Whilst the pandemic continues to accelerate digital transformation efforts, the prevalence and complexity of legacy systems, a lack of technical expertise and organisational culture are holding businesses back when it comes to driving further improvements in customer experience, new research from Netcall and Davies has revealed.
Even as COVID disruption recedes, the customer experience (CX) stakes are increasing dramatically. According to 53% of CX and business leaders from UK NHS, local government, banking and insurance organisations, customer experience innovation has increased in the last 12 months, with no sign of slowing down. Whilst COVID-19 was named as the number one CX change driver, ‘seeking operational efficiencies’ (51%) and ‘improving customer retention’ (28%) were also prominent factors influencing transformation.
As businesses adapt to changes in consumer behaviours and expectations, half (50%) worry they will miss out on the opportunity to engage with customers, whilst 55% are planning to use new channels to do so. In order to appeal to the needs of today’s consumer, 59% of organisations either have a strong ambition or would like to be more omnichannel in the future, but over a quarter (26%) are distracted by other priorities.
Despite the desire to transform, organisations are facing a number of barriers in doing so successfully, with the prevalence/complexity of legacy systems (47%) and a lack of organisational expertise (45%) revealed as the main hurdles. And nearly half (49%) of respondents find the choice of customer/patient experience technology overwhelming, suggesting that, despite the urgent need to transform, support and guidance is needed to ensure success.
Organisational culture was also cited as a factor obstructing CX transformation. Another recent Netcall study revealed disparities between agents and business leaders when it came to the success of digital transformation efforts during the pandemic. And it seems that this theme remains prevalent, with the latest research highlighting that 60% of CX professionals agree that the focus on the tech stack must be matched by the focus on creating the right staff culture. Also, 57% said that it is essential to build a customer experience focused on culture to deliver sustainable customer experience.
Richard Farrell, Chief Innovation Officer at Netcall, commented, “The last 18 months has brought CX to the forefront. Amid rising tensions between cost management, customer acquisition and retention, organisations must remain agile and enable tech transformation in order to implement great customer service.
“Organisations must transform touchpoints, internally and externally, to provide the right customer choices – whether that’s preferred channels or self-service – and staff access. Automating routine tasks can also free up frontline workers and boost staff morale. It’s often impractical to remove older systems, but wrapping them in more accessible technologies – such as chatbots, workflow automation, low-code and robotic process automation (RPA) – can place CX transformation and ownership into the hands of every team member and customer. In this way, organisations can foster a new agile culture and create sustainable CX transformation.”
Craig John, Global Innovation Director, Davies added: “Customer experience is transforming rapidly and many organisations are striving to meet the growing and evolving expectations of customers who have become accustomed to the convenient, tech-enabled, one-click solutions which are now widely offered by firms such as Amazon. But they are held back by legacy systems, and a lack of resource and expertise.
“Digital transformation and automation present a huge opportunity for organisations as they seek to maintain competitive advantage, streamline their operations, and deliver service excellence. With an overwhelming number of options, we will continue to drive our innovation agenda to help our clients level up their customer experience fast.”
Further findings around the main barriers to CX will be discussed in an upcoming webinar on Wednesday 1st December. For further information or to register, please visit: https://www.netcall.com/events/cx-transformation-beating-the-blocks/