The explosion of online customer interactions during the pandemic are expected to continue growing at a rapid pace, post-pandemic, according to new research from data integrity brand Precisely and data-driven market intelligence firm Corinium Global Intelligence.
The firms’ new study, How Data is Driving Next-Generation Customer Experiences, is based on a survey of 100 global customer experience (CX) leaders, who share their strategic objectives that will take the highest priority in 2022 to optimize online consumer expectations.
During the height of the pandemic (2019-2021), e-commerce sales grew by 50.5 percent. Many organizations responded by closing in-person locations, including 28 percent of survey participants. Another 42 percent expect to do the same in the coming 12 months. As a result, companies were required to conduct more business online and invest in digital touchpoints that created a positive CX. In fact, 65 percent of leaders surveyed say they have already created digital touchpoints to serve as an alternative to in-person touchpoints, and 34 percent expect to follow their lead over the next year.
As more consumers conform to the ease and comfort of conducting business online, companies must optimize online consumer expectations
But it’s not all or nothing. There is a fine line between what services should be offered in-person or online, and of those online services, some should be automated while others require live interactions. For example, individuals may want to self-serve for day-to-day activities but will want a person to talk to when something goes wrong, or they need help. As such, businesses are looking to offer myriad digital touchpoints to serve myriad customer needs, including mobile apps, remote call centers, customer self-service tools, chatbot capabilities, and interactive voice response phone systems.
With the creation of new digital touchpoints, consumers will generate volumes of data that can be used for strategic insight. In just the last two years, enterprise data volume has doubled as a result of booming online interactions. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t have the data infrastructure in place to glean valuable insights from that data. Only 37 percent of survey participants believe they have a well-developed enterprise data architecture that enables high-quality, data-driven, and personalized CX. For many, data becomes siloed across the various touchpoints, making it difficult to access the data (48 percent). Of the data that is accessible, 45 percent of survey participants believe it isn’t relevant or current, and they believe an insufficient investment in CX is the problem (41 percent).
“Legacy systems are the most common theme holding organizations back from achieving their CX goals—and 54 percent of survey participants agree,” said Greg Van den Heuvel, EVP and general manager, EngageOne at Precisely, in a news release. “If your company is aiming to achieve a consistent and holistic approach to customer engagement, taking advantage of a single, unified platform is significantly more effective than using a disjointed toolset to try and accomplish that objective.”
Luckily, 96 percent of CX leaders say they have, or they plan to invest in, data integration, data integrity, or data enrichment technologies
While many organizations are equipped with the right in-house resources to optimize data, over half (51 percent) are partnering with Hosted Managed Services (HMS) providers to achieve three core competencies that can reduce costs (63 percent); provide better customer communications (55 percent); and improve operational efficiency (33 percent). These HMS providers can introduce modern integrated customer communications management platforms that leverage cloud-enabled technologies, anchored in data.
“How Data is Driving Next-Generation Customer Experiences” surveys 100 customer experience leaders from North America (58 percent), Europe (25 percent), and Australia (17 percent). The survey was conducted in March 2022.
Respondents were selected from companies with annual revenues of at least USD 100 million from sectors including banking and financial services, insurance, utilities, and telecommunications. Their role levels range from C-level to Directors, VPs, or Heads of Department, and all influence their organization’s data, and customer experience priorities.
Respondents were asked 15 questions about their enterprises’ customer experience strategies, maturity, and cloud journeys, as well as how they’re working to instill data-driven customer experiences throughout their organizations.