By Matt Young
Are your profits in a slump?
Maybe it’s your Customer Experience Management (CEM).
CEM is a strategic business building block, a critical key to unlocking untapped business potential and is strongly tied to business success and growth trajectories.
A new study* by independent market research firm Dynamic Markets on behalf of Avaya finds a stronger-than-realized correlation exists between CEM and increased profits.
The survey, conducted globally across 13 countries, polled more than 1,200 businesses with workforces in excess of 1,500 employees.
The story is in the numbers:
- 81 percent of organizations have seen their CEM initiatives fail in the last three years.
- Only 59 percent of organizations say they have a comprehensive CEM program.
- Among the 13 countries surveyed, China leads the pack with 84 percent of businesses having a CEM program in place, followed by the U.S. (73), India (72) and Brazil (63).
- 81 percent of those with a CEM program in place have seen a significant increase in profits.
- Those without CEM programs have seen profits remain static (46 percent) or suffered a decrease in profits (35 percent).
- 88 percent of customers would rather spend their money with companies that make it easy for them to buy.
Despite the fact that 95 percent of business managers say CEM will be important to their organization in 2014, only 59 percent of those surveyed have a comprehensive plan in place.
“A majority of businesses acknowledge the need for a comprehensive CEM program, but somehow fail to deliver on what it takes to implement one,” said Brett Shockley, Avaya’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.
Even with a plan in place, there is no guarantee a customer-focused approach will garner results, considering 83 percent of companies can only deliver some elements of a personalized customer experience automatically and in real-time.
The fact that 81 percent of organizations have seen their CEM initiatives fail in the past three years should certainly be a cause of concern in the industry.
Forty-three percent of managing directors, CEOs and business owners think the top reason for CEM failure is project misalignment with customer preferences, indicating communication barriers within organizations themselves.
Another possible explanation is that companies do not typically associate functions like finance, R&D, IT and operations as dealing with customers.
This could be a blind spot in the way they approach and plan CEM initiatives, given that people across all departments within the company have direct or indirect contact with customers and prospects – not just the roles typically seen as customer-facing.
“Breaking down functional silos, tapping the expertise of internal and external resources and investing in technologies that bring customers and employees closer together will help put companies on the path to success,” said Shockley. “The benefits are bankable.”
Today’s multichannel/multidisciplinary way of working with customers requires strong support from enabling technology.
Of companies without a CEM program, 31 percent blame its absence on a lack of appropriate technology in place–a figure that rises to 35 percent among multichannel companies.
But what about the successful ones?
The survey found that leadership counts: the more senior the leader, the more importance they placed on CEM, with 69 percent of managing directors, CEOs and owners thinking it will be extremely important.
The bottom line is the customer experience.
Because the customer determines the bottom line.
The survey was conducted globally across 13 countries by independent market research firm Dynamic Markets on behalf of Avaya including: United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, China, Singapore, Japan, India and Australia. 1,268 businesses with more than 1,500 employees were interviewed, 54 percent of who are at senior-management level or above. 8,500 adult consumers were surveyed; 49 percent of who are male and 51 percent female.