Digitisation is the main Customer Experience priority for US firms, new research has revealed.

A report by the National Centre for the Middle Market (NCMM) found that 74 percent of middle market firms surveyed believed digitising CX was essential to growing or transforming their business to meet future goals.

Their report, titled Digitizing the Customer Experience: Are We There Yet? found that 70 percent believed digitisation was the key to overall company growth, and 69 percent saw it as essential for delivering a “seamless” Customer Experience.

Despite this, only 38 percent of middle market companies said the digitisation of their CX was highly effective, while just 12 percent have reached an end-to-end digital experience on all platforms.

The data confirms that digitally strategic firms enjoy 10 percent year-over-year revenue growth and 4.6 percent year-over-year employment growth, compared to non-digital forms who sat at 4.7 percent and 2.7 percent respectively.

The NCMM – a collaboration between The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, SunTrust Banks Inc., Grant Thornton LLP, and Cisco Systems – identified four types of companies from the survey.

These are: those who are not actively digitising CX; “defensive” companies that are doing what they need to do to keep up; “advanced” firms with strong digital CX aspirations but spotty capabilities and platforms; and a group of “strategic” digitisers.

Companies in this last group have a specific strategy for digital integration and have invested heavily in the necessary tools and talent to bring this strategy to fruition.

For those firms failing to keep up with digitisation, cost has been named as a prohibiting factor.

Speaking of the findings, NCMM Executive Director Thomas A. Stewart said:

“The biggest challenge to digitising the customer experience is capturing the financial return from the company’s investment.

Customer Experience digitisation is not streamlining processes digitally – it involves digitising what customers see, feel, touch, and do.”

Doug Farren, NCMM Managing Director, said:

“For many companies, digitisation of the Customer Experience is reactive, or just ‘happening’ without a clear path to drive it forward.

By developing a strategic path, middle market companies will have countless opportunities to transform the way they do business, which in the end will help them not only retain happy customers, but also achieve their growth goals.”

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