Key challenges impeding customer experience improvements.

Gartner defines customer experience (CX) as – “the customer’s perceptions and related feelings caused by the one-off and cumulative effect of interactions with a supplier’s employees, systems, channels, or products. As CX becomes a top priority for organisations, those supporting CX should understand what is holding back improvements to CX”.

The 2021 Gartner survey – Customer Experience Priorities for IT and Business Technologists examined organisations:

  • CX priorities.
  • Challenges.
  • Metrics.
  • Governance structures and
  • Technology investments.

One of the questions asked within this survey was: “What are the top three challenges preventing your organisation from delivering an improved customer experience?”. The challenges most often provided in response to this particular question included:

  • Having a lack of clarity or visibility about actions taken.
  • Technology limitations.
  • Weak cross-departmental coordination and
  • Resistance to change.

Lack of clarity or visibility about actions taken:

“34% of respondents placed ‘lack of clarity or visibility about actions taken’ in their top three challenges”.

From a future thinking perspective, clearly articulating CX objectives, plans and actions is a non-negotiable, as is answering questions such as the ‘why’ ‘how’ and ‘why now’ of CX. Additionally, answering the “what’s in it for me?” question from employees, organisations can continue to enhance clarity and minimise the risk that a lack of clarity will hinder CX.

Alternatively, organisations need to be clear about the outcome(s) of CX actions already taken. For instance, prior to a major CX action being taken, make a prediction as to what the outcome will be and why. Once the action has been taken and is complete, observe the results: were the results consistent with the predicted outcome? Why or why not? Finally, engage your organisation in such discussions to enable further improvements.

Lastly, it is important to celebrate the success of CX improvements by recognising the employees who were involved. This not only fuels momentum but also encourages a continued focus on CX initiatives. 

Technology limitations:

“32% of respondents cited “technology limitations” in their top three challenges”. 

This calls attention to a primary principle of CX: that success is found by looking “outside-in,” and not “inside-out.” What does this mean? – Organisations must start with the needs of customers (“outside”) and be willing to restructure internal operations and technological capabilities to meet those needs (“inside”).

This finding could also refer to:

  • A general limitation of technology available in the market to achieve CX objectives.
  • Limited budget to acquire the necessary technology. 

Therefore, organisations must assess where technology is limiting CX, identify gaps, and strategise ways to close them.

Weak cross-departmental coordination:

“31% of respondents cited “weak cross-departmental partnerships/coordination” in their top three challenges”.

Successful execution and management of CX requires close coordination amongst departments organisation wide. There are a few ways to foster this type of collaboration, for example:

  • Through the formation of a CX steering committee with representation from several departments within an organisation.
  • Bring together representatives from departments that influence a given customer journey and hold regular customer journey mapping workshop.

Resistance to change:

“27% of respondents cited “resistance to change” in their top three challenges”. 

It’s no secret that organisational inertia and the desire to retain the status quo is a common speed bump within many organisations, which in turn can impede CX. Therefore, to mitigate this issue, it can be effective to communicate the benefits of CX and directly address the “what’s in it for me?” question. However, it is also essential ask the opposite of such questions as well, for example: 

  • What are the consequences if we choose not to act?
  • What CX improvements have our competitors made recently, which we have not, and why?

CX frequently focuses on objectives of ambition: products to launch, objectives to achieve or enhancements to implement. However, the difference is often found in knowing what is holding back CX improvements and identify ways to mitigate the effects of these impediments.  

How can we help?

Here at HOED Research we know that developing a quality CX plan that yields actionable insights and is able to be understood and nurtured organisation wide can be difficult. And without the proper expertise you could cost your business a lot of time and money for little to no reward.

Simple data collection mistakes such as:

  • Not asking the right questions or asking too many questions.
  • Asking leading or confusing questions.
  • Sending surveys too often.
  • Making responses too general.
  • Not speaking the customers language, and
  • Making use of multiple feedback platforms

Will all limit the quality of your customer feedback and creates “inapplicable insights”. This is when teaming up with a third party like HOED Research becomes essential. Our team has the expertise to help your business streamline successful CX growth!

We guarantee to provide excellent value, a wealth of experience, quick turnaround of results, actionable insights, extensive professional reporting and competitive pricing! Feel free to Contact the HOED Research team today to further discuss your requirements at