The customers of today!
Customers of today are on the move 24*7. Further, they have a tremendous amount of choices in their basket and competitors are upping their game every single minute. There has never been such a cut-throat situation in history where customers demand instant information. They want transactional capabilities as per their convenience and wouldn’t mind switching brands after a few bad experiences. The lines between products and brands, and customer experience and net sales are getting thinner. And all of these are tightly correlated.
It’s high time that brands stop perceiving customer experience as an added expense or obligation. They must view it as a great opportunity to bolster the brand. And if we talk about ways of improving CX, today, it’s no longer enough to have an attractive website, provide a great on-page CX, and have responsive customer service. CX must be a differentiating factor and organizations must innovate and work upon their CX strategies across all channels, touchpoints, and interactions. This helps brands to not only provide a great experience but also create the foundation of long-term relationships, which, in turn, adds more promoters into their baskets.
In this article, we will refer to a research by Oracle where it surveyed more than 1,300 senior executives across 18 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific to assess a few metrics that relate customer experience to businesses. Some major factors assessed were the financial impact of CX initiatives, challenges faced by businesses, programs that have been most effective in the CX context, and areas of investment to improve the customer experience.
Gap: in terms of perception and execution
If we look at the current scenario, we’ll realize that there is indeed a gap in terms of how businesses perceive their CX activities and how customers perceive the same. Businesses realize that there can be huge financial losses due to poor CX, where the cost of failure can go up to 20% of revenue. 93% of the C-suite members say that improving CX is one out of the top three priorities and 97% state that it’s one of the most critical factors to success. Looking at the research data, however, we can say that the businesses are not really proactive as only 37% of them are just starting with formal CX initiatives. Ironically, 91% want to be leaders in the field of CX.
Businesses and consumers are indeed world-apart in terms of expectations. While 49% of the executives think that consumers will switch brands due to poor CX, in reality, the number of customers who resonate with this fact stands at a massive 89%. While 44% of the executives believe that customers are willing to pay for a better CX, 86% of the customers are doing so in reality!
A stark difference, right?
According to most executives, delivering a positive customer experience is critical to the bottom line. This is what research has to say about their future plans regarding customer experience:
With regards to positive customer experience, we do know that social media plays a major role. 81% of businesses believe that social media plays a major role when it comes to delivering positive customer experience. But, most of them are not taking sufficient measures to address the same. For example, 35% of the businesses don’t have social media channels for sales nor do they have one for customer service.
If we look at various industries, potential revenue loss across various industries ranges anywhere between 14-25% while the estimated growth in spending on CX over the next two years ranges from 14-26%.
Key findings across industries
With regards to the consumer electronics sector, 25% of the revenue is lost due to poor CX. However, 40% of these companies are still stuck in the planning stage with no present implementations of any customer experience strategies. Only 44% of the companies have one or more active implementations of CX. Thus, we can see that the number of businesses actually implementing CX measures is pretty low. Further, a mere 16% consider their solution to be advanced.
A majority of the companies in this sector used CSAT and brand awareness to measure CX. The following are the biggest obstacles faced by this sector when it comes to CX.
With regards to their investment plans in the next two years:
Let’s now discuss the consumer products sector.
22% of the revenue is lost due to poor CX. However, 37% of the organizations are in the planning stage with no present CX implementations while only 41% have one or more active implementations. Similar to the consumer electronics sector, a majority of the companies in this sector use CSAT and brand awareness to measure CX.
Here is a look at the obstacles that organizations in this sector face:
Let’s have a look at the areas where product companies will invest in the next two years:
More than half of the organizations (54%) consider themselves equipped enough to connect buyers to the most reliable resources while 51% excel at meeting personalized recommendations and tailored offerings.
Speaking about the distribution sector, 23% of the revenue is lost due to poor CX. But 38% of the organizations are still in the planning stage with no present CX related implementations while only 41% have one or more active implementations. A majority of the companies in this sector use CSAT(46%) and Brand awareness (39%) to measure CX.
Here is a look at the impediments that this sector faces in terms of lack of CX initiatives:
Let’s have a look at the areas where distribution companies will invest in the next two years:
According to the research conducted across industries, organizations report significant opportunities for improvement in effectively delivering superior customer experiences. Thus, we can see that businesses are falling short of delivering what customers want. Less than half of the correspondents are even aware of the top areas of success.
Sector-wise data of different CX parameters
In the research and buying process, 49% of the companies are personalizing their communications or offers according to individual customer segments. However, most of them are falling short when it comes to providing a seamless omnichannel experience. For example, less than 35% are enabling their customers to start their buying journey in one channel and smoothly moving them on to the next.
Also, employees are critical when it comes to providing efficient CX. But unfortunately, only 26% of the companies provide agents with real-time visibility into a customer’s shopping cart. Further, the agents are often not equipped to track the recent behaviour on mobile applications or on a desktop. Following is the data that was found from the research regarding the post-purchase of products or services.
Some of the biggest obstacles are:
18% of the companies said that their processes worked in silos, which prevented them from providing an efficient omnichannel experience. 23% of them did not have a consolidated 360-degree view of the customer journey across all touchpoints. Further, 24% mentioned that they find it difficult to track performance measures and customer feedback. Also, 29% of the executives mentioned that they are limited by traditional systems and insufficient IT infrastructure.
2. People and Processes
27% of the executives said that siloed organizations with different and conflicting KPIs across verticals hindered the implementation of a proper system for enhancing CX.
27% of the executives were of the opinion that the funding for implementing CX initiatives is not sufficient.
As seen from the previous chart, while many businesses use CSAT scores to measure CX, traditional metrics such as brand awareness are more common than evolving CX measures like Customer Experience Index or Customer Effort Scores.
Solutions businesses are proposing
As we can see from the above data, most of the businesses consider the lack of proper technology as a big barrier. Thankfully, a lot of them are putting it on their priority list. 22% want to focus on improving the cross-channel experience, while 18% are focusing on improving the online customer support experience and 17% want to improve the online purchase experience.
Conclusion and possible solutions
Considering all the above cases, we can safely say that being successful in CX initiatives requires fundamental changes that span across people, process, and technology. Drawing some inspiration from the firms that consider their CX projects as advanced, three of the top successful projects include:
- Enhancing the experience with the help of great training programs and incentives (35%)
- Getting a clear picture of what the customers want and updating the core values of the company accordingly (32%)
- Implementing a specific technology to improve customer service (29%).
Here are a few pointers that we gathered from the above research:
You snooze, you lose
It is recommended that organizations be the pioneers when it comes to implementing a seamless CX experience throughout verticals. All organizations must, today, accelerate their customer experience programs if they want to remain in the race.
Know your customers, or lose them
It is crucial to know the customer journey throughout and select priority focus areas to employ the workforce in key touch-points to increase the overall customer experience.
Enforce customer empowerment
Organizations must create a customer-centric culture that every employee believes in. Further, they must strengthen the IT infrastructure that encourages a seamless flow of cross-functional verticals and enables employees to have real-time data about customers. This can effectively be used to further improve the overall experience.
Measure and repeat
Organizations must remember that only implementation is not enough. An organization needs to measures the RoI of each CX initiative and make necessary changes to maximize the overall performance.
What do you think? How else can organizations reconcile customer expectations with what they provide?
Source: all infographic images have been sourced from a global CX research conducted by Oracle