2015-06
What’s Really Going On With Customer Experience In 2015?
by Scott McMillan
 | 
10 June 2015

What’s the reality of customer experience in organisations today? The latest research by Salmat scratches below the surface to reveal the challenges, opportunities and realities of customer experience in 2015.

Think business drives the customer experience? Think again. Today’s consumers have more power than you think. Armed with social media, mobile apps, rich content, and crowd funding, consumers have become bolder in demanding new levels of customer experience.

So, with the power well and truly out of their hands, brands need take build a dialogue with their consumers and take the necessary steps to continually improve the customer experience based on those clear and specific preferences that consumers are demonstrating in every interaction, at every stage of the lifecycle.

On the surface, it seems organisations are doing just that. They are ticking the boxes for customer feedback, measuring the customer experience using Net Promoter Score (NPS) and other metrics, and planning their next move. They recognise the value of self-service tools and other new technologies that make it easy for the customer to do business with them. And naturally, they are collecting reams of data about customers at every point.

But if we scratch the surface, what’s really going on underneath?

Salmat recently conducted a survey of customer experience professionals to find out exactly that – and the results were surprising. Here are five key highlights: 

1. SELF-SERVICE WILL GROW TO 61% BY 2020

When it comes to customer interactions, a quantum shift is looming. CX professionals predict the proportion of customer interactions that are self-service will grow from an average estimate of 37% in 2015 to 61% in 2020.

2. MOST CX PROFESSIONALS ARE NOT TESTING SELF-SERVICE TOOLS

Despite being constantly told to “measure, test, improve”, many CX professionals have not tested their customers’ reaction to the various self-service tools (or are not aware that testing has been done). Of those who have implemented a social media self-service tool, less than half have tested what customers like about the service. The problem is, without customer testing, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to know which tools are working to enhance the customer experience.

3. NET PROMOTER SCORE IS THE MOST POPULAR CX METRIC

When it comes to measuring the customer experience, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the most popular metric, with 39% of CX practitioners saying they use it at least annually. Yet one-third of NPS users admit to rarely using the results to implement change in the organisation, whether to improve the customer experience or otherwise.

4. ONLY ONE IN FIVE HAVE A STRUCTURED CX STRATEGY

Only 22% of respondents said they have a well-structured and organised CX plan. A further 31% admitted there is an overall plan but it doesn’t really get followed, and 13% said they don’t really have a strategy. Interesting, even for those who have a plan, only 38% said that it fully addresses all stages of the customer lifecycle.

5. TECHNOLOGY IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE

CX professionals are struggling to keep pace with the emerging technologies required to meet growing customer expectations and improve the customer experience. Providing a consistent and ‘joined up’ customer experience across all customer touch points is also perceived as a major challenge. 

Explore the detailed findings along with valuable, actionable insights from customer experience experts in Salmat’s free series of reports: The State of Customer Experience Insights Series 2015. Register online today.

online customer experience insights series

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About the author
Scott McMillan
GM - Business Consulting

Scott McMillan is Salmat’s General Manager of Business Consulting. He has a passion for driving exceptional customer experiences through multi-channel environments. He believes that finding the right equilibrium between people, process & technology can create real world opportunities for all organisations. A strong proponent of finding the right ‘mix’ is ensuring you evangelise the ‘outside in thinking’ principles.

More articles by Scott McMillan