Colt Technology Services has released a study in partnership with Global Research and Analyst Firm GigaOm. The study found that connectivity is viewed as a significant enabler when it comes to achieving customer experience (CX) goals. However, many businesses are yet to utilise its potential to deliver CX improvements fully.
The survey explores the link between connectivity and customer experience. It examines, whether underlying connectivity platforms can have a positive impact on CX goals. Completed by more than 350 strategic IT business decision makers, it found that 92% of respondents saw a strong link between connectivity and CX. Fifty-one percent of respondents already make use of connectivity technologies to help meet their businesses CX needs. This survey was conducted across the UK, US, Germany and France
Connectivity and customer experience
The study found technology (63%) and financial companies (59%) made more progress than manufacturing (50%)/ consumer-facing industries (47%) to use connectivity to drive CX. More distributed corporations (63%) feel they have more work to do than centralised organisations (44%).
While a clear link is identified between connectivity and CX in the survey. Business decision makers believe creating a meaningful picture of the relationship is the most significant blocker to improvement. This is according to 82% of respondents, followed by a lack of education/training 76% and then leadership 74%.
The study also found that:
- More progressive organisations see direct customer involvement as the number one strategy to drive better customer experience. Organisations need to go beyond lip service to customer criteria and engagement.
- Initial service delivery factors are the most significant when it comes to measuring customer experience. This is above other criteria such as responsiveness over time.
- This puts the spotlight on quality of service in terms of connectivity characteristics that help organisations respond best to their customer experience needs. This is followed by security, compliance and governance.
- The main priorities for connectivity mechanisms are on making service delivery ‘just work’. Automated provisioning is top of the list. Together with integration and self-service; less important were ongoing management criteria such as usage reporting or flexible billing.
- Complexity, and its consequences, can be seen as the main causes preventing better customer experience delivery. These factors result in the need for more skills and a lack of impetus from the leadership.
- Internal improvements are therefore top of the list for organisations looking to improve the link between connectivity and CX. The emphasis should be to improve skill sets, deploy better processes and train staff in CX culture.
Single customer viewpoint
Keri Gilder, Chief Commercial Officer at Colt, said: “When we set out to explore the link between connectivity and customer experience, we weren’t sure what we would discover. So it’s encouraging to see that many companies are already taking advantage of the strong relationship between the two. This research shows that setting clear, customer-centric goals is the key to success. Business leaders need to think about how to deliver on business goals quickly and cost-effectively, all the while putting the customer first.
“At Colt, we know that connectivity solutions are the backbone for the fast-paced environment of today. This study demonstrates how important it is to get the underlying connectivity to deliver the best customer experience.”
The research shows that having a single point of customer contact and management frameworks aligned to organisations is important. However, only 32% of businesses thought they had these processes in place.
When it comes to measuring CX from a service provider perspective, performance and reliability rank much higher than responsiveness over time. Time from ordering to delivering a service is the most important factor. This is followed by initial service performance and reliability when assessing suppliers (47% and 46% respectively). The two elements also rank highly when measuring the organisation’s service delivery (38% and 46%).
Jon Collins, Principal Analyst at GigaOm, said: “As enterprises look to differentiate, customer experience is becoming a centrepiece of digital business strategy. Looking at the research, it is fascinating to see how organisations are looking to deliver services that ‘just work’ from the outset. They are prioritising these criteria over longer-term performance and responsiveness. In this online age connectivity is an essential pre-requisite to building customer loyalty and trust.”
Enterprise Times: What this means for business?
This was a seriously confusing report. It’s obvious that connectivity will impact on customer experience. Poor connectivity or infrastructure denies visitors the opportunity to consume digital real estate. So its not surprising that 92% of respondents saw a strong link between connectivity and CX.
A key question for infrastructure technology decision makers is, what difference does the underlying platform make when it comes to delivering on customer experience goals? Or more specifically, what positive impact can connectivity have on customer experience?
But the report appears to be asking the wrong questions. What are the actual technologies that will impact on customer experience? What is the financial impact on the bottom line of poor connectivity?
The report admits that there is no specific connectivity feature that can magically deliver improved customer relationships. Furthermore, the priority for businesses is to get customer-facing business models and operational processes right. But how are businesses, expected to prepare business models, without a understanding of the underlying connectivity or infrastructure technologies that could support them?
A bit of the chicken and egg syndrome.