Happy Friday! ‘This week in CX’ brings you the latest roundup of industry news.

This week, we’re looking at data issues with CMS, environmental awareness in shopping, and Gartner’s top priorities for CS and support leaders.

Key news

  • UK consumer card spending edged up just 3.1% year-on-year in January, trailing inflation, indicating shoppers tightened belts post-holidays, the latest Barclays UK data reveals. Essentials took priority – supermarket and fuel spending rebounded while discretionary purchases slowed. 
  • Incidents of violence and abuse aimed at shop workers rose to 1,300 per day last year, up from 870 the year before, according to new figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). The trade body also disclosed a record amount lost to shoplifting, which totalled £1.8bn. It is believed that these surges have been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. The spike comes despite retailers investing large sums to prevent crime and violence in their stores, including spending on CCTV, increased security personnel, and body worn cameras for staff. 
  • Performance reviews are often considered “exhausting” and “tedious,” but ChatGPT is helping many professionals speed up the process, Axios reports. More people are using the artificial intelligence chatbot to write reviews for themselves or their direct reports, especially if the review isn’t likely to impact career progression. However, those who have used AI to write reviews recommend editing all of ChatGPT’s outputs for accuracy since the chatbot might “make stuff up.” 
  • A staggering 11 million working-age Britons lack basic financial resilience, new research from the Resolution Foundation reveals. With less than £1,000 in savings, one in three UK workers would struggle to cope with unexpected costs or income shocks. The report finds this savings shortfall exacerbates the wider “triple challenge” UK households face – insufficient rainy day funds, vulnerability to major life events and inadequate retirement provision. 

Almost 9 in 10 organisations unable to unlock full value of data and content due to their existing CMS

New research from Hygraph has found 84% of organisations believe their existing CMS is preventing them from unlocking full value from their data and content. Consequently, they think only a third (35%) of their current data and content sources are being used effectively.

Hygraph’s ‘Future of Content’ report uncovers the CMS challenges businesses face in delivering digital experiences for users. The report details the findings of a global survey of 400 professionals in product and engineering roles across the U.S., UK, and Germany.

The majority (92%) of organisations say their content and data sources are currently siloed, with 38% describing it as “very siloed”. This means the work required to integrate all these sources is both time-consuming and expensive. More than three-quarters (77%) say they need to build and manage custom software to link various content and sources with their existing CMS. Almost nine-in-ten (88%) respondents say building custom software is an innovation bottleneck.

CMS challenges are restricting revenue opportunities

According to the respondents surveyed, the top five challenges they face with existing CMS’ are:

  • Changes can only be made by a small number of people with the right skills (46%)
  • It is difficult to add new types of data and content to their products and services (40%)
  • Integrating their CMS with other systems (36%)
  • It only works with a limited number of content types (34%)
  • They cannot expose multiple data sources and make real-time updates without creating copies (28%)

The impact of these CMS challenges can be significant for businesses. Just a third (34%) of respondents say their organisation’s CMS is very effective at underpinning new digital services. Over three-quarters (77%) state the difficulty of exposing and using existing data and content in their digital services restricts their revenue opportunities. A further 76% say technology constraints are preventing them from empowering more content creators within their organisation.

Shoppers Want Environmental Costs Cut

Over 11.2 billion paper receipts are printed in the UK every year and the majority of these are non-recyclable – a real bane to both the retail industry and shoppers alike as both actively strive to be more sustainable. Recent research from Yocuda, the world leaders in digital receipt solutions, has found that 76% of shoppers would choose a digital receipt if they knew how many trees are cut down to generate paper receipts. 

In fact, globally, approximately 10 million trees are cut down each year purely for the production of paper receipts. The younger generation of shoppers are more eco-conscious as the number that would choose digital receipts rises to 87% and 88% for those aged 18-25 and 26-35 respectively.

Paper receipts end up in landfills and clutter streets and car parks up and down the country. In fact, previous studies have found receipts create more than 10,000 tons of paper waste globally. Partly due to the fact that a large number of receipts are non-recyclable due to the toxins in the ink and the type of paper used. Interestingly, Yocuda also found that the majority of shoppers (80%) would choose digital receipts if they knew paper receipts were non-recyclable. 

In recent years there has been ever growing awareness and concern from shoppers about the impact of their buying habits. More shoppers feel the need to read a retailer’s sustainability policy before making a purchase. Over two thirds (69%) say this is important in their decision to shop with a retailer. Furthermore, 67% of shoppers believe it is environmentally wasteful to print till receipts automatically, and 87% expect to see a decline in paper receipts over the next 5 years as retailers continue to digitalise in-store services. In fact, 10% of shoppers predict a paper receipt free future by 2028. 

Gartner Identifies Three Top Priorities for Customer Service and Support Leaders in 2024  

A Gartner survey of 246 customer service and support leaders conducted September through October 2023 revealed service and support leaders’ priorities for the coming year amid their increasing responsibility for technology strategy in their organisation.

Seventy-nine percent of service and support leaders surveyed were knowledgeable about their enterprise’s plans for Gen AI adoption. Of these leaders, 83% said their enterprises either have plans to invest in GenAI or have done so already.

While much of the hype around Gen AI in customer service has focused on customer-facing chatbots, many service and support leaders plan to invest in employee-facing Gen AI assistants that will support reps in the next 12-18 months. Of leaders whose organisation is planning to make Gen AI investments, 94% report they are at least “exploring” employee-facing virtual assistants.

In order to meet younger generations of customers’ growing preference for self-service, many service and support leaders will experiment with new self-service capabilities in 2024.

However, these service and support leaders face implementation challenges. Among the service and support leaders who cited self-service adoption as a priority in the survey, 51% also named it a significant challenge for 2024. 

Interviews with service and support leaders revealed multiple reasons why self-service implementation is challenging, ranging from organisational resistance to data disorganisation. However, early experiments with Gen AI have helped leaders to envision new possibilities within self-service.

Fifty-six percent of service and support leaders surveyed say they plan to invest in the CJA market in the next 12-18 months. CJA enables leaders to analyse customers’ interactions with their organisation over time and across channels. Of those who say they’ll be investing in CJA, 45% indicate that they’ll be investing in this market for the first time.

Thanks for tuning into CXM’s weekly roundup of industry news. Check back next Friday for the latest updates of the week!

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