Investing in your customer experience strategy has a significant financial impact on businesses, says a new study released by Avanade and Sitecore. The study conducted with 880 decision makers in six countries, including Australia, found that for every dollar invested in improving the customer experience, businesses generated three dollars in return. In addition, they expect to see an 11 per cent increase in revenue in the next 12 months.
The global research study focused on businesses’ customer experience strategy, its adoption, benefits, challenges as well as the importance of building a long-term relationship with customers.
In fact, 65 per cent of global respondents and 71 per cent of Australian respondents expect further opportunities to improve profitability when they focus on improving the overall lifetime value of customers.
As expected, an overwhelming 96 per cent of both global and Australian respondents surveyed have or are developing a customer experience strategy. Also, 92 per cent of those with a strategy in place, both in Australia and overseas, report that the customer experience strategy is one of their top three priorities.
The research revealed that competition and customer feedback were the main reasons behind prioritising a customer experience strategy. A full two-thirds of respondents said that competition made their organisation realise the need to prioritise customer experience, while 52 per cent of global respondents and 60 per cent of Australian respondents reported customer feedback as the driver.
Interestingly, 46 per cent of Australian respondents cited increased operational costs as a key driver for prioritising customer experience compared to 14 per cent in Canada, 24 per cent in the UK, 13 per cent in Germany, 31 per cent in the US, and 42 per cent in Singapore.
There are still several obstacles preventing businesses from delivering an effective customer experience. 48 per cent of Australian respondents cited outdated services and systems Compared to 44 per cent globally), while 49 per cent cited a lack of internal skills (compared to 41 per cent globally) , and more than half (52 per cent compared to 39 per cent) cited an inability to provide a seamless experience across different channels, according to the research.
“For Australian brands to truly succeed, they need to move beyond standalone marketing tools and shift marketing to their customers in context across every brand touchpoint no matter whether they’re targeting millennials or retirees,” said Scott Anderson, chief marketing officer, Sitecore.
“Companies need to understand that customer experiences are now built around knowing what each individual is trying to achieve at that very moment in time and create the right brand experience around those insights.
“In fact, by prioritising a customer experience strategy, almost half of those Australians surveyed have experienced increased customer loyalty over the past 12 months while more than one in three have increased their revenue, 23 per cent have increased their profitability and 34 per cent have increased both the retention and acquisition of customers.”
“Today’s digital customer has higher expectations than ever,” said Avanade Australia managing director Sarah Adam-Gedge.
“In an increasingly hyper-connected world, brands need to challenge traditional business models and consider what can be done differently to attract, win and retain these empowered customers.
“Whether increasing engagement with fans like our client Williams Martini Racing or reimaging an online brand experience like Treasury Wine Estates, innovative organisations recognise that digital transformation is essential to effectively meet and exceed the expectations of customers at every touch point, ensuring sustained revenue growth and competitive advantage.”