With customer-centric marketing taking a front seat in many business strategies, new research from customer feedback firm Alchemer announced a new study exploring the effectiveness of Customer Experience (CX) and Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs.
Responses to the firm’s recent survey, conducted by Forrester Consulting, which asked decision makers about their organization’s customer insights and/or CX strategy, indicate that even though organizations say they do well at collecting feedback and generating insights, they don’t actively work these insights into their decisions, and customers never see the results.
“Organizations fall victim to process inefficiencies, deprioritized initiatives, and a lack of automation that prevents them from acting on the customer data,” according to the study, Smoke and Mirrors: Why Customer Experience Programs Miss Their Mark. “An altered sense of reality further undermines progress. Many organizations think that, because they’re collecting customer feedback, their VoC program is proceeding as it should—even if they aren’t acting on this data.”
Gaps between desired outcomes and reality
While firms are invested in the CX experience, their programs are not integrated into all aspects of the organization, which hinders performance. For example, most collect feedback and generate insights and dashboards well, but less than 25 percent of respondents report that their organizations effectively address customer feedback.
Most respondents (75 percent) believe their entire company clearly defines success for their customer program, yet few (24 percent) respondents report the program itself is understood, and fewer still (20 percent) believe customer-centricity is part of their company’s culture. Only 19 percent of respondents report that the voice of the customer is well-embedded in how their organization runs.
Key findings of the research:
- CX programs aren’t set up for success. Even though organizations show a lot of energy around CX improvements, their operations and prioritization leave much to be desired. CX is still not fully embedded or built out across the organization, leaving plenty of performance gaps.
- CX programs fail in three key areas: quality, embeddedness, and process. Organizations have a distorted view of reality. Many think their CX program performance is much more mature than it actually is. Most organizations are disconnected among key people, process, and technology pillars, and they can’t back up their perception of excellence with their actions. As a result, 96 percent of respondents report their organizations experience negative business impacts due to these challenges.
- Integrate your processes now to ensure future success. For true VoC success, the feedback received must be analyzed, acted upon, and integrated into business processes. Without putting these findings into action, feedback is essentially useless.
“Organizations have an incredible opportunity to create stronger relationships with their customers and employees, especially during this time of social distancing and diminished human connection,” said David Roberts, CEO of Alchemer, in a news release. “This study makes it painfully clear that organizations need to improve their CX programs by embedding customer feedback into how they run things, wiring it in to create a customer-centric culture.”
The study surveyed 305 respondents with decision-making responsibility for their organization’s customer insights and/or CX strategy.