REGIONAL TRANSFORMATION OUTLOOK 2019
Dimension Data, a global technology integrator and managed services provider for hybrid IT, revealed the findings of its annual CX Benchmarking Report. It urges organisations to address a customer experience disconnect that could lose them business or even jeopardise their chances of survival in competitive markets where consumer loyalty can no longer be taken for granted.
Research from Dimension Data shows that 68% of respondents said customer experience is not represented at board level, with lower-level management or multiple managers often assuming responsibility. Furthermore, only 20% said their organisation takes a fully integrated, centralised approach to customer experience.
However, the research found that most business respondents recognise customer experience as an important competitive differentiator 90%, that is also vital for driving loyalty 85%, revenue growth 73%, and cost reduction 55%. Despite this, the research revealed that nearly a quarter of respondents 24% are dissatisfied with the customer experience they deliver, and only 10% believe they are delivering experiences that would lead customers to recommend them to others.
This is resulting in an artificial reality, where companies are talking about CX, but not delivering on 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, but are not 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 and the whole organisation should get behind it. Brands acknowledge how crucial customer experience is, yet so few are making it a board level responsibility, leaving it siloed or delegating it to individual managers. There is an artificial reality between organisations’ CX ambitions and making real change that benefits the customer. This disconnect must be resolved. Brands must make customer experience the priority they say it is.”
The research also revealed that many brands are turning to technology to improve customer experience, but often without a clear strategy. Some 24% of businesses said the digital solutions they have rolled out such as chatbots and AI does not provide the functionality their customers need, while around half of respondents 61% said customer awareness of such technologies is the biggest barrier to adoption.
Verbist added, “Rolling out a technology only to claim it does not provide the functionality required, or that customers are unaware of it, is not 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, but it is 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.”
Nancy Jamison, Principal Analyst for Customer Care at Frost & Sullivan, advised that brands should look to address these areas of disconnect within their business and measure, benchmark and report effectively to ensure such disconnects do not 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 are not, they need to know what to change. Right now, it looks like brands are not putting the right kind of focus on customer experience and, as a result, they are not seeing the outcomes they want. That is bad for them, and their customers,” she said.
The Report is an annual research study encapsulating more than 20 years of CX insights and trends. The 2019 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report contains insights from over 1,100 respondents across 13 industries in 59 countries. Frequently cited by industry analysts and quoted by the media, it is widely acknowledged as a comprehensive report of its kind.
- 2019 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report contains insights from 1,100+ respondents across 13 industries in 59 countries.
- Brands need to invest in customer experience but also need to know that those investments are paying off.
- Businesses are looking at several CX technologies but are not able to implement them properly.
- Brands turning to technology to improve customer experience without a clear strategy.
- Chatbots and AI does not provide the functionality customers need.
- Customer awareness of technologies is the biggest barrier to adoption.
- Companies are talking about CX but are not delivering on it.
- Gap between CX ambitions and CX capabilities.