“We strive to be a more customer-centric company.” That seems to be the mantra of just about every company today, even the major airlines. And what travelers in their right minds think their airline is customer-centric? The truth of the matter is that while so many companies strive to be customer-centric, most customer experience professionals freely admit that their company is not satisfied with efforts to take action to improve customer experience (CX) based on the voice of the customer (VoC) data they gather. That said, our recent VoC practices and challenges survey found that the proportion of companies that feel they do a good job leveraging customer data has increased from 18% to 34% in the last five years.
“Overall, how effective would you say your organization is at taking actions based on your customer data?”
|Not A Priority||1%||2%|
There is little doubt that technology innovation and improvements have helped companies feel that they have been more successful at leveraging their customer data.
The New Table Stakes
Real-time data and flexible dashboards have enabled companies to put customer issues and needs in the hands of front-line employees instantaneously after it is expressed. This advancement has led to more frequent and more effective CX improvement activity, in particular at the individual customer level. These advances have also enabled companies to assess CX improvement initiatives more quickly to see if they are having an impact.
While many companies have already implemented these impactful software solutions, there are more that still need to implement these solutions into their long-standing CX measurement programs. Nevertheless, by the end of 2016, any company that is serious about being customer-centric must have these tools implemented.
Despite the fact that our VoC Challenges and Practices Survey shows some significant improvement between 2009 and 2014 in regards to taking action on customer data, there remains a long way to go. Nearly two-thirds of companies say they are still not doing a good job, either having mixed success (46%) or struggling (18%).
Like other industries, technology improvement in the CX space comes in waves and the next big one has already started to hit the beach.
Technology that will Enable the Next Quantum Leap in CX Improvement Efforts
As mentioned above, real-time data and easy-to-use dashboards have activated CX improvement efforts across organizations, particularly with front-line employees reacting to customer needs. However, these improvements have not had nearly the impact in understanding root causes and identifying strategies that can be more transformative to the customer experience.
For senior executives, CX executives and front-line managers, Real-Time Analytic tools are now available to provide instant analyses that previously took weeks or months. This includes driver analyses, root cause analyses, text analytics, and pattern identification—all working together to accelerate the companies’ ability to act quickly and in a targeted way to improve the CX.
When fully integrated into the CX platform, those responsible for the customer experience at all levels of the organization will not only be able to answer the question of how they performed and which customers need help, they will also have the ability to identify what was unique in the experience that is driving negative experiences.
New Technology Creates Even More Opportunity
As the saying goes, knowledge is power. Over the last decade, we have become inundated with customer-level information and that trend has no sign of slowing down. Today, consumers are quickly adopting wearable technology that tracks their every movement, as well as body function metrics showing temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and a lot more. The amount of customer level information that can be gathered by an organization is almost limitless.
However, knowledge does not come from the volume of data that one possesses, but rather in the ability to harness that information to glean meaningful insight.
A Word of Caution
Not every insight is meaningful. Real-time analytics provide a huge number of insights, unique patterns, drivers and attributes. To drive effective action companies still need support to determine the most relevant insights that when acted upon will have the greatest effect of improving CX. This remains a critical advice and support role companies still need from outside CX professionals.
Most companies today like to talk about their efforts to become more customer-centric and how they will differentiate themselves based on the customer experience. As we all know, getting organizations to change is not easy. Today’s technology innovation makes this organizational change more achievable. Make sure your organization is positioned to catch the next wave.