Everyone is talking about being customer-centric and providing an optimal customer experience these days. Research by IFS seems to show that more action could be taken on this. Just saying you think it’s important is not enough. Especially your internal processes can hinder you as an organization in this area.

IFS conducted the study among 1,700 executives and more than 12,000 consumers. Two-thirds of the number of companies surveyed spend at least $250,000 evaluating customer experience. This includes things like Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and customer satisfaction surveys. Given these investments, the fact that 82 percent of the respondents (the consumers surveyed) cannot recall a single problem-free customer experience is striking.

It’s about more than customer service

Simply emphasizing customer service is not enough to get a good customer experience. We can conclude that based on the above figures. It is also important to look at the fundamental internal processes within your organization. If you don’t align them optimally, the customer experience will not improve, is the idea. For example, you can promise next day delivery, but if your ERP and CRM are not properly aligned internally, you can’t deliver that. Granted, you may still have good customer service, but that won’t necessarily make the customer experience good.

So it’s important to pay attention to the alignment between the different internal components and especially the crucial points where they touch. According to the IFS survey, 79 percent of companies say they definitely do this. At least, time and resources are put into identifying them. However, doing something with them is not always a matter of course. 29 percent of managers say they do mention processes that need better coordination, but take no further action. 18 percent say they are too busy to report it at all. Of all managers, only 15 percent say they are proactively working on it.

In the survey, more than 90 percent of companies say they have fundamentally redesigned their business to provide a better customer experience. So without getting the internal processes right, that doesn’t make much sense. This is undoubtedly not due to unwillingness. When such a high percentage indicates that they have made and are making fundamental changes, there is undoubtedly a steep learning curve behind them. You can’t expect things to work out the way customers want them to overnight.

Improvements are necessary

So things need to get better, that much is clear. At least, if we are to believe this study by IFS, which is part of the Moment of Service-narrative that the company has been bringing out for some time now. To urge companies to really do something with it anyway, IFS also examined what conclusions consumers draw from bad customer experiences. This showed that over 50 percent will not return after two or three bad experiences. Almost 60 percent also say they share their bad experiences with their network. This makes their impact even greater.

We have been following IFS for quite some time, by the way. A survey like this fits seamlessly into the course the company has been taking for several years. We recently wrote an extensive article about it. IFS itself has also gone through a fairly fundamental transition, in which there has also been a clear shift towards a focus on customer experience. This was not always the case at IFS. The company has now made huge strides in this direction, for example with the arrival of IFS Cloud.