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satmetrix-customer-experience-roi-april2012.jpg4 in 10 companies say their customer experience initiatives have an unproven level of ROI, per results [download page] from a Satmetrix survey released in April 2012. A further 27% say they don’t know or cannot measure the level of ROI associated with these initiatives. Of the remainder, though, sentiment is relatively positive: 28% of the overall respondents said that the ROI of their initiatives was either strong (16%) or modest (12%), with the same proportion indicating their level of ROI to be transformative as expendable (both at 3%).

Despite their difficulties measuring ROI, March 2012 research from Tempkin Group indicates that companies stand to gain a lot from improving their customers’ experiences. Using data from a regression analysis the company performed to correlate its experience ratings and loyalty ratings across 18 different verticals, the Temkin Group found that a $1 billion fast food chain making incremental customer experience improvements could generate $382.3 million in additional revenues over 3 years from repurchases ($177.1 million), decreased churn ($119.6 million), and recommendation-driven business ($85.6 million).

Multichannel Tracking Challenging for Metrics

Meanwhile, according to the Satmetrix report, tracking across channels is one of the largest challenges when measuring customer experience, with 21% of respondents indicating this to be their biggest challenge, just behind the proportion who cited closing the loop with customers (22%). Roughly 1 in 7 of the more than 1,000 global respondents said that employee engagement was their biggest challenge, closely followed by the proportion who struggle to get alignment in what metrics to use (13%). A lack of valid customer data (12%) and a lack of vision as to how measuring customer experience helps the company (11%) were also significant factors.

Majority Adopting Social Channels

Data from the “Satmetrix Customer Experience Industry Survey 2012” indicates that almost 3 in 5 respondents are communicating with clients and prospects over Facebook, compared to slightly less than one-quarter not planning to use the channel in the future. Twitter sees the next-highest existing adoption rate (55%), followed by LinkedIn (52%). And while only 42% of respondents said they were currently using a company blog to communicate with customers, almost 1 in 5 said they plan to do so in the future.

For companies wanting to get better customer experience ratings from more elderly demographics in the US, social media might not be a key route to take. According to a McKinsey survey [download page] released in April, for every industry surveyed, Americans 65 and older were more satisfied with their customer experiences than either middle-aged (aged 45-65) or even younger consumers, and a key reason they gave was enjoying the face-to-face interactions that characterized their transactions.

Other Findings:

  • Survey findings from Satmetrix indicate that larger companies (by revenue size) are more likely than their smaller counterparts to have a customer experience management initiative in place. Companies with revenues of over $500 million (63%) are most likely to have an initiative running.
  • 37% of the respondents are most focused on acquiring new customers, while 29% are focusing on their existing customer base. Small businesses (of less than $10 million revenues) are more likely than the average to concentrate on new customers (58%), while large businesses (with more than $500 million in revenues) are more likely than the average to concentrate on their current customers (35%).
  • Two-thirds of customer experience initiatives are built in-house.
  • Almost 7 in 10 respondents are using Net Promoter to measure customer experience and loyalty, with a further 20% actively considering Net Promoter.

About the Data: The McKinsey finding is from a survey of 30,000 Americans conducted in late 2011.

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