Online customer experience, key biz priority

Exclusive research into the UK FTSE 100’s management of customer experience by Foviance and London Business School (LBS), reveals that almost all of the companies surveyed (96 per cent) believe managing online customer experience will become more important to them than managing offline customer experience in the future.

The report, ‘Wanted: Chief Experience Officer’, reveals that as the situation stands today, 71 per cent of companies consider online customer experience to be more important than managing offline customer experience, and 25 per cent see it as equally important.

Online customer experience is a key innovation in today’s e-commerce-driven world. As consumers become ever more sophisticated online, businesses that deliver memorable customer experiences create superior value and competitive advantage.

The use of customer experience to create value is known as the ‘Experience Economy’, where innovative companies are building business strategies centred on the design and delivery of total customer experiences. The UK FTSE 100 survey corroborates a previous report by LBS, “Trends in the Experience and Service Economy, March 2004”, suggesting customer experience is a key innovation for successful UK businesses.

However, only 33 per cent of the FTSE 100 companies questioned have anyone (either one or more persons) responsible for managing customer experience, both online and offline. Even for those 33 per cent of companies, the role of customer experience manager lacks clarity and authority. There are instead multiple people managing parts of Customer Experience, based in different parts of the organisation such as Corporate Communications, Marketing, Operations and Customer Service.

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Catriona Campbell, co-director of Foviance, comments: “The experience economy is thriving, and the new research shows that the majority of UK FTSE 100 companies are already prioritising online customer experience management over offline. If organisations want to succeed in today’s e-commerce-driven world, investment must be made in delivering an online customer experience that creates strong bonding with customers and ultimately increases customer loyalty.”

Professor Chris Voss of London Business School, comments: “Nearly all of the UK FTSE 100 companies that we questioned are now seeing attention to the
customer experience as important, and cite it as a growing area of
attention for the future. In addition on-line experience is becoming as
important as face-to-face. However, this recognition of importance is currently
not matched within the organisation. Only one third of companies have someone with direct responsibility for customer experience, and on-line and face-to
face experience tended to be managed separately.”
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