There is a strong disconnect in the way firms are addressing ‘customer experience’ which is putting businesses at risk in competitive markets where consumer loyalty is critical. A new research from Dimension Data showed that 44.4% of respondents from India felt that board level executives hold overall responsibility for customer experience in their organization. However, only 22.2% said their organisation takes a fully integrated, centralised approach to customer experience. This clearly implies that customer experience is absent at board level.
However, the research showed that most business respondents in India recognize customer experience as an important competitive differentiator (92.6%) that is also vital for driving loyalty (96.3%), revenue growth (66.7%), and cost reduction (59.3%).
Despite this, the research revealed that 7.4% of respondents are dissatisfied with their own customer experience services, and only 23.1% believe they are delivering experiences that would lead customers to recommend them to others.
This is resulting in an ‘artificial reality’, where companies are talking about CX, but not delivering on it, creating a gap between their CX ambitions and actual CX capabilities. Businesses are looking at several CX technologies, such as customer analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and digital integration, but aren’t currently able to implement them properly.
Pranay Anand, Solutions Director for Customer Experience, Dimension Data Asia Pacific said, “Customer experience must be higher on the agenda for every business and the whole organisation should get behind it. Brands acknowledge how crucial customer experience is, yet so few are making it a board level responsibility, leaving it siloed or delegating it to individual managers. There’s an artificial reality between organisations’ CX ambitions and making real change that benefits the customer. This disconnect must be resolved. Brands must make customer experience the priority they say it is.”
The research also revealed that many brands are turning to technology to improve customer experience, but often without a clear strategy. Some 28.9% of businesses in India said the digital solutions they have rolled out (such as chatbots and AI) do not provide the functionality their customers need, while around 68.8% of respondents said customer awareness of such technologies is the biggest barrier to adoption.
Anand added, “Technology is an enabler supporting and improving customer experience, but it’s not simply a case of flicking a switch for it to work. Claiming that the technology doesn’t provide the required functionalities or that customers are unaware of it, is a result of failed planning and communication not failed technology. Brands need to invest in technology, people, processes, and planning.”