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Customer experience is greater priority than marketing, C-suite executives say

More than half of senior executives view customer experience as the most important way to differentiate their brand, but lack clear leadership and insights.

UK and US business executives rank customer experience above sales and marketing as their key focus in 2017.

In a report by customer engagement specialist Calabrio – titled ‘Success in The Experience Era: Connecting Customer and C-suite’ – 100% of C-suite executives surveyed are prioritising the customer, in contrast to just 58% who cited sales and revenue as their primary concern.

The study surveyed 844 senior business decision makers from across the globe, including more than 350 C-level execs, on their business priorities and views on customer experience.

The importance of delivering exceptional customer experiences is now more apparent than ever. More than half (52%) of senior leadership globally view customer experience as the most important way of differentiating their brand.

However, the study uncovers that companies and their C-suites have hurdles to clear before they can fully understand and engage customers. For example, nearly half (47%) of CMOs feel that they do not have the right tools deployed in order to understand their customers’ greatest challenges. And, at the heart of the problem is a lack of clear customer ownership post-sale – only 35% of CMOs believe that using customer data insights is their responsibility, while a mere 29% of CCOs claimed ownership. Looking further across the C-suite, only 37% of CEOs stake a claim on improving customer experiences.

Tom Goodmanson, CEO at Calabrio said: “It is clear that the customer is paramount to success. But the challenge comes in understanding how customers interact with businesses, particularly when it comes to the contact centre. The challenge is two-fold: first to ensure businesses are gathering accurate customer insights as a rich source of business intelligence, and secondly to understand how this data can be used to inform wider business improvement and customer engagement strategies.”

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