Customer experience is on everyone’s minds, but how advanced is the implementation process for companies in 2021?
Given the eCommerce industry growth of 46 per cent in 2020 due to the pandemic, there is a higher degree of receptiveness to digital communications and a noticeable push towards digitalisation. The competition is tougher than ever, and everyone knows that improving the customer experience (CX) is critical to business.
This is why Mapp commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a survey among 200+ global decision-makers on whether and how customer insights are used for CX improvements. The survey was conducted among mid-market and enterprise companies across all industries, including eCommerce, retail, multichannel retail, B2C, and D2C.
The main challenge: a lack of insights
The findings come as a surprise, given that the topic of customer experience has been hot for several years. Insights are valued but implementing the findings for automated CX improvements is still in its infancy. While 89 per cent believe that a good CX strategy is important or even very important to their business, nearly half regularly review their CX strategy. Customer needs are changing on a daily basis, yet only one per cent review their CX strategy weekly, 47 per cent annually or even less frequently.
The obstacles are not new: respondents state that they lack a skilled team, are unable to break down data silos, and struggle to define the metrics for measuring success. Fifty-four per cent state the lack of customer knowledge is their biggest challenge for their CX strategy. Surprisingly, 53 per cent are even unable to reliably identify website visitors.
The decision-makers are aware of the gap and see it as their number one priority for 2021 to optimise their overall customer experience strategy. Companies are still struggling to keep up with their customers’ expectations. The potential of insights is often lost when not actively used for constant and automated CX improvements.
Will hiring more talent really solve the issue?
The research paints a different picture. Although missing talent is seen as one key challenge in improving their CX strategy by 57 per cent, improving talent only shows mixed results (36 per cent) in the end.
Data shows that it may not be the talent that is improving CX quality, but rather customer insights. The better customers are understood, the easier it is to serve them and decrease the bounce and basket abandonment rate. It seems like everyone knows of the importance but is struggling to find a starting point to improve the discrepancy.
CX professionals have missed the opportunity to create insights-based strategies and are only beginning to understand the impact now. Customer insights are the base for all improvements. As long as you are struggling to identify and understand your consumers’ needs, you will not succeed in implementing a consistent customer experience strategy.
Meanwhile, consumers’ expectations are growing. A missing CX strategy means losing potential customers every day, reducing revenue every day. A coherent and efficient CX strategy needs to be able to predict customer behaviour and proactively personalise website content. While third-party data and cookies are rapidly losing significance, collecting and activating first-party data becomes even more important to understanding customers.
Best practices by industry experts
While this may read grim to you, we assure you the study also found positive developments. Successful leaders share how they succeeded in implementing customer insight technologies to improve the customer experience. The report also states which tools will provide you with the most value in improving your customer experience and what should be the centre of your CX research. It presents a new approach to efficiently align investments in staff and technology that make it significantly easier to reach CX goals – and ultimately gain higher revenue.