While customer experience design is often associated with those in marketing or service roles, a survey of more than 1,400 IT professionals by Rackspace shows 48 per cent see CX as a bigger priority than defending against data theft or determining how they’ll use technology.
The report, ‘How Applications Impact Customer Experience,’ is based on a series of polls the Windcrest, Tex.-based provider of cloud computing products and services conducted between March and May. Those who responded were a mix of both decison-makers and application users, Rackspace said, adding that they came from companies with at least $300 million in revenue.
Perhaps not surprisingly, 94 per cent of those surveyed said they had some kind of CX initiative under way in their organization, with more than half, or 55 per cent, crediting the use of applications in particular as enhancing CX.
Other benefits of using applications included providing more availability to services, cited by 48 per cent, improving security (45 per cent), boosting engagement with products and services (41 per cent) and improving business processes (39 per cent).
While Net Promoter Score (NPS) is often one of the most-cited approaches to evaluating CX success, it came dead last in the Rackspace study, while customer satisfaction (CSAT) led the pack according to 61 per cent.
“Applications play a key role in customer experience, providing mobile accessibility, simplifying application submission, processing customer data and delivering immersive experiences,” the report’s authors wrote, adding that despite considerable awareness of the potential, many organizations struggle to execute. “Half of respondents report that it can take weeks to gain consensus before implementing technology changes, like deploying new applications or launching a transformation project.”
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The Rackspace study manages to pack in a number of stats in its slim 10 pages, but it doesn’t provide a great deal of detail on specific application strategies to improve CX.
Instead, the crux of the research seems to. be about pinpointing where the bottlenecks are in giving CX-related application projects the green light. As many CX leaders. probably already know too well, the biggest impediment is the status quo.
“Despite the push to innovate and transform, respondents are aware that the learning curves of customer experience improvements can cause friction,” the authors write. “For example, redeveloping a website for better product organization could help new users find what they’re looking for faster, while the learning curve of deciphering a new layout frustrates existing users.”
The report’s recommendations to address this challenge are so familiar as to fall a little flat: making a stronger business case, being clear on metrics and so on.
What might be helpful is some more case studies from Rackspace about specific customers who have proven the CX value of getting applications into production. There’s no doubt that many firms are taking a closer look at the digital elements of CX. Some examples of best practices in action could be even more useful than the numbers presented here.
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.