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Study reveals the new standard for customer experience

By Catherine Knowles
Fri 18 Mar 2022

A new study from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, in association with Genesys, reveals the strategies of organisations setting the standard for customer experience (CX) measurement, and understanding where loyalty is lost and won along the customer journey.

These organisations demonstrate that a clear view into the moments that matter most to customers is now possible through a technology-enabled, people-centric measurement approach, the researchers state.

Companies implementing this strategy will be better informed to take action to improve overall experiences and drive customer loyalty. In contrast, companies stuck in a company-centric approach focused primarily on traditional metrics like Net Promoter Scores (NPS) will struggle to deliver great customer experiences and find themselves at a competitive disadvantage that could disrupt their success indefinitely, the researchers state.

For nearly two decades, NPS has been widely viewed as the defining metric for measuring customer experience. Yet, NPS and other measurements typically happen after a customer transaction, such as the close of a sale or at the end of a service call.

Furthermore, they mostly focus on the efficiency and effectiveness of the business, rather than the quality of the customer experience. This limits opportunities to understand nuances of a customers holistic experience, including their preferences, priorities and friction points, the researchers state.

According to the study, 81% of organisations believe being able to measure CX along key points of the customer journey is important to their organisation's business strategy.

Instead of relying on tools that provide limited visibility, leading organisations are turning to advances in data analytics and machine learning to measure earlier and throughout the customer journey equipping them with insights needed to create more fluid experiences for customers.

Technology and data analytics tools are quickly advancing measurement capabilities, enabling organisations to understand experiences at key moments in the journey.

To access these learnings, more organisations are adopting these tools; 54% of organisations are moving to digital technology to automate efforts to collect customer feedback over the past 18 months, according to the study.

Leaders in measuring CX are the most likely to use the newest technologies like predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to track metrics and identify actionable insights. These strategies are paying off, with 65% more adept in linking CX metrics directly to business outcomes than those in the middle of the pack (29%) and laggards (8%).

Technology's ability to help companies identify pain points along the customer experience expands the opportunity to make each experience more fluid while improving customer satisfaction and building loyalty.

Other highlights from the study include the following:

More robust measurement strategies are driving better customer experiences: 91% of organisations using a wider range of metrics and technologies to measure the customer experience are driving better CX today than a few years ago. Only 39% of those with the most limited strategies and tools have seen similar results.

The majority of organisations face unnecessary blind spots in the customer experience: Only 28% of organisations say they have a very good understanding of customer experience sentiment across all phases of the customer journey. Notably, a third responded to a lack of understanding of customer satisfaction in the critical pre-sale phase of the journey.

Improving the customer experience is a priority and budgets are reflective: 65% of executives included in the study shared that improving the customer experience is a high priority for their organisations; 58% of organisations are increasing budgets for CX measurement to drive better results.

Organisations are slow to embrace AI and predictive analytics as measurement options: Despite advancements these technologies provide, such as detailed insights into employee-customer interactions, real-time sentiment analysis and insights into customer intent, they've yet to be widely adopted. More than 80% of organisations haven't added these powerful technologies to their measurement toolkits, leaving vast opportunity undiscovered for driving desired business outcomes.

Genesys chief strategy officer Peter Graf comments, “While NPS can provide a valuable snapshot into the customer experience, today's technology provides opportunity for a deeper understanding of which aspects of an experience enhance or limit long-term relationships between customers and businesses.

"That's why Genesys is pioneering new ways for organisations to understand what their customers are trying to tell them about their experiences through the data they leave along their entire journey. It is those insights that organisations can leverage to action the path to creating empathetic experiences that breed trust, loyalty and, ultimately, a competitive advantage.”

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