Why Companies Are Failing to Grasp the Digital Customer Experience

Why Companies Are Failing to Grasp the Digital Customer Experience

In a 2016 report, the Economist Intelligence Unit 1 makes a bold assertion: “Customer experience” will overtake “mass advertising as a preferred channel to the customer.” The report, titled “The Path to 2020: Marketers Seize the Customer Experience,” claims that marketing departments will be increasingly responsible for the end-to-end customer journey by 2020—and nailing customer experience will mean the difference between success and failure in the new digital economy. It’s not a unique opinion. Nailing the digital customer experience is a big deal. Despite all the attention, research from firms like Accenture don’t paint a pretty picture. Only 7 percent of brands are exceeding customer expectations, and few companies feel confident in how they’re implementing new digital customer experience initiatives. New research from IBM’s Institute for Business Value may have some answers why this is the case: Executives and customers are not seeing eye-to-eye. As IBM writes in the report: Many executives have tried to put themselves in their customers’ shoes emotionally. Yet, even with mountains of customer data at their disposal, executives are still susceptible to projecting their needs onto their customers with an inside-out point of view. The disconnect in how both sides rank the eight factors is pretty obvious. Above everything, customers want speed and convenience, but executives think they want control.

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In a 2016 report, the Economist Intelligence Unit 1 makes a bold assertion: “Customer experience” will overtake “mass advertising as a preferred channel to the customer.”

The report, titled “The Path to 2020: Marketers Seize the Customer Experience,” claims that marketing departments will be increasingly responsible for the end-to-end customer journey by 2020—and nailing customer experience will mean the difference between success and failure in the new digital economy.

It’s not a unique opinion. Customer experience—specifically digital customer experience—plays a central role in just about every major research report published recently. Nailing the digital customer experience is a big deal. According to research by McKinsey, “for every 10-percentage-point uptick in customer satisfaction, any company … can increase revenues by 2 to 3 percent.”

So how are brands faring? Despite all the attention, research from firms like Accenture don’t paint a pretty picture. Only 7 percent of brands are exceeding customer expectations, and few companies feel confident in how they’re implementing new digital customer experience initiatives.

New research from IBM’s Institute for Business Value may have some answers why this is the case:

IBM digital customer experience

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