Good customer service beyond many organisations
Organisations understand the understand financial impact of poor customer experiences, yet struggle to develop successful strategies according to an Oracle survey
The research reveals that while many businesses are aware of the importance of customer service to their profitability, few have put in place formal customer experience initiatives.
The report, Global Insights on Succeeding in the Customer Experience Era surveyed 1,342 senior-level executives – from 18 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific – to assess the financial impact of not keeping pace with rapidly evolving customer expectations, the challenges that businesses face in delivering great customer experiences, the types of programs that are most effective and priority investment areas needed to improve the overall experience.
Key findings include:
- Huge Financial Stakes: The study revealed that executives in European businesses estimate that the average potential revenue loss for not offering a positive, consistent and brand-relevant customer experience is 18% of annual revenue, showcasing it’s of critical importance to achieving a competitive business advantage.
- Businesses Stuck in Idle: Despite its potential impact on revenue, only 36% of respondents are getting started with a formal customer experience initiative, and only 20% consider the state of their customer experience initiative to be advanced. In their efforts to enhance the customer experience, businesses are prioritizing improving cross-channel (23%) and online customer support (15%), and purchase (14%) experiences.
- Committed to the Cause: Demonstrating their commitment to the improvements, respondents say they plan to increase their spending on related technology by an average of 15% in the next two years. The key solutions being invested in include technology integrating the customer view across all channels (28%), business and customer analytics solutions (27%), and loyalty management systems (26%).
- The Perception Chasm: The study revealed European business executives believe that customer experiences impact their willingness to be loyal advocates, with 62% strongly agreeing with this statement. Additionally, 71% strongly agreed that customers have more power today than they did three years ago. With over half (53%) of respondents also acknowledging that customers will switch brands because of poor experiences, there is a clear understanding in Europe of the key role customer experience has in business.
- Resources and Processes Present Significant Obstacles: European executives cite limitations from lack of money (31%), siloed organizations (25%), and difficulty tracking performance/customer feedback (24%) as the biggest obstacles to delivering the best possible customer experience.
Lessons Learned: A good customer experience strategy requires fundamental organizational changes. Successful initiatives that have improved the customer experience span people, process and technology. European executives have been most successful in engaging their employees by:
- Implementing a specific technology to improve customer service (31%)
- Building training programs and incentives for employees to offer a great experience (28%)
- Implementing a service level agreement (SLA) with any customer contact (27%)
- Current Customer Experience Strengths: Rating their current most effective customer experience offerings during the buying cycle, European organizations cited their ability to personalize communications with relevant offers and information (49%), connect customers to the most relevant solutions (49%), and present personalized offerings (46%), as strengths.
- After Care: Following the purchase, 47% of European organizations felt that one of their most effective strategies was handling enquiries in pre-determined time frames; enhanced customer service engagement (45%) and product knowledge (43%) were also considered strengths by the report’s respondents.
“European businesses are increasingly finding that their customers are more empowered than ever before. The “Global Insights” study shows that the majority is aware of this, but is not doing enough to bring customer experience up to the standards required by the modern market. Organizations should deploy platforms that enable them to communicate with customers across multiple channels using open and integrated technologies. When this is overlaid with advanced analytics that deliver deep customer insights, businesses will find they can engage with their customers in a more natural and meaningful way,” said Danny Rippon, CRM Business Solutions Director, Oracle.