Though today's consumers are constantly connected, most companies are not yet "plugged in" to customer behavior trends. They recognize that consumers expect instant access to information and responsive customer service, yet they fail to satisfy these ever-evolving habits. However, as social media gains momentum, organizations must work to differentiate themselves across all channels to engage and retain customers who may otherwise seek service elsewhere.
Oracle's "Global Insights on Succeeding in the Customer Experience Era" report explores how companies worldwide are working to improve customer experience and boost their bottom lines. The study, conducted in partnership with O'Keeffe & Company, surveyed 1,342 global senior executives from 18 countries across North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. The findings reveal that the potential revenue loss for not offering a positive, consistent, and brand-relevant customer experience can be as great as 20 percent of a company's annual revenue, proving that CX has the power to significantly impact a company's reputation and financial well being.
The following statistics examine how companies are dealing with rising customer expectations and social media as they apply to the overall customer journey:
- Ninety-three percent of executive polled say that improving the customer experience is one of their top three organizational priorities over the next two years, with 91 percent wanting to be a CX leader. However, 37 percent are just getting started with a formal customer experience initiative. Only 20 percent consider the state of their initiative to be advanced.
- According to 97 percent of executives, delivering a great customer experience is critical to their business advantage and results.
- Rising customer expectations (59 percent) and the average customers' ability to share good and bad experiences via social media (37 percent) are currently the main drivers behind this deliberate focus on customer experience.
- While 81 percent of respondents believe social media is critical for their company's success, 35 percent don't support social media for sales or service.
- Forty-nine percent of executives believe customers will switch brands due to poor customer experience, while 89 percent of consumers say they already have. Forty-four percent of executives believe customers are willing to pay for great customer experience, while 86 percent of consumers say they already do.
- The limitations of inflexible technology (29 percent), siloed organizations (27 percent), and insufficient funding (27 percent) remain the greatest obstacles facing CX initiatives.
- In terms of CX-related technological investments, improving the cross-channel experience (22 percent), the online customer support experience (18 percent), and the online customer purchase experience (17 percent) rank as the top priorities for executives worldwide.
Key takeaway: For companies that consider their CX initiatives to be advanced, building a training program and incentives for employees (35 percent), updating company core values (32 percent), and implementing customer service technologies (29 percent) proved to be the most successful projects undertaken. If companies do not want to risk falling behind, they must shift their approach to solving business problems to differentiate themselves, improve their bottom line, and engage and retain loyal, long-term customers. Ideally, these initiatives will foster the company's customer-centric culture, transcending silos to develop a 360-degree view of each customer and provide an optimal customer experience throughout their entire journey.