IDC: Companies are spending more to improve customer experience

Increasing demand for better information and service by consumers and businesses alike are driving more companies to spend on improving their customer experience.
8 August 2019

McDonald’s self-service kiosk improved their customer satisfaction dramatically. Source: Shutterstock

Customer satisfaction is now a key focus for businesses as customers get increasingly modernized, and companies are responding by spending more on digital tools and technologies nowadays to provide a better experience.

As noted by IDC, worldwide spending on customer experience (CX) technologies will grow to US$508 billion by the end of 2019, jumping 8 percent from last year. 

The think tank also predicts that CX spending will record a CAGR of 8.2 percent between 2018 and 2022, with spends totaling US$641 billion by the end of the forecast period. 

Spending more to provide better customer satisfaction

In its forecast, IDC identified 15 areas where businesses are using technology to improve their CX, with investments leaning towards providing better customer care & support, improving order fulfillment processes, and more intelligent interaction management.

Further, AI-driven engagement, interaction management, and ubiquitous commerce are expected to see the greatest spending growth over the five-year forecast period.  

Among the 19 industries that were surveyed, the retail industry seemed most inclined to make investments in technologies that would improve the CX they offer to customers. Digital marketing, AI-driven engagement, and order fulfillment are the areas that retail organizations are most excited about this year. 

As for industries with the fastest spending growth over the forecast period, retail and healthcare stand out with 13.1 percent CAGR 11.5 percent CAGR.

CX sets companies apart

Given the strong customer demand for better experiences and smarter interactions, companies investing in technologies that help improve their CX expect to stand out and gain a competitive advantage.

AI and data analytics are taking the lead as key factors that set businesses apart, often influencing the success of these CX strategic initiatives.

Separate research conducted by IMImobile, a cloud communications specialist, reiterated IDC’s findings.

According to the firm, 98 percent of CIOs are being pushed to deliver on evolving business and customer expectations in terms of CX.

IMImobile SVP of Products Sudarshan Dharmapuri said, “It’s interesting to note that the use cases that will see the fastest spending growth are AI-driven engagement, omni-channel interaction management and ubiquitous commerce.

“Especially for large consumer-facing enterprises with fragmented, legacy IT environments, integrating such technologies and new communication channels remains a significant challenge. CX today is what CRM was for businesses 20 years ago, in essence, a must invest.”

In fact, delivering good customer expectations is critical to retaining customers and winning new business.

As noted by customer communications specialist firm Quadient VP of Business Partners Mike Davies, “Customers are increasingly turning their backs on businesses that don’t meet their expectations, and it’s easier than ever for them to do so thanks to regulators’ efforts to make switching easier across industries such as banking and utilities.

“The biggest aspect of customer experience businesses should be investing in is proactivity. Simply put, customers now expect service providers to send them the right information in the right way, at the right time.”