2006
73%
59%
53%
58%
2007
56%
47%
55%
40%
2008
42%
44%
53%
54%
2009
53%
50%
49%
43%
Lack of a clear customer
experience strategy
Lack of customer experience
management processes
Lack of budget Lack of cooperation
across organizations
35%
40%
45%
50%
55%
60%
65%
70%
75%
Lack of a clear customer
experience strategy
Lack of customer experience
management processes
Lack of cooperation
across organizations
Lack of budget
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
7
Figure 6 Companies Aren’t Focused On Target Customers
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 56316
Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey
Base: 141 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more
Percentage of respondents who agree with the following statements about their companies
Employees across the company share a consistent
and vivid image of target customers
Decision-making processes systematically
incorporate the needs of target customers
The quality of interactions with target customers
is closely monitored
Employees across the company are recognized
and rewarded for improving the experience
Our company’s brand drives how we design
customer experiences
Primary research is used to fully understand the
needs and behaviors of target customers
Employees fully understand the key attributes
of our brand
Senior executives regularly interact with target
customers
Our company has a clearly dened set of target
customer segments
The attributes of our company’s brand are well
dened
Senior executives consistently communicate the
importance of serving target customers
We translate brand attributes into specic
promises we make to customers
60%
59%
53%
46%
45%
43%
41%
40%
31%
31%
30%
24%
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
8
Figure 7 Companies Are Focusing More On Their Brands
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 56316
Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey
Base: North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more
2008
2009
Percentage of respondents who agree with the following statements about their companies
Employees across the company are recognized
and rewarded for improving the experience
Decision-making processes systematically
incorporate the needs of target customers
Our company has a clearly dened set of target
customer segments
Primary research is used to fully understand the
needs and behaviors of target customers
The quality of interactions with target customers
is closely monitored
Senior executives consistently communicate the
importance of serving target customers
Employees across the company share a consistent
and vivid image of target customers
Senior executives regularly interact with target
customers
Employees fully understand the key attributes
of our brand
The attributes of our company’s brand are well
dened
Our company’s brand drives how we design
customer experiences
We translate brand attributes into specic
promises we make to customers
31%
41%
45%
59%
46%
53%
24%
40%
31%
60%
43%
30%
31%
36%
53%
41%
50%
21%
39%
31%
63%
47%
36%
38%
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
9
Figure 8 Forrester’s 2010 Customer Experience Index
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 56316
20% 100% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90%
Very poor Poor Okay Good Excellent
Retailers (82%) 73% 91%
= Average industry score
Hotels (80%) 69% 90%
Insurance providers (72%) 63% 82%
Banks (66%) 51% 85%
Credit card providers (65%) 46% 78%
Wireless service providers (65%) 60% 67%
PC manufacturers (66%) 61% 78%
Internet service providers (57%) 29% 68%
TV service providers (57%) 38% 66%
Health insurance plans (51%) 41% 67%
Industry (average)
Airlines (68%) 50% 80%
Parcel delivery/shipping rms (78%) 78% 80%
Utility providers (63%) 57% 69%
Investment rms (73%) 68% 83%
Base: US online consumers who have interacted with rms in these industries
(numbers have been rounded)
Source: North American Technographics® Customer Experience Online Survey, Q4 2009 (US)
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
10
Figure 9 Companies Don’t Satisfy Customers
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 56316
Percentage of respondents who satisfy customers at least 75% of the time
during the following interactions in these channels.
Online
On the phone
In person or in the
store/branch
55%
47%
43%
Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey
Base: 141 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more
60%
49%
38%
56%
62%
33%
Researching a
product
Buying a
product
Getting customer
service help
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE LEADERSHIP MAKES A DIFFERENCE
Companies are denitely making a push to improve their customer experience. And why shouldn’t
they? Our data shows that customer experience correlates to loyalty (see Figure 10).
3
To understand
what role a customer experience leader serves inside of these companies, we compared responses
from the 69 companies that had an executive in charge of customer experience with the 62
companies that did not have someone in that position. is analysis uncovered that the companies
with executives in charge of their customer experience eorts are:
· More ambitious. Eighty-four percent of companies with customer experience leaders say that
they want to dierentiate their companies with customer experience, compared with 75% of the
other rms (see Figure 11).
· More disciplined. Eighty-two percent of companies with customer experience leaders say that
they have a disciplined approach to customer experience, compared with 40% of the other rms
(see Figure 12).
· More active. Across all three areas of customer activity, companies with customer experience
leaders have more initiatives underway. e gap ranges from 26 percentage points for voice
of the customer programs to 56 points for enterprisewide customer experience programs (see
Figure 13).
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
11
· Less encumbered. Leaderless companies are more likely to run into just about every obstacle
except one: the lack of funding (see Figure 14). Why is that the case? Because rms with
customer experience executives are trying to get more done. e most signicant gaps between
these rms are in the areas of executive involvement and urgency.
· More mature. Across all 12 customer experience competencies, the companies with an
executive in charge scored higher (see Figure 15). e gaps showed up in monitoring the quality
of interactions with target customers and senior executives communicating the importance of
serving customers.
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
12
Figure 10 Customer Experience Leaders Have More Loyal Customers
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 56316
Willingness to consider the
provider for another purchase
6.7%
2.1%
-1.5%
-7.7%
Percentage of customers who are loyal compared with industry averages across three loyalty measures
Quartiles are based on companies’ CxPi scores
compared with their industry averages
Top
quartile
Second
quartile
Third
quartile
Bottom
quartile
Reluctance to switch business
away from the provider
8.2%
2.8%
-3.3%
-7.6%
Likelihood to recommend the
provider to a friend or colleague
8.4%
2.8%
-3.0%
-8.2%
Base: US online consumers
Source: North American Technographics® Customer Experience Online Survey, Q4 2008
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
13
Figure 11 Customer Experience Leaders Show Up In More Aggressive Companies
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 56316
Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey
Base: 131 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more
“How would you describe your executive team’s goal for customer experience?”
(Percentage of respondents who agree with the following statements)
Stay slightly behind the
mainstream in our industry
Stay in the mainstream
in our industry
Keep from falling too far behind
leaders in our industry
Maintain parity with other
leaders in our industry
Dierentiate ourselves from
competitors in our industry
Dierentiate ourselves from
all rms across any industry
17%
10%
67%
65%
13%
16%
1%
6%
1%
3%
0%
0%
69 companies with a customer
experience executive
62 companies without a customer
experience executive
Figure 12 Customer Experience Discipline Comes With Leadership
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 56316
Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey
Base: 131 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more
69 companies with a customer
experience executive
62 companies without a customer
experience executive
“How would you describe your company’s overall approach to customer experience management?”
Very undisciplined
Somewhat undisciplined
Somewhat disciplined
Very disciplined
20%
0%
40%
14%
3%
62%
39%
21%
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
14
Figure 13 Customer Experience Leaders Are Active
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 56316
Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey
Base: 131 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more
69 companies with a
customer experience
executive
62 companies without
a customer experience
executive
“To what extent has your company put in place the following items?”
A single set of customer feedback
scores (e.g., satisfaction, Net
Promoter Score) that are used
across the company
A companywide program focused
on improving customer
experience across channels
A voice of the customer program
48%
80%
83%
74%
24%
42%
Figure 14 Fewer Customer Experience Obstacles Exist When There Is A Leader
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 56316
Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey
Base: 131 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more
69 companies with a customer
experience executive
62 companies without a customer
experience executive
Percentage of respondents who identiñed the foIIowing as signiñcant obstacIes to
improving their companies' customer experience
None of the above
Lack of urgency
Lack of understanding
about customers
Lack of executive
involvement
Lack of clear customer
experience strategy
Lack of customer experience
management processes
Lack of cooperation
across organizations
Lack of budget
46%
42%
46%
45%
41%
29%
5%
6%
6%
63%
60%
56%
37%
14%
27%
26%
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
15
Figure 15 Leaders Embed More Customer-Centric Behaviors
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 56316
Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey
Base: 131 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more
69 companies with a
customer experience
executive
62 companies without
a customer experience
executive
Percentage of respondents who agree with the following statements about their companies
Employees across the company share a
consistent and vivid image of target customers
Decision-making processes systematically
incorporate the needs of target customers
The quality of interactions with target
customers is closely monitored
Employees across the company are recognized
and rewarded for improving the experience
Our company’s brand drives how we design
customer experiences
Primary research is used to fully understand the
needs and behaviors of target customers
Employees fully understand the
key attributes of our brand
Senior executives regularly interact
with target customers
Our company has a clearly dened
set of target customer segments
The attributes of our company’s brand
are well dened
Senior executives consistently communicate
the importance of serving target customers
We translate brand attributes into specic
promises we make to customers
62%
56%
44%
55%
37%
39%
35%
34%
40%
21%
24%
23%
15%
61%
58%
49%
48%
45%
43%
43%
38%
35%
35%
33%
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
16
R E C O M M E N D AT I O N S
GET THE ENTIRE COMPANY THINKING OUTSIDEIN
Companies will gain the most benefit from their customer experience efforts when they get the
entire company to think about customer needs. How can they do that? By starting with two key
customer experience tools:
· Map the customer journey. Left to their own devices, companies will continue to operate
with an internal focus. That’s why we recommend that organizations use customer journey
maps — also known as touchpoint or “moment of truth” maps — to examine interactions
from their customers’ points of view. Forrester defines customer journey maps as: documents
that visually illustrate customers’ processes, needs, and perceptions throughout their
relationships with a company.
4
We recommend that organizations follow these five steps: 1)
Collect internal insights; 2) develop initial hypotheses; 3) research customer processes, needs,
and perceptions; 4) analyze customer research; and 5) map the customer journey.
· Build a robust voice of the customer program. There’s nothing more aligning in an
organization than clear feedback from customers. But most organizations don’t provide
employees with that feedback in a consistent, usable form. That’s why customer experience
professionals should develop strong voice of the customer programs — distributing
actionable feedback to call centers, stores, merchandisers, and category managers.
5
A
number of technology vendors are changing the landscape in these programs, making it
easier to do things like analyze unstructured data and share information more broadly.
6

We’ve also identified 16 best practices to follow in areas like leadership, culture, and reacting
to customer feedback.
7
SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL
Methodology
Forrester elded its Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey to 141 customer
experience professional(s) from North American rms with $500 million or more in annual
revenues in our ongoing Marketing & Strategy Research Panel. e panel consists of volunteers who
join on the basis of interest and familiarity with specic marketing and strategy topics. For quality
assurance, panelists are required to provide contact information and answer basic questions about
their rms’ revenue and budgets.
Forrester elded the survey from November to December 2009. Respondent incentives included a
summary of the survey results and related research.
Exact sample sizes are provided in this report on a question-by-question basis. Panels are not
guaranteed to be representative of the population. Unless otherwise noted, statistical data is
intended to be used for descriptive and not inferential purposes.
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
17
If you’re interested in joining one of Forrester’s research panels, you may visit us at http://Forrester.
com/Panel.
ENDNOTES
1
Executives have been saying for awhile that customer experience is important. Only recently, however, have
many of them begun to understand its direct link with loyalty. As a result, companies are starting to develop
more disciplined approaches to customer experience management. But they have a long way to go. See the
April 24, 2009, “e State Of Customer Experience, 2009” report.
2
Forrester asked more than 4,600 US consumers about their interactions with a variety of companies,
gauging the usefulness, ease of use, and enjoyability of those experiences. Based on these consumer
responses, we calculated the Customer Experience Index (CxPi) for 133 rms in 14 dierent industries.
Barnes & Noble, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, and Hampton Inn/Suites topped the rankings, while Charter
Communications took the bottom spot for the third year in a row. Only 13 of the rms wound up
with “excellent” ratings — and 45 were “poor” or “very poor.” See the January 11, 2010, “e Customer
Experience Index, 2010” report.
3
Forrester’s previous research has shown a high correlation between customer experience and three key
elements of loyal behavior: willingness to buy more, reluctance to switch, and likelihood to recommend. But
how does that aect a company’s bottom line? To answer that question, we looked at the percentage of loyal
customers within the customer bases of more than 100 companies. It turns out that customer experience
leaders have an advantage of more than 14% over customer experience laggards across all three areas of
loyalty. e annual revenue gains from a modest dierence in customer experience can total $284 million
on average across industries. See the June 22, 2009, “Customer Experience Boosts Revenue” report.
4
Le to their own devices, companies will continue to operate with an internal focus. at’s why we
recommend that organizations use customer journey maps — also known as touchpoint or “moment of
truth” maps — to examine interactions from their customers’ points of view. Forrester denes customer
journey maps as: “Documents that visually illustrate customers’ processes, needs, and perceptions
throughout the life cycle of their relationships with a company.” To get the most value from these journey
maps, companies need to widely share ndings, take action on insights, and sustain the learnings over time.
See the February 5, 2010, “Mapping e Customer Journey” report.
5
Many companies say that they don’t have a good connection with customers. at’s why rms should
consider developing a systematic approach for incorporating the needs of customers into the design of
customer experiences — what Forrester calls a voice of the customer program. Successful VoC programs
will incorporate listening, interpreting, responding, and monitoring. As customer experience professionals
roll out VoC programs, they should be prepared to overcome internal organizational obstacles. See the
February 8, 2007, “Building Your Voice Of e Customer Program” report.
6
Voice of the customer programs are a critical component to improving customer experience. But today’s
eorts are broken in many ways. ey lack action, get caught in silos, and aren’t cost- or time-eective.
A number of trends are changing how companies implement their VoC programs, including analysis of
© 2010, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited February 19, 2010
The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
For Customer Experience Professionals
18
unstructured and unsolicited data, inclusion of social media, and more continuous feedback. Companies
should take advantage of these trends to dramatically improve their use of customer feedback. e result:
better customer experiences and more loyal customers. See the February 26, 2009, “Voice Of e Customer:
e Next Generation” report.
7
To understand the best practices in voice of the customer programs, Forrester analyzed the 40 applications
it received for its Voice Of e Customer award. When we examined the advice that applicants listed for
other companies, we found 16 recommendations that fell into the following ve categories: leadership,
culture and alignment, listening to customer feedback, interpreting customer feedback, and reacting to
customer feedback. See the November 11, 2009, “Sixteen Voice Of e Customer Recommendations” report.
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For Customer Experience Professionals

The State Of Customer Experience, 2010
by Bruce D. Temkin with William Chu and Rachel Zinser

February 19, 2010

Lots Of Action, Especially In Companies With Customer Experience Leaders

EX ECU TI VE S UM MA RY
We surveyed 141 executives from large North American rms to nd out about their customer experience endeavors. It turns out that 90% of respondents think that customer experience is very important for their companies and 80% are trying to use it as an area of di erentiation. While the lack of funding was the top problem last year, the lack of a clear strategy has emerged as this year’s No. 1 obstacle. ere’s a lot of activity underway: 62% of companies have a voice of the customer (VoC) program, and nearly half have an executive in charge of their overall customer experience e orts. Our data shows that companies with this type of leadership have fewer obstacles and are more mature in their customer experience e orts.

TABL E O F CO NTE N TS
2 Customer Experience Is Active In 2010 10 Customer Experience Leadership Makes A Difference
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In Q4 2009, Forrester surveyed 141 decisionmakers from North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more.

16 Get The Entire Company Thinking Outside-In 16 Supplemental Material

Related Research Documents “The Customer Experience Index, 2010” January 11, 2010
“The State Of Customer Experience, 2009” April 24, 2009 “Obstacles To Customer Experience Success, 2009” February 20, 2009

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and lack of cooperation across the organization (see Figure 4). · All interactions fail to deliver. For ve of the nine interactions that we asked them to rate. Forrester Research. 90% told us that it was very important or critical (see Figure 1-1). lack of processes. About half of the respondents identi ed three areas as key issues to their customer experience e orts: lack of a strategy. especially when it came to customer service. Reproduction Prohibited . especially online. Nearly half of the respondents have an executive in charge of their cross-channel customer experience e orts. Our 2010 Customer Experience Index (CxPi) shows that customers aren’t being treated well (see Figure 8). Inc. e online channel received the lowest marks. e two areas with the largest improvements both had to do with brands: employees fully understanding the brand attributes and infusing the brand in customer experience design. When we compared the problems from last year. 2010 For Customer Experience Professionals CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IS ACTIVE IN 2010 To understand what companies are up to in their customer experience endeavors. less than one-third of these companies have employees who share a common view of the customer. funding has become less of an issue while the lack of a strategy has become a bigger concern (see Figure 5).2 The State Of Customer Experience. · ere’s a lot of e ort underway. Only three items got the nod from a majority of respondents (see Figure 6). We compared the results from our competency evaluations between Q4 2009 and Q4 2008 (see Figure 7). Nearly two-thirds of respondents say that their companies have a disciplined approach to customer experience management — although only 11% see their e orts as being very disciplined (see Figure 2). We asked about the customer experience activities that companies are working on. But rms aren’t aiming to just keep up with their peers: 80% of the rms want to use customer experience as a form of di erentiation (see Figure 1-2). · Brands are getting more of the attention they deserve. 2010 © 2010. February 19.1 · Firms need more customer experience maturity. We asked the executives whether they agreed with 12 statements that represent key competencies for Experience-Based Di erentiation (EBD). · Missing strategy has replaced funding as the key problem. we surveyed 141 executives from large North American rms. eir feedback highlighted that: · Customer experience is critical. and reward employees for improving customer experience. More than six out of 10 companies have a voice of the customer program and use a single set of customer feedback scores (see Figure 3). make decisions that take the customer into consideration. · Most companies have some customer experience discipline.2 But how do these executives think their companies are doing? Not so well either. less than half of the respondents thought they satis ed customers at least 75% of the time (see Figure 9). When we asked respondents how important customer experience was to their 2010 plans. Unfortunately.

62% Not at all important (1) 0% Base: 141 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more 1-2 “How would you describe your executive team’s goal for customer experience?” 80% want to di erentiate with customer experience. © 2010. Reproduction Prohibited February 19. 2010 For Customer Experience Professionals 3 Figure 1 Customer Experience Is Critical 1-1 “How important will customer experience be in your company’s strategy in 2010?” Critical (5) (4) (3) (2) 7% 2% 28% 90% think it is very important or critical. Forrester Research. Inc. 2010 . Inc.The State Of Customer Experience. 13% 67% 13% 4% 3% Di erentiate ourselves from all rms across any industry Di erentiate ourselves from competitors in our industry Maintain parity with other leaders in our industry Keep from falling too far behind leaders in our industry Stay in the mainstream in our industry Stay slightly behind the 0% mainstream in our industry Base: 141 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey 56316 Source: Forrester Research.

satisfaction.g. © 2010. Very disciplined Somewhat disciplined Somewhat undisciplined Very undisciplined 11% 53% 25% 11% Base: 141 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey 56316 Source: Forrester Research. Forrester Research. 2010 Source: Forrester Research. Inc.. Inc.4 The State Of Customer Experience. Reproduction Prohibited . Figure 3 Customer Experience Activity Is Underway “To what extent has your company put in place the following items?” Been doing for six months or more Been doing for less than six months Not doing but actively considering Not doing Don’t know 62% already have this A voice of the customer program 53% already have this A companywide program focused on improving customer experience across channels An executive in charge of improving customer experience across products and channels A single set of customer feedback scores (e. Inc. 2010 For Customer Experience Professionals Figure 2 Most Companies Have Some Customer Experience Discipline “How would you describe your company’s overall approach to customer experience management?” 64% have a disciplined approach to customer experience. Net Promoter Score) that are used across the company 35% 49% already have this 36% 13% 11% 33% 7% 18% 17% 23% 7% 52% 10% 14% 16% 8% 63% already have this 53% 10% 19% 10% 8% Base: 141 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more (percentages may not total 100 because of rounding) Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey 56316 February 19.

Inc. 2010 . Reproduction Prohibited February 19. Inc. 2010 For Customer Experience Professionals 5 Figure 4 Obstacles To Customer Experience Success Lack of clear customer experience strategy Lack of customer experience management processes Lack of cooperation across organizations Lack of budget Lack of understanding about customers Lack of executive involvement Lack of urgency None of the above 16% 15% 11% 32% 43% 53% 50% 49% Base: 141 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey 56316 Source: Forrester Research.The State Of Customer Experience. © 2010. Forrester Research.

Reproduction Prohibited . February 19. Inc. Forrester Research. and Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Surveys 56316 Source: Forrester Research. Inc. Q4 2008. 2010 © 2010.6 The State Of Customer Experience. 2010 For Customer Experience Professionals Figure 5 Obstacles To Customer Experience Success Are Shifting Lack of budget Lack of cooperation across organizations 75% 70% 65% 60% 55% 50% 45% 40% 35% Lack of customer experience management processes Lack of a clear customer experience strategy Lack of budget Lack of cooperation across organizations Lack of customer experience management processes Lack of a clear customer experience strategy 58% 53% 59% 73% 40% 55% 47% 56% 54% 53% 44% 42% 43% 49% 50% 53% Base: North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more Source: Q4 2006. Q4 2007.

The State Of Customer Experience. 2010 . Inc. Inc. 2010 For Customer Experience Professionals 7 Figure 6 Companies Aren’t Focused On Target Customers Percentage of respondents who agree with the following statements about their companies Our company has a clearly de ned set of target customer segments The attributes of our company’s brand are well de ned Senior executives consistently communicate the importance of serving target customers We translate brand attributes into speci c promises we make to customers Our company’s brand drives how we design customer experiences Primary research is used to fully understand the needs and behaviors of target customers Employees fully understand the key attributes of our brand Senior executives regularly interact with target customers The quality of interactions with target customers is closely monitored Employees across the company are recognized and rewarded for improving the experience Decision-making processes systematically incorporate the needs of target customers Employees across the company share a consistent and vivid image of target customers 24% 31% 31% 30% 46% 45% 43% 41% 40% 53% 60% 59% Base: 141 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey 56316 Source: Forrester Research. © 2010. Forrester Research. Reproduction Prohibited February 19.

2010 For Customer Experience Professionals Figure 7 Companies Are Focusing More On Their Brands Percentage of respondents who agree with the following statements about their companies Employees fully understand the key attributes of our brand Our company’s brand drives how we design customer experiences The attributes of our company’s brand are well de ned We translate brand attributes into speci c promises we make to customers Senior executives consistently communicate the importance of serving target customers Employees across the company share a consistent and vivid image of target customers Senior executives regularly interact with target customers The quality of interactions with target customers is closely monitored Our company has a clearly de ned set of target customer segments Primary research is used to fully understand the needs and behaviors of target customers Decision-making processes systematically incorporate the needs of target customers Employees across the company are recognized and rewarded for improving the experience 36% 30% 31% 38% 47% 43% 31% 31% 63% 60% 21% 24% 39% 40% 41% 46% 50% 53% 31% 41% 45% 53% 59% 2008 2009 36% Base: North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey 56316 Source: Forrester Research. Reproduction Prohibited .8 The State Of Customer Experience. Inc. Forrester Research. February 19. 2010 © 2010. Inc.

Inc. 2010 For Customer Experience Professionals 9 Figure 8 Forrester’s 2010 Customer Experience Index = Average industry score 20% Industry (average) Retailers (82%) Hotels (80%) Parcel delivery/shipping rms (78%) Investment rms (73%) Insurance providers (72%) Airlines (68%) Banks (66%) PC manufacturers (66%) Credit card providers (65%) Wireless service providers (65%) Utility providers (63%) Internet service providers (57%) 29% TV service providers (57%) Health insurance plans (51%) 38% 41% 46% 60% 57% 67% 69% 68% 66% 67% 50% 51% 61% 78% 78% 63% 68% 30% Very poor 40% 50% Poor 60% Okay 70% 73% 69% 78% 80% 83% 82% 80% 85% Good 80% Excellent 90% 100% 91% 90% Base: US online consumers who have interacted with rms in these industries (numbers have been rounded) Source: North American Technographics® Customer Experience Online Survey. Forrester Research. © 2010. Reproduction Prohibited February 19.The State Of Customer Experience. 2010 . Q4 2009 (US) 56316 Source: Forrester Research. Inc.

Inc. 2010 © 2010. 2010 For Customer Experience Professionals Figure 9 Companies Don’t Satisfy Customers Percentage of respondents who satisfy customers at least 75% of the time during the following interactions in these channels. Eighty-four percent of companies with customer experience leaders say that they want to di erentiate their companies with customer experience.10 The State Of Customer Experience. CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE LEADERSHIP MAKES A DIFFERENCE Companies are de nitely making a push to improve their customer experience. And why shouldn’t they? Our data shows that customer experience correlates to loyalty (see Figure 10). February 19. Researching a product In person or in the store/branch 55% Buying a product 60% Getting customer service help 56% On the phone 47% 49% 62% Online 43% 38% 33% Base: 141 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey 56316 Source: Forrester Research. compared with 75% of the other rms (see Figure 11). Inc. is analysis uncovered that the companies with executives in charge of their customer experience e orts are: · More ambitious. we compared responses from the 69 companies that had an executive in charge of customer experience with the 62 companies that did not have someone in that position. Eighty-two percent of companies with customer experience leaders say that · More active. Forrester Research. leaders have more initiatives underway. Reproduction Prohibited . e gap ranges from 26 percentage points for voice of the customer programs to 56 points for enterprisewide customer experience programs (see Figure 13). · More disciplined. compared with 40% of the other rms (see Figure 12).3 To understand what role a customer experience leader serves inside of these companies. companies with customer experience they have a disciplined approach to customer experience. Across all three areas of customer activity.

Across all 12 customer experience competencies. · More mature. e gaps showed up in monitoring the quality of interactions with target customers and senior executives communicating the importance of serving customers. 2010 For Customer Experience Professionals 11 · Less encumbered. e most signi cant gaps between these rms are in the areas of executive involvement and urgency. 2010 . Leaderless companies are more likely to run into just about every obstacle except one: the lack of funding (see Figure 14).The State Of Customer Experience. © 2010. Reproduction Prohibited February 19. the companies with an executive in charge scored higher (see Figure 15). Forrester Research. Why is that the case? Because rms with customer experience executives are trying to get more done. Inc.

8% -3. Inc.1% Second quartile Third quartile Bottom quartile -1.4% -7.12 The State Of Customer Experience.7% 8. Forrester Research.0% -8. 2010 For Customer Experience Professionals Figure 10 Customer Experience Leaders Have More Loyal Customers Percentage of customers who are loyal compared with industry averages across three loyalty measures Quartiles are based on companies’ CxPi scores compared with their industry averages Top quartile 6.7% Willingness to consider the provider for another purchase 2. Reproduction Prohibited .3% 8. 2010 © 2010.8% -3. Inc. February 19.2% Base: US online consumers Source: North American Technographics® Customer Experience Online Survey.6% Likelihood to recommend the provider to a friend or colleague 2.5% -7. Q4 2008 56316 Source: Forrester Research.2% Reluctance to switch business away from the provider 2.

The State Of Customer Experience. Inc. 2010 For Customer Experience Professionals 13 Figure 11 Customer Experience Leaders Show Up In More Aggressive Companies “How would you describe your executive team’s goal for customer experience?” (Percentage of respondents who agree with the following statements) Di erentiate ourselves from all rms across any industry Di erentiate ourselves from competitors in our industry Maintain parity with other leaders in our industry Keep from falling too far behind 1% 6% leaders in our industry Stay in the mainstream 1% in our industry 3% Stay slightly behind the 0% mainstream in our industry 0% Base: 131 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey 56316 Source: Forrester Research. 17% 10% 67% 65% 13% 16% 69 companies with a customer experience executive 62 companies without a customer experience executive Figure 12 Customer Experience Discipline Comes With Leadership “How would you describe your company’s overall approach to customer experience management?” Very disciplined Somewhat disciplined Somewhat undisciplined Very undisciplined 3% 14% 0% 20% 40% 39% 62% 69 companies with a customer experience executive 62 companies without a customer experience executive 21% Base: 131 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey 56316 Source: Forrester Research. Reproduction Prohibited February 19. Forrester Research. Inc. 2010 . © 2010. Inc.

Reproduction Prohibited . Inc. satisfaction.g. Figure 14 Fewer Customer Experience Obstacles Exist When There Is A Leader Lack of budget Lack of clear customer experience strategy Lack of customer experience management processes Lack of cooperation across organizations Lack of understanding about customers None of the above Lack of executive involvement Lack of urgency 5% 6% 6% 14% 29% 46% 42% 46% 45% 41% 63% 60% 56% 37% 69 companies with a customer experience executive 62 companies without a customer experience executive 27% 26% Base: 131 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey 56316 Source: Forrester Research. 2010 For Customer Experience Professionals Figure 13 Customer Experience Leaders Are Active “To what extent has your company put in place the following items?” 74% 48% 80% 24% 83% 42% 69 companies with a customer experience executive 62 companies without a customer experience executive A voice of the customer program A companywide program focused on improving customer experience across channels A single set of customer feedback scores (e. Inc.14 The State Of Customer Experience. Inc.. 2010 © 2010. Forrester Research. Net Promoter Score) that are used across the company Base: 131 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey 56316 Source: Forrester Research. February 19.

The State Of Customer Experience. © 2010. 2010 . Inc. 2010 For Customer Experience Professionals 15 Figure 15 Leaders Embed More Customer-Centric Behaviors Percentage of respondents who agree with the following statements about their companies Our company has a clearly de ned set of target customer segments Senior executives consistently communicate the importance of serving target customers The attributes of our company’s brand are well de ned We translate brand attributes into speci c promises we make to customers Primary research is used to fully understand the needs and behaviors of target customers Employees fully understand the key attributes of our brand Senior executives regularly interact with target customers Our company’s brand drives how we design customer experiences The quality of interactions with target customers is closely monitored Employees across the company are recognized and rewarded for improving the experience Decision-making processes systematically incorporate the needs of target customers Employees across the company share a consistent and vivid image of target customers 15% 21% 24% 23% 37% 39% 35% 34% 44% 62% 56% 61% 58% 55% 49% 48% 45% 43% 43% 40% 38% 35% 35% 33% 69 companies with a customer experience executive 62 companies without a customer experience executive Base: 131 North American companies with annual revenues of $500 million or more Source: Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey 56316 Source: Forrester Research. Reproduction Prohibited February 19. Inc. Forrester Research.

Unless otherwise noted. usable form. Reproduction Prohibited . Inc. and reacting to customer feedback. culture. February 19. Respondent incentives included a summary of the survey results and related research. 2010 For Customer Experience Professionals R E C O M M E N D AT I O N S GET THE ENTIRE COMPANY THINKING OUTSIDE IN Companies will gain the most benefit from their customer experience efforts when they get the entire company to think about customer needs. companies will continue to operate with an internal focus. But most organizations don’t provide employees with that feedback in a consistent. · Build a robust voice of the customer program. Forrester defines customer journey maps as: documents that visually illustrate customers’ processes.4 We recommend that organizations follow these five steps: 1) Collect internal insights. That’s why we recommend that organizations use customer journey maps — also known as touchpoint or “moment of truth” maps — to examine interactions from their customers’ points of view. Forrester elded the survey from November to December 2009. making it easier to do things like analyze unstructured data and share information more broadly. stores. 3) research customer processes. Left to their own devices. There’s nothing more aligning in an organization than clear feedback from customers. needs. 2010 © 2010. Forrester Research. and perceptions. and category managers.5 A number of technology vendors are changing the landscape in these programs. statistical data is intended to be used for descriptive and not inferential purposes. and 5) map the customer journey. merchandisers. For quality assurance. That’s why customer experience professionals should develop strong voice of the customer programs — distributing actionable feedback to call centers. 4) analyze customer research. Exact sample sizes are provided in this report on a question-by-question basis.16 The State Of Customer Experience. Panels are not guaranteed to be representative of the population.6 We’ve also identified 16 best practices to follow in areas like leadership. 2) develop initial hypotheses.7 SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL Methodology Forrester elded its Q4 2009 Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Survey to 141 customer experience professional(s) from North American rms with $500 million or more in annual revenues in our ongoing Marketing & Strategy Research Panel. How can they do that? By starting with two key customer experience tools: · Map the customer journey. panelists are required to provide contact information and answer basic questions about their rms’ revenue and budgets. e panel consists of volunteers who join on the basis of interest and familiarity with speci c marketing and strategy topics. needs. and perceptions throughout their relationships with a company.

including analysis of 2 3 4 5 6 © 2010. companies are starting to develop more disciplined approaches to customer experience management. “Building Your Voice Of e Customer Program” report. Barnes & Noble. 2009” report. Based on these consumer responses. responding. “ e State Of Customer Experience.” See the January 11. 2007. Successful VoC programs will incorporate listening. Forrester Research. and perceptions throughout the life cycle of their relationships with a company. See the February 5. As a result. See the February 8. interpreting. Le to their own devices. Forrester asked more than 4. and enjoyability of those experiences. have many of them begun to understand its direct link with loyalty. reluctance to switch. Only 13 of the rms wound up with “excellent” ratings — and 45 were “poor” or “very poor. “Mapping e Customer Journey” report. See the June 22. 2010” report. Many companies say that they don’t have a good connection with customers. needs. ENDNOTES 1 Executives have been saying for awhile that customer experience is important. ey lack action. we looked at the percentage of loyal customers within the customer bases of more than 100 companies. It turns out that customer experience leaders have an advantage of more than 14% over customer experience laggards across all three areas of loyalty.600 US consumers about their interactions with a variety of companies. and monitoring. Voice of the customer programs are a critical component to improving customer experience. 2010 . ease of use. “ e Customer Experience Index. and sustain the learnings over time. com/Panel. e annual revenue gains from a modest di erence in customer experience can total $284 million on average across industries.The State Of Customer Experience. while Charter Communications took the bottom spot for the third year in a row. companies need to widely share ndings. As customer experience professionals roll out VoC programs. Reproduction Prohibited February 19. But they have a long way to go. “Customer Experience Boosts Revenue” report. Forrester de nes customer journey maps as: “Documents that visually illustrate customers’ processes. take action on insights. get caught in silos. Only recently.” To get the most value from these journey maps. you may visit us at http://Forrester. 2009. 2009. companies will continue to operate with an internal focus. A number of trends are changing how companies implement their VoC programs. and aren’t cost. 2010. and likelihood to recommend. we calculated the Customer Experience Index (CxPi) for 133 rms in 14 di erent industries. and Hampton Inn/Suites topped the rankings. 2010 For Customer Experience Professionals 17 If you’re interested in joining one of Forrester’s research panels. they should be prepared to overcome internal organizational obstacles. But how does that a ect a company’s bottom line? To answer that question. 2010. Forrester’s previous research has shown a high correlation between customer experience and three key elements of loyal behavior: willingness to buy more. at’s why rms should consider developing a systematic approach for incorporating the needs of customers into the design of customer experiences — what Forrester calls a voice of the customer program.or time-e ective. Marriott Hotels & Resorts. See the April 24. at’s why we recommend that organizations use customer journey maps — also known as touchpoint or “moment of truth” maps — to examine interactions from their customers’ points of view. Inc. But today’s e orts are broken in many ways. however. gauging the usefulness.

18 The State Of Customer Experience. Forrester analyzed the 40 applications it received for its Voice Of e Customer award. e result: better customer experiences and more loyal customers. we found 16 recommendations that fell into the following ve categories: leadership. Inc. Companies should take advantage of these trends to dramatically improve their use of customer feedback. 2010 © 2010. When we examined the advice that applicants listed for other companies. February 19. See the February 26. listening to customer feedback. See the November 11. “Sixteen Voice Of e Customer Recommendations” report. and more continuous feedback. Reproduction Prohibited . 2009. “Voice Of e Customer: e Next Generation” report. 2009. Forrester Research. 7 To understand the best practices in voice of the customer programs. culture and alignment. interpreting customer feedback. and reacting to customer feedback. 2010 For Customer Experience Professionals unstructured and unsolicited data. inclusion of social media.

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