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The Business of Experience: A New Business Imperative, Shows Study

Brands that reimagine their entire business through the lens of experience outperform their industry peers by six times in year-on-year profitability.

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Customer experience (CX) we know is a top priority to businesses today, and the reason is simple; the companies that focus on customer experience reduce churn and increase revenues – leading to higher profits. A new study however accentuates that brands that take their CX acumen one step ahead and reimagine their entire business through the lens of experience outperform their industry peers by six times in year-on-year profitability.

The report, titled “The Business of Experience (BX)”, led by Accenture Interactive, is based on survey research with over 1,550 executives across 21 countries including India and 22 industries to understand the role that the customer experience plays in driving long-term business growth, durability and relevance. This business of experience (BX), according to Accenture researchers is becoming the need of the hour in the post Covid-19 era.

So why should brands care about BX?

An evolution of CX, BX is a more holistic approach that allows organizations to become customer-obsessed and reignite growth, says the Accenture research.

Baiju Shah, chief strategy officer of Accenture Interactive and co-author of the report believes, while a focus on CX was limited to the chief marketing officer’s (CMO) or chief operating officer’s (COO) purview, BX is in the board room as a CEO priority because it ties back to every aspect of a company’s operations. In fact, 77% of CEOs said their company will fundamentally change the way it engages and interacts with its customers.

BX is very much a new category of leadership that savvy CEOs and their leadership teams will embrace as we move deeper into the coming decade. He calls this Business of Experience (BX) as an urgent business imperative.

“To grow in the coming year, every company and leader will need to think about experience differently – especially as nearly everything we do, from how we shop, to how and where we work, to how we interact with others — has been structurally upended,” explains Shah, adding that companies that put experience at the heart of their organization will ignite growth and be our new category of leaders into the year and decade ahead.

Becoming a Business of Experience

The research shows that leading companies – those that are independently performing well in terms of financial growth and business cycle endurance think about and act on the customer experience differently than their competitors. Take Netflix for example. Netflix didn’t just create a movie streaming service; it transformed the business of home entertainment by owning the experience around programming and how we watch it at home.

The research shows that these leading companies are far more likely to take the following BX approaches, enabling them to consistently outperform their peers.

  • Become customer-obsessed. Customer needs will likely continue to evolve, often unpredictably, beyond the fallout from the pandemic. As a result, companies should invest in ways to uncover customers’ unmet needs, both big and small. The research found that leading companies are twice as likely as others (55% vs. 26%) to say they have the ability to translate customer data into actions. But many of these same leaders say that there are limits to their data and what they can do as a result. That’s why it matters — to be truly customer obsessed, companies need better ways to dig deep and uncover these needs.
  • Make experience innovation an everyday habit. The research shows that leading companies feel better prepared to take advantage of the opportunity to innovate at scale as they are more than twice as likely to have the agility to pivot towards new models that deliver value and relevance to their customers versus their peers.
  • Expand the experience remit across their organization. Experience is not the responsibility of just the CMO or COO — it’s everybody’s business, from the C-suite down. Every person and every part of the business should be interconnected and collaborative, functioning as one cohesive, customer-obsessed unit, with delivering the best customer experience as its north star.
  • Sync the tech, data and human agenda. Becoming a business of experience is not about investing more but investing differently. Leaders redirect data, tech and people to enable agility that continuously unlocks efficiencies that can be reinvested in new opportunities for performance and growth. Among leaders, 61% said their company has a clear view of which technology platforms they need to leverage to remain competitive and relevant to customers, compared with only 27% of their peers.

In conclusion, as leaders seek to plot their path from pandemic recovery, back to growth, they recognize their strategy and execution needs to be re-designed.

In some ways, we are entering an exciting period of opportunity that we call the experience renaissance, that’s forcing brands to reimagine everything, and CEOs are at the helm of this inflection point.  The gist is that BX is an evolution where experience and customer obsession is not just about optimizing a touchpoint or a new work stream, but a new way of working, and a top priority across the entire C-suite, says the research author.

As Shah observes, BX may be a significant mindset shift, but we believe that over the years, it’s going to be an incredible engine for meaningful disruption, market differentiation and customer satisfaction.

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