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Walk the CX walk

Customer experience: Why businesses talk the talk, but don't walk the walk


Most organisations consider CX to be their primary differentiator, but few have the necessary processes, systems and technologies in place to optimise their approach towards it.

5th Mar 2020
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While just under three out of five organisations around the world consider customer experience (CX) to be their primary differentiator, few have the necessary processes, systems and technologies in place to optimise their approach towards it, according to research.

Indeed, even though CX is now represented more at board level and is more likely to be dealt with on an enterprise-wide rather than channel-by-channel basis than was previously the case, the number of organisations that are dissatisfied with their CX capabilities has leapt 15% from last year to 26.9%.

But as the ‘2020 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report’, published by technology services company NTT, points out: “Translating CX aims into practical actions is where many organisations falter. People need to know what to do, what they’re being measured on, and how it all links back to strategy.”

For example, a mere 26% of the 1,020 respondents who were questioned across 79 countries made sure their employees understood the bigger picture, the direction the business was going in and how it planned to get there. Only 25.6% said they fully defined or tracked the value contributed by CX.

To make matters worse, three out of five organisations also admitted that their various business functions only partially collaborated on helping to design the CX, while 15% said they failed to collaborate at all. A further two thirds likewise indicated they had absolutely no cross-channel contact management strategy in place, while only a quarter attested to having either ‘good’ or ‘complete’ consistency across such contact channels.

Poor strategic execution

Inconsistent priorities were another key issue. Even though the number of organisations that have introduced personalisation capabilities has leapt from 50.3% to 76.8% over the last year, a mere 16% considered ‘customer delight’ to be the top driving force when working on their customer journey design strategy.

This situation could account for why 35% of assisted services enquiries are not resolved during first contact with customers, with fail rates being even higher for automated channels at 45%, the report said.

But inadequate IT systems also caused problems elsewhere too. Around 29% of those questioned said their existing applications were failing to meet their current needs, with many teams either struggling to cope with legacy software or having trouble integrating multiple systems (47% respectively). An inability to secure suitable budgets here (48%), combined with skills shortages (29%), were other important areas of concern.

In other words, although customers these days expect a “hyper-personalised, effortless experience”, poor strategic execution is “thwarting progress”, the report says. While 81.6% of organisations recognise CX as a “clear differentiator” and the number one indicator of strategic performance, only 12.1% have customers that rate their CX at a promoter level.

As a result, the study warns, it is vital that boardrooms “follow through on sentiment and ensure that CX strategies are clearly formulated, managed and delivered”.


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