Customer experience is a popular topic in digital because it's a term that distills down every marketing channel and customer interaction into one simple concept.

That's the beauty of a great customer experience; creating simple solutions for complex problems. (For more of that, join me at #FoM15).

The challenges companies face in creating credible and competitive customer experiences is the topic of the latest Econsultancy Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing in association with Adobe.

Here are three of my favourite findings from the survey report.

Who sets the bar for your company's customer experience?

Does AO.com set the bar? Or Starbucks? Not unless you sell washing machines or coffee.

That's because it's likely to be your competitors that are determining the urgency of your investment in improving the customer experience.

The table below is taken from our quarterly briefing survey report and shows how respondents from different sectors rated their own company's CX maturity.

With some brands facing disruption because of their outdated reliance on product and sales at the expense of CX (think of AO.com's headway in the UK white goods market), the motivation within immature sectors is to strike ahead and gain competitive advantage.

In the charitable sector (0% very advanced) and in manufacturing (5%), there's a recognisable opportunity for organisations to improve above their peers.

In technology (15% very advanced), on the other hand, the imperative is to keep pace with incumbents, meeting customer expectation for increasingly slick services.

It's important to remember that digital has reduced the barriers to switching services, making customer experience ever more a priority.

cx maturity across sectors

However willing or invested, data is still a problem

The word cloud below, constructed from responses to an open-ended question about CX challenges, is one of my favourites.

It sums up so many of the challenges that refuse to go away in digital.

Getting the right people and resources to aid understanding of data and management of systems is difficult. Oh, and strategy also seems to be lacking.

A little more cogent perhaps are these three excerpted answers from survey respondents. Data, the complexity of the customer journey, organisational resources and system architecture combine to hamstring many organisations seeking to improve.

Unifying data, joining brand experience and overall consumer experience.

Lack of centralised and unified data.

A cohesive view of back-office systems and how they need to support customer-facing systems. Creating customer insights based on offline and online data together.

wordcloud - specific cx challenges

It's a family affair

This third chart splits the survey audience into those with 'advanced' and 'immature' CX, detailing at what level of the organisation responsibility is held.

It's clear that mature CX correlates with divested responsibility, with 33% of advanced respondents seeing responsibility for CX across the whole organisation, compared to 15% of those with immature CX.

What is obvious to the customer is when an experience falls down or becomes frustrating at a particular stage of the customer lifecycle or during a particular interaction.

If a company has not involved marketing, sales, customer service and delivery, then CX will not amount to a brand proposition, or indeed a brand differentiator.

responsibility for cx 

Download the new report, The CX Challenge.

Ben Davis

Published 21 October, 2015 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Darren Ward, Director of Product Marketing at User Replay Ltd

Interesting article and think it is very significant that "data" is the biggest word in the word cloud. This is supported by a recent study we sponsored called "Counting the Cost of Not Knowing" (you can download for free from the UserReplay website). We found that most companies have a huge data visibility void around online customer experience - and companies believe they only know 50% of the struggles and issues their customers have online. Traditional analytics solutions are just not cutting it in this area.

That is why we are seeing such great traction with UserReplay at the moment as companies try and resolve this visibility gap and have the data and tools to manage the digital experience.

over 2 years ago

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