Lack of data integration and exec buy-in is risking CX ROI

The State of CX survey, run by Confirmit has revealed that CX professionals are right to put ROI, data integration and executive buy-in top of the CX ‘wish list’ for 2018.

The research found that despite increasing recognition of the importance of taking a customer-centric approach to business and investment in CX programmes, ROI is the biggest area of failure with only 20% of companies scoring 9 – 10 for seeing a ROI, and 14% scoring 0-2.

And, while the survey confirmed the strong correlation between executive buy-in and the setting of achievable goals and future investment, only 30% of respondents said that key stakeholders were truly invested in the goals of the programme.

Although 88% of respondents are capturing feedback from customers, too few (25%) are adding feedback from suppliers or partners into the mix. Slightly over half are collecting employee engagement feedback, but it is still too often the case that this is done as a one-off annual employee engagement activity, rather than as a continuous listening programme.

Fortunately, the research showed that those businesses integrating data from four sources scored a 31% higher ROI than those collecting from only one source.

Commenting on the findings, Claire Sporton, SVP, Customer Experience Innovation at Confirmit said: “Many businesses are able to provide anecdotal evidence or use key metrics to measure CX programme success, but very few are able to link the CX programme with financial results. Without the ability to demonstrate ROI, it is much harder to gain support of the C-suite, set the right goals for the business and secure the desired improvements and culture change across the business.

“The clear correlation between data integration, lower future investment and low ROI performance pinpointed by the research highlights the very real need to not only better integrate financial, operational and customer data, but also to break down the silos of data lying stagnant in many businesses. These could be brought together in a more meaningful way to create a holistic view of the customer and encourage CX innovation,” Sporton added.

However, technological advances in the form of text, predictive and social analytics are now available to CX professionals to listen more effectively to all voices – not just those of the customer – across multiple channels. And there is a growing willingness to harness data from CRM and contact centre records, for example, to create a much more engaging and more relevant customer, employee and partner experience.

“The implication for the CX industry going forward is that there will need to be a sea change in the skill sets required by professionals. And we need to resist the temptation to think that AI is going to solve all our problems – it’s still in its adolescent phase. Instead the focus in 2018 should be on using the machine learning and automation that is already available to do as much of the ‘heavy lifting’ for us as possible, right now. We need to blend traditional research skills with behavioural economics. We will need to look out from behind the spreadsheet and instead of ‘measuring’ CX, harness human skills such as empathy and broader business acumen to create authentic conversations that build trust. Only then can we ‘do’ things differently and create the proactive and personalised experience that customers, employees and partners are seeking,” said Sporton.