US Business Leaders Look to Invest in Customer Experience to Propel Future Growth, Says HSBC Survey

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–US businesses believe prioritizing investment in the customer experience is the number one requirement for future success, according to new findings from HSBC’s ‘Navigator: Made for the Future,’ a survey of over 2,500 companies in 14 countries and territories. In fact, 57% of US businesses plan to increase investment in customer experience in the next 1-2 years compared to 52% of firms outside the US. Of those businesses, 78% said they will increase investment in customer experience by more than 5%.

“Customers’ expectations are evolving and the urgency to meet and exceed those expectations is rising,” said EJ Achtner, US Head of Digital Banking and Strategic Change at HSBC Commercial Banking. “US businesses are more focused than ever on delivering a better customer experience and plan to leverage innovative technologies and digital platforms to improve ease of doing business and open the door to new opportunities.”

Survey data also show that sentiment from US businesses is still positive. More than three quarters (77%) of US businesses expect to grow in the next two years and two-thirds (65%) are more optimistic about their growth prospects than they were a year ago.

Other findings:

  • More than ten times (63% vs 6%) the number of US firms feel that opportunities like adopting new technologies and entering new markets outweigh any potential threats
  • US businesses identify industry regulations (22%), cyber security (20%), and competition (20%) including from disruptors, as the main threats. Interestingly, protectionism and potential for higher tariffs was cited as the fourth at 18%
  • More than half of US businesses (59%) regard innovation as a growth engine compared to over a quarter (28%) seeing it as key to their survival
  • The ‘Internet of Things’ (73%), 5G technology (67%), and artificial intelligence (59%) are seen as the biggest near-term opportunities in the US, as they are expected to improve customer experience, productivity and product/service delivery
  • US businesses are increasing expenditure on research & development (70%), automation (69%) and sustainability improvements (65%)

Additionally, four out of five businesses feel that innovation will lead to upskilling their workforce, improved productivity, and the need to hire different skills in the workforce. Those who feel that innovation will require new and different skills in their workforce claim to be looking for people skilled in innovation (33%), customer experience (30%) and cybersecurity (22%), with all three levels slightly ahead of the global average.

Interviews for the ‘ Navigator: Made for the Future survey were conducted in Australia, Canada, mainland China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, the UAE, the UK, and the USA in May 2019.

About Navigator: Made for the future

HSBC’s ‘Navigator: Made for the future‘ report is based on research commissioned by HSBC and conducted by Kantar. It surveyed over 2,500 businesses in May 2019 with turnover of USD5m or above from 14 key markets globally, including: Australia, Canada, mainland China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, UAE, UK, USA.

Survey respondents were key decision makers and those having significant input into the decision making of their company’s strategic direction. The survey gauges sentiment and expectations of the businesses in the near to midterm future, and covers business outlook, future of business in terms of opportunities & threats, investment priorities and changes foreseen in the future; as well as business innovation and workforce, sustainability and success factor for the future.

HSBC Commercial Banking

For over 150 years we have been where the growth is, connecting customers to opportunities. Today, HSBC Commercial Banking serves around 1.5 million customers across 53 markets, ranging from small enterprises focused primarily on their home markets through to corporates operating across borders. Whether it is working capital, term loans, trade finance or payments and cash management solutions, we provide the tools and expertise that businesses need to thrive. As the cornerstone of the HSBC Group, we give businesses access to a geographic network covering more than 90% of global trade and capital flows. For more information visit:

HSBC Holdings plc

HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 66 countries and territories in our geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of USD2,659bn at 31 March 2019, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.


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