Even though 91 percent of consumers are loyal to brands that provide personalized experiences across the customer journey, nearly half (48 percent) of brands in a new survey say keeping experiences consistent and personalized across platforms, channels and devices is a challenge.
The new research commissioned by automated customer experience (ACX) firm Ada, conducted by Forrester Consulting, found more than half (52 percent) of respondents reporting difficulty keeping up with the constant and rapid change of customer needs, and a staggering 89 percent saying their organization could be customer-centric if data were consolidated into one centralized view of the customer across the entire customer journey.
The study explores the ways more proactive customer engagement can be beneficial to organizations. Key findings include:
Empathetic connection is critical to good CX
More than 90 percent of study respondents report that customers are more loyal to—and will spend more money with—brands that provide good experiences, and 92 percent of customers want convenient and highly personalized experiences when they interact with brands.
Digital experiences are the most effective way to engage with customers, and technology investments reflect this
Nearly every survey respondent (96 percent) aims to increase the conversations they’re having with customers, and another 49 percent will increase investment in proactive CX in the coming year. Eighty nine percent believe that their organization could be customer-centric if its data were consolidated into one centralized view of the customer, but struggle with siloed data ecosystems that make analyzing data and delivering insights difficult.
The benefits of proactive customer engagement include growth and efficiencies
More than half (57 percent) of decision-makers report an improved ability to meet customer expectations after having more conversations with customers, therefore improving retention and increasing sales. Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents cited increased employee efficiency as the top benefit to proactive engagement, and 44 percent cited improving customer retention and reducing churn as a top benefit.
CX teams want a cost-effective and scalable way to engage customers
While more than three-quarters of respondents (78 percent) want to invest in proactive messaging, they find it too expensive to do so.
Virtual assistants are helping bridge the gap by providing a smart, scalable way to engage customers
Sixty-seven percent of respondents report that their organization has already implemented this technology, and 81% find them effective at creating more proactive experiences. Virtual assistants are the top technology respondents plan to implement in the coming year.
“The Forrester Consulting study reveals that customers and the brands they buy from are looking for more conversations, deeper connections and closer engagement, but many are still struggling with organizational and technological silos,” said Mike Murchison, CEO and cofounder of Ada, in a news release. “Our approach to CX has always been to break down silos and put the customer first.”
Forrester Consulting conducted a custom online survey with 100 customer experience decision-makers in the US and Canada in March 2021. Surveyed respondents were from organizations with a minimum of 100 digital customer service agents fielding at least 10,000 inquiries per month.