- Half of large global firms will report customer experience metrics, but only 5% will link them to financials, according to analyst firm Forrester, which released its 2024 customer experience predictions Wednesday.
- Forrester also found that 2 in 5 CX teams will turn away work because they won’t have the capacity or resources to complete it.
- “If you look at the global 100 as an example, there are a good number of them that are reporting something that feels CX-like. The problem is what we need is that connection to a company’s financials,” Judy Weader, a principal analyst at Forrester, told CX Dive. “So what these firms are telling their owners is, ‘Yes, customer experience is important,’ but it's words, and it's disconnected numbers.”
In taking a look at the largest 100 companies in the world, Forrester found that time and again, CX teams aren’t great at reporting metrics — and they’re even worse at connecting it to their company’s financial goals.
Forrester’s predictions are based on shareholder reports, earnings calls and regular discussions with CX leaders. More than half of CX leaders couldn’t connect their CX metrics to business impact in 2022, according to Forrester. While some companies have linked these metrics to ROI, only a few share them publicly.
Weader points to two examples: UnitedHealth Group, which includes CX metrics in its annual reports, and Apple, which buries CX work in its environmental, social, governance report and index.
The failure to report metrics, and to connect them with business goals, is a missed opportunity.
Weader says that when she speaks with a CEO and explains how improving an aspect of their customer experience can either save the company money or meet their specific business strategy, the CEO’s excitement is so palpable, “they start leaning across the table.” “Right now, that's not happening in those shareholder releases,” she said.
Without telling shareholders and executives how CX work is benefiting the bottom line, CX teams won’t receive the support or investment they need to do their work.
Forrester found that more than half of CX teams have been able to convince leadership to invest more energy and focus into their customers’ experience, but they haven’t convinced leadership to invest the money. Just over half of CX leaders expect their budget to stay flat or grow by just 1% to 4% in 2024.
“The remit of the CX team is growing, which is great, but the level of staffing is not rising commensurate with the level of ink or the increased level of need,” Weader said. "If we think about a CX program being able to grow its sphere of influence and the level of things that it can possibly do within an organization, but you're being told we're not going to give you a ton more people to be able to do it, so figure out how to do more.”
As a result, the work is often turned away or absorbed by other teams that don’t have the skills to do CX.
Forrester encourages companies to connect CX work to ROI with something “meaningful and measurable” — and to advocate for a larger budget with the increased focus on improving a customer’s interactions with a company.
“You want something that's quantifiable,” Weader said. “Even if you can't talk dollars and cents or pounds or euros, you can probably say, ‘We believe we can lean 5% of calls out of the call center,’ and anybody who's in an executive position should be able to say, ‘Oh, 5% out is gonna save us money.’”