It’s the age of the customer and the world’s biggest brands are duking it out every day for a greater share of our hearts, minds, and wallets. Customers hold more decision power than ever in an era where information about any company’s products and services is just a mobile search away.

Where does the Voice of the Customer (VoC) land in the priorities for your company’s overall strategy? Forrester’s Customer Experience Council 2017 member survey shows that 79% of all respondents believe that measuring customer experience is a top priority.

Market research shows that the Customer Experience Management (CEM) market is estimated to grow from USD 5.06 Billion in 2016 USD 13.18 Billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 21.1%.” If you’re not investing in CX, it’s very likely that your competitors are.

The stage has been set – now let’s jump right into the top 12 Reasons to Invest More in Customer Experience (CX):

1. The ROI customer experience

Building customer loyalty and increasing revenue go hand in hand. When compared with customers who had negative experiences, those who had positive experiences were more likely to recommend, trust, try new products or services, purchase more, and forgive your company after a mistake.

2. What gets measured gets done

Measuring customer feedback is the first step to measuring up to your customers’ expectations. Whether you’re an advanced scorecard-driven enterprise or just beginning to think about CX, the most important thing to do is to start actively listening and measuring your customers’ feedback.

3. Time to set new customer experience goals

CX is not as fluffy as it may seem. There is real science and methodology to measuring and improving customer satisfaction (CSAT). There are many metrics to consider as part of your VoC program, but Bain & Company’s Net Promoter SystemⓇ and Forrester’s Customer Experience IndexⓇ stand out as the gold standard top-line metrics in the CX industry. What direction is your company’s NPSⓇ and/or CXiⓇ moving?

4. Elevate your operational performance

Operational performance and CSAT are inextricably linked. For example, it’s no coincidence that airlines with the best CX ratings also boast the highest percentage of on-time arrivals. The best CEM programs cause cross-functional customer-centric collaboration, which requires your company to break down organizational silos to be more valuable, efficient, and enjoyable to your customers.

5. Put the customer at the center of every decision

Your customers see you as one whole cohesive brand, regardless of how complex your organization, systems, and processes might be. When your customer interacts with your company, they don’t care about any bureaucracy, different divisions and departments, or roles and hierarchies.

6. Intelligently prioritize your company’s initiatives

It might feel a bit like the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during budget season when so many of your key stakeholders are clamoring to get their annual initiatives and projects funded. CEM arms you with the data and insights to prioritize your initiatives based on tangible customer impact, not just gut feel. It all starts by tying your operational and CSAT data together and walking in your customers’ shoes.

7. Plug-in and empower your employees

Ready to take your CX program to the next level? Tap into your company’s most valuable assets – your people. The more customer-facing employees with access to a real-time view of customer feedback, the more awareness, focus, and unity there is around your company’s CX mission and goals. The most democratized CEM programs are usually also the most successful.

8. Draw new actionable insights at scale

If you don’t already have a CEM program, imagine that you do. Tuned in, you start to see themes and trends in customer feedback and identify the main root causes behind your customers’ pain points. Who better to ask for ideas and suggestions than your front-line? Great CEM programs necessitate a governance structure that makes it easy to draw insights directly from your employees.

9. Your last customer’s experience could be their last

You try a new a restaurant, excited to get your grub on, and by the time you sign the check, you’ve decided that you won’t be recommending or returning – customer churn alert! Was it the wait time, service, food, or the bathroom? No matter if you’re a restaurant or an enterprise B2B operation, CEM programs help you identify and save your at-risk customers with real-time alerts and root cause analytics. Be ready to respond.

10. It’s time to take a hard look in the mirror

Living in the gap of how you think your customers perceive you versus the reality is a dangerous place to be. All great CEM programs start by listening to what your customers have to say, and this naturally forces you to face the sometimes difficult truths behind your customer’s biggest pain points. Don’t live in the gap.

11. Warm ups are over, it’s game time

Market leaders are using customer feedback to continuously innovate their CX and operations at scale. Harvey Manning from Forrester puts it best in his bluntly titled blog post: “When It Comes to Total Returns, Customer Experience Leaders Spank Customer Experience Laggards”. Is your company a CX leader or laggard?

12. Customer Experience Management is a journey

Whether you’re new to CX and starting at a foundational level or already have a state-of-the-art CEM program, investing in CX is always wise for your company’s long term success and growth. There is no overnight solution to becoming a fully customer-centric organization and getting your customers to love your products, services, and brand. The most important thing to do is to get started. Don’t be part of the 36% of companies ignoring the power of CX.