Customer experience resides at the heart of brand longevity. However, most companies currently lack the infrastructure necessary to render them successful. In many instances, increasingly high consumer expectations create an environment where the majority of organizations struggle to keep up. Most lack the technology and intelligence necessary to power brand relationships and meet evolving customer demands, diminishing their ability to compete in today's fast-paced market.
Avaya's "The Gap in Customer Experience Management Programs" report explores the world of CEM initiatives, assessing the overall health of the average company's present state. The study, which polled 1,268 businesses and 8,500 adult consumers across 13 countries, determined that, while the majority of brands currently lack essential CEM tools, 95 percent of managers claim CEM will be important to their organizations in 2014, emphasizing the increasing importance and acknowledgement of customer experience management across the globe.
The following statistics highlight where most companies currently stand when it comes to CEM program implementation and obstacles blocking their path to adoption:
- Eighty-three percent of businesses polled cannot deliver all the requirements for a blended customer experience automatically and in real time, though 46 percent have initiatives in place to reduce customer effort. Overall, only 59 percent of organizations currently have comprehensive CEM programs in place.
- Of the 83 percent of organizations facing the obstacles presented by their lack of CEM programs, 37 percent have yet to implement such initiatives because different departments own their own parts of the customer experience, 31 percent cite their need for appropriate technology, and 30 percent claim to lack the necessary budget.
- Eighty-one percent of CEM initiatives failed within the last three years, citing inability to modify business processes (31 percent), misalignment with customer preferences (30 percent), lack of employee buy-in (30 percent), and a shortage of senior management (29 percent) as the leading causes of such failures.
- As businesses of all sizes continue to embrace CEM programs on a global scale, China leads the way with an 84 percent adoption rate, followed by the U.S. (73 percent), India (72 percent), Brazil (63 percent), and Russia (57 percent).
Key takeaway: Of the companies that have created successful CEM programs, 81 percent continue to experience significant profit increases, which can be attributed to greater customer satisfaction, loyalty, retention, and repeat purchases. These companies outperform their laggard counterparts for they understand how and why they must implement a comprehensive CEM program. By breaking down functional silos, embracing the expertise of internal and external resources, and investing in the latest technologies, these brands have the power to bring customers and employees closer together, developing the very synergies that boost brand loyalty. Today's consumers demand personalized attention that makes the purchase process both easy and enjoyable, and companies that cater to the customer experience above all else will inevitably surpass the competition.