The Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report: Digital crisis or deliverance?
The digital transformation of business models is a necessity for companies that want to survive in the digital age. That is the key message of the current Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report from Dimension Data. Presented below is an overview of some other insights from the 2017 report.
For 20 years, the IT services provider Dimension Data has been producing an extensive annual report devoted to the topic of the customer experience (CX). In this year’s edition, feedback was provided by 1,351 respondents from 80 countries. The study makes it plain that companies which digitize their customer experience and gear it toward the expectations of consumers are at an ever greater advantage compared to those that wait. More than 84 percent of companies surveyed said that improving the customer experience led to greater sales, and 79 percent said it lowered costs.
The seven central areas
In their latest report, the analysts of Dimension Data studied and evaluated seven main areas of importance for customer experience.
CX is of paramount importance for corporate strategy. The respondents agree that it has an impact on customer loyalty, employee motivation and financial results. But designing the ideal CX is becoming increasingly complicated.
Although companies should have begun long ago to gear their processes and applications for the future, and should have begun to take into account recent developments like robotics, they are still occupied with honing their digital strategy – if they even have one. As a result, they don’t offer their customers a seamless CX.
2. Customer experience (CX)
The most important objective of an excellent CX is to build trust and confidence in the company among consumers. And equally important is aligning the service experience with the brand values. More than 80 percent of the companies surveyed view CX as an opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition. It also increases sales, reduces costs and, in the view of respondents, even contributes to employee motivation – but only a third of them rate their own services with at least eight out of ten points.
The primary reason for a less-than-ideal CX is the absence of a system of process management for customer experience, particularly in view of the ever growing number of digital channels. Companies can take this as their starting point and use personalization, intelligent automation and the interconnection of customer journeys to redesign their CX.
Analytics continues to be the top factor that will change the CX. Nevertheless, many companies consider only superficial data for the improvement of their services. Without extensive collection and deep analysis of data, however, it is impossible to offer consumers personalized customer experiences.
The prerequisite for that is bringing together data from a variety of sources at a central location. According to the report, the biggest challenges during the introduction of an analytics solution are data management and system integration.
4. Digital services
In general, customers want more and more digital options. The response to the current digital services isn’t meeting expectations, however. The reasons for that are that the functionality doesn’t match customer expectations, or the existing solutions aren’t sufficiently promoted. So it is not enough to simply develop new applications or improve customer service. The entire organization must become more agile and respond more quickly to what customers want. The key to that is a culture that encourages innovations.
5. Business activities
Productivity has replaced first contact resolution as the most important focus in business operations, relegating it to second place. Automated solutions are increasingly coming into play here, and they are growing ever more powerful. But the service is not uniform across a variety of channels, and customer demands are not being met. Ultimately, the only thing that matters to them is that their concerns are resolved in a straightforward manner.
In many cases, rigid departmental boundaries are preventing companies from developing and improving. To become more efficient, the respondents are now increasingly making use of agent analytics and e-learning. These help give employees the skills and training to oversee the digital development of their companies.
When it comes to upgrading CX services, technology has been rated the most important factor five years in a row in the Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report. Nevertheless, more than 25 percent of the companies surveyed stated that their systems are not adequate to customer demands. And although omnichannel solutions that integrate corporate systems and connect customer journeys with one another are one of the top trends of 2017, approximately seven out of ten companies currently link only a few channels, or none at all.
Other technology trends and topics include analytics, cloud solutions and robotics. The key to success will be to take a holistic view of CX technology and no longer look at business and IT as separate areas.
The current Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report is available at: https://www.dimensiondatacx.com/
Author: Editorial team Future. Customer.
Image: Robert Kneschke – Fotolia/Adobe Stock