Customer experience remains a priority for businesses this year, with close to 9 in 10 customer experience (CX) decision-makers identifying improving CX as a critical (40%) or high (46%) priority in the next 12 months. This is per a report [download page] from Alchemer and Forrester Consulting.
Another 8 in 10 are setting connecting insights to action as a top priority. However, while these two factors are being prioritized, a full 82% say their organizations do not have a fully embedded voice of the customer (VoC) program. This is despite noted benefits such as better customer engagement (47%), better ability to keep up with competitors (43%) and a better ability to form strategy based on insights (35%).
In fact, along with a difficulty in tracking metrics back to their VoC program (32%), taking too long to act on the data they collect (28%) and difficulty in determining the right metrics (27%), about one-quarter (24%) of respondents say that one of the challenges they face with their VoC strategy is that customer feedback isn’t shared throughout the organization.
As a result of these challenges, respondents report an inability to keep up with competitors (35%), missing sales or growth opportunities (33%) and stakeholders being unable to use data/insights to form strategy (31%).
Investing in Tech and Data Collected
All that said, respondents are making strides towards embedding customer insights throughout their organization. When asked what steps they were taking to do so, 4 in 10 (38%) said they are increasing defined CX budgets, while 36% are establishing a formal CX measurement framework. Others are interviewing stakeholders to understand their needs and goals (28%) and unifying data sources to prioritize effectively (28%).
However, the action the largest portion (44%) of respondents are taking to embed customer insights throughout their organization is to make new tech investments. Currently, some of the most used technologies used in CX programs include customer relationship management (56%), customer feedback management (45%), survey-focused tools (41%) and social media and reputation management (36%).
Using these technologies, respondents say they are collecting data such as demographics (71%), website activity (60%), marketing response (55%) and CRM (49%). Fewer say they also collect behavioral data (45%), location data (38%) and purchase transaction data/point-of-sale data (34%).
And, while respondents say they are collecting these different types of customer data for their CX program, analyzing the data was identified as the most difficult stage of the VoC data collection and use process by the largest share of respondents. This relates back to another challenge faced by some respondents — employees lacking the right skills. Indeed, data analysis skills have been a much sought-after skill set for some time now and remain so in the year to come.
When looking at the most valuable functionality and capabilities of technology for customer insights, ease of use (57%) comes out on top followed by fast time-to productivity (51%), while integration with internal systems (36%) is further down the list.
The full report can be downloaded here.
About the Data: Results are based on an online survey of 305 respondents with decision-making responsibility for their organization’s customer insights and/or CX strategy.