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Five trends driving customer experience maturity

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Five trends driving customer experience maturity

The pandemic has certainly been a catalyst for companies to transform in order to sustain and grow their business. As a result, delivering outstanding customer experience has become a business imperative for any company looking to future-proof its operations.

Recent research by Zendesk and Enterprise Strategy Group established a clear link between CX and business growth, confirming that those who adopt customer service and support best practices are reaping the benefits.

The report, CX Champions: How CX Leaders Who Raise Their Game Are Driving Business Success,  surveyed 1,000 CX leaders globally, including 250 from Asia Pacific (APAC) - and segmented companies into three tiers of CX maturity: Champions (the most mature), Risers and Starters (least mature) – based on how organisations use their technology, data and support teams to deliver better customer service.

The report revealed that only a quarter of Australian businesses were categorised as “Champions”, highlighting the opportunity for Australian business leaders to dial up their CX. Here are five attributes shared by Champions that when put into practice, can help businesses wanting to reach the next stage on the CX maturity scale:

1. Building a culture focused on CX, driven from the top down

Champions agree that CX is a critical business priority. They also have greater involvement from their senior business leaders, with over a third of Champions in APAC reviewing CX metrics with C-suite executives on a daily basis – 7.8 times more than Starters.

2. Ensuring CX-focused training and support for your people is a priority

You can have the best, most efficient and customer-friendly processes in the world, but they'll fall apart if your team isn't motivated or happy. Champions make sure that their teams are given the support and training they need. Agents at Champion organisations receive an average of one day of additional training in comparison to Starters.

3. Using a data-centric approach to guide your support decisions

Champions put an emphasis on KPIs and metrics to inform their support decisions. In the APAC region, 74% of Champions state their KPIs can be reported in real-time. Having access to real-time data allows businesses to not only have a clear view of customers, but also help them make faster decisions to improve customer experience.

4. Leveraging automation and AI to elevate support performance

The rapid onset of COVID-19 meant that companies had to quickly transition to a digital workplace, adapting to new tools and practices. AI helps agents respond to an increased volume of data and meet rising customer expectations. Forty three percent of Champions in APAC make use of automated methods of building and updating cross-channel customer profiles. AI tools, such as automated chatbots, are also making an impact on support performance.

5. Investing in CX tools and technology

Champions are investing more in their tools and processes for CX success. Across APAC, Champions are 8.4 times more likely than Starters to expect their organisation's spend on CX to increase significantly over the next 12 months.

Businesses in Australia have the opportunity to enhance their support capabilities and increase their CX maturity by understanding what Champions across APAC are doing differently. 2020 highlighted the need for organisations to be agile and adaptable in the face of unforeseeable disruptions. By implementing the service and support best practices outlined above, companies can be better prepared for what’s ahead to not only sustain, but also grow their businesses.

Wendy Johnstone is Chief Operating Officer, APAC, Zendesk

Related: Why cutting your customer experience spend could sabotage your chances of a quick recovery from the COVID downturn
Related: 2021: The year of cloud, customer experience and open source
Related: How chatbots are making us rethink customer experience in a Covid world
Related: Five trends driving customer experience maturity

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