The State of Customer Experience: Fall 2021

It’s that time of the year again when folks are looking for predictions about what customer experience will look like next year and beyond. I find it more interesting to reflect on this year as a follow-up to the shitshow that was known as 2020. What did brands learn last year? What are they doing differently this year? Will it stick going into the future? (That’s where the real trends and predictions lie.) How quickly did customer insights rise in importance? How are they being used now?

In late September, Momentive surveyed 263 self-reported customer experience professionals in the US to gauge their thoughts on various aspects of the state of customer experience today, with a heavy focus on data, insights, and CX tools. The customer voice is at the heart of a customer-centric culture, and data is at the heart of designing and delivering a great customer experience, so I appreciate that the focus of this study is on that.

Most (94%) of respondents said that feedback from customers plays at least some role in their company’s strategy, but it’s not a resounding priority across all companies/respondents: Fifty-one percent say it’s a leading driver, and 63% of these folks say it’s a major contributor to the organization’s revenue and growth. Forty-three percent said feedback plays a role but not as a leading driver, and only 25% of this group said it’s a major contributor to revenue and growth.

Customer feedback affords businesses the ability to be more proactive, more adaptable, and more agile to changing needs and expectations. Those who said that feedback is a leading driver were, with regards to many metrics, as much as twice as confident in their ability to act and adapt than those who said feedback plays a role but isn’t a leading driver.

More than half (56%) of respondents reported that their company’s growth is driven by customers, rather than sales, product, or marketing. Interestingly, only 17% of those who say that feedback is a leading driver reported that growth is driven by sales, while 29% of those where feedback plays a role but is not a leading driver cited sales-driven growth.

Lesson: being customer-centric, bringing the customer voice into all you do, has its benefits!

Related: Three Critical Steps From Sales-centric to Customer-centric