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Investment not understanding hindering the multichannel customer experience

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4th Nov 2011
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Boardroom executives understand the importance of multichannel customer experience, but are failing to invest in the processes and frameworks to make it a success, new research has found. 

The study, which looks at what the most successful multichannel companies are doing differently, found that ‘mature’ companies have overcome technical challenges and are using a much wider range of data sources than other companies to understand the customer experience.
Just under half of companies surveyed said a commitment to customer experience from the top of the organisation was the most important requirement. Just over a quarter (28%) of companies say there is ownership of customer experience at board or c-level, but without full commitment across leadership teams. Almost a fifth of companies say there is c-level ownership of the total customer experience’. 
Meanwhile, more than half of responding companies rate themselves either as ‘excellent’ (21%) or ‘good’ (37%) in terms of internal buy-in at the top of their organisations. However only a quarter of the 650 companies and agencies surveyed say they have a well-developed strategy in place for improving customer experience, just a slight increase on 22% last year.
The Multichannel Customer Experience Report, published by Econsultancy in association with Foviance, also found that ‘complexity of customer experience’ is now seen as the greatest barrier to improving multichannel customer experience, overtaking ‘organisational structure’ since 2010. 
Econsultancy research director Linus Gregoriadis said when it came to understanding the importance of customer experience, many business leaders were talking the talk without walking the walk. “Evidence of ownership of customer experience among company executives has not necessarily translated into clearly-defined strategies, frameworks and processes for making it happen.”
The research found that mature companies are more likely to have overcome technology and data-related issues.  ‘Immature’ companies, because they are still worried about technology and systems, are losing sight of the importance of customer service and empowered staff.
Richard Sedley, commercial director at Foviance, said:  “Companies that have benefited most from improving their multichannel customer experience are those that have recognised the importance of combining quantitative and qualitative customer insights. If your company isn't already capturing 'voice of customer' via onsite surveying and social listening and integrating it with data from web analytics and search there has never been a better time to start." 

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