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Forrester: CX Improvement Flat, Pragmatism in 2019


December 10, 2018

Customer experience has become a popular term. With all the talk about it, you’d think companies would have made some real headway on CX improvement. But, in fact, 2018 was basically a CX fail. And 2017 and 2016 weren’t so hot either.

At least that’s what Forrester (News - Alert) says in its new report “Predictions 2019: Transformation Goes Pragmatic.” The research firm reports CX performance this year was flat. And it notes more than half of digital transformation efforts have stalled.

“Although some progressive CIOs and CMOs drove change, most struggled to compel their organizations to see and act differently,” the company explains.

It attributes the struggle to an array of factors. Fear change would negatively impact quarterly performance is a big one. Some companies lack executive cohesion around CX efforts, Forrester adds. Organizational readiness can also be a barrier. And businesses run into trouble with CX when they underestimate the work required to address and improve CX, says Forrester.

As a result, it continues, “20 percent of brands will give up on strategic CX initiatives and resort to price reduction for short-term gains.” And a quarter of companies will decelerate digital efforts altogether and lose market share, Forrester says.

On the one hand, that’s surprising, considering all the discussion and work around CX and DX. On the other hand, changing culture, creating new strategies, and getting the underlying systems in place to enable new efforts is hard. And businesses exist to money, not reach for some nebulous, pie-in-the-sky goals that are challenging to define and difficult to achieve. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many organizations stick with – or revert to – existing processes that are proven and with which employees, leaders, and stockholders are comfortable.

So what’s next?

Forrester’s read is that 2019 will be a year of pragmatism. That means businesses will be more “surgical” in their CX and DX efforts. And it suggests these specific, targeted efforts will serve to build confidence and create building blocks for larger strategies in 2020.



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