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You be the judge: customer experience – obstacles or opportunities?

  • Posted on July 7, 2016

Customer Experience

Today, customer experiences are often on a scale of awful, ‘wah-wah’, or not too bad.  Rarely do I come across an experience that blows me away. While I may be spoiled by the likes of my Amazon and Nordstrom experiences, it struck me as to why we don’t have more amazing online, offline and generally great customer experiences that transcend my day-to-day expectations.

It got me thinking – is it not a focus for companies to want me to repeatedly buy from them?  When I Iove doing business with a company, I go out of my way to interact with them again and again.  So I asked, is it not a focus for companies to want to capture my dollar?  The folks at Gartner confirmed that Growth, Customer and Workforce topped the list of CEO’s Business priorities for the following two years.  So there is a focus on my experience, but surely there must be more.

It caused me and a few other people at Sitecore and Avanade to think about why organizations are not embracing the digital customer journey more quickly.  Are organizations not seeing the business benefits?  Are they having problems with the transformation?  Avanade clearly works in this space, is there not something we can do?

It started Sitecore and Avanade on a six month journey to better understand the customer experience in ways that we were not typically seeing in most of the research out there today.  We looked at the priority of customer experience within organizations, at the business benefits, and what are the gains that can be had by focusing on a customer experience strategy.  And finally we also looked at the obstacles and how to make your customer experience initiative impact your bottom line results.

The outcome is the “Customer Experience and Your Bottom Line” research study that looked across 880 enterprise organizations world-wide, across 6 different countries and revealed something which we thought was quite interesting.  Ninety-six percent of companies have or are developing a formal customer experience strategy, but 88% are having obstacles to delivering a good customer experience.

customer experience

Recently, we also conducted a recent webinar series with Sitecore, in both Europe and North America, with a debrief on the Customer Experience research that we conducted.  We also asked the audiences at these webinars how they would stack rank the obstacles that they saw.  Across the three data points, the results were pretty uniform.  The one exception to this was the North America webinar, where Data and Analytics ranked 2nd highest as an obstacle to delivering a compelling customer experience.  It does highlight the growing importance of data and analytics, and the struggle to deeply integrate data in the digital marketing and customer experience space.

In dialogues with our digital strategists who work with our clients on a daily basis, some other topics quickly bubble to the surface – leadership support, organizational strategy, change management and more.  For every organization looking to transform their customer’s experience, identifying these key obstacles and developing an action plan to address and sustain the change is critical.

Let us know your thoughts – does this compare to your experience?  Let’s start the dialogue!

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