More than 8 in 10 (84% of) executives agree that excellence in digital customer experience (CX) is critical to business survival, and 8 in 10 (81%) likewise agree that they are competing more and more on digital CX as much as on product and price. However, considerably fewer are very confident in their ability to optimally design a customer journey, according to a report [download page] from Glassbox and Forbes Insights.
The survey was fielded among 400 US-based executives at companies with at least $100 million in revenues, working in a variety of business functions including customer service, digital strategy/operations, customer experience, and e-commerce.
While many displayed confidence in their digital CX (more than 1 in 4 rating it as best in the industry or best in the world, and 71% rating it as above-average or better), the study sought to delve deeper to see where digital CX strengths and weaknesses lie.
The highest level of confidence was for omnichannel operations, with half (49%) being highly confident that customer service agents have access to both in-store and digital transactions in real time. Respondents were also relatively confident (43% expressing a high amount of confidence) that their contact center, mobile apps, and online channels are fully integrated.
By contrast, there was less confidence in digital channels and customer journeys. Only about one-third (34%) are highly confident that digital experiences are optimally personalized, and similarly only 1 in 3 are very confident that they have a fully-detailed understanding and/or map of each customer’s digital journeys.
The link between customer journey mapping and CX has been seen in previous research, with top CX performers in one study being much more likely than laggards to use a variety of customer journey mapping methods. The same study also found that the key ascribed benefits of a customer journey mapping approach are to identify opportunities to improve CX and to establish a single, unified view of the customer.
Although executives are clearly cognizant of the benefits of an optimal digital CX, more than 3 in 4 say that standing out from their competition in this area has become more difficult since the pandemic began. And in order to improve, respondents will need to confront a diverse set of challenges ranging from compliance to talent and internal collaboration.
As such almost 7 in 10 report that it’s challenging to achieve and maintain security, data privacy and compliance. While this is a challenge, it’s also true that respect for customer data privacy can be a competitive advantage.
Meanwhile, almost 2 in 3 say they’re struggling to shift their analytics posture from a reactive to a proactive/predictive stance, while a similar portion (65%) find that attracting and retaining talent that understands both the technological and business implications of digital CX is a challenge.
Finally, getting teams to cooperate around digital CX is a difficult endeavor, per the report. More than 6 in 10 are challenged in fostering collaboration and communication across business functions around digital CX. And only about 1 in 5 (22%) report that their CX teams collaborate very closely with IT and data teams. One potential area of disturbance might be the simple question of who owns CX transformation.
- More than 3 in 4 (77% of) respondents agree that digital disruptors outside their own industries raise customer expectations for their digital CX.
- Close to 2 in 3 are having difficulty finding the right mix of digital CX technology tools.
- Only 1 in 4 are highly confident in the effectiveness of their digital CX leadership and governance.
- More than 3 in 4 (77%) agree that they can fully link digital CX investments to improved performance.