Customer Leadership Research & Trends

The Uncomfortable CX Truth: 2017 CX Benchmarking Report

CX strategy is a key focus area according to the 2017 Global Customer Experience
Benchmarking Report released by Dimension Data.

Virtual assistant (chat bots) has been voted the top channel growth focus for 2017 while the deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to double. This was one of the key findings in the 2017 Global Customer Experience (CX) Benchmarking Report by Dimension Data.
Please see above to view the key findings explainer video.

A new approach to CX

The research indicates that just 67% of organisations are tracking customer journeys in some form, but of those, only 44% have automated processes available. Connecting customer journeys is the second top factor to transforming CX in the next five years, but before implementing a digital strategy, organisations need to understand the patterns of their customers’ journeys and design and personalise them accordingly.

This cannot be achieved without understanding and harnessing mass data. Analytics was voted the top factor that will transform customer experiences in the next five years, yet only 48% have customer analytic systems, and 36% possess big data analytic solutions. The research clearly indicates that organisations need to analyse, or fall behind their competitors.

In addition, CX robotics, in the form of automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and IoT are creating a new reality, and demanding a new approach.

Establishing trust is the leading driver of CX, followed by the matching of service experiences to brand values. More than eight in 10 companies recognise CX as a differentiator and it’s the number one indicator of strategic performance. It drives revenues, is proven to reduce costs and even adds to employee engagement levels, yet just one third of operations rate their own services at a level of eight out of 10 or better.

Leaders embrace CX…

The uncomfortable truth is that high performing companies that have committed to the opportunity created by the digital revolution are outpacing established market leaders. The benchmark research highlights that top quartile organisations are performing up to ten times better than the typical standard.

Digitisation and digital transformation both accelerate opportunities and cause disruption. Business, service, technology and commercial models have evolved and organisations are strategically challenged to keep pace with customer behaviour.

In response, pioneers of the digital age have reimagined business models and processes that have changed customer behaviour. Simply put, the report states: “if you want to ensure the future success of your organisation, you will need to make the right choices in your CX and digital strategies.”

…But CX delivery is being damaged

There’s an overwhelming appreciation from organisations on the importance of CX, however CX delivery is being damaged by a lack of process management, particularly across the expanding choice of digital pathways. Personalisation, intelligent automation and the ability to connect customer journeys powered by intelligence from analytics, will do most to reshape CX capabilities in the next five years. CX has to adapt by committing to the opportunity created by the digital revolution, yet the transformation and challenge to provide great CX is becoming more complicated.

Disparate systems are a challenge, and disparate management are a threat. Omnichannel solutions are deemed critical, yet most organisations struggle to optimise their strategy for digital, if it even exists. This is causing CX to become disjointed, which in turn points to the need for a CX transformation strategy.

CX strategy

CX is the top performance measure at board level, where the value of CX is being linked to profitability, revenue increases and operational cost reduction.

Organisations are challenged to effectively cascade strategic intent into digital, contact centre and physical customer execution that drives change in CX outcomes. The report notes that more organisations are focusing strategic transformation on self-service solutions, data analytics, by targeting operating model changes, changing staff skill sets, as well as cost reduction. They do this through the reduction of the organisations’ physical footprint and people costs.

Digital business strategy

Companies are also struggling to formulate their vision and associated plans to deliver robust objectives for their evolving digital business needs.

Just 40.6% of the organisations surveyed in the report have strategies in place for digital business that they deem to be delivering. 45.6% are still developing their plan, and almost one in ten (8.7%) persist in approaching each channel in silos.

‘Go digital or die’, was a digital prophecy that transpired from the 2014 benchmarking report. Today, just a minority of organisations have aligned and are executing, whilst the majority of those polled are part of organisations that have not mobilised and face competitive digital disruption.

Omnichannel strategy challenges

It’s becoming harder and more complex to connect all contact channels. Every year sees an increase in the number of channels offered. Almost one third (30.3%) of organisations cover all, or most of their channel choices, with an omnichannel strategy that connects customer journeys spanning a multitude of service touchpoints.

The role and value of omnichannel enablement is strategically well understood by organisations. The results show that management of channels by silos stops visibility, management control, focus, education and enrolment in a broader CX strategy. Organisational change is required, which is an uncomfortable truth.

To view the infographic on CX Strategy, please click here.

Click here for a free download of the full 2017 Summary Report: strategically partners with Dimension Data has strategically partnered with Dimension Data to publish commentaries, multimedia articles, country highlights, infographics and explainer videos about the 2017 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report for our online, digital and social channels. These will be supported by a series of knowledge leadership webinars to unpack key findings of the report during the course of this year.

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