The customer experience role has gone mainstream, with 69% of UK businesses now employing a senior-level customer experience position.
That’s the figure produced through research by the Mando Group which has said provides confirmation that customer experience is at the heart of industry leaders’ strategy.
The report is titled ‘Are You Experienced?’ and points towards some surprising findings, such as the outcome which found the retail sector achieve the least incidences of customer experience professionals.
While the industry is seen to have a long history of customer experience dedication, the rise of pureplay retailers would indicate a rise in customer experience roles.
In this case, it looks as though retail has been left behind by the banking sector and telecoms.
However, before any business owners worry about missing out – the study only investigated the top 20 firms across a variety of consumer-facing sectors.
But it turns out that the majority – almost two-thirds of the biggest firms are seeing the value in customer experience tactics.
Jonathan Seal, strategic director at Mando Group expressed surprise at the retail industry lacking behind in this approach.
“This is a sector with a traditional focus on the consumer experience – albeit centred on the physical environment.
“Pureplay etailers operate only via the digital interface, so one would expect these businesses to be at the forefront of customer experience innovation.”
In the end, only 57% of top retail firms reported employing a senior customer experience professional, whereas the banking sector came out top, and telecoms second with 79% and 78% respectively.
The report also highlights some of the techniques these leading firms are adopting, which include:
They were described for specific industries, but highlights a potential customer self-service portal that could integrate several existing systems within a telecoms company, or streamlining login procedures or enabling online payments.
Whereas a utilities company might develop a more accessible ‘my account’ portal to change settings and account features – essentially, developments that make life easier for the customer rather than the business.
This idea is achieved through ‘Experience Mapping’.
Those surveyed describe the technique which has allowed businesses to think like end users.
“A number of personas are created which detail different types of users, investigating why they are coming to the site, how internet savvy they are and more,” the report reads.
“A number of ‘use cases’ are then created (e.g. finding a key piece of information) with the aim of ensuring that the different personas can effortlessly complete the use cases.”
As a result, the business is able see where technology can be incorporated to help improve the interaction with a customer.
Seal adds: “The challenge for today’s businesses is to provide a consistent and compelling user experience across all devices, and for that service to be available around the clock.
“Indeed, in sectors such as banking, the user interface is becoming the product – the key differentiator.”