New Research Shows a Persistent Gap between Business Perceptions and Customer Experiences

In a follow-up to previous research, [24]7.ai found that customer experience has not significantly improved, and many digital transformations have stalled.

[24]7.ai, Inc., a recognized leader in Omnichannel conversational AI and contact center services, announced new research examining the differences between businesses’ perceptions of customer experience they delivered and what customers experienced. The report titled “The CX Reality Check: Momentum Interrupted” is based on surveys of 500 customer experience leaders across AustraliaNew ZealandCanada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, contrasted with 500 consumers in those same markets.  As a follow up to a 2020 study, the research found that customer experience has not significantly improved, and many digital transformations have stalled.

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[24]7.ai commissioned Dimensional Research to examine perceptions around the quality of customer service. The study found out that because of the pandemic, digital transformation stalled, and companies could not meet the ever-rising customer demands. In the report, in addition to analyzing the results of the study, [24]7.ai makes several recommendations for companies to consider as they address these challenges. Foremost among the considerations is the opportunity that CX-as-a-Service (CXaaS) presents for overcoming internal and external roadblocks to digital transformation. This approach combines people, processes, and technology to accelerate digital transformation, while reducing overall costs.

Key Finding 1: Businesses that were adapting slowly now have other priorities

  • 94 percent of agents will continue working from home.
  • With agents working from home, security has become a top priority.

Key Finding 2: The perception gap remains as the challenges mount

  • While 61 percent of businesses felt their digital channels delivered consistent customer experiences, 50 percent of the time, their automated channels failed.
  • When switching support channels, 89 percent of customers were asked to repeat information.
  • 84% indicate they will invest in data security solutions to protect customer data.

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Key Finding 3The best-laid plans fall through

  • In 2021, more companies are relying on multiple support channels, which is making the delivery of a consistent CX more complicated.
  • As companies rapidly expanded agent workforces during call volume peaks, they were overstaffed when call volumes stabilized.
  • Today, 34 percent of companies feel that voice agents still provide the best customer experience, up from 29 percent in 2020.
  • A majority of companies (54 percent) plan to invest in a consolidated view across voice and digital channels.

Key Finding 4: A new possibility emerges

  • CX as-a-service, which combines talent, services, and technology, is emerging as a new way for companies to close the perception gap.
  • Using a managed services approach that combines people, processes, and technology can overcome the many CX challenges while decreasing overall costs.

“Without a doubt, as customer expectations rose during COVID-19, companies became frustrated,” said Cory Good, SVP, Digital Transformation Strategy for [24]7.ai. “This report features several actionable recommendations to help companies bridge the gap with consumers.”

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