Delivering exceptional customer experience has become essential to meet changing expectations post-pandemic. But various challenges – from data analytics to talent – can prevent companies from delivering the highly personalized interactions consumers crave. Learn what issues keep customer experience officers (CXOs) up at night in this blog.
The outsourced customer experience management (CXM) market has seen historic growth in recent years, rising about 12% to 14% last year to more than USD$100 billion, according to Everest Group estimates.
While COVID-19 increased demand for CX-related services, it was not the only driver. Senior business leaders now realize delivering exceptional customer experience is no longer a “nice to have” but a “must have” to grow their businesses and thrive in an increasingly competitive market, especially with tough economic times forecast.
As a result, greater focus is being put on customer experience (CX) and customer service (CS) leaders to deliver an exceptional experience. From our conversations with senior business leaders, they all face the following six similar challenges:
- Using data to improve CX – With data security being critical to running a CX operation, leaders want to better understand all their data, such as contact reasons. They realize data will help them identify ways to improve the experience and lower contact volumes, ultimately improving customer satisfaction and reducing cost. To capitalize on this opportunity, data analytics use within outsourced contracts has grown significantly over the past few years, and our recent research shows that analytics is now present in 30% to 35% of CXM deals
- Navigating the talent crisis – Much of North America and Europe, as well as other locations across the globe, are experiencing a talent shortage. CX leaders find either their in-house operations or outsourced service providers are struggling to attract and retain talent or that they have to pay premium wages. While this challenge may subside if the economic situation worsens, forward-thinking CX leaders are actively working to address this by evaluating alternative talent sources (such as using gig workers or impact sourcing) as well as exploring emerging locations (Sub-Saharan Africa, for example). They also are focusing on improving the employee experience (EX) to retain the talent they find
- Optimising delivery and location models – CX leaders have to think about the right delivery and location models to support their business. Using Work at Home Agents (WAHA) in either full or hybrid models is a key consideration in finding and retaining talent. Delivery locations have also come into focus not only in the talent search but also for business continuity planning (BCP), as mitigating risks is now more top of mind than ever. CX leaders are increasingly demanding insights and analysis on emerging delivery models and locations to support their strategies
- Increasing value while reducing cost – CX leaders feel pressure to deliver value to the business, whether through increased sales, higher retention rates, or better Net Promoter Scores (NPS)/Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT.) However, this responsibility does not come with a blank check, and leaders are still challenged to reduce support costs. Leaders need to balance high-value interactions served by humans and then identify low-value contacts (to the business and end customer) to eliminate or automate
- Modernising the CX infrastructure – The customer experience infrastructure can be modernized and improved at any stage. CX leaders should avoid rushing into a solution because it seems to be the latest hot topic and should understand how the digital solution will integrate into the business and deliver the desired experience
- Anticipating future customer, industry, and technology trends – As we know from our discussions and experiences, busy executives find it hard to look outside their organisations to understand broader trends when working hard to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Competitors are unlikely to share their plans, and opportunities to collaborate with peer CX leaders in non-competing firms are scarce. CX leaders are seeking an unbiased external industry lens that advisors can provide
The CX or CS leadership role has gained greater significance in recent years as the world has awoken to the importance of delivering great customer experiences. While challenging, the obstacles these leaders face are not insurmountable with the right insights, data, and teamwork.
To discuss CX trends further, contact David Rickard at [email protected]
Learn more about how to optimize your customer experience strategy in our LinkedIn Live session, “How are Leading Organizations Delivering Exceptional Customer Experience?”