Research from Dimension Data shows that 70% of respondents said customer experience is not represented at board level. The research indicates that lower-level management or multiple managers often assuming responsibility. Furthermore, only 17% said their organisation takes a fully integrated, centralised approach to user experience.
The research found that most business respondents recognise customer experience as an important competitive differentiator (88%). In addition, good customer experience is also vital for driving loyalty (87%), revenue growth (68%), and cost reduction (56%).
Despite this, the research revealed that nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) are dissatisfied with the experience they deliver. Only 11% believe they’re delivering experiences that would lead customers to recommend them to others.
This is resulting in an ‘artificial reality’. Companies are talking about CX, but not delivering it, creating a gap between their CX ambitions and actual CX capabilities. Businesses are looking at several CX technologies, such as customer analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and digital integration. Unfortunately they aren’t currently able to implement them properly.
Nemo Verbist, Group Executive for Customer Experience at Dimension Data said, “Customer experience must be higher on the agenda for every business. The whole organisation should get behind it. Brands acknowledge how crucial customer experience is, Yet few are making it a board-level responsibility, leaving it siloed or delegating it to individual managers.”
Desperately seeking customer experience
The research also revealed that many brands are turning to technology to improve customer experience, but often without a clear strategy. Nearly a third (30%) of businesses said the digital solutions they’ve rolled out (such as chatbots and AI) don’t provide the functionality their customers need. More than half of respondents (57%) said customer awareness of such technologies is the biggest barrier to adoption.
Verbist added, “Rolling out a technology only to claim it doesn’t provide the functionality required, or that customers are unaware of it, isn’t a failure of the technology, but a failure of the planning. Technology can give businesses many powerful tools to improve and support great customer experience. However, it’s not simply a case of flicking a switch and it will work. Brands need to back their investments in technology with investments in their people, processes, and planning.”
Brand action required
Nancy Jamison, Principal Analyst for Customer Care at Frost & Sullivan, suggests brands should look to address these areas of disconnect within their business. Brands need to measure, benchmark, and report effectively to ensure such disconnects don’t creep back in.
“Customer experience benchmarking is more important than ever. Brands need to invest in customer experience, but they also need to know that those investments are paying off. And if they’re not, they need to know what to change. Right now, it looks like brands aren’t putting the right kind of focus on customer experience and, as a result, they’re not seeing the outcomes they want. That’s bad for them, and their customers,” she said.
Enterprise Times: What this means for business?
Once again, another report suggests mainstream retailers are not prioritising CX. The report urges organisations to address a “customer experience disconnect.” That disconnect will lose them business. It may even jeopardise their chances of survival in competitive markets where consumer loyalty can no longer be taken for granted.
Most consumers have experienced poor user journeys on mainstream websites. With pages taking time to load up, poor online shopping basket experience and failure to fully integrate with social media.
Earlier in the month, Visualsoft published a report that suggested, top e-retailers are seriously jeopardising sales by not prioritising online user experience.
There’s an artificial reality between organisations’ user experience ambitions and making real change that benefits customer. This disconnect must be resolved. Brands must make customer experience the priority they say it is. Otherwise, consumers will close their windows or browsers, and go to competitors who offer more compelling user engagement.