CX Leaders Trends & Insights

2021 Corporate Edition

An Execs In The Know Report Series


CX Leaders Trends & Insights provides in-depth insights into the experiences and perspectives of both consumers and practitioners alike, including commentary and analysis from Execs In The Know community members.

The CX Leaders Trends & Insights Series is published twice yearly,
including a fall Consumer Edition and a late winter/early spring Corporate Edition.

This report, the CX Leaders Trends & Insights: 2021 Corporate Edition, is the follow-up to the 2021 Consumer Edition report of the same name released in October 2021. Together, the pair yield a 360-degree view of the customer experience (CX). From preferences to outcomes and the journey in between, the CX Leaders Trends and Insights series is designed to provide a wide lens view of the industry, touching on many topics, including consumer preferences, CX strategies, best practices, and so much more.

Results are further enhanced by Practitioner Perspectives, snapshot commentaries from CX leaders who are today driving CX excellence across a variety of industries. Unique to this edition is the Consumer Comparison section. This section provides a number of select findings that allow the reader to compare and contrast results from the two separate editions, providing unique insight into sometimes differing perspectives.

Key Insights

  • 66% of CX leaders described the shift to work-from-home (WFH) as having a “Very Positive” or “Positive” impact on their ability to meet their customers’ needs and expectations.
  • 71% of survey respondents indicated ongoing internal operational challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary residual challenge — workforce shortages.
  • Year-over-year, outsourcing pay models remained most unchanged, with two exceptions: both “Per Full-Time Employee” and “Risk/Reward Basis” saw similar pullbacks of roughly one-third, likely an expression of a tight labor market and a stronger shift to an on-demand workforce.
  • 84% of respondents in 2021 felt their brands were generally meeting needs and expectations. This result has trended up since 2019, possibly due to the perceived changes in consumer expectations resulting from the onset of the pandemic.
  • Only 16% of CX leaders thought agents trained remotely performed worse than those trained in-center, down from 29% in 2020 (page 13)
  • 45% of respondents have made a change to their outsourcing partner portfolio in the past 18 months, while 44% expect no geolocation shifts in the future.
  • 69% of CX leaders expect “Support Technologies” to be among their top three areas of investment in 2022, with “Recruiting, Hiring, Onboarding, and Training/Coaching” a distant second, at 32%.
  • While CX leaders think consumers mostly want more Self-Service solutions to make the process as easy as possible, most consumers actually want reduced wait times and better agents; at the same time, only 45% of respondents are measuring the abandonment rates of their self-service solutions.
  • 19% of CX leaders don’t think their organizations are using program data in an appropriate and productive way.

  • Read and download the full
    CX Leaders Trends & Insights: 2021 Corporate Edition report.

practitioners' perspectives

A massive thank you to all the CX leaders who contributed their insights and experiences as a part of this release’s Practitioners’ Perspectives. These individuals include:

Thumbtack, Bank of America, groupon, Panera Bread, AAA the Auto Group Club, best egg, Optimere, Memorial Hermann, KAR Global, Evolve vacation rental

We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our edition sponsor, Cresta, pioneers of realtime intelligence for customer conversations.

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