A global survey of 13,000 marketing, creative and technology professionals has found that customer experience management has emerged as the top strategic priority for businesses in the coming year.
The findings were published by Adobe and Econsultancy as part of the former’s Digital Trends report for 2018. 45% of respondents ranked customer experience as one of their three most important tasks in the next 12 months, with 20% listing it as their primary strategic focus.
Many think that they are on their way to achieving that goal, with 62% claiming that they have a “cohesive plan”, as well as long-term vision and executive support for making it happen. The report suggests that one of the keys to building effective customer experiences is creating cross collaboration between creative, content, marketing and web teams.
Those businesses that employ tools to facilitate streamlined workflows between different business functions are 62% more likely to show better business performance. 43% of respondents, however, reported that their current tech set-up is fragmented and inconsistent.
AI is seen as a key driver of customer experience execution, particularly in large enterprises, where 24% said they are making investments in the technology. The push towards AI adoption is often coming from the top of organisations. 57% of the c-suite respondents said that their companies were already using AI, or planning to.
There remain significant skills gaps in a large number of organisations. 40% or organisations currently lack the AI knowledge or resources that they need to make their plans a reality.
“Digital means that customers now have more power to engage with brands in their own terms,” John Watton, Senior Marketing Director, Adobe, said.
“This has changed the way companies interact with their customers, who expect great experiences as standard. For businesses that put the customer at the centre of everything they do, it’s clear the investments are paying off. But customer experience cannot just be the remit of marketing or customer services; it must be driven through every function of the organisation, from marketing and IT to product development and design. By breaking down organisational silos and using data and AI to combine analytical insight with design and creative capabilities, brands can offer stand-out experiences across every interaction.”