If there is one overriding theme throughout 2017 for Aspect it has been customer engagement. Customer engagement flows through everything we do: from every customer conversation through to every enhancement we make to our products to achieve the ultimate goal of improved customer satisfaction. Customer engagement is a strategy, it is omni-channel customer service, and it is the intricate, bespoke design elements we include in our customers’ technology implementations. But the spirit of customer engagement is also overwhelmingly a priority within the businesses we work with, the impact it has on our customers’ profits and how it contributes to the wider industry as a whole.
Leadership around customer engagement is crucial. This is why during the summer we undertook several steps to better understand how enterprise leadership sees customer engagement. In a piece of major research (in partnership with Vanson Bourne) and a series of focused CXO dinner briefings we asked straight out – how much of a priority is it for the Board?
The results painted a pretty compelling picture of the opinions of the 100 enterprise and blue-chip CEOs we spoke to.
The good news was that many of today’s senior executives place a very high importance on customer engagement. They understand it, they prioritise it and they want to make it work not just today, but in the future. What’s really interesting is that they do not see customer engagement and business profitability and growth as mutually exclusive – a common attitude from the past that seems to be disappearing. According to the survey, CXOs view customer engagement as more important than increasing profit (75%), customer retention (72%), new customer on-boarding (71%) and business growth (66%). That is precisely why customer engagement is shooting up the agenda in enterprise Boardrooms around the UK. In fact, we found that it is discussed in the majority of Board meetings, and for 60% this happens at least once a month.
Conversations are also increasing around the evolution of contact centre technology, particularly looking towards the cloud to truly enable positive changes. Cloud solutions make it easier for businesses to deploy the technology needed to efficiently engage and serve consumers both now and in the future – without upfront capital expenditure, on-going maintenance fees and unnecessary over-provision of resources. Migration to cloud services in the contact centre will also completely open up your business to customer engagement innovation, including omni-channel self-service.
It’s not uncommon to read and hear about how hard it is ‘selling in’ technology investments to the Board. Senior managers and business unit leaders might find it a daunting task unless they can prove ROI, for example, or demonstrate clear business benefits. Luckily we have discovered that the C-suite is not the dinosaur-like behemoth stuck in its ways that many would have you believe. Interestingly, 83% say that their customer engagement has given them a competitive edge. Customer engagement is clearly a critical issue for the Boardroom, and one worthy of investment in terms of time and money.
To find out more about our research, visit the landing page here.
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