These days, most companies are surprisingly still in the early stages of formulating customer experience strategies, according to new research published by Econsultancy, a provider of digital marketing and ecommerce solutions, and CACI, which specializes in assisting brands maximize the value from their customers by delivering a truly integrated, multi-channel experience.
“The sheer difficulty and complicated nature of integrating the customer experience is identified as the single greatest barrier to improving the customer experience. This is a challenge but one that businesses need to overcome,” said Econsultancy Research Analyst Bola Awoniyi in a statement.
The Integrated Customer Experience report, based on a survey of marketers and ecommerce professionals, found that 58 percent of companies are still developing strategies in this area, compared to just 20 percent of companies with a well-developed strategy. And, 15 percent of companies said their strategy ‘is being changed’, but seven percent said there was ‘no strategy’. This is despite nine in 10 companies saying there is at least some level of organizational commitment to delivering an integrated customer experience.
“For the majority of organizations the challenges to overcome have remained similar. What is new is that the impact of these challenges is accelerating with the increase in channels, data and organizational silos,” said Matt Hey, director of Consulting at CACI.
The research is based on a survey in June and July 2013, to examine how organizations approach an integrated customer experience, and what marketers regard as factors for success. The research also sheds light on the aspects of the customer experience that organizations are having difficulties with. While more than half of the responding companies see ‘data’ (63 percent) and ‘systems and processes’ (54 percent) as critical areas for delivering an integrated customer experience, most companies have inadequate capabilities in both areas. Only 32 percent of companies rated themselves as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ for data, while even fewer (24 percent) rate themselves this positively for systems and processes.
Awoniyi continued, “Having an integrated customer experience is becoming less of a novelty and more of a necessity in our heavily connected society. Companies must commit to a customer experience strategy, and start laying the foundations for investment and training in this area.”
About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big Design, Customers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.