Thought leadership

Preliminary research by Ovum shows that 90 percent of organizations are at risk of becoming irrelevant to their customers unless they can learn to adapt much faster and in ways that customers value. While CRM systems are prevalent, businesses are being held back by slow decision cycles, a lack of workforce engagement, operational and channel silos and a serendipitous attitude toward innovation.


At its recent CX forum Ovum revealed that the average score across all key attributes of a customer-adaptive enterprise (CAE) was 52 percent, indicating that organisations are insufficiently connected to their customers and do not have the insight or discipline to enable them to sense and respond at speed in ways that will ensure their relevance to customers.


“No sector is impervious to the rapid march of technology developments or the rise of the increasingly choosy and powerful consumer, whose often vociferous voice can make or break reputations in minutes,” explains Jeremy Cox, principal analyst at Ovum. “Given the advanced nature of a ‘customer-adaptive enterprise’, it is unsurprising that no single enterprise scored 80 percent or more across all attributes. Yet, Ovum has found that organizations displaying a high degree of successful orchestration of these attributes are leaders in their field, and have exemplary customer satisfaction and loyalty as well as faster growth than their peers.”


The key challenge according to Ovum is a lack of leadership to break through departmental or channel silos, and create the conditions to fully engage the workforce and start to create a more rounded view of the customer journey to be supported. The voice of the customer must also be embedded so that the customer experience can be effectively monitored and fine-tuned over time. Innovation is crucial to future success and although it might be counterintuitive, it is a discipline that needs to be supported and managed in any organization irrespective of sector.


“There is no shortage of technology out there to support those with the ambition to become customer-adaptive, but the fundamental blockage is a lack of visionary leadership, insight and the ability to translate that into a fully engaged and connected enterprise,” concludes Cox. ‘’It is time that investors examine the capabilities of firms to truly engage and build trust  with their customers, then perhaps we’d see more evidence of leaders orchestrating and enabling rather than commanding and controlling and chasing short-term results.’’




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