Is today’s automation tech moving too fast, or are business and brand marketers becoming too quickly over-reliant without proper upskilling? Or do the tools themselves just fall short of expectations at their current stage of innovation and development? Whatever the cause, something isn’t going as planned—new research from unified CX management platform Sprinklr reveals alarming statistics for customer service teams and brands, finding significant challenges throughout the customer service journey.
The firm’s new report, Outsmarting Adversities | Customer Service Trends & Opportunities, created in partnership with Customer Contact Week Digital, reports that more than half of all respondents said they struggle to even capture meaningful data about customers, and more than 6 in 10 are struggling with ineffective AI solutions.
“Providing digital, personalized service is essential for companies to meet consumer expectations. Making these interactions more cost efficient and easier for agents is equally as important. This valuable research [helps] brands identify the gaps they must address to deliver on the promise of truly unified, omnichannel customer service,” said Ragy Thomas, founder & CEO of Sprinklr, in a news release. “The challenges uncovered go beyond customer experience and contact center teams. Insufficient intelligence hurts the entire business. Unified insight about what customers need and how they behave can dramatically improve how every customer-facing function—from service, to sales and marketing, to product development—operates.”
Key findings from the report include:
Digital and AI deficiencies
Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of brands acknowledge inconsistencies in their digital customer communication. This includes not communicating the same information and not staying true to their brand voice. The majority of companies are also struggling with ineffective AI solutions (60 percent) and insufficient resourcing (54 percent).
Disconnected customer experiences
Only 22 percent of customer service leaders say their organization has completely unified customer data. The findings are nearly as alarming for enterprise systems (30 percent), objectives and metrics (30 percent), contact channels (33 percent), and departments (34 percent).
A small yet surprising 11 percent of respondents admitted that they make no effort whatsoever to personalize interactions. Another 36 percent, meanwhile, limit personalization efforts to referencing “basic profile details” in some or all communication. The remaining 53 percent are making strides toward personalization, but only 12 percent of all respondents are predicting customer needs and proactively tailoring interactions based on specific needs, intentions, or sentiments.
Nearly 51 percent of brands say they are struggling to even capture meaningful data about customers, while 67 percent of companies face difficulty analyzing customer data, 64 percent struggle to unify data, and 63 percent report challenges using data to improve customer experience operations. And a majority have trouble empowering frontline agents with relevant context (58 percent), and sharing insights outside the contact center (55 percent).
“While challenges persist, it’s encouraging to see how many organizations are prioritizing investing in the right technology to unify customer service operations and help make their customers and agents happier,” said Thomas.
Businesses are responding, the research finds—leading companies are taking a number of actions to tackle these challenges, with 53 percent viewing AI to power chatbots and improve customer data as a paramount focus for 2023 and more than 69 percent planning to invest in technology that reduces agent effort.
CCW Digital and Sprinklr commenced the research initiative in December 2022, and surveyed more than 300 global leaders in the customer contact and customer experience spaces to better understand exactly what is going wrong within the customer contact function.