It’s that time of year again! Yesterday marked the release of the 2014 Optus Future of Business Report an annual thought leadership research piece aimed at identifying emerging trends in the Australian business landscape.
For the fourth year in a row Stancombe Research + Planning were commissioned to undertake the research and this year’s survey was the biggest to date with a survey of 5,000 customers and 550 business decision makers. The theme this year was ‘customer experience’ (CX) and in partnership with Optus we have delivered one of the largest and most thorough customer experience studies to date.
The key take-outs were both simple and compelling:
- CX matters: The level of customer experience a customer receives has a huge bearing on their likelihood to return and recommend. For businesses the implication is clear… great CX = increased revenue.
- Good isn’t good enough: ‘Good’ CX doesn’t quite cut the mustard for customers. Outstanding CX is required to guarantee high levels of customer retention and recommendation.
- CX starts from within: CX leading organisations are those with a customer-centric organizational culture, a clear vision, CX strategy and high levels of staff engagement. Getting these ducks in a row is the most important step towards delivering outstanding CX and therefore enjoying high levels of loyalty and advocacy.
- Customers want the human touch: The top customer CX expectations were predominantly human factors e.g. friendly/polite staff, ability to interact with a real person (particularly when it comes to care and support!). Customers tend to value personal interaction more than they value self-service. Businesses on the other hand are increasingly focused on digital channels and tools due their seductively high ROI and are potentially neglecting the human side of CX.
- Technology is just one piece of the puzzle (not the silver bullet!): Businesses are looking to technology as the future of CX and while technology is a great enabler of CX, technology and CX strategies need to be aligned to deliver great CX. Further, innovative (or ‘disruptive’) technologies are only ‘game changing’ when they’re implemented alongside a customer-centric culture and empowered employees.
The full report is available online and features all sorts of engaging digital content. Well done Optus, it’s been a pleasure working with you, as always.