The Uncomfortable Truth About Brands' Customer Experience Strategies

The recent 2017 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report from Dimension Data confirmed that CX is critical to executives. But, as bluntly described in the report as "the uncomfortable truth", while 81% of companies recognize CX as a competitive differentiator, just 13% self-rate their CX delivery at 9 or above on a scale of 10. And to further the misery, a whopping 51% of the companies say they don't have a digital strategy in place or are at best, in the process of developing one. The report cites disjointed strategies, disparate management and inconsistencies in approach as reasons for the failure to maximize customer experiences.

"The world has formed a digital skin, and business, service, technology and commercial models have changed forever. However, organizations are strategically challenged to keep pace with customer behavior." said Joe Manuele, Group Executive – Customer Experience and Collaboration at Dimension Data.

Companies report that on average their brands have 9 different channels (online, mobile, app, phone, etc.) to interact and engage with their customers, but less than 10% have all of their channels fully connected. Manuele states that the absence of a connected digital strategy means that even when digital solutions are available, the customer is frequently not even aware of their existence. “The digital dilemma is deepening, and organizations need to choose a path between digital crisis or redemption.”

Based on bottom line results, executives are aware fully aware of CX's importance. Over 84% of brands reported an uplift in revenue as a result of improved CX, while 79% report cost savings. With that, executives said connected customer journeys via omni-channel solutions is the top technology trend for 2017 while omni-channel solutions and customer analytics, were listed as the top factors to reshape CX capability in the next five years.