Our new survey, Customer Experience Trends for 2019: Building the Organization of the Future, is a unique barometer of the key challenges and opportunities facing business leaders tasking with injecting greater customer-centricity into their organisations.
It’s based on 100 interviews with senior customer experience professionals from the retail, finance and travel sectors in North America and Europe.
Here are some of our key findings…
The influence of customer experience
- The top 3 elements of customer experience are rated as: meeting customer expectations, building rapport with customers, and addressing customer conflicts.
- 76% of service leaders believe customers have higher expectations of digital customer service over social than 12 months ago.
- Most participants see customer experience as exerting influence over other departments. High, documented levels of influence are especially seen in marketing (24%) and product design (21%).
‘It is positive to see that the customer experience departments are influencing other departments including product design and marketing,’ comments Vanessa Leyka, Production & Content Director, Corinium Global Intelligence. ‘However, for companies to truly succeed, a documented strategy and process of information sharing is critical.’
New technologies and structures
- Only a minority of service leaders (8% in Europe, 10% in North America) say they are in an advanced stage of successfully rolling out AI chat bots and messengers. Many more describe themselves as behind the curve on bots (40% in Europe, 39% in Europe).
- Leaders say they are more advanced in areas such as: personalization (29%/26%); seamless pre-and post-transaction servicing (27%/26%); and leveraging self-service analytics to improve customer experience.
- 39% of service leaders (48% in Europe) agree that changing their organizational structure would improve their customers’ experience.
‘I’m not surprised to see that 39% of companies are behind the automation curve, as brands foray into the realm of bots & AI is still very much in its infancy,’ comments Ido Bornstein-HaCohen, Chief Operating Officer, Conversocial. ‘But done well they have the potential to help companies with the routing of issues, improve resolution times, increase the efficiency of agents and help customers to self-serve.’
‘Organizational structures are mechanisms to drive functional accountability,’ adds Dutta Satadip, Global Head of Customer Operations at Pinterest. ‘To truly impact customer experience, we need to understand our business goals and put the customer in the middle of all business operations and understand the customer lifecycle so that we can execute internally to ideally eliminate all points of experience friction.’
Challenges and solutions
- Biggest challenges to improving customer experience: achieving a single view of the customer (41%); lack of cross-departmental collaboration (38%); achieving a consistent experience across all channels (35%).
- Key customer support channels for now and next 12 months already (implemented/looking to implement in next 12 months): Twitter DM (87%/13%); Google RCS Business Messaging (21%/79%); Facebook Messenger (51%/49%), WhatsApp (21%/79%); WeChat (6%/94%); Apple Business Chat (4%/96%).
- Bots/AI are rated as very or somewhat important to customer experience delivery in the near future, according to 82% of service leaders.
‘With the right blend of automation, routing, prioritization, and reporting to measure a company’s success, customer service can become a more cost-effective channel without compromising the customer experience,’ says Ido Bornstein-HaCohen. ‘By using the right software platforms, companies can use the same Social Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, Twitter DM, WeChat etc to provide customer service at a fraction of the traditional cost.’
Grab a copy of the full report.