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Tough Customer

Guest Author

By Eva Skidmore @evaskidmore

As one who is willing to pay more
for a great experience, I may be a tough customer, but I am one of millions
placing significant demands on companies to serve me better. What was
surprising to me about the outcome of Oracle’s recent Customer E
xperience (CX) survey was the gap in perspective between how
companies think they are doing relative their customers’ perspectives. Only 39%
of companies earned a CX index rating of “excellent” or “good,” but 80% of them
say they effectively deliver a
positive, consistent and relevant experience. Only
44% of executives believe that consumers are willing to pay more for great CX,
but 86% already are!

To bridge this gap, successful
initiatives benefit from executive level focus across the people, processes and
technologies that touch our customers. For example, when I dig further into the data from our North American
survey results, it is interesting that successful CX projects require a focus
on two of the top three areas keeping companies from investing in CX. The top three obstacles include a lack of
funding (32%), an inflexible technology infrastructure (28%) and a siloed
organizational structure (25%). The most
successful projects address the first two by implementing a technology to
improve customer service (32%), but also by building a training program or incentives
for employees (35%) and formalizing a Voice of the Customer program (27%).

As a devotee of customer
experience design and social trends, I understand the challenge of adapting our
businesses with a holistic view of customers and their expectations. Take the time to walk in the shoes of your
customers. Pick one customer and follow
their journey. Evaluate how your people,
your process and your technology help or get in the way. And, identify CX decisions that can boost key
business measures like acquisition, cross-selling, efficiency and retention.

Like many of us, I am glad to see
that over 90% of executives say that improving CX is one of their top 3
priorities for the next 2 years. Of the
91% who want lead through customer experience, 37% are just getting started
with a formal initiative.

In closing, I’d love to hear your
story – what are the obstacles in your business that you are working to
overcome to improve customer satisfaction?

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