RESEARCH | March 9, 2023 | 1 min read
Great customer experiences can be a bulwark against economic uncertainty
By Stuart Luman, deputy editor of Workflow
In every industry, companies are betting that investments in customer experience (CX) will pay dividends in tumultuous economic times, according to research by ThoughtLab and ServiceNow.
“Brands realize that experience is what attracts customers and keeps them coming back,” says Vishy Gopalakrishnan, chief transformation officer for digital technology at ServiceNow. “The challenge of experience is how do you knit together all of this complicated stuff behind the scenes and make it effortlessly simple for the customer.”
The answer is to give companies the tools they need to create seamless experiences for their customers across channels and touch points—and to differentiate your business and win new customers during a tough economy. Seven in 10 executives in our survey reported that their companies were planning significant or moderate investments in CX in 2023. Slightly more of them reported plans to spend on digital innovation over that same period as well.
“Companies are boosting investments in customer experience to bolster loyalty and retention, which continue to be hit hard due to the market downturn,” says Lou Celi, founder and CEO of ThoughtLab. “They are also spending more on digital innovation to drive cost-efficiency, productivity, resilience, and growth in other areas of their businesses.”
Sliced by industry, nearly 40% of telecoms have plans to invest heavily in CX this year, hoping to win over new customers or keep old ones in an industry notable for its high customer churn rate. At the same time, almost a third of manufacturers and the public sector plan heavy CX investment. Financial services and healthcare follow with 30% and 27%, respectively.
When it comes to plans for significant digital innovation investment in 2023, 40% of manufacturers say they plan to do so, versus 34% of healthcare firms, 31% of public sector and telecoms, and less than a quarter of financial services companies.
Surprisingly, companies that rank as digital leaders in the survey plan to invest less in digital transformation than those that are rated less digitally mature. Celi’s theory: Leaders are focused on using their advanced digital infrastructure to drive business performance, leaving laggards to play catch-up.