It turned out that there were 53 responses from Western European firms with annual income of at least $150 million. While this was not a large enough sample size for me to publish in a research report, it was certainly interesting enough for me to present during my speeches. So I thought I’d share some of the data here.
First of all, there’s definitely a lot of interest in customer experience in Europe. Forty-seven of the respondents said that customer experience was either critical or very important to their firm’s 2010 strategy and, as you can see below, three-quarters of the respondents said that there company is trying to differentiate itself with customer experience.
Only 6% of the respondents said that they had a very disciplined approach to customer experience management. Here’s what they identified as major obstacles for improving customer experience:
- Lack of a clear customer experience strategy (53%)
- Lack of customer experience management processes (53%)
- Lack of cooperation across organizations (43%)
- Lack of budget (26%)
- Lack of understanding about customers (40%)
- Lack of urgency (21%)
- Lack of executive involvement (17%)
Here are some customer experience activities that are underway:
- A single set of customer feedback scores that are used across the company (62%)
- An executive in charge of improving customer experience across products and channels (42%)
- A companywide program focused on improving customer experience across channels (40%)
- A voice of the customer program (43%)
As a part of the survey, respondents completed our Experience-Based Differentiation self-test. It turns out that less than one-third of the companies demonstrated six of the customer experience competencies:
- Employees across the company share a consistent and vivid image of target customers (15%)
- Decision-making processes systematically incorporate the needs of target customers (25%)
- Employees across the company are recognized and rewarded for improving the experience of target customers (28%)
- The quality of interactions with target customers is closely monitored (28%)
- Our company’s brand drives how we design customer experiences (30%)
- Primary research is used to fully understand the needs and behaviors of target customers (32%)
The bottom line: Many European companies have started their customer experience journey.