There is strong evidence that efforts to improve customer experience (CX) can drive revenue: Forrester’s 2017 CX Index found that revenue potential and CX quality move in lockstep across every industry.
If it is so important to create this positive experience at all touchpoints with customers across all virtual and physical channels and devices, why are many consumer-facing industries such as financial services and insurance falling so far behind? A 2017 Cognizant study, The Future of Money, found that banks either overwhelm customers with information or go over their heads, leaving them feeling out of control and unsupported. 90% of consumers said their relationship with their bank is defined by simple transactions such as depositing money and checking statements. It’s hardly loyalty-inspiring stuff.
The view in Switzerland
In Switzerland, there is definitely work to do on CX. According to a 2018 study by nexa consulting and HWZ University Zurich, three quarters of surveyed companies in Switzerland know CX is important, yet openly admit a major shortfall on action. What stands in the way of progress? Many cite a lack of vision and – the most common response in German-speaking Switzerland – the culture of the organization.
Often, the answer is in bringing the right minds together. Multi-disciplinary teams are essential to tackling CX and user interface (UI) design, with the tech team doing the analysis, prototyping and testing, and CX people focusing on content, tools and visual design. Technology is also key. The digital space can provide opportunity across all industries – for example to build smart AI-based systems that remember everything about the customer to ensure information is genuinely situation-relevant.
Take the example of a branch-heavy client in financial services looking to make queuing more bearable for customers. That means thinking about the customer experience even before people enter the branch – so staff already know what they have come in for and can deal with them more efficiently. It also means thinking about improving back-end processes from purchase to paying, by using digital technologies such as blockchain. In this case, the client reduced the processing time from purchase to pay from 12 minutes to just four seconds – a huge improvement in the experience for the customer.
CX and user interfaces might not seem like the most important aspect of attracting customers and driving revenue. But as many studies show, good CX is directly correlated to higher revenue and it will increasingly become an important differentiator.