81% of customer management programmes are currently failing, costing businesses up to £750,000 a year, according to new global research from communications provider, Avaya.
The study, based on survey responses from 1,268 businesses and 8,500 consumers in 13 countries across Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas, also found that European businesses were lagging behind the US, China and India in terms of implementing customer management programmes or putting the necessary elements in place to make them work.
European businesses “place less importance on managing the customer experience”, the research states, citing that 83% of Chinese businesses and 73% of US businesses claim to currently have a customer management programme in place, compared with only 55% of UK and German businesses respectively.
To add to this, in India, three-quarters of business manager respondents say customer experience management is very important, compared with just 59% in the US, 39% in the UK and 33% in Germany.
“Lacklustre customer service is inexcusable in a digital world where customers are king,” says Garry Veale, president of Avaya in Europe. “When it is so closely linked with customer loyalty and increased profits, and with cost-effective and easy-to-implement software and services available to companies of all sizes, there really is no excuse for not having a comprehensive programme in place.”
A number of issues evidently remain for those that do have customer management programmes in place, however, with four-fifths of those organisations reporting customer initiatives ‘failing’ in the last three years. In those cases, survey respondents claimed they had reported costs to the business of up to £750,000 a year, with £100,000 a year cited as the average annual loss across the US, UK and Australian regions.
In addition to losing money, businesses reporting failed customer initiatives said there was evidence to suggest they were missing out on increased customer satisfaction (68%), loyalty (64%), retention (59%) and repeat purchasing (56%).
One of the chief reasons for the programme failures was stated as an absence of appropriate technology to assist and tie-up departments across organisations, with 31% of respondents citing this issue. A further 37% say they are being held back by the fact that different parts of the business own the customer experience.
The good news is, for those businesses that claimed to have successful customer management programmes, 81% stated they had seen significant profit increases in the last 12 months as a result.
Chris is Editor of MyCustomer. He is a practiced editor, having worked as a copywriter for creative agency, Stranger Collective from 2009 to 2011 and subsequently as a journalist covering technology, marketing and customer service from 2011-2014 as editor of Business Cloud News. He joined MyCustomer in 2014.