Ninth annual UserTesting CX survey reveals a surge in demand for human insight to drive customer empathy and understanding

UserTesting, a leader in video-based human insight, today released the 2022 CX Industry Report that reveals a strong global demand for actionable human insight across every industry and every size organisation as customers’ needs and expectations continue to evolve and grow. Accessing customer perspectives to stay relevant and competitive is now a requirement for business success. 

When surveyed about their top priorities for the year, executives overwhelmingly reported that addressing market changes related to the pandemic was a top priority for them, jumping to 65 percent, a 35 percent increase over last year. One strong indication for how executives plan to address this priority is looking to customer experience to stay competitive and grow.

Although the survey found that executives and employees are enthusiastic about making customer empathy a part of their regular business processes, a lack of time, resources and organisational support continue to be key obstacles. Teams can’t meet the demand for human insight if their organisations aren’t structured to operationalize the strategy, and that’s where executives come into play. Organisations are relying on executive leadership to help address that last mile of the CX maturity journey. 

The 2022 CX Industry Report revealed three key trends influencing the future of customer experience and human insight:

  • Human insight is in high demand

A better understanding of the customer has never been more important. Human insight plays a pivotal role in not only creating better customer experiences but helping organisations develop better products and services. The value of human insight is clear as the research revealed that having a dedicated team for UX and CX research increased by 39 percent since 2020. Despite this growth, UX and CX researchers reported that they don’t have the capacity to take on more work. Less than half (44 percent) say that they can keep up with the requests they get for research projects, which aligns with what other teams report as well. A lack of time, resources, and feedback platform were the key roadblocks for these teams when it comes to gaining human insight.

  • Improving CX maturity hasn’t translated into execution (yet)

Meeting the demand for human insight has been challenging but despite this, many organisations reported that they have been improving their CX maturity. Since first being asked in 2020 how mature their organisations were when it came to providing great CX, teams have consistently reported improvements year over year, with a 50 percent improvement between 2020 and 2022. However, the improvements in maturity don’t lead to fully executed CX strategies. Less than 50 percent of all marketers, designers, and product teams reported that they’re regularly getting feedback on key experiences they create. 

  • CX is both a solution and a challenge for many executives 

Executives recognize the value of human insight to create great customer experiences—seventy-eight percent of executives noted that CX is a top area of investment for them. However, expectations and reality are not yet aligned. It was found that 80 percent of executives say they have a strategy in place to improve customer experience, yet only 19 percent of respondents would describe their organisation as ‘Visionary’ when it comes to CX maturity. Although executives may think they have a strategy and investment plan in place to help them compete based on CX, their teams are reporting otherwise. 

“It is encouraging that more executives see the value of including customer feedback in the decision making process, yet it’s equally disconcerting that companies are challenged with being able to truly operationalize their customer experience strategies,” said Janelle Estes, chief insights officer at UserTesting. “When organisations fail to listen to their customers and are unable to put themselves in their customers’ shoes, they risk missing out on opportunities to grow their business and strengthen their product and experiences.”