Customer experience key for business growth

Customers ahead sign

Organisations are dramatically changing their business models in an attempt to ensure their customer experiences are relevant to the changing demands of customers.

Rather than businesses focusing solely on product and service innovation, they must think of new ways to attract customers and that's usually by providing a unique experience that cannot be gained from competitors, according to analyst firm Gartner.

Gartner's research, which polled almost 300 Gartner Research Circle Members, found that although companies are carrying out an average of almost six customer experience campaigns a year, a third of participants said these projects involved significant changes to their business models.

The most popular customer experience campaigns related to collecting and analysing customer feedback, then communicating these actions to employees and customers. Second on the list was reconfiguring customer process and, in third place, decision makers said their activities related to launching self-service products and creating tools to select, order, track and stop product purchases.

Worryingly, the fewest leaders said they were using customer experience to honouring data privacy or building trust. However, attitudes towards these are changing and the members said they were planning more projects centred on unifying their organisation, improving consistency across channels and driving customer loyalty in 2015.

Nick Inglebrecht, research director at Gartner, said: "The findings...underline the fact that customer experience improvements are complex undertakings. There is no silver bullet that will, by itself, improve the overall experience. But the combination of projects, if implemented well, can cumulatively contribute to the improvement of an organization's customer experiences."

By 2018, more than half of organisations will have implemented significant business model changes to improve customer experience, according to Gartner.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.