Digital transformation holds the key to driving exceptional customer experiences. Yet, realizing both customer and business value is tough. Some companies are further along than others.

Every organization talks about the customer, but to what extent are actually meeting customer expectations (CX)?

This spring, Accenture commissioned Forester Research to explore the effect of digital transformation efforts on customer expectations across industries and countries. The research included surveying more than 700 executives in 14 countries, plus some extensive interviews to get beneath the numbers. Not unexpectedly, it shows that companies understand that digital transformation drives CX and is key to being competitive. While some are having difficulty getting where they want to be, many are quite far along.

Most respondents from the insurance industry indicated their organizations are walking and talking both digital and customer service. For example:

  • 53% of respondents agreed that digital had reinvented the industry, while only 11% disagreed. The rest were neutral.
  • 63% said their organization was using digital to reinvent what the company does, while only 11% disagreed.
  • 71% said digital is reinventing the overall experience their organization delivers to customers vs. 11% who disagreed.

Some of the difficulties companies face in moving ahead stem from CX efforts that are more tactical than strategic. To avoid disrupting a business, many will bolt on point solutions that incrementally improve things, but don’t really transform the organization. Organizations are held back by their weakest link. Though 60% of respondents across all industries and 61% in the insurance industry indicated their customer experiences are consistent across channels, many still have room for improvement.

Across industries and countries, CX high performers comprise almost 18% of companies and report that they meet or exceed CX expectations 91% of the time. They tend to do things differently from their peers, starting with senior sponsorship and alignment with strategic goals. For them, change is a way of life, not the exception. In return, they are rewarded with increased revenues, better differentiation, more customer satisfaction and loyal customers.

Next week we’ll discuss “When is ‘okay’ really good enough?”

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