Organizations need to rethink traditional approaches to customer experience management according to a new study sponsored by Axway (www.axway.com), “a catalyst for transformation,” in partnership with IDC, a provider of global IT research and advice.
The study found that despite customer experience being the top digital initiative for organizations, 69% have yet to implement a single view of the customer.
The study surveyed more than 600 senior executives in IT, digital and customer experience roles at the largest global enterprises across the U.S., Europe and Asia.
It revealed that customer experience is now the most critical digital initiative for more than 70% of enterprises. The study also indicated that customer experience is now replacing product and price as a means to create brand value, distinctiveness and strategic differentiation.
Despite organizations investing in omni-channel strategies, the study found that an omni-channel approach isn’t consistently delivering return-on-investment (ROI). Only 14% consider the value of omni-channel to be “a key differentiator and source of competitive advantage”; conversely, 22% say it’s just a “necessary cost of doing business.”
“Many enterprises have put a lot of investment and effort into omnichannel communications. However, the omnichannel systems of over 4 out of 10 of our research respondents still fail to provide the essential unified and real-time view of customer experience,” said Gerry Brown, research director, software, at IDC. “Omnichannel management and other early market technologies are being superceded by more holistic and customer-centric models – our research reveals that ‘customer experience’, ‘a single customer data view’ and ‘customer journeys’ are all rated as significantly more important as digital initiatives than omnichannel management.”
With traditional approaches to customer experience proving to be sub-optimal, IDC and Axway have identified a new approach to meet customer needs – customer experience networks. Leveraging data from a vast array of internal and external data sources in a customer’s journey – including customers, employees, business partners and suppliers – allows organizations to co-innovate with customers and embrace stakeholders in a more strategic and coherent way than omni-channel.
The study revealed that traditional internally facing approaches and methods are being replaced by externally facing customer-centric methods, with more than half (52%) of enterprises moving very strongly towards “collaborative innovation.” Additionally, organizations operating customer experience networks are reporting increased revenue (68%).
Driving collaboration and innovation is APIs (application programming interfaces), of which 73% consider being “important” or “extremely important” for the implementation of customer experience networks. In particular, senior executives in industries including financial services, telecommunications and media, and utilities verticals consider APIs to be top priority, with 80% of them indicating that APIs are “important” or “extremely important.”
“Traditional approaches to customer experience are broken and as our research shows, organizations need to rethink their strategy for competitively achieving digital transformation,” said Jean-Marc Lazzari, CEO at Axway. “For businesses, a customer experience network generates incredible speed, power and agility. They tap into internal business and IT teams, developers, suppliers and partners to initiate new ideas and create a crystal-clear view of the customer.”
The study, The Role of Customer Experience Networks in Delivering Value-Based Digital Transformation, examines the state of customer experience management. The study included participation from 602 senior executives in IT, digital and customer experience roles from large enterprises, 62 percent of which have more than 5,000 employees. Respondents were evenly spread across a variety of sectors including business services, financial services, government, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, telecommunications and media, transportation and utilities.