“The UK Customer Experience Decision-Makers’ Guide” is based on surveys with 211 UK organisations and 1,000+ interviews with UK consumers. 


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Report key findings and contents


Key findings:


How Important is Customer Experience to Organisations?


49% of UK businesses say that customer experience, rather than price or quality, is the main factor upon which they wish to compete: many organisations are now seeing CX as being the key to profitability. However, it remains to be seen how the upcoming economic challenges will alter strategies.


How has the Pandemic Affected Customer Experience?


27% of survey respondents reported that their CX was still not back to pre-pandemic levels, with somewhat more B2C businesses stating this to be the case.


The majority of these stated that higher-than-usual contact volumes were a problem for them, alongside insufficient agent headcount.


Almost 4 in 5 contact centre agents are still working remotely at the moment, and businesses expect that more than half of them will still be doing so in 2022.


CX Budget, ROI & Investment


The primary purpose of CX improvements was said to be increasing customer retention rates. A reduction in the cost of service was also rated highly.


40% of CX investment is being spent on technology, with 27% on business process improvements and 19% on employee training.


Digital channels take up 56% of CX investments, with telephony accounting for 36% and physical stores only 5%.


There is a strong belief that board-level support for CX improvements is strong, but the widespread finding that there is not always enough time and resource for CX improvement shows that having a customer-centric culture does not easily or necessarily translate into actual action to improve CX.


Technology and Customer Experience


The issue of legacy technology holding back customer experience is reported to be a major problem by 40% of survey respondents. While there has been a very significant move to cloud – supported recently by the need for remote working – it is clear that there is still a long way to go before businesses can fully develop their CX-supporting technology.


Web chat, an omnichannel interaction hub and web self-service are the technologies reported to have the greatest positive impact on CX.


In terms of intended new implementations in the next 12 months, AI dominates, with web chat, analytics and mobile customer service also receiving serious interest. In the longer-term, speech recognition and analytics were seen by respondents as likely investments.


What Does CX Mean to a Customer?


First-contact resolution is clearly seen as being the most important factor impacting upon customer experience, with 50% of respondents ranking it in first place, and a further 31% placing it within the top three. A short wait time is also seen as being indicative of a positive customer experience.


Organisations surveyed for this report had a very slight tendency to believe that their customer base would prefer to speak to a person rather than use automation, even if the outcome and effort were the same. However, when customers were asked the same question, it was found that they were much more strongly in favour of speaking to a human employee than businesses had believed, with 67% preferring human interaction and only 19% choosing automated self-service.


The report looked at which channels customers prefer to use, depending upon whether the issue is emotional, urgent or complex. High-emotion issues (including complaints) saw a high level of email, urgent issues were often handled by self-service or phone, and complex issues used phone, email and physical visits to the office or branch.



CX Benchmarking


Email (35%) and live agents (23%) were the most popular ways of gathering customer feedback.


On average, 9.4% of telephone calls received by a contact centre were complaints, although 82% were not about the contact centre itself (or its staff), but rather ‘failure demand’, caused by a breakdown of process elsewhere in the organisation.


Only 5% of businesses do nothing when made aware that a customer is dissatisfied.


The average NPS score is 48. 40% of survey respondents report missing their target quality scores, and 44% have a lower customer satisfaction score than their target.


Survey respondents were asked to pick a single customer experience metric upon which their board or senior management team most judged the success or otherwise of the customer experience programme. There was a wide mix of responses, with NPS and customer satisfaction score accounting for almost 60% of responses.


Interestingly, despite first-contact resolution rate being reported as the key to driving positive customer experience, only 5% of businesses stated that it was the CX metric considered most important by the senior management team.


CX Future Strategy


Survey respondents were asked their opinion on how important various customer experience developments would be to their organisation in the next two years.


Perhaps the most striking finding was that the most important factor determining the future success of the CX programme was not technology-related, but rather a requirement for the continuing and strengthening executive commitment to improving customer experience, without which the multi-departmental CX initiatives could not hope to succeed.




Report contents:


Introduction and Methodology

Supplier Directory

How Important is Customer Experience to Organisations?

  • How Do Organisations Compete?
  • CX Governance

How has the Pandemic Affected Customer Experience?

  • Changes in call volumes
  • Remote Working

CX Budget, ROI & Investment

  • Main Aims of the CX Improvement Programme
  • CX Investment: People, Process, Technology
  • CX Investment: Channel Focus
  • Corporate Support for the CX Programme


  • Current and Future Use of Customer Contact Technology
  • Effect of Technology on the Customer Experience
  • Are Technology Issues Holding Back Customer Experience?
  • Does CX Technology affect customer experience?
  • The Role of Analytics in Customer Experience
  • Current and Expected Usage of Video

What Does CX Mean to a Customer?

  • The View from the Business
  • The View from the Customer
  • First-Contact Resolution Rates & Customer Experience

Omnichannel and the Customer Experience

  • Live or Automation?
  • The View from the Business
  • The View from the Customer
  • Omnichannel: the consumer’s choice
  • High Emotion Interactions
  • High Urgency Interactions
  • High Complexity Interactions

CX Benchmarking

  • Customer Surveys
  • Employee Feedback
  • Complaint Analysis
  • Speech Analytics
  • Voice of the Customer Analytics
  • Mystery Shopping
  • The Use of CX Benchmarking Methods

CX Future Strategy

  • The Importance of CX Developments
  • Conclusion: CX Strategies


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