The majority of companies and agencies are committed to delivering an integrated customer experience, finds Econsultancy [download pages] in a survey of global (though primarily UK-based) digital marketers, produced in association with CACI. But only few respondents report that they – or their clients – have well-developed strategies, with the majority indicating instead that their strategies are just now being developed. Similarly, a plurality say the customer experience provided is not very integrated.
In fact, just 8% of company respondents lay claim to a “very integrated” customer experience – and only 4% of agencies can say the same about their clients. That’s despite three-quarters or more respondents recognizing business benefits of an integrated customer experience such as improved customer retention, increased sales and increased customer satisfaction.
Among company respondents, the biggest barrier to an improved customer experience appears to be the complexity of it all given the number of different touch points. This was cited as a top-3 barrier by 54% of company respondents. Agency respondents also chose this as a top barrier (44%), although an equal proportion cited lack of an overall strategy as a chief obstacle.
Part of the problem appears to be that respondents are failing to meet what they themselves perceive to be the most important areas for delivering an integrated experience. For example, 63% of companies view data (single customer view/customer insight) as a critical area, yet only 32% feel their organization is excellent (5%) or good (27%) in this area. A similar gap emerged for systems and processes, perceived as critical by 54% but with only 24% declaring themselves well-equipped.
Lack of integration can be traced back to technology platforms, according to separate study results: the majority of companies (51%) and agencies (59%) report the use of non-integrated tech platforms.
On an encouraging note, it seems as if respondents will be taking financial steps to resolve some of these issues: 63% of companies will increase their data and insights budgets over the next year, while 52% will hike their spending on systems and processes. Agencies report fairly similar spending plans among their clients.
About the Data: There were 890 respondents to the research request, which took the form of a Clicktools online survey in June and July, 2013. Respondents were evenly split between client-side (in-house) organisations and supply-side respondents (i.e. agencies, vendors or consultants).
Half of the respondents (50%) stated that they were based in the UK, with a further 18% coming from the rest of Europe. Asia Pacific, North America and the MENA region were also represented.