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Businesses Aren’t Delivering Frictionless Customer Experiences

Businesses are missing out on a significant opportunity to fix internal processes and address the root causes of customer experience issues in the wake of the pandemic, research from enterprise software specialist IFS has revealed. This article is copyright 2021 The Best Customer Guide.

The global study, which surveyed 1,700+ executives and 12,000+ consumers, discovered that despite the majority of companies (66 percent) investing upwards of US$250,000 each year evaluating the customer experience through Net Promoter Scores, reviews, and customer satisfaction surveys, 82 percent were unable to recall a single positive example of a recent frictionless customer experience-showing current customer experience processes do little more than wallpaper over the cracks.

While much attention is paid to customer service, the inflection points that occur throughout the lifecycle of an operation and encompass processes, technology solutions, and human coordination are even more important to business outcomes, yet even more frequently overlooked. Only by careful orchestration of these components can companies deliver a quality `Moment of Service’, in which everything comes together to create a positive result for a customer.

However, while 79 percent of businesses have invested time and resources in identifying where these inflection points are, when problems are identified nearly a third of managers (29 percent) admitted to reporting them but not taking action. Furthermore, some 18 percent revealed they were too busy to report issues unless urgent, while just 15 percent said they proactively look to pre-empt problems. This begs the question of how companies can expect customer experience and loyalty to improve without taking necessary action, leaving revenue and market share on the table.

With 90 percent of businesses stating they have reengineered or are reengineering their business to ensure customer touchpoints and stages come together for better moments of service, it is vital that companies ensure processes are optimized across each of these inflection points to mitigate issues and fuel growth.

For enterprises that fail at the moment of service, the financial ramifications are significant. A quarter of consumer respondents stated they would never engage with a brand again after just one bad experience, while over half (52 percent) would abandon a company after two to three. IFS also sought to examine the impact of negative experiences on wider brand perception and uncovered that 58 percent of consumers are very likely or somewhat likely to share their negative perceptions with their network, highlighting how easily a bad interaction can be amplified.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Over half (52 percent) of consumers are inclined to leave a positive review, underscoring just how much can be gained by keeping an open dialog with customers and focusing on delivering an exceptional brand experience.

“When it comes to delivering a positive customer experience, businesses have a limited opportunity to get it right. And if they neglect a single inflection point, they are gambling with their outcomes, including profits and margins,” IFS Chief Customer Officer Michael Ouissi said. “There are many points where you can either delight or disappoint a customer across the value chain and it is clear from these findings that consumers are willing to voice their opinions either way. As more and more businesses look to service provision as a key competitive differentiator, running the right enterprise software-engineered for the moment of service and capable of orchestrating a multitude of people, assets and customers-will separate the winners from the losers. To achieve this, enterprises must rethink how they architect their operations, and become a ‘composable enterprise’ that harnesses a combination of packaged functions and technologies to deliver outcomes and adapts to the pace of business.”

The report, ‘Fixing the fundamentals: Understanding new business models and opportunities in the wake of Covid-19’ has been made available for download from IFS’s web site, at

This article was first published by Customer Strategy Network. Permission to use has been granted by the publisher.

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