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Ventana Research has released the findings of its latest benchmark research on Next-Generation Customer Engagement. This cutting-edge research evaluated the effectiveness of current and planned methods companies use to interact with their customers.

Increasingly, customers expect to be able to interact with a company using any available communication channel or whatever mix of them is convenient and at a time of their choosing. To handle this heterogeneous array of interactions, companies are implementing next-generation technologies that support efficient and effective customer engagement. This new research shows that almost three-quarters (74%) of organizations are being driven to improve this engagement in order to improve the customer experience. However, this in-depth benchmark research and application of the Ventana Research Maturity Model finds that fewer than one in six is fully mature in how it engages with customers.

In an important insight, the research makes clear that deploying collaboration to improve internal communications is the most important technological advance a company can embrace to improve engagement. In addition, three out of five organizations view mobile technology and analytics as important technology capabilities that make possible innovation in customer engagement. Topping the list of businesses' plans for improving customer engagement is deploying mobile customer applications. In the area of analytics, the important customer metric is customer satisfaction score for a substantial majority (64 percent) of organizations.

"This research finds a significant shift in companies moving to a multichannel method to support the range of interactions required to meet customer expectations," said Richard Snow, VP and research director of Ventana Research. "Organizations that do not expand their channels to support the next generation of customer engagement will face a reduction in customer satisfaction and loss of business. This research confirms our view that although many companies now support multiple channels, there is still of lot of work to be done before customers get consistent, personalized and high quality responses across all channels."

To learn more about Next-generation Customer Engagement, please visit: www.ventanaresearch.com/NextGenCustomerEngagement. Ventana Research, the leading business technology research and advisory services firm, provides free access to the executive summary of the benchmark research report as well as access to webcast of best practices found in the Next-Generation Customer Engagement benchmark research. This research was sponsored by Enghouse Interactive.

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