A recent Gartner report, “Customer Experience Benchmarks: What Kind of Organisation Are You?” looked at the various CX projects undertaken by 298 organisations worldwide, and researched how these projects were measured and what made them successful. In their research, they found interesting correlations between the size, priorities and successes for the many businesses involved. In particular:

  • Bigger organisations were the best at getting executive buy-in for CX improvement projects
  • Midsize firms were better at getting employee buy-in for CX projects
  • Smaller businesses had greater success with improved customer feedback and engagement

While it’s no surprise that different sized companies have different priorities and successes, having such a clear-cut view of the differences really shows where brands can make the most gains with their initiatives and benchmarking. Below is a graph that summarises some of the report’s findings:

Recreated from Customer Experience Benchmarks: What Kind of Organisation Are You? Gartner Inc., Copyright © Gartner, Inc., 2015.

In the findings, CX metrics were an important focus for the larger businesses, while smaller businesses were interested in channel benchmarking. All company sizes, of course, were focused on collecting feedback, but from there, their priorities shifted, largely in part to do with resources, budgets and executive buy-in. The report states: “Bottom line: Re-engineering customer processes is harder and more costly for larger organisations, but is necessary in order to remain competitive with smaller rivals in terms of CX. They key is to get the balance right between the CX projects that deliver organisational efficiencies versus those that deliver improved personalisation of service or products.”

This report is great news for brands that are struggling to clarify their CX targets, programmes and benchmarks. Seeing where other businesses of the same size are succeeding and struggling, may help to focus aims on more attainable results. For instance, the research suggests that “Larger organisations need to pay particular attention to C-level sponsorship; smaller organisations find greatest benefit focusing on customer feedback and interaction.”

The bigger organisations were also better at demonstrating ROI than smaller businesses, and these brands, unsurprisingly, on average, had the largest investments in CX projects. This created a positive cycle where, by demonstrating ROI, they were better able to get buy-in and consensus for CX investments across the whole organisation. For the smaller organisations, getting a clear vision of ROI was more difficult, leading the paper to suggest: “In the absence of clear dollar ROI benefits, use a mix of other metrics to evidence improvements in CX, such as customer satisfaction, net promoter or customer effort scores. Anecdotal benefits provide great highlights, but relying exclusively on this type of evidence is generally not sufficient to maintain a sustained CX improvement strategy.” In other words, it is no longer sufficient to just talk about how great CX is, we now need and can show proof of its benefits. If the exact numbers for ROI aren’t easy to attain, there are many other metrics and benchmarks that can encourage buy-in.

To be clear, the formation of CX goals and strategies should not be based solely on company size or sales. It should factor in industry type (which the report also mentions), customer journey types, moments of truth among other details. However, this research does provide a good jumping point for discussions into priorities that may be too ambitious for smaller brands, and priorities that are too narrowly focused for larger brands.

Want to learn more about how revenue relationships can determine your CX priorities? Check our previous post: 3 Revenue Relationship Models and What They Mean for Your CX Strategy.