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Single view of the customer still a pipedream to most firms - report

9th Nov 2010
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Although nine out of 10 UK brands recognise the importance of providing integrated customer service across multiple channels, just under a third currently have the necessary systems and processes in place to do so.

The greatest barrier to improving customers’ multi-channel experience, however, is brands’ current organisational structure (41%), according to a survey of 500 companies and agencies published by digital marketing and ecommerce researchers Econsultancy and cross-channel customer experience consultancy Foviance.

The second most important factors were too much complexity as a result of growing numbers of on- and offline customer touch points (38%) and the fact that ownership of the multi-channel customer experience was splintered between different departments (38%).

The report entitled the ‘Multi-channel Customer Experience Report’ also revealed that only 31% of respondents had a dedicated budget in place to help them improve customer service. A further 28% had been assigned no funding at all, while some 41% were using the money provided for other activities,

Linus Gregoriadis, Econsultancy’s research director, said: "It’s clear that, while the vast majority of companies understand the impact on business performance, very few organisations have integrated, cross channel processes and systems in place or a strategy to help them achieve this."

Although 69% of brands were just starting to develop such a strategy, only 22% had a well-developed plan in place and 9% were doing nothing at all. This was despite the fact that 49% believed that providing a multi-channel customer experience to be ‘very important’ to the business and 41% deeming it ‘quite important’.

Just over two thirds acknowledged that there was a strong link between the customer experience and long-term business performance, however.

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