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77% of CEOs Signal Market Shift To Business of Experience

To remain relevant and grow as a business, a vast majority of leaders say their company will fundamentally change how it engages with customers

Business leader addressing team

First came customer experience. The much-needed employee experience followed. The next frontier CEOs need to conquer? The business of experience.  

And it looks as if many have already set up an action plan. According to Accenture’s recent Business of Experience report, 77% of CEOs said their company will fundamentally change the way it engages and interacts with its customers. They recognize for business growth, durability, and relevance to happen, change must occur.1

The report looks at the evolution of customer experience (CX) as leaders shift to a new way of thinking about experience. Finding consensus among almost 80% of CEOs is significant. It means fundamental changes are underway in how businesses of all kinds engage with their customers. It also highlights that more enterprises will reinvent themselves as a business of experience (BX).

So, what is BX? This renaissance is driving companies to push beyond the traditional CX philosophy and orient the whole business around the delivery of exceptional experiences. These experiences must respond to customers’ new, often unmet, and frequently changing needs. BX is about the whole company anticipating and delivering on these expectations to provide customer value. 

For example, Netflix adapted and evolved to more than a movie streaming service; it transformed its entire company to own the experience around content and how we watch it at home and on demand. Just as Venmo didn’t just create a standard payment processing app; it offered a user-friendly, universal experience for digitally exchanging money with friends and family regardless of bank affiliation.

BX builds on CX’s foundations to offer organizations a more holistic approach to become customer obsessed and reignite growth, according to the report. It adds where CX was limited to the chief marketing officer’s (CMO) or chief operating officer’s (COO) purview, BX sits in the boardroom as a CEO priority because it ties back to every aspect of a company’s operations. 

Here, I’ll explore how a company can shift to becoming a business of experience, including using technology — specifically Salesforce — for a faster, easier, and more organic transformation.

BX builds on CX’s foundations to offer organizations a more holistic approach to become customer obsessed and reignite growth

Experience as a north star

Transformational programs take place for myriad reasons and with varied business cases. Rarely does the program start with effectively contemplating or quantifying the yielding customer experience. Investing in the design of the desired experience up front and establishing the leading and lagging financial indicators to improve customer experience is a critically important shift.

The same is true when implementing a new technology platform. Salesforce has always focused on the customer. That makes the platform a natural fit for any organization on its BX journey. The real opportunity? Changing the mindset around why you implement Salesforce. Many times, organizations choose a technology to replace another system or solve a tactical challenge. Experience then becomes a byproduct of implementing the technology, instead of the technology powering this new, differentiated experience. 

Become data-led

Data must inform how we design leading experiences —  as well as how we continue to adjust and evolve those experiences. This applies to all types of organizations: B2B, B2C, B2B2C, and even B2C2B. Data tells us about customer preferences, behaviors, habits, likes, dislikes, and preferred engagement models. Too often, we do not connect all of these insights with the deliberate design of experience. This is a unique skill set. Understanding your customers’ data and what their behaviors tell you is an important guide to getting into the business of experience. In fact, the research found that leading companies are twice as likely as others (55% vs. 26%) to say they can translate customer data into actions.

Embedding data into your programmatic decision making becomes easier with good tools. For example, Salesforce’s Tableau provides a platform to become more predictive and prescriptive in evaluating and adapting customer experiences — a key element in the shift to BX.  

How to win, with technology as a catalyst for change

The BX report lays out four winning approaches leading companies that independently perform well are far more likely to take to outperform their peers. Choosing the right technology platform can put organizations on the fast track to realizing those approaches. Among leading companies, 61% said they have a clear view of which technology platforms they need to leverage to remain competitive and relevant to customers, compared with only 27% of their lagging peers. 

Here is a quick preview of those winning ways and ways to learn more about these topics: 

BX has become an imperative for all companies. Centering on experience, becoming data-led, and using technology as a platform to drive change improves your chances for success. Having strong transformational and technology partners is also just as important. Accenture and Salesforce are proud to partner on this agenda together.

Learn more about reimagining customer experience with Salesforce. 

1Accenture C-level BX Survey; data collected from November 2019 to January 2020, with a refresh in May-June 2020

Disclaimer: This document refers to marks owned by third parties. All such third-party marks are the property of their respective owners. No sponsorship, endorsement or approval of this content by the owners of such marks is intended, expressed or implied. 

Copyright © 2021 Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture and its logo are registered trademarks.


As senior managing director, Yusuf leads the Salesforce Business Group at Accenture. He is responsible for the business strategy, sales and delivery, innovation and investments, ecosystem partnerships, and overall performance of Accenture’s global Salesforce business. Yusuf leads a team of over 20,000 Salesforce professionals, inclusive of strategy, advisory, technology, and digital expertise.

In his personal client engagements, Yusuf has worked with over 100 companies in more than 20 countries. He has extensive experience in digital front-office transformation, including business strategy, operating model, and large-scale technology implementation. Yusuf’s insights have been cited by Forbes, CRM Magazine and CSO Insights.

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