Brands are failing to adapt to technology growth and increasing demand for self-service customer interactions; despite these interactions being expected to almost double by 2020, says new research from customer marketing and engagement specialist Salmat.
Brands expect self-service interactions to increase from an average estimate of 37 per cent to 61 per cent over the next five years yet only 22 per cent of brands report having a well-structured and organised CX (customer experience) strategy. Furthermore almost half have either have a plan but don’t follow it or have no plan at all.
The research is the first of five Customer Experience Insights Series whitepapers.
Sarah Pike, chief marketing officer at Salmat says organisations need to start improving their customer experience offerings or risk losing loyal followers.
“Customer experience is critical to generating customer loyalty. Yet as technology continues to advance and consumers look for the easiest and quickest means of making contact our research reveals that brands are not really understanding their customer’s needs,” Pike said.
The survey of 288 CX professionals also found a range of measurement tools were being used to gauge the success of users’ experiences. The most common metric was Net Promoter Score (NPS) with 39 per cent of practitioners reported using the tool at least annually, closely followed by Grade of Service (34 per cent) while Customer Experience Index (CxPi) and Customer Effort Score (CES) were less common.
“While most brands use some form of customer experience measurement, for the most part these results aren’t used to implement change,” Pike said.
“One-third of NPS users and 39 per cent of GoS users said they rarely use their results to implement any form of change in their CX.”
Pike said the whitepaper uncovered four key challenges facing customer experience professionals today: data, fear of customer disconnection, keeping up with technology and joining the dots.
“Knowing what data to collect, how to collect it through multiple touch points and knowing what to do with it are all concerns for CX professionals,” she said.
“As self-service grows, brands are also worried that providing no direct-contact with customers will impact loyalty. They also face difficulty keeping up with the changes in technology which allows customers to connect with the brand through multiple channels.
“On top of all this, maintaining a uniform customer view across the multiple channels, while striving to balance the needs of the customer with the overall business goals, provides an enormous challenge.
“Education is the real challenge for brands. CX professionals need guidance on how tools and technologies can be effectively implemented within their organisation to add value to the customer experience. Taking a holistic approach, rather than looking at each initiative individually, will provide for a better overall experience for your customer.”
You can read part one of the Customer Experience Insights Series here.