Ventana Research Study: Organizations Are Lacking in Customer Experience Management Capabilities


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Only 12% of organizations found to be mature in their focus on ensuring the optimal customer experience

Glasgow, U.K. – June 17, 2008 – ciboodle, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sword Group and provider of customer-oriented business software and services, is a sponsor of the customer experience management benchmark study released this week by Ventana Research. The survey of more than 250 companies from around the world evaluated the maturity of customer experience management and found that only 12 percent of organizations are truly mature in their focus on ensuring the optimal customer experience.

“Reinvigorating efforts to manage customer experience is absolutely essential in today’s highly competitive business environment, and doing so requires a laser-sharp focus on the customer and all his or her interactions,” said Richard Snow, Ventana Research’s vice president of customer performance management research. “The research found that many organizations have yet to invest in new processes and in technology that can help improve customer interactions and provide information employees can use to fine-tune customer behavior.”

On the surface, the research results show a high degree of understanding of the customer experience management as a serious business strategy with more than half the participants identifying the term as the process of improving customer interactions and a quarter recognizing it as a strategy for influencing customer behavior.

“Ventana’s study shows us that companies are aware of the positive impact that customer experience management can have on business outcomes,” said Paul White, Director, ciboodle. “On the flip side, the study also shows that most companies have yet to properly implement the basic processes and technologies that can help them begin to realize the benefits of CEM. These observations are in keeping with our experience in the market, although we are seeing a change as companies are increasingly looking for process-based solutions to their customer service challenges.”

In the study, key themes emerged around multiple channels, the single customer view and the agent desktop:

Multi channel
The Ventana study found that nearly all interactions occur through a customer service agent in a call center or through the Web, and the research shows that customers are less than satisfied with the results of their calls, and few participants reported that issues usually are resolved during the first call.
Despite the growing prevalence of multi-channel customer service amongst the organizations surveyed, less than a quarter of organizations record handoffs between communication channels, and only about two-thirds are capable of tracking interactions across channels.

“As companies transition to a multi-channel environment, it is vital that they establish and maintain consistency across channels,” said White. “This report shows that a third of companies out there are not currently able to do this – they will need to address this as more channels come into play.”

Single customer view
Creating a single, comprehensive (or 360-degree) view of the customer is an objective that companies have talked about for many years. Yet the Ventana study shows that it remains a dream for most organizations, barely a third companies reported that they have currently achieved this.

“The industry is definitely waking up to the fact that achieving a single customer view is a highly desirable goal,” said White. “Standard Bank of South Africa was recently voted the CRM Excellence Award winner by delegates at Gartner’s CRM Summit in London, and a significant part of that project was the consolidation of 14 desktop applications into one.”

Agent desktop
More than one-third of the organizations participating in the research said they intend to upgrade the desktop technology on which agents rely in the next 12 months.

“The typical agent desktop is a significant point of concern for both agents and customers,” said White. “We find that agent applications often lack the depth of information, simplicity and context needed to effectively handle customer interactions and deliver an experience that meets customers’ expectations.”
Only about one-third of respondents said their current desktop provides agents with relevant information that depends on the caller’s profile and circumstances.

About ciboodle
For over 20 years, ciboodle (formerly Graham Technology), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sword Group, has helped improve the way large organizations interact with their customers. Provider of the award-winning customer interaction software suite, ciboodle, the company also offers a range of professional technology services. This proven combination attracts and retains high-value customers for ciboodle’s clients, while reducing their operational costs. With industry experience in a multitude of sectors, the company is consistently recognized by industry analysts as one of the world’s leading customer-centric technology providers.

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