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Econsultancy’s Modern Marketing Manifesto states that customer experience “must be the relentless focus of modern marketing".
However, new research published this week by Econsultancy and CACI has found that the majority of companies (58%) only have an embryonic customer experience strategy.
This report is based on a global survey of nearly 900 companies and agencies from Econsultancy's user base, carried out in June and July 2013.
Here are some highlights...
Although most companies (90%) say there is some level of organisational commitment to delivering an integrated customer service, only 20% of companies have a well developed strategy.
How developed is your customer experience strategy?
Companies seek to bridge competency gap
The research shows that many organisations are struggling in key areas needed for an integrated customer experience.
While data (63%) and systems & processes (54%) were widely identified as critical areas for success in the context of an integrated customer experience, only a minority of organisations went on to rate themselves as excellent or good in those areas (32% and 24% respectively).
Criticality versus competence
While this doesn’t paint the best picture of organisations’ current approach to creating an integrated customer experience, change does seem to be coming.
More than three in every five companies (63%) will be increasing their budget for data and insight, with 52% also planning on increasing their ‘systems and processes’ budget.
Integrated customer experience is a boon for all
Marketers and ecommerce professionals surveyed for this report understand that companies that improve their customer experience will be rewarded with more satisfied, higher value customers.
More than three out of every four companies agreed that the benefits of having an integrated customer experience include customer retention, customer satisfaction and improved sales.
What are the business benefits of having an integrated customer experience?
It is becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity to develop an integrated customer experience. Matt Hey, Director of Consulting at CACI, said that those companies still without a customer experience strategy need to establish what needs to happen to make this a reality:
For the majority of organisations the challenges to overcome have remained similar. What is new is that the impact of these individual challenges is accelerating with the increase in channels, data and organisational silos.
Overcoming these challenges has always offered a compelling prize; the improvement of all the key customer value drivers across acquisition, retention and cross sales. However, what this report confirms is that although organisations perceive an integrated customer experience to be important, this does not necessarily translate into a focused effort to enhance it.
So the key question is: if your organisation didn’t feel compelled to address the need for an integrated customer experience previously, what needs to change in order for it to happen now?
For further insights, download the newly published Integrated Customer Experience report.