EASY SOFTWARE has published a whitepaper about the state of 360° Experience Management in the UK. The report is based on a survey carried out in March shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic started and while Brexit was still major news. The CensusWide survey polled more than 500 respondents across several industries including Technology, Telecommunications, Finance, Manufacturing and Retail. All respondents worked for companies with more than 100 employees. Enterprise Times also spoke to Michael Reiserer, MD of EASY SOFTWARE.
The whitepaper takes the assumption that a 360° experience management is analogous to organisations digital transformation progress. This view holds some merit in that one might expect a company that has gone through a complete transformation can measure the experiences of its customers, employees and suppliers. Doug Miles, a principal consultant at Comspec Consulting, notes in the forward: “Experience Management is the process of monitoring every interaction people experience with a company or organisation, in order to spot opportunities for improvement. “
EASY SOFTWARE also unveiled findings from another survey carried out in Germany that looked at similar issues.
Digital Transformation is happening, but…
UK firms are perhaps slightly ahead of their German counterparts. According to the whitepaper, 83% of UK respondents are somewhat or completely digitised across their supply chain processes. In Germany, that figure falls to 39%. It is no surprise that Germans are unhappy with that progress with 58% dissatisfied with progress. In the UK only 22% are not satisfied.
Experience data is important
It recognises experience as a key metric for digital transformation across both countries (85% in Germany; 82% in the UK). However, not everyone is collecting that data yet. In the UK the numbers are promising:
- 60% collect experience data from Employees
- 52% collect experience data from Business Customers
- 43% collect experience data from Suppliers
- 43% collect experience data from Public or Business Partners
- 41% collect experience data from Public or Consumers
In Germany, data is collected mainly from customers at 44%, and that was the highest figure. The challenge is while data is collected the survey did not uncover how comprehensive that collection was. ET asked Reiserer how many companies are doing experience management completely?
“It is evolving. It’s great that they start doing it. It is better to have some data and to move forward in the quality instead of not to have it because you have a learning curve anyway. If they improve, that is the right way to do it. Start now, start collecting it because you get to see the big picture with very little data. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it doesn’t have to be 100%.”
What is inhibiting progress
The survey also looked at the challenges organisations faced. They were identified in Germany as
- Multiple regulatory problems, e.g. data protection and the on-going impact of GDPR (82%)
- Complex internal data infrastructure (82%)
- Insufficient access to data (69%)
- IT Infrastructure, systems and tools being missing or insufficiently developed (68%)
It also identifies multiple regulatory problems as the highest challenge in the UK at 35%. Lower percentages across the board is perhaps a reason why the UK is ahead of Germany on transforming organisations. Other challenges in the UK include:
- IT Infrastructure, systems and tools being missing or insufficiently developed (31%)
- Poor data quality (29%)
- Lack of skills for data collection, analysis and use (28%).
There are broader challenges impacting business at the moment. In the UK these are
- Brexit 65%
- COVID-19/Coronavirus 49%
- Cybersecurity threats/data breaches 47%
ET asked Reiserers views on these, first about the cybersecurity challenge which the whitepaper did not cover in much detail. He answered: “As everything gets digital cybersecurity is a continuing thread you need awareness around. You always need to ensure there’s 100% security. There needs to be security by design. You need to manage it. It’s there, and you cannot get rid of it. You simply need to work with it. It shouldn’t be a show stopper.”
On Brexit and COVID-19, he added:” We don’t know the effects on the economy right now. It will drive the need for efficient processes. It needs enterprises to focus on the experience they provide to their employees, their customers and their suppliers. This drives data-driven business models, and you need to be data-driven to survive with these threats. “
Why is Experience Management important?
From the research, it seems that companies are slowly adopting experience management. The whitepaper highlights the benefit of doing so. These include:
- Improve services both for customers and staff.
- Increase customer retention, maintain sales and profit margins.
- Help deliver a bespoke experience to customers, suppliers and employees.
One of the key things that the whitepaper pulls out is the increased importance of experience management during the current crisis. It makes the following, very salient point:
“Customers, employees and suppliers/supply-chain partners will remember how companies handled the crisis”
Andy Boulton, EASY SOFTWARE’s UK’s CEO commented: “This data highlights the fact that for UK firms, experience management is a well understood and utilised concept while for German businesses there is a lag. In order to keep the digitisation and experience momentum accelerating, some radical process overhaul and technology spend may need to be set in motion. This is hugely important, as we move from a shareholder to a stakeholder society and all stakeholders, whether staff, applicants, suppliers or business/cooperation partners have an impact on business success.”
Where do organisations start? ET asked Reiserer on what the first step a company should take on the journey. Reiserer answered:
“The first step they need to take is to understand where they have experience or where they produce experience and to measure where they stand right now. That is one of the most important things. If you measure it, you get feedback. You can change and optimise the experience. The key for me is you need to have digital touchpoints. If you don’t have them, you can’t measure it. You need to measure your experience and then move forward and improved it.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean?
EASY SOFTWARE provides a leading Experience Management platform that looks across the whole supply chain. Naturally, the whitepaper plays to its strengths. Regardless, there are some interesting findings in the whitepaper. Based on the survey, the UK is ahead of Germany in measuring experience. However, just because people are satisfied with the answers may not mean it is mature. If EASY SOFTWARE invests in another survey, it would be interesting to see the level of maturity of organisations experience management usage. In addition, it might also show how much more mature its clients are against the wider sample.