Problems in customer service come from poor strategies: Oracle

Report reveals businesses’ aspirations and pitfalls

Cloud company, Oracle, has revealed the results of its report on customer experience, unveiling insights into the challenges, strategies, and lessons faced by organisations on this front.

The Global Insights on Succeeding in the Customer Experience Era report is a survey of 1342 senior-level executives from 18 countries across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Latin America.

Results showed that 97 per cent of executives agreed that delivering a great customer experience is critical to business advantage and results, and estimate the average potential revenue loss for not offering this is 20 per cent of annual revenue.

Ninety-three per cent also said that improving the customer experience is a top three priority for the next two years, with 91 per cent wishing to be regarded a customer experience leader in their industry.

Funnily enough, 37 per cent are just getting started with a formal customer experience initiative, and 20 per cent consider the state of their customer experience initiative to be advanced.

Do the math: 91 per cent aspire for a claim to the top, but only a fifth consider themselves advanced in this department.

In addition, “the study revealed that business executives underestimate the impact of customer experience on behaviour,” according to Oracle; 49 per cent indicated that customers will switch brands due to a poor experience, but 89 per cent of customers said they actually have switched brands due to one (the latter stat referring to the 2011 US Customer Experience Impact report by RightNow).

Oracle said that social media is key to customer experience. It empowers the customer, and businesses are scrambling to respond. Eighty-one per cent agree that leveraging social media effectively is key to positive customer experience. Actions speak louder than works again, though, with 35 per cent stating they do not have social media for sales channels, and the same amount do not have it for customer service.

What is the lesson in all of this?

“We recommend that organisations map their customers’ journeys to identify specific improvement areas that will help them cross the execution chasm,” Oracle group vice-president, David Vap, said.

“By empowering customers and employees, breaking down organisational silos, and implementing flexible processes and technology tools, organisations can deliver personalised, seamless customer services through the entire experience lifecycle.”

Oracle makes three key points in relation to employee engagement. First, it recommends building training programs and incentives for employees to offer a great experience. Second, businesses must update company core values to include customer experience. Third, implementing a specific technology to improve customer service is critical.

Full results of the report can be found on Oracle’s Web site.

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