Businesses throughout EMEA are starting to invest in crucial digital technologies to improve customer service delivery, but are lagging behind their U.S. counterparts in creating meaningful experiences that drive satisfaction and loyalty. That’s according to research from ServiceNow.
The global survey of 600 business leaders and C-suite executives, was conducted by ESI Thoughtlab for ServiceNow to examine the customer service priorities, approaches and performance of large companies with revenue of $500million or more across five sectors and 12 countries.
CX leaders see greater returns
The survey used a bespoke scoring matrix to calculate where participating businesses fell on a ‘customer experience maturity scale’, categorising them into Beginner, Intermediate or Leader status.
A quarter (25%) of EMEA businesses are classed as leaders, behind the U.S., where over half (56%) fall into this category. Under half (44 %) of EMEA businesses have intermediate status and just under a third (31%) are categorised as beginners.
Leader businesses are more likely to report significant returns on CX investments and, as a result, make greater progress towards overall CX goals. Common traits and actions shared by leader companies include:
Streamlining and accelerating customer service processes
Personalising customer servicing and marketing
- Creating intuitive, self-service customer experiences
The importance of the right technology investment
When it comes to investing in technology to support and improve CX processes, there is a correlation between this investment and the ability to reap the rewards available from creating standout customer experiences.
The study revealed that over two thirds (68%) of EMEA companies have digitised and automated customer service (CX) management, compared to 77% of US companies. Over three quarters (78%) say they have customer relationship management (CRM) systems integrated into their digital enterprise platforms, vs 92% in the USA.
However, there are encouraging signs that EMEA businesses are beginning to act to correct this gap in investment and in CX maturity. For example, 38% of companies in EMEA are now personalising customer services and marketing, compared with 32% in the US. European firms are also investing more in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA), with 14% doing so against just 9% in the US.
“Customer experience has always been important, but as the world starts to emerge and recover from the pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a shift towards digital experiences will be even more important to business success,” says Mark Ackerman, regional director – Middle East & Africa at ServiceNow.
“Although millions of dollars have been invested throughout EMEA into digital transformation projects, the majority of this has focused on back-office efficiency rather than improving customer experience. The time is now for EMEA companies to prioritise customer service and to start developing transformational digital CX initiatives that put engagement, loyalty and great experiences at the forefront of their strategies.”