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Study: The Customer-Obsessed Finance Leader in the Age of Data

Leveraging Data & Analytics to Pursue the Customer Experience

We are deeply embedded into the age of the customer, and the key to survival is data-driven and insights-driven customer obsession. Forrester’s research shows that positive customer experience (CX) correlates to greater increases in revenue and profitability. In February 2017, Dun & Bradstreet commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate how enterprises are leveraging data and analytics to drive decisions and strategy in pursuit of customer obsession and the role the CFO plays in achieving that goal. Forrester conducted an online survey of 250 finance executives at organizations with $150 million or more in revenue to explore this topic.

“53% of finance leaders surveyed are responsible or accountable for their organizations’ customer-focused initiatives.”
 

The study revealed distinct CX data strategy differences between the firms that merely have good customer experience intentions and those that translate customer strategies into favorable business results. As the strategic steward of business outcomes, the CFO has a considerable stake in their organization’s client obsession efforts. Given the strong link between improved customer strategy and business results, it is critical for CFOs to take an active role in leading their organizations from customer-focused to customer-obsessed.

 

Four key findings of the 2017 Forrester Study were:

  1. CFOs have an important role to play in the pursuit of data-inspired customer obsession.
  2. CFOs need a new data-inspired operating model to understand and overcome barriers.
  3. Customer obsession and CX strategy require mastery of seven key data maturity and competency factors.
  4. An investment in data allows for actionable insights.

Of the 250 finance executives surveyed, nearly all organizations are prioritizing improving customer experience or addressing rising customer expectations either in the near term or next year. But this transformation can be a challenge for many organizations, impeded by disconnected strategies, innovations, and technology investments.

The key to success? Organizations must go beyond customer focused and use analytics and data become customer obsessed. A customer-obsessed enterprise relentlessly focuses its strategy, operations, and budget to enhance its knowledge of and engagement with customers.

 

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