CMO’s State of CX Leadership 2022 report finds the CX striving to align to business outcomes

The new State of CX Leadership 2022 report has been released and shows how customer experience leaders are defending the customer imperative - and where they're struggling to achieve their goals

Are customer experience leaders truly connecting the dots between the business outcomes their organisations are looking to accomplish through CX improvements and investment, and the customer outcomes they’re prioritising?

It’s a question which sprung to light as we collated the data from CMO’s State of CX Leadership survey. The answer is directly correlated to the success and scope of influence CX leaders achieve in their remit. And judging from our findings, the jury is out on if they’ve got this yet.

Now in its second year, the State of CX Leadership research project explores the nature of modern CX leadership, from the role, remit and who is actually overseeing CX progress, to technologies, data sets, skills and capabilities being harnessed to progress the CX agenda within organisations today.

When it comes to executive ownership and sponsorship of CX, this year’s respondents indicate an increase in the number of CEOs or managing directors now taking up the mantle in companies, up from 7 per cent in 2021 to 28 per cent in 2022. Other common executive owners include general managers at a divisional or regional level (30 per cent) and dedicated chief customer or customer experience executives (13 per cent).

When it comes to CX functional make-up, respondents commonly oversee CX strategy and development (48 per cent), followed by customer service and support (41 per cent), customer insights and analytics (39 per cent), brand strategy (37 per cent) and communications (37 per cent).

Business versus customer outcomes

A new question asked in this year’s survey was about business versus customer outcomes providing the imperative for CX investment and focus. When it comes to business outcomes, top of the list for respondents is ‘customer experience optimisation’ (22 per cent), followed by ‘competitive advantage’ (20 per cent) and ‘increasing revenue’ (11 per cent). Leading the customer outcomes priority list, meanwhile, are customer trust (25 per cent), more personalised experiences for customers (22 per cent) and more seamless, integrated customer experiences (21 per cent).

It’s these findings that proved interesting to us, and particularly to Forrester VP and CX analyst, Riccardo Pasto.

“What these figures seem to show is whoever is responding is clearer on customer outcomes and not so sure about business outcomes,” he comments. “Take customer experience optimisation –what does this mean? Optimisation is a way to achieve something else – usually, a CEO is not talking about optimisation of CX. You might have a CEO talking about growth, or innovation, reinvention and survival.

“This data shows these leaders don’t truly understand most of the time what the important business goals of their organisations are.”

Other findings from this year’s State of CX Leadership feed into this idea CX leaders are still struggling to connect cross-organisational capabilities, data sets and measures both fuelling CX progress as well as demonstrating its business impact. The fact 71 per cent of organisations represented in the survey have executive or board-level KPIs directly connected to customer satisfaction, experience and lifetime value outcomes certainly demonstrates a strong emphasis on CX as a core business input today.

And of the main CX metrics used by CX professionals to gauge impact, customer satisfaction scoring is most common, albeit by less than half surveyed (35 per cent). Second highest is brand tracking and health (31 per cent), indicating the growing and necessary link being made between CX and brand health.

However, look down the ‘CX’ metrics list and you’ll see a persistent reliance on short-term metrics over the customer-led scoring better suited to more holistic, journey-based approaches to CX initiatives. For example, while customer loyalty program retention and value came third in the top CX metrics list (29 per cent), campaign metrics by program are still commonly used to measure CX success (25 per cent).

Want to read more? Then download your complimentary copy in full of the State of CX Leadership 2022 report from CMO here.

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