Firms falling short on customer experience

July 20, 2016

Customer demands – with regards to their digital experiences – are advancing at a faster rate than companies can execute, according to Accenture.

The management consulting company teamed with Forrester to conduct 702 online surveys and 11 in-depth interviews with customer experience decision makers to draw the conclusion.

The report said: “Customers’ expectations are driven by their best experiences — not their average ones — yet brands think that they’re succeeding by being in the middle of the pack.”  

It was referring to the finding that while 52% of respondents believe that they are ahead of their competitors in their industry, only 7% are exceeding customers’ expectations.

Over 50% of customer experience decision makers believe their organisations lack the skills necessary to deliver on the user experience, while just 69% said they have the right technology in place to execute their digital strategy – down from 78% in 2015.

The findings suggest that firms are aware that customer experience is key in the ‘age of the customer’, but they lack many components of a CX strategy that will wow their customers.

With that, Accenture made some recommendations on how firms can begin to keep up with customer expectations:

1. Set the business up for constant change

If firms are to keep up with (and ideally outpace) their constantly evolving customers, they need to build speed and agility into their strategic planning, project approval, development, and delivery capabilities. This will give you the ability to continually experiment, analyse, and roll out robust change at scale.

2. Invest in data science technology

Your digital strategy is only as good as the data driving it. Therefore, it’s essential to invest in the data science technology that allows you to easily transform data into customer-centric insight – insights which should inform every decision you make.

3. Partner with trusted agencies

Transactional vendor relationships won’t yield the results you’re looking for. Small, trusted partners are your best bet – those that can help co-create strategy, drive innovation, and scale execution. “Stop thinking in terms of 10-year cost management outsourcing deals, and start thinking in terms of value-added business partnerships,” Accenture says.

How successful is your business at keeping up with customers’ digital expectations?  

Dan Vivian - Business Development & Marketing Director