61% of Customer Experience Leaders Cite Customer Experience Management as Their Greatest Challenge
To better understand where the customer management market is headed, the Customer Management Exchange Network - a division of IQPC Exchange - examined the primary challenges facing Chief Customer Officers, VPs and Directors of Customer Experience from across the UK, US & Europe.
According to the research study, the greatest challenge is Customer Experience Management, with 61% of respondents stating it as a current area of focus within their organization. As businesses look to meet growing customer demands, robust and effective CEM strategies are pivotal to the success of these goals. By combining process excellence and CEM initiatives, an organization can successfully meet the needs of the individual customer, as well as business stakeholders.
Key challenges highlighted by the respondents include questions such as "How do we develop an effective customer experience framework?" and "How do we listen to customers voices and prioritize this to develop and enhance customer experience management?"
Cultural change & centricity has been one of the most widely debated topics in recent years, yet 50% of all respondents still highlight this area as one of their 3 greatest challenges. The most likely explanation cited by those interviewed is that it is not simply an issue of integrating cultural change; but rather all business units need to embrace the customer and align business strategies to move into a customer centric environment.
How secure is your information at work? Of the 26 percent of workers who reported having office laptops, 61 percent said they have critical, sensitive information stored on them. According to CareerBuilder's latest nationwide study, a significant number of workers may be putting their company or themselves at risk by failing to secure their laptop, sharing passwords or clicking on links from unknown sources.
What type of proprietary information is stored on laptops?
In addition to office-related data and documents, a notable percentage of workers said their laptops currently house a variety of personal files. When asked to identify the type of sensitive information that can be found on their office computers, workers with laptops pointed to:
Company information – 48 percent
Client information – 27 percent
Personal financial information – 18 percent
Other personal information – 18 percent
How many workers leave their laptops unguarded?
The survey found most workers don't always leave critical information under lock and key.
57 percent of workers don't have a laptop security device.
52 percent don't lock their computer when they're away from their desk.
25 percent have left their laptop unsecured overnight.
Higher theft rates were reported among workers ages 18 to 24. Thirteen percent said they have had a work laptop stolen compared to 5 percent of all workers.
What others ways do workers put their companies and themselves at risk?
As malware and other types of fraudulent activity become more pervasive, a seemingly benign interaction can have serious consequences. Some risky behaviors include:
9 percent of workers have downloaded a virus on their computer at work.
18 percent of workers have opened an attachment or clicked on a link from a sender they didn't know.
18 percent have looked at a website that they knew wasn't secure while at work.
How accessible are passwords?
While half of workers reported they memorize their passwords, 12 percent keep their passwords at their desk, written on their laptop or in their computer case or purse/wallet. Others have openly discussed their passwords with fellow workers.
27 percent of workers reported that a co-worker gave them their password.
15 percent have shared their password with a co-worker. Those age 55+ were the most likely to share passwords, while those 18 to 24 were the least likely.
What about mobile devices?
Eighteen percent of workers access corporate email through a smart phone; 5 percent have lost their smart phone or had it stolen.
Nearly one-third of US online adults accessed the Internet multiple times per day and from multiple physical locations last year, according to a recent Forrester survey of 8,400 respondents, and that number is only going to go up. This data represents advances in both technology and user behavior that have ushered in a new era of interactivity, where marketers have a brand-new consumer to reach: the always addressable customer. This evolved consumer owns and uses three or more connected devices, goes online multiple times per day on any device, and goes online from many away-from-home locations.
For the always addressable customer, active engagement in advanced social media and mobile technology is a matter of fact, not an exception to the rule. And it's not just the younger generations displaying this integrated advanced behavior -- 38% of all US online adults can be defined as an always addressable customer.
So what does this mean for marketers? It means that buzzwords like "SoLoMo" aren't enough to account for what customers truly want and need. The bar has been raised for marketers when it comes to offering value and service, rather than just messages, to the majority of brands' audiences. But there is good news for marketers: The opportunity now exists to be able to address customers' needs wherever and whenever they crop up.
Gartner Predicts that Refusing to Communicate by Social Media will be as Harmful to Companies as Ignoring Phone Calls or Emails is Today
As familiarity with social media grows, customers' expectations about how organizations will use these channels are evolving, according to Gartner, Inc. By 2014, organizations that refuse to communicate with customers by social media will face the same level of wrath from customers as those that ignore today's basic expectation that they will respond to emails and phone calls. For organizations that use social media to promote their products, responding to inquiries via social media channels will be the new minimum level of response expected.
However, not all comments on the social web are aimed directly at organizations. Gartner recommends that organizations develop a framework to deal with social media commentary on relevant topics. The framework must complement how an organization deals with a direct enquiry received through social channels and should address whether a response is warranted, who should respond if it is, and what action is necessary following any response.
To respond or not?
Social media leaders must develop a process for deciding whether to respond to public or client-prompted social engagements. A person or team needs to have the power to decide whether a comment is relevant and whether the issue presented is solvable, or whether there are positive dimensions to what is being said that should be recorded.
It's also important to accept that it’s impracticable and counterproductive to respond to everything. For example, if a comment is clearly inflammatory and unsolvable, it is usually best not to respond at all. However, if a person is an existing customer logging a harsh but legitimate complaint, the issue must be addressed publicly, promptly and within the same media it was made.
Who should respond?
Every organization needs a set of rules to define who should deal with different kinds of comment, and a process for deciding how a response will be posted to social media. If no one has been identified to determine this set of rules, that is the first action to take. Then the designated social media leader or team must decide how to categorize comments. For example, some comments about a general issue may simply require monitoring and assessment before a general response is issued, whereas others may require an immediate and personal response and further monitoring.
It's not enough simply to decide which people responds to what -- the act of responding must be made part of their day job or it will be overlooked. It can be challenging to promote this shift in mindset, and it could require changes to performance metrics and job roles.
We've responded, now what?
Some organizations have implemented the first stages of a social media engagement process, but they make the mistake of treating engagements as ad hoc. While over half of organizations monitor social media, only 23 percent collect and analyze data. This means that most organizations do not keep records of interactions occurring on social media and do not keep social profiles for people they have engaged with.
To ensure they are not discarding the valuable information being generated through social media, organizations must create processes for perpetuating customer engagements and for sharing social knowledge throughout the organization. Developing a means for acting on social data will provide a competitive advantage by providing exceptional customer experience through increasingly significant social channels.
Growth-focused Private Companies Embrace Digital Tools for Customer Engagement and Research
In today's highly competitive world of compressed margins and slow economic growth, private companies are looking for new ways to boost revenue. One key way is to engage and learn about customers via digital means rather than strictly through traditional avenues such as direct mail and print advertising. According to PwC US’s Private Company Trendsetter Barometer, most private companies (70%) are now doing some form of customer outreach through digital avenues, including via email and company websites. Within this group of Trendsetter companies that engage/research customers digitally, 67% are leveraging social media and mobile devices to that end.
Fast-growth private businesses in particular are embracing digital tools in their customer outreach. Among Trendsetter companies, those that use digital means to engage and learn about customers forecast 11.3% revenue growth over the next year, compared with 6.3% revenue growth projected by private companies that are not using digital tools for customer-engagement purposes.
Notably, private companies using digital means of customer engagement and research to a moderate/great degree also tend to have higher annual revenue ($244 million) than those using digital means to a smaller degree ($191 million).
Digital Tools Deliver Clear Value, But Full Benefits Depend on Data Analytics
Targeted marketing to individual customers -- for instance, via email promotions, text messages, and pop-up ads -- is the top way private companies are using digital technology for customer engagement/research (65%). Half of private companies that are using digital channels for customer engagement/research are also encouraging customers to act as brand ambassadors — for example, by posting online testimonials about products and services and spreading the word via social media. Roughly the same percentage (48%) use digital means to solicit customer insights for product development, including innovation.
Private companies that are using digital channels for customer engagement are notably positive about the benefits, saying that digital means help their businesses do a better job of marketing their products/services to customers (76% of respondents) and improve customers’ experience and overall satisfaction (72%).
Relatively fewer Trendsetter companies are using digital tools to research customers: 43% are using such tools to gather information on customers' behavior and preferences, while 40% are employing digital means to obtain demographic information. Despite these lower percentages, fully three-quarters (75%) of the companies using digital technology in their customer-focused efforts say that doing so helps them obtain better and more useful information.
Three-quarters (75%) of Trendsetter companies consider the customer information they collect (via both digital and traditional channels) relevant to their product development and innovation. This percentage rises to 84% among private firms that use digital tools to a great or moderate degree.
Nonetheless, roughly one-quarter (28%) of private companies have not yet enlisted digital tools in their customer outreach. Meanwhile, among those companies enlisting digital technology to that end, only a minority (28%) believe that doing so is currently helping them achieve lower costs.