Customer experience (CX) is projected to overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator by 2020.
This is according to the report by analyst firm Frost & Sullivan with communications provider Tetherfi titled "Omni Channel Customer Experience - Not An Option, But a Strategic Necessity". The report - which polled more than 5,000 consumers globally - discussed how an omnichannel CX can help organisations grow and attain their cost containment objectives.
In today's marketplace, price is no longer a sole factor in driving purchase decision. The report indicated that majority of the polled consumers (60 percent) are willing to pay higher for quality services.
In fact, it was found that companies lose over US$300 billion each year because of poor CX, with more than two-third of this spent with competing entities.
Essentially, customers want timely, personalised and easy access to services at anywhere, anytime and through any device. More than 71 percent of the respondents believe timeliness as key to services, besides simplicity and efficiency.
Aside from that, customers also expect well-informed staff to handle their concerns, regardless of the channel they choose to use.
"Customers want their interactions to be uniform, consistent, personalised, secure and timely irrespective of the channel - whether through self-service, support agents or face-to-face. Such expectations are forcing brands to rethink their customer contact strategy and establish one that delivers a truly Omni-channel experience," said Jayesh Pajwani, Chief Strategy and Growth Officer at Tetherfi, in a press release.
Reaching different channels
Consumers are using different channels including PCs/laptops, tablets, and smartphones to interact with brands. The report found that in Asia Pacific (APAC) more than 60 percent of customers continually change the way they contact a company.
The report pointed out that the growing popularity of mobile devices alters consumers' behaviour by offering on-the-go access to different channels like voice, web, text, social media, and video chat.
In line, Internet self-service are becoming more widespread as customers go online to solve their queries, the report noted. They also help fellow customers - who have the same concern - through different web services such as forums, review sites, blogs, and social media.
In APAC, over one-third of customers use social media to interact with brands.
"All businesses should aim to provide a unified omnichannel experience across all channels so that the process is seamless, consistent and integrated as customers move through them," said Krishna Baidya, Associate Director for Digital Transformation at Frost & Sullivan, Asia Pacific.
As consumers switch to different channels to interact with brands, the report explained the integration of multiple channels that customers use today with the organisation's CX strategy can help them deliver speedier service and resolution.
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