Organisations are failing to implement effective digital strategies, leading to disjointed customer experience (CX) solutions, and traditional phone interactions still being used in place of digital that their customers are demanding.
New research by Dimension Data, in its Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report, which polled 200 Australian respondents, found that just six per cent of Australian respondents had an optimised strategy for digital business in place, while 55 per cent said they don't have a plan at all, or are at best, in the process of developing one.
On a global level, this amounted to 10 per cent and 51 per cent respectively.
In addition, just 36 per cent of respondents - and only 28 per cent of them in Australia - have appointed a board-level executive who is responsible for CX. Organisational disconnects mean digital solution functionality is not meeting customer requirements.
However, respondents agreed that improving CX is the top driver for digital transformation, followed by customer demands for digital.
More than 84 per cent of organisations evidenced an uplift in revenue as a result of improved CX, while 79 per cent reported cost savings. In Australia, 82 per cent of organisations reported an uplift in revenue, while 78 per cent reported cost savings.
Dimension Data group executive of CX and collaboration, Joe Manuele, said the absence of a connected digital strategy means that even when digital solutions are available, the customer is frequently not even aware of their existence.
"The digital dilemma is deepening, and organisations need to choose a path between digital crisis or redemption.
"The world has formed a digital skin and business, service, technology and commercial models have changed forever. However, organisations are strategically challenged to keep pace with customer behaviour," he said.
The study also found that emerging CX robotics is creating a new reality, with virtual voted the top channel growth focus for 2017, and IoT deployments set to double.
Dimension Data Australia general manager of CX and collaboration, Michael Slip, says as a result of this, the market demands a new approach.
"Pioneers of the digital age have reimagined business models and processes that have changed customer behaviour, and the choices organisations make with their CX and digital strategies will define the future success of their organisations," he mentioned.
Other findings from the study include:
- CX was voted by 82 per cent of Australian participants as a competitive differentiator, and is the most important strategic indicator of performance
- 81 per cent of Australian research participants forecast increases in assisted-service volumes; 71 per cent a rise in fully automated digital contacts; and 59 per cent anticipate overall interactions to grow
- Omnichannel solutions, alongside customer analytics, were listed as the top factors to reshape CX capability in the next five years.
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