It’s all about the customer experience these days for product retailers, whether B2B or B2C—but most brands and businesses are dropping the ball at one point or another along the CX journey. And despite numerous strategies and tactics designed to facilitate the seamless experience, marketers often feel like committing time and resources to mastering CX might just be in vain.

New research from CX-focused agency Mindstream Interactive explores why CX is subject to such increasing scrutiny within the industry. Using in-depth research, including a survey of 131 industry professionals, the firm’s new study sheds light on current attitudes toward CX and the popular tools organizations use to establish a customer-centric culture.

92 percent of brand marketers believe prioritizing CX is crucial

However, the story becomes more compelling when compared with recent readouts on the verifiable impact of CX organizational initiatives. A study from Customer Think expands on this issue, finding only 23 percent of executives see tangible benefits from CX investments. The same report states 93 percent of CX initiatives are failing.

What’s new and what’s working with today’s CX planning—or is it all for nothing?

“This puts CX in peril of falling by the wayside—mistaken for just another fad—when it should be shaping the way forward-looking businesses operate,” said Steve Agganis, president of Mindstream, in a news release. “Companies are finding themselves struggling to articulate what being customer-focused means to their organization and they aren’t sure how to best activate against their planning efforts.”

What’s new and what’s working with today’s CX planning—or is it all for nothing?

According to the report, when done right, personas and journey maps can add a layer of empathy and context that bridges communication gaps and empowers your entire organization. But despite their prevalence in the industry, no one can seem to agree on what personas should be doing. By and large, they’re still your boilerplate one-page document replete with demographics, goals, pain-points, and a less-than-original-bio. But customer personas can be a powerful tool that helps the entire organization inform business decisions—including future CX initiatives.

What’s new and what’s working with today’s CX planning—or is it all for nothing?

Likewise, journey maps should be helping brands and businesses understand how customers move through the buying process, uncovering ways to engage them along the way. But according to the report, the traditionally static nature of the journey map as an artifact—often a scripted path between pre-determined starting and end points—doesn’t reflect today’s journey.

What’s new and what’s working with today’s CX planning—or is it all for nothing?

The new researchexplores:

  • If popular CX tools—like personas and journey maps—are working.
  • What makes for smarter, better personas.
  • Journey map best practices, allowing for extensibility and truly actionable plans.
  • How to document and prioritize opportunities around customer needs while balancing
    business impact.
  • Ways to foster customer empathy across an entire organization and who should be involved (HINT: everyone in every department).

What’s new and what’s working with today’s CX planning—or is it all for nothing?

Whether organizations are just starting the CX planning process, or working from previously established tools, this new research shines a light on the challenges and provides clear direction on how organizations can not only see, but realize, the true impact from their CX efforts.

Download the full report here.

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Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders.

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