Operational Excellence

Are Businesses Becoming More Customer-Centric?

By Ray Tierney 4 January 2019

In this era of unprecedented choice, customers can shop around for anything. From utilities to groceries to clothes to banking to plumbing, they have more power than ever before when it comes to deciding where to spend their money.

But just because customers hold all this power doesn’t mean all businesses are putting them first. We might live in the age of the customer, but business processes and mindsets can be slow to adapt.

Thankfully, the tide is turning in this regard. Our latest research in collaboration with Sapio suggests businesses are finally putting customers and customer experience first.

Customer experience is more than just a slogan

According to our research, 51% of businesses say that customer experience is a top or major objective for them, and 78% of organisations have increased their budget for customer experience.

What’s more, 34% of businesses are in the process of creating a dedicated customer experience team, and 23% plan on creating one in the next two years. This suggests that businesses really are beginning to put customers at the heart of everything they do.

Loyalty has become a board-level concern

There’s a good reason that businesses are taking customer experience seriously. A poor experience leads to a frustrated customer. And what do frustrated customers do? Leave. In fact, 91% of customers who don’t complain simply leave a business, and 39% of customers stay away from one they’ve had a bad experience with for up to 2 years.

It’s no wonder, then, that 90% of businesses are reviewing customer experience metrics at a board level, with 47% citing brand value and strength as the most reviewed business metric – even above total sales figures (46%).

Businesses are taking metrics seriously

But what metrics are businesses reviewing when it comes to customer experience?

According to our research, the main ones are problem resolution time (47%), task completion (46%) and inbound calls/complaints (46%). Less than a quarter of businesses use traditional customer ‘feeling’ metrics such as NPS (22%) and CSAT (19%) to measure experience. While this could suggest that businesses still care more about action than feeling, it’s more likely that ‘goodwill’ metrics are being neglected because they’re nebulous and hard to measure accurately.

And that’s the next stage of development in this area – finding effective ways for teams to measure the intangibles, so they can build a business case for change.

Learn more about how companies are putting customer experience at the heart of operations

Download our latest whitepaper, The Customer-Centric Organisation.

See other posts by Ray Tierney


Ray has over 20 years’ experience in the technology and communications software industry, having previously worked in senior commercial roles at iTouch plc, Logica Mobile Networks and Telefonica (O2 Ireland). More recently he held key management positions with Oxygen8 Group, including Regional Sales Director and CEO, before joining the main board as Group Commercial Director in 2014, looking after market development in Ireland, the UK, South Africa and Australia. In 2016, Ray became the CEO of Engage Hub, a leading global provider of customer engagement solutions, responsible for expansion and growth of key operations in Europe, America and LATAM.

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