27 February 2020

Connected customers expect a hyper-personalized, effortless experience, but organizations are slow to respond

Only 12% of organizations say customers rate brand experiences as fully satisfactory, with satisfaction around AI and robotics experiences faring even worse London – 27 February 2020 – NTT Ltd., a world-leading global technology services provider, today revealed the findings of its annual Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report titled “The Connected Customer: Delivering an effortless experience.” According to the research, only 8% of organizations are delivering a fully functioning experience, yet more than half (58%) consider CX to be a primary differentiator.   Organizations struggle to align their CX strategies to voice of customer (VoC) feedback, with 56% having no formal process for considering this data and 18% which capture no feedback at all. Only 26% fully define and track the value contribution of CX and less than a third (32%) are able to connect data relationships between channels – leaving the rest operating ‘blind’ with no full view of the customer ecosystem. That said, the collection of VoC feedback by organizations is improving year on year - there has been a 45% improvement since 2019 in those capturing some form of feedback and 8% now perceive their VoC program to be at an advanced level across all channels.

“Customer expectations are higher than ever. Businesses cannot afford to fail in CX,” said Rob Allman, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience at NTT Ltd. “However, most companies are missing valuable insights that are integral to better connect with and stay relevant to customers across every touchpoint. By listening to the voice of the customer, integrating data across systems, in addition to adopting emerging technologies like AI and RPA, companies have the unique opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.” Listening starts with strategy

A successful CX strategy is proven to improve customer and brand engagement and drive commercial performance, yet many organizations are still stuck in the developmental stage due to siloed technology systems, inconsistencies in experience and a lack of clear processes. Specifically, challenges include:

  • Faltering technology systems: Nearly one in three (29%) say their technology systems are failing to meet current needs and many teams still struggle with legacy systems (47%) and the integration of multiple technology systems (47%). Additionally, the inability to secure budgets (48%) remains a concern and skills shortages is seen as a growing concern (29%).
  • Siloed channels and internal business organizations: Almost two thirds (61%) of organizations agree there is only partial collaboration between functions when it comes to designing CX, and 15% don’t collaborate at all. Two thirds (66%) still have no cross-channel contact management strategy and only a quarter (25%) claim to have good or complete consistency across contact channels.
  • Inconsistent priorities: Personalization capabilities have surged from 50% to 77% in one year, but just 16% of organizations place “customer delight” as the top driving force behind their customer journey design strategy. This may account for why over one third (35%) of assisted-services enquiries fail to be resolved during first contact, while automated channels fare worse with a 45% fail rate.

Creating a smarter CX with data analytics

While almost three quarters (73%) of organizations indicate that they are satisfied with their customer satisfaction capability, only 12% of their customers rate customer experience at ‘advocacy’ level.  Worryingly, just 6% of AI and robotics users say customers rate their experience at advocacy level, exposing the gap between emerging technologies and satisfaction levels.

This demonstrates that businesses need to create a smart strategy which bases AI on optimum data. Organizations must learn to fill the gap between data management and integration and prioritize an efficient data management platform. As it stands, only half (50%) of data capture needs are defined and aligned to desired business outcomes and just 23% have a dedicated team managing the company’s entire data lake. In fact, 17% have no data management strategy at all. Because of this, data is becoming increasingly difficult to manage. More than half (52%) of all teams are evaluating and learning how to use available data and over a third (36%) do not have the required data management skills or resources to do so.

An increasing number of organizations are moving towards the use of smart data to inform CX decisions but are often overwhelmed by this transformation. Half of businesses confirmed data analytics and data management will be one of the top three tech initiatives prioritized by the CX team. Analytics (58%) is expected to be the top factor in reshaping the CX industry within the next five years. This is closely followed by artificial intelligence (54%), technology integration (44%), and service personalization (42%).

Overcoming business organizational structure challenges

Many organizations believe AI and automation is the future for creating operational efficiency, hyper personalization and providing an effortless customer experience. Rules-based robotic solutions “are the preferred option both now and in the short term with AI being the top five-year priority.”

The vast majority (77%) of organizations also believe customer operations will be positively impacted by AI and CX robotics in the future, followed by business insight and customer intelligence (60%) and workplace management/operational productivity (49%). However, the implementation of AI remains difficult. Looking forward, businesses must find a solution for the current lack of skills across the business, which is currently considered a challenge for more than half (56%) of organizations today.

“Businesses must look at how technologies such as AI and RPA can work as part of their organizational team structures,” said Allman. “But to do this successfully, AI needs to work with the voice of the customer data which is collected by advanced social listening tools. This data must also be compiled from across the business’s value chain in order to help AI realize its potential. Therefore, design thinking and an ecosystem focused approach is imperative.”

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About NTT Ltd.
NTT Ltd. is a leading global technology services company. We partner with organizations around the world to shape and achieve outcomes through intelligent technology solutions. For us, intelligent means data driven, connected, digital and secure. As a global ICT provider, we employ more than 40,000 people in a diverse and dynamic workplace that spans 57 countries, trading in 73 countries and delivering services in over 200 countries and regions. Together we enable the connected future. 

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Media Enquiries – NTT Ltd.
Marian Scala, Vice President, External Communications, NTT Ltd.
T: +27 11 575 1541
E: marian.scala@global.ntt

Hotwire for NTT Ltd.
Beth Sissons
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