Dimension Data, together with NTT, have released the latest Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report (CXBR), and it makes for less than pleasant reading, if your an organisation in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region that places an emphasis on customer experience (CX).

According to the findings, only 6 percent of organisations in the MEA region are delivering a fully functioning customer experience. This is contrasted by the fact that 63 percent of firms surveyed noting that CX is a key differentiator in the market.

Why then the disparity, especially given how important organisations view the value that CX brings?

Untapped data

The report explains that many organisations struggle to align its CX with the voice of customer (VoC) feedback, with 68 percent of firms having no normal means of processing this data, and a further 28 percent unable to capture the feedback data at all.

Added to this, only 31 percent fully define and track the value contribution of CX to the organisation and a little over a third (38 percent) are able to connect data relationships between channels. This leaves the remaining organisations operating blind as the report terms it, with no full view of the customer ecosystem.

That said, the improvement in the collection of VoC is improving, with 45 percent noting an improvement in 2019.

As such, it shows that the methods employed to capture, analyse and act upon the VoC data is of crucial importance. It takes on an especially interesting dimension given the current COVID-19 pandemic, according to Dimension Data.

“We are living in interesting times, and given the spread of Covid-19 across the globe this has become even more real. A global pandemic like this shifts customers’ expectations even more, and highlights the gaps for effective customer experience strategy. It heightens the need for organisations to adopt client first systems and cultures that go beyond the value statement on boardroom walls,” notes MEA customer experience executive, Nompumelelo Mokou.

“Organisations that fundamentally understand their customers, how to engage meaningfully and personalise service, will be forerunners in responding to customers needs,” she adds.

Start listening

In order to become one of those forerunners, an effective strategy built around listening to customers is required, according to Dimension Data.

“A successful CX strategy is proven to improve customer and brand engagement, and drive commercial performance, yet many organisations are still stuck in the developmental stage due to siloed technology systems, inconsistencies in experience, and a lack of clear processes,” the firm highlights.

In terms of technology systems, 30 percent of organisations stated that they are failing to meet their current needs, with 52 percent of teams still struggling with legacy systems and 43 percent unable to integrate multiple technology systems.

Additionally, the inability to secure budgets and address skills shortages are seen as growing concerns.

“Now more than ever business needs to automate and integrate artificial intelligence, robotic process automation and data analytics in day to day customer interactions to augment agents’ response rates and key complaints resolution,” says Mokou.

“Already several banks and insurance companies have been optimising their branches and customer interactions centres, it is business unusual and it requires agility and fortitude to adapt to change,” she adds.

For a deeper dive into the CXBR, as well as the challenges and strategies organisations should focus on, head here.

[Image – Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash]