‘Mature’ companies have overcome technical and data challenges in their quest to deliver a compelling multichannel customer experience, while less mature organisations are neglecting customer service and staff empowerment while they struggle to catch up, according to new research published by Econsultancy and Foviance today.

The second annual Multichannel Customer Experience Report shows the extent to which organisations are committed to delivering an integrated experience in a world where the customer journey is becoming increasingly complex due to evolving technology and the proliferation of devices. The study, based on a survey of more than 650 companies and agencies, looks at what the most successful multichannel companies are doing differently to those who are struggling.

As part of this year’s research, responding organisations were asked to rate themselves across five key areas which are crucial for delivering a joined-up and compelling multichannel customer experience. These are: systems and processes, leadership and culture, alignment with brand, customer touch points and use of insight.

Organisational attributes

The chart below shows that mature and immature companies (rated by their scores across the five pillars of the maturity model) have a different perception of the attributes required for delivering a positive customer experience.

Mature companies are far more likely than the least mature organisations to regard ‘motivated and empowered staff’ and ‘efficient customer service’ as being among the three most important attributes.

In contrast, immature companies are more focused on visibility of customer behaviour across channels and the need for a single or joined-up customer database.

Mature companies are more likely to have overcome technical and data-related issues, which means they are less fixated by these areas because they regard them as ‘hygiene factors’. Immature companies, because they are still worried about technology and systems, are losing sight of the importance of customer service and empowered staff.

Most important attributes within an organisation when delivering a positive customer experience

Sources of data for understanding the customer experience

The research has also found that ‘mature’ companies are using a much wider range of data sources than other companies to understand the customer experience.

Sources of data used to measure the effectiveness of the customer experience

These companies have been able to widen their data pool from web analytics to voice of customer (e.g. customer satisfaction surveys), ad campaign data, CRM and social.

According to Richard Sedley, Commercial Director at Foviance:

Companies that have benefited most from improving their multichannel customer experience are those that have recognised the importance of combining quantitative and qualitative customer insights. If your company isn’t already capturing ‘voice of customer’ via onsite surveying and social listening and integrating it with data from web analytics and search there has never been a better time to start.

Consumer research

In parallel to our business survey, five sector-specific online consumer surveys about customer experience were carried out (surveying 5,000 consumers in total), covering retail, travel, online banking, mobile phone providers and gaming / gambling.

The research has been carried out using TolunaQuick. This month we will be publishing a series of blog posts pulling out some of the key findings from this consumer research.