64% of C-level exes said that AI and machine learning would improve customer and agent experience
New research from Corinium Global Intelligence on behalf of cloud IT service management leader ServiceNow has revealed that just over a quarter of C-Level executives from large enterprises believe they are delivering an end-to-end experience to their customers, despite 99% of respondents striving to get there.
In the report, titled ‘The Customer Experience Perspective’, 100 C-level executives with oversight of customer service were surveyed to get an understanding of their current performance in delivering a superior customer experience. Nearly all (99%) of respondents said they worked with their customer to create an end-to-end journey map of their customer service experience.
The survey found that there were varying degrees of end-to-end service delivery for customers based on this journey map; four percent said they were delivering an end-to-end service experience based on 25% of the journey map, while 22% said they were delivering half of the journey map. A further 47% said they were delivering 75% of the journey map, and none of the executives said they were not delivering any of the journey map.
“Most companies are mapping part of the customer journey, but not an end-to end experience,” Todd Idler, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Customer Service Management at ServiceNow, said in the report.
The study also found that only 28% of respondents said they had full documentation of the internal service processes needed, both in the customer service front-office and with the teams who help solve issues. This suggests that there is a lack of focus on service operations which address triaging, problem solving, service delivery and proactive prevention of issues.
Businesses have been investing in self-service options as they aim to improve the way they interact with customers, although the majority (59%) still believe there is room for improvement, or a significant amount of work to do (24%) to enhance their offerings. While only 27% of executives said they used chatbots for assisting with routine requests, other artificial intelligence (AI) tools could play a significant role in making self-service options more reliable and seamless. In fact, all respondents expect AI or machine learning to have an effect on customer service management or experience – with the majority (64%) believing major effects will make the customer experience better and improve the agent experience as well.
C-level executives acknowledged that if they were able to connect their customer experience end-to-end and eliminate service gaps, their CSAT scores would improve, with many believing this could result in improvements of between 11-20% (39%), 21-30% (38%) and 31-40% (17%). On the flipside, respondents said that the highest financial impact of having disconnected service processes would be limited expansion or new growth potential from challenges in scaling, followed by lost revenue due to customer churn.
In an ideal world, businesses wouldn’t have to deal with as many customer queries because they could proactively detect an issue before it becomes a wider problem. Businesses are starting to make strides in this direction, with over half (58%) stating that their business was discovering 31-50% of issues before a customer reported the problem. However, of more concern will be that 19% said they could not identify customers affected by a known issue.
“By focusing on effortless, connected, and proactive customer service, your customers enjoy a better experience, leading to consistently higher customer satisfaction. You are also able to reduce support costs while improving the quality of your product or service.”
Holly Simmons, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Customer Service Management, ServiceNow