Less than half of those running customer experience programs give themselves a report card to see if there is room for improvement, according to a study released by provider of insights technology called Mapp.
The San Diego, Calif.-based firm commissioned Forrester Consulting to survey more than 200 people who work in marketing functions across multiple countries. The report, which is simply called The Dos and Don’ts Of Improving Your Customer Experience in 2021, found that the biggest goal of CX was personalization, cited by 80 per cent.
While 57 per cent said lacking the right talent was among their CX hurdles, this may stem from the fact that an even greater proportion, or 72 per cent, said there was a lack of vision and alignment among their teams and leadership.
Perhaps as a result, a large majority of 83 per cent said they had difficulty linking business outcomes to real customer needs. They also struggled with the fundamentals, like the 53 per cent who said they couldn’t even identify customers coming to their web sites.
“Reaching the right customer with the right message at the right time may sound like a winning strategy, but such ‘feeding the funnel’ tactics are no longer good enough,” the report says. “Competitive differentiation and sustained revenue growth in today’s digital world depend on more sophisticated customer insights. That means elevating your approach to customer analytics for both CX delivery and strategic, customer-centric decision-making.”
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As you might expect, the key takeaway from the report is that companies could gain greater customer insights to support CX if they invested in analytics software — the kind Mapp provides.
In fact, the company noted that only a quarter of those surveyed attribute their success in recent years to talent improvement. “This proves that while hiring and developing qualified staff is important, using the right tools for insight-driven marketing offers the greatest economic success,” the press release announcing the research said.
Um, does it? Or does it mean companies aren’t, in fact, hiring the right people and haven’t done enough to train them to the CX work they need to do?
Though the right technology would no doubt go a long way to addressing the challenges outlined here, it’s not clear to what extent the survey sample included those with well-defined CX teams o those with specific CX functions. Much in the same way customer experience involves more than offering great customer service, it also involves more than marketing.
On the other hand, the full 12-page report is well worth reading for its comparison of how CX is approached by specific vertical markets, including retail. There is also a lot more detail on the consequences of not prioritizing CX and negative business impacts that could be used to strengthen the business case for further investment.
Mapp is complementing the research with video interviews with customers which are available online, as well as a webinar about the findings which will be held on April 27.
Shane Schick tells stories that help people innovate, and to manage the change innovation brings. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and Yahoo Canada and is the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.