NTT Ltd. has revealed the findings of its annual Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report titled “The Connected Customer: Delivering an effortless experience.”
According to the research, only 5 per cent of ANZ organisations (8 per cent globally) are delivering a fully functioning experience, yet 50 per cent of ANZ firms consider CX to be a primary differentiator.
Organisations struggle to align their CX strategies to voice of customer (VoC) feedback, with 50 per cent of ANZ organisations having no formal process for considering this data and 14 per cent which capture no feedback at all.
While 51 per cent of ANZ firms connect data relationships between channels, this still leaves almost half of all companies operating ‘blind’ with no full view of the customer ecosystem; and only 19 per cent fully define and track the value contribution of CX. That said, the collection of VoC feedback by organisations is improving year on year – there has been a 45 per cent improvement since 2019 in those capturing some form of feedback and 7 per cent now perceive their VoC program to be at an advanced level across all channels.
NTT Ltd Australia general manager, CX Business Unit Michael Slip said: “Increasingly we’re seeing customers demanding more, from better experiences to more streamlined and seamless interactions through all touchpoints of their journey. Providing exceptional CX is no longer a nice-to-have and businesses who listen to the needs and wants of their customers — incorporating technology into their offerings to do so — are often the ones who will stand out from the competition.”
Listening starts with strategy
A successful CX strategy is proven to improve customer and brand engagement, and drive commercial performance, yet many organisations are still stuck in the developmental stage due to siloed technology systems, inconsistencies in experience, and a lack of clear processes.
Specifically, challenges include:
- Faltering technology systems: 41 per cent of ANZ organisations (compared to 29 per cent globally) say their technology systems are failing to meet current needs and many teams still struggle with legacy systems (61 per cent in ANZ, 47 per cent globally) and the integration of multiple technology systems (52 per cent in ANZ, 47 per cent globally). Additionally, the inability to secure budgets (55 per cent in ANZ, 48 per cent globally) remains a concern and skills shortages is seen as a growing concern (34 per cent in ANZ, 29 per cent globally)
- Siloed channels and internal business organisations: Almost two thirds (63 per cent in ANZ and 61 per cent globally) of organisations agree there is only partial collaboration between functions when it comes to designing CX, and 21 per cent of companies in ANZ don’t collaborate at all (15 per cent globally). 82 per cent of ANZ companies still have no cross-channel contact management strategy (compared to 66 per cent globally) and just 14 per cent of ANZ companies (25 per cent globally) claim to have good or complete consistency across contact channels.
- Inconsistent priorities: Personalisation capabilities have surged from 39 per cent to 68 per cent in ANZ (50 per cent to 77 per cent globally) in one year, but just 11 per cent of organisations in ANZ (16 per cent globally) place “customer delight” as the top driving force behind their customer journey design strategy. This may account for why over one third (30 per cent in ANZ and 35 per cent globally) of assisted-services enquiries fail to be resolved during first contact, while automated channels fare worse with a 36 per cent in ANZ (45 per cent globally) fail rate.
Creating a smarter CX with data analytics
While 61 per cent of companies in ANZ (73 per cent globally) indicate that they are satisfied with their customer satisfaction capability, only 12 per cent of their customers rate customer experience at ‘advocacy’ level. Worryingly, just 7 per cent in ANZ (6 per cent globally) of AI and robotics users say customers rate their experience at advocacy level, exposing the gap between emerging technologies and satisfaction levels.
This demonstrates that businesses need to create a smart strategy which bases AI on optimum data. Organisations must learn to fill the gap between data management and integration, and prioritise an efficient data management platform. As it stands, just under half (48 per cent in ANZ and 50 per cent globally) of data capture needs are defined and aligned to desired business outcomes, and just 20 per cent of businesses in ANZ (23 per cent globally) have a dedicated team managing the company’s entire data lake. In fact, 21 per cent of ANZ firms (17 per cent globally) have no data management strategy at all. Because of this, data is becoming increasingly difficult to manage. However, 64 per cent of ANZ teams are evaluating and learning how to use available data (compared to 52 per cent globally) despite the fact that over half (64 per cent in ANZ), do not have the required data management skills or resources to do so (lagging behind the global average of 36 per cent globally).
An increasing number of organisations are moving towards the use of smart data to inform CX decisions but are often overwhelmed by this transformation. Half of businesses confirmed data analytics and data management will be one of the top three tech initiatives prioritised by the CX team. Analytics (61 per cent in ANZ and 58 per cent globally) is expected to be the top factor in reshaping the CX industry within the next five years. This is closely followed by artificial intelligence (40 per cent in ANZ and 54 per cent globally), technology integration (59 per cent in ANZ, 44 per cent globally), and service personalisation (49 per cent in ANZ, 42 per cent globally).
Overcoming business organisational structure challenges
Many organisations believe AI and automation is the future for creating operational efficiency, hyper personalisation and providing an effortless customer experience. Rules-based robotic solutions “are the preferred option both now and in the short term with AI being the top five-year priority.”
The vast majority (82 per cent in ANZ, 77 per cent globally) of organisations also believe customer operations will be positively impacted by AI and CX robotics in the future, followed by business insight and customer intelligence (69 per cent in ANZ and 60 per cent) and workplace management/operational productivity (53 per cent in ANZ, 49 per cent globally). However, the implementation of AI remains difficult. Looking forward, businesses must find a solution for the current lack of skills across the business, which is currently considered a challenge for more than half (50 per cent in ANZ and 56 per cent globally) of organisations today.
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