It’s a challenging time for customer experience (CX) leaders: Companies have lost their focus on customers, customer expectations continue to rise, and the economy is becoming more turbulent. Despite these challenges, a whopping 82% of CX leaders predict that their budgets will rise in the next 12 months, according to new Forrester data. Forrester contends that CX leaders are overly optimistic about their budget prospects. We anticipate that most CX programs will have to cut spending in at least some areas as economic turbulence continues.

In this environment, CX leaders must invest to maximize the ROI of their CX programs. Those who don’t will find their budgets slashed — especially if economic troubles persist.

To help CX leaders boost the effectiveness of their work, we recommend increasing funding in five key areas. One of these areas is customer journey orchestration (CJO) technologies. Journey orchestration is a thoughtful approach to designing customer journeys that helps organizations respond to shifts in customer behavior. CJO platforms can model changing customer behaviors in real time, help integrate quantitative and qualitative customer insights in a journey context, and bridge the gap between data science and design researchers. As a result, CJO platforms are a critical need for CX functions that want to help their companies differentiate for customers who seek adaptive, personalized experiences.

CX leaders should run a tight ship, regardless of their companies’ customer focus and the economic climate. In the operating environment that CX leaders now face, however, it is especially vital to save money by trimming spending in areas prone to waste. We advise CX leaders to cut spending in four areas, one of which is surveys that aren’t driving action. CX leaders should audit their surveys to determine which they’re actually using or are likely to use in the foreseeable future. CX leaders should be realistic about their organization’s ability to take action on CX initiatives in the next six to 12 months and pare back solicited feedback requests to areas where they have already proven that survey insights are driving CX and business improvements.

For more details about CX leaders’ budgets and the nine areas where we recommend increasing and decreasing investment, check out our full report, Planning Guide 2023: Customer Experience.