A comparison of this year’s Q1 2012 Business Review data reveals that despite the UK economy slipping back in to recession, organic revenue growth remains the top priority among UK-based businesses (64 per cent in 2012 and in 2011).
However, this year, nearly half of UK-based businesses indicate the primary means to achieve that growth objective is to service and grow their existing customers. See Figure 1.
Without question, the customer is driving the agenda at the vast majority of businesses; not only in the UK, but also around the world.
Customers have access to more information, via more channels, such as social, mobile, the web and third-party research.
Hence the near 80 per cent year-over-year increase in companies focused on creating and expanding sales channels.
As a result, customers are often more educated about the various problems they seek to solve and the options available to them than the sales people who sell those solutions.
This has resulted in a hidden sales cycle, through which prospective solution buyers are not being revealed to the solution sellers until much later in the sales cycle when they’ve already formulated decisions about their needs and wants.
What this all means is that companies are highly-focused on optimising and maximising their customers’ experience with their company, products and brand.
At the core of customer experience initiatives are two factors that speak directly to IT: data and analytics.
In fact, Aberdeen Group’s research on customer experience management revealed that companies, which perform best in customer retention, response time to customer inquiries, customer satisfaction, and growing customer lifetime value, are focused foremost on tracking, capturing, and utilising customer experience information.