This year may see significant advances in businesses’ customer experience (CX)—which stems from the interactions between an organization and a customer during their relationship—as Gartner reports 74 percent of customers expect budgets to increase in 2020. The results from its 2019 Customer Experience Management Survey were a considerable change compared with the 2017 survey, where only 47 percent of CX leaders expected budgets to increase.

“Organizations have matured in their understanding of the business outcomes that CX delivers,” says Augie Ray, vice president analyst, Gartner for Marketers. “As a result, the budget outlook is expected to grow to match. This raises the stakes for CX leaders to select metrics that demonstrate impact and prove the value of CX to business results.”

The survey revealed that CX leaders who know how customer satisfaction drives business results get a larger budget. Those respondents whose firms have established a positive relationship between improving customer satisfaction and business impact are more likely to expect significant budget increases.

“CX leaders should consistently measure the value of improved customer satisfaction to the organization to justify and sustain growing CX budgets,” says Ray. “This is especially important in a period where many expect an imminent economic recession and organization-wide budget cuts.”

To demonstrate success and prove the value of CX to business results, Gartner recommends CX leaders use customer data to demonstrate CX’s business impact. One of the keys to sustaining attention from leaders and collaboration from peers is to make CX matter in terms of the results that are important to them—providing how satisfied customers drive up revenue, lower churn, reduce costs and grow the business by combining customer satisfaction data with transactional and operational data.

Gartner also advises to budget for effective CX execution in the future. Developing a CX budget isn’t just a once-a-year process. Always monitor budget and performance, and consistently promote the organization’s CX successes and impact. Also, continue planning ahead for the annual budgeting process by collaborating with key stakeholders, gathering data and drafting a persuasive budget to accomplish the organization’s CX goals.