The report examines the characteristics of highly mature CX organizations – dubbed ‘champions’ by ESG – and those with the three least mature levels: ‘startups’, ‘startups’ and ‘risers’. The survey provides insight into what companies need to do to achieve a higher level of customer experience maturity.
“This research confirms what our customers tell us across industries, sizes, and life cycles: Customer experience requires continuous investment and innovation to truly differentiate the business,” said Jeff Tetterton, chief operating officer of Zendesk. “The way we look at customer service is changing – it is at the heart of all customer relationships in this first digital economy. Tools for proactive service delivery, information sharing and cross selling are now just as important as problem solving. These are the characteristics that transform a call center from a cost center to Revenue catalyst.
The research shows that the number of champions within medium and large companies has increased from 5 percent to 8 percent since 2020. The region with the largest gains was France – from 0% in 2020 to 5% in 2021. Spain (13%) ) and the United Kingdom (8%) with the highest percentage of champions. The Netherlands is a trailblazer at 7 per cent of champions, down a very small 8 per cent in 2020.
“The findings support that the shift to digital and home work has been an incentive for companies to accelerate the adoption of new technologies, policies and processes to benefit from higher customer experience maturity,” said Adam DeMattya, Director of ESG Custom Research. “In the UK and Europe, Champions recognize that service excellence can be a differentiating factor and even accelerate investment in customer experience projects.”
Customer experience-driven innovation is a competitive differentiator
The vast majority of respondents in Europe (89 percent) say customer experience innovation is necessary to protect their business from competition. They see the value of data in doing so, with half of respondents (56 percent) admitting that they could do more with customer data to increase sales opportunities and business growth. Among the four levels of customer experience maturity, champions lead the way in driving continuous innovation in customer experience and the use of customer service data.
Better relationship with customers through conversations instead of transactions
Almost all champions (94 percent) agree that dealing with customers is a major goal for their teams. This confirms the shift from a transactional service focused solely on solving tickets to a ‘conversational experience’. In the Netherlands, medium and large companies are unlikely to feel the need to make conversational experiences more personal, with only 21 percent fully agreeing with this statement. Between accelerating customer experience investments and adapting service policy changes early in the pandemic, champions in Europe are likely to believe they made the right investment and policy decisions during the pandemic to maximize their resilience.
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