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13 Stunning Stats on the Growing CX Leadership Gap

Written by Alida

Published September 20, 2017

Growth in customer experience (CX) innovation has flatlined, and it’s likely you’re on the wrong side of the widening gap.

According to Forrester’s Customer Experience Index, 2017, today’s businesses across 21 industries are plagued by a growing “CX leadership gap.” The research firm's Customer Experience Index (CX Index) methodology measures how well a brand’s CX strengthens the loyalty of its customers, and is used to benchmark CX performance at 314 U.S. brands.

The report found the CX leadership gap is the result of either stagnant or declining CX improvements between 2016 and 2017 as, generally speaking, CX quality worsened. In fact, twice as many brand scores fell as rose. On average, losses were, bigger than gains. And for the first time, no industry averages improved.

Here are 13 notable stats from Forrester's report.

How bad is it?

1. Twice as many brands sank  as rose, with 49 of the brands in the index losing points, while only 24 gained points.

2. Twenty-one brands dropped by at least five points, but just three brands improved by at least five points.

3. Two brands lost more than 10 points, but not one brand in the CX Index gained more than 10 points.

4. Brands that worsened lost an average of five points, while brands that improved gained an average of just four points. This is in stark contrast to Forrester’s 2016 study, in which only 11 brands declined while 58 improved.

5. For the first time, the number of brands in the excellent category fell to zero, and the percentage of scores in the good category sank from 17 percent to 16 percent.

Who lost and who gained?

6. Not a single industry average improved in this year CX Index, while three industries dropped: auto and home insurance providers, parcel shipping/delivery providers, and Internet service providers, which were slightly worse than last year.

7. JetBlue Airways held onto first place this year, but the top five airlines only rated an “okay” rating among customers. 

8. The hotel industry managed to be mediocre, with the top ten 10 major brands scoring “okay.”

9. Four of the 17 health insurance providers got a “okay” ranking in the Forrester CI Index, but everyone else in the industry ranked as “poor.” The moderately young business of over-top-top (OTT) content providers didn’t fare much better than more established industries. Only Netflix managed a “good” score, while the remaining players squeaked out with an “okay.”

Do you want to avoid becoming a statistic?

If you want to be on the right side of the ever-widening CX leadership gap, you need to tap into the emotions of your customers, according to Forrester, and it’s not just about making customers happy. If you want loyalty, you also need to make them feel appreciated, confident, delighted, respected and valued.

10. The research firm found that in the traditional retail industry, 91 percent of customers who feel valued plan to stay with the brand.

11. Eighty-nine percent plan to increase their spending with the brand.

12. Ninety-percent will advocate for the brand.

Emotions have an impact on the bottom line.

Do you want to be a leader rather than a laggard?

If you find that you’re mired in mediocrity like many in the Forrester CX Index, the time to act is now. There are ways to reclaim customer loyalty so you’re not on the wrong side of the widening CX leadership gap.

Those brands that invoke those six key emotions will reap the rewards while competitors languish.

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