In these technological times, the savviest brands and businesses are able to stay ahead of the pack when it comes to employing the latest strategic and tactical tools and mindsets. And those with the most mature strategy—including making customer experience (CX) an organizational priority and leveraging omnichannel and AI technologies—see an increase in revenue and conversion at double the rate of other companies, according to new research from unified comms tech provider LogMeIn.
An even more compelling revelation of the firm’s new study—Build Competitive Advantage Through Customer Engagement and AI, conducted by Forrester Consulting—is that as the maturity gap continues to widen, organizations that are falling behind may never be able to catch up to their more mature competitors.
“Exceptional customer experience is a cornerstone of business success. Better customer engagement leads not only to higher customer satisfaction, but also to greater top-line revenue growth and more satisfied customer-facing employees,” according to the study. Organizations with greater engagement maturity reap benefits, not only more often, but of greater value, than less mature companies.”
The impact of technology
Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence are also accelerating the divide. Companies with a more mature engagement approach can more quickly adapt and incorporate powerful use cases of AI that propel them forward. Thirty-six percent of the least mature respondents use AI, but only in proofs of concepts. Meanwhile, 58 percent of CX “experts” have implemented a holistic AI strategy and roadmap. The comparison between long-term and short-term strategies of these organizations represent a significant setback for the less mature companies who have not been able to capitalize on the business intelligence that AI-powered technology can provide.
Challenges facing less mature organizations
The study showed that 37 percent of less mature organizations rely too much on obsolete technology—especially in the area of digital channel support. Furthermore, poor self-service and automation capabilities are leading to frustrated customers and increased call center volume—which conversely is not a typical challenge for the most mature of the group who are successfully leveraging these capabilities to create better overall customer experiences.
Additional challenges that less mature organizations run into include lack of visibility into both customer data (37 percent) and the performance of engagement channels (42 percent). These limited views inhibit a company’s ability to quickly address weaknesses and understand how to best serve their customers.
For the most mature of those surveyed, 63 percent saw an increase in NPS as a result of their current customer engagement strategies and reported an average of 8 points higher than their lesser mature counterparts. Further, half of these organizations saw an increase in conversation rates, 56 percent reported an increase in revenue and 40 percent saw an increase in order size. Even agent satisfaction increased under the more mature organizations, with nearly 50 percent reporting an increase in overall job happiness.
“With all of the hype around AI’s place in customer experience, it can be hard for companies to separate fact from fiction,” said Ryan Lester, senior director of customer engagement technologies at LogMeIn, in a news release. “The results of this study helped provide some clarity around the importance of continuing to evolve customer engagement strategies. Technologies like AI are creating a significant competitive advantage for leaders and leaving the rest falling irreparably behind.”
The researchers surveyed 479 global customer engagement decision makers.