NTT 2020 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report highlights the need for enabling technology vital to deliver the effortless CX that connected customers demand
Consumer expectations regarding engagement and customer experience (CX) continue to evolve and businesses are struggling to keep pace.
Modern, connected consumers expect a hyper-personalized, effortless experience with on-demand access to information, entertainment and physical products. However, poor strategic execution in harmonizing and optimizing CX capabilities is thwarting progress for many organizations, reveals the NTT 2020 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report.
Most organizations understand the need to deliver an effortless experience to the connected customer – 81.6% of those surveyed recognize that CX offers a competitive edge and 58% believe it serves as a primary differentiator.
Yet, the report reveals a widening chasm between the top-quartile performers and their industry peers. A mere 14.4% of respondents say CX forms a crucial part of their organizational strategy, and the number of organizations that are dissatisfied with their CX capability has risen 15% from last year, to 26.9%, while only 12.1% say customers rate their CX at a promoter level.
As the top performers continue to set the industry benchmark, those businesses that fail to act and transform their CX capabilities now will fall further behind.
Their subsequent loss of relevance among connected consumers will make these businesses more vulnerable to existing competitors and disruption from new and agile startups, while the potential loss of revenue from customer attrition will threaten their long-term sustainability.
Boardrooms must rise to the challenge
The report highlights the steps boardrooms must take to rise to the challenge. The iincrease in board-level representation of CX and a decline in the number of organizations that lead CX channel by channel is positive. However, the report highlights a lack of follow-through on high-level actions which is required to influence CX-related change for most organizations.
The steps boardrooms must take, according to the report, include following through on sentiment and enterprise-wide CX delivery. Overall, executives must optimize the organization, people and technology to create powerful connections between the business, its employees and customers.
This requires a clear, integrated strategy with an organized execution framework that reaches all employees at the frontline of customer interactions, strong leadership and well-defined execution across the organization.
5 key CX business outcomes
In this regard, the report adapted the traditional themes organizations should focus on to include five key CX business outcomes. These include:
- Understanding customers by adopting an experience-centric business strategy, supported by strong customer analytics.
- Personalizing the customer experience through innovative insight frameworks, with marketplace and CRM capability.
- Engaging customers with appropriate and connected omnichannel solutions.
- Automating intelligence using advanced process workflow automation, robotics and AI.
- Optimizing performance with technology, workforce optimization and employee engagement.
And the importance of technology in CX strategies cannot be overstated. In an increasingly digitized environment, technology has become critical to enable current and future CX capabilities. The focus is no longer on simply integrating channels but on using technology as a key enabler to align CX with business outcomes.
Personalized, proactive services
The report reveals that analytics, automation and AI are major focus points as organizations strive to create personalized, proactive and highly effective self-service capabilities, with AI considered the top factor to reshape CX capabilities over the next five years.
However, less than half (44.9%) of CX operations are fully involved in or responsible for the design of their own technology needs.
Ultimately, a strong CX-focused culture will drive the implementation of technology that helps enable great CX. However, this requires that organizations create adaptive structures, adopt the practices of the evolving workforce and align technology with CX outcomes to enable connected customer experiences.
Businesses that make effortless CX their goal should approach CX with a clear strategic design. As such, they should create a fluid ecosystem that combines technological capabilities to augment traditional human interactions. Those that do stand to gain a competitive advantage and widen the gap on CX laggards.