Improving Customer Experience is Top Business Priority for Companies Pursuing Digital Transformation, According to Accenture Study

Challenges to becoming a customer-focused digital enterprise include
digital strategy ownership, organizational readiness, and establishing
metrics to measure digital success

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Improving the overall customer experience is a top business priority for
companies and a main driver behind their digital transformation
ambitions, according to a new study from Accenture (NYSE:ACN). But the
majority of businesses don’t set themselves apart yet from competitors
through the digital customer experience they offer.

The study, titled “Digital
Transformation in the Age of the Customer
,” is based on a survey of
nearly 400 decision-makers in companies globally. It was commissioned by Accenture
Interactive
, part of Accenture Digital, and conducted by Forrester
Consulting. Key findings in the study include:

  • “Improving the customer experience” topped the list of business
    priorities companies have for the next 12 months. It received the most
    number one rankings (21 percent), followed by “growing revenues” (17
    percent) and “improving differentiation” (16 percent).
  • “Improving customer satisfaction” was cited as one of the top three
    motivations for digital transformation, along with “increasing
    profitability” and “accelerating speed to market.”
  • Companies are focusing on digital channels to make customer
    interactions more engaging: sixty-three percent are planning to
    enhance their online experience, 46 percent are looking to add or
    improve their mobile offerings, but only 39 percent want to improve
    their in-store experience.

“Customer experience is now clearly at the heart of digital
transformation, and digital is at the center of that customer
experience,” said Anatoly Roytman, managing director Accenture
Interactive and global digital commerce lead. “But many companies have
considerable ground to cover on their path to becoming digital
enterprises. They’re challenged with setting a digital vision and
strategy, getting the right people in place, and measuring digital
success.”

Three Challenges to Becoming a Customer-Focused Digital Enterprise

  1. Setting a Digital Vision and Strategy: Confusion over who sets
    the digital vision and strategy hampers digital transformation, as
    indicated in the study. Currently, ownership is divided between the
    chief executive officer (38 percent), chief information officer (33
    percent), chief digital officer (ten percent), and chief marketing
    officer (eight percent). When asked who should own an
    organization’s digital vision and strategy, the CIO came out on top
    (30 percent) followed by the CEO (27 percent). The CDO and CMO lagged
    at 17 percent and eight percent, respectively.
  2. Organizational Readiness: Respondents were hesitant that their
    business has the right people in place to execute its digital
    strategy. They listed their “organization” as the part of the company
    that is least ready to digitally transform (64 percent) compared to
    technology (75 percent) and operational processes (75 percent).
  3. Measuring Digital Success: Companies tend to worry about
    implementation of processes and technologies before putting in useful
    analytics and metrics with which to evaluate them. Fifty-seven percent
    of the respondents said that implementing digital technologies is
    critical to enabling their digital business, but only 29 percent said
    establishing digital metrics and measurements are.

Digital Customer Experience Not Yet a Differentiator for Most
Companies

Considering these prevailing challenges, it may not be surprising that
only five percent of respondents think their organization is exceeding
their customers’ expectations in digital experiences, while 73 percent
believe they meet those expectations.

“Look at how fast consumer behavior is changing and how great customer
experiences are jumping industry boundaries,” said Jay Dettling,
managing director Accenture Interactive and North America digital
commerce lead. “Companies need to ask themselves how long customers will
accept experiences that are just ‘good enough’.”

Recommendations from the study

  • To achieve differentiation through digital customer experiences,
    leaders from different parts of the business will need to team up even
    more tightly. They need to recognize that digital transformation can’t
    be confined to a single department.
  • Leaders should advocate digital transformation and customer experience
    with clear goals to ensure that all changes to culture, processes and
    technology ultimately support the digital vision and are not made in
    isolation.
  • The way to becoming a digital enterprise requires its leaders to take
    risks and learn from mistakes. For example, adding functionality that
    is in the spirit of digital transformation and the customer experience
    shouldn’t always require traditional approvals and a detailed business
    case.
  • Third-parties can help fill gaps even digitally mature companies will
    have and make it cheaper and faster for the organization to implement
    and execute their digital strategy. Forty-five percent already work
    with providers on enhancing the customer experience.

“Operationalizing digital transformation, developing digital visions and
strategies, and executing the required organizational change are
inhibitors to achieving superior customer experience,” said Roytman.
“Only a few organizations have the capabilities to master
customer-focused digital transformation by themselves efficiently and at
pace. Our findings show that nearly 90 percent use third-party providers
for at least one component of their digital transformation. With their
capabilities, providers help plug the gaps and manage the drive for
transformation.”

About the research

The study, “Digital
Transformation in the Age of the Customer
,” was commissioned by
Accenture Interactive and is based on a survey Forrester Consulting
conducted among 396 decision-makers with responsibility for customer
experience strategy or digital initiatives in US, Canada, the UK,
Germany, France, China, India, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico in May/June
2015. The research covers B2C and B2B companies in the following
industries: Automotive, Consumer Goods, Technology and Electronics,
Manufacturing and Materials, Retail, Media and Entertainment, Travel and
Hospitality, Energy and Utilities, Telecommunications, Banking, Life
Science, Insurance, Capital Markets.

For further information on this research, please join an upcoming
webinar with Accenture and guest Forrester on November 12, 2015 at 11:00
AM ET/16:00 PM GMT/17:00 PM CET and register here:
http://webcast.accenture.com?event=digital-transformation.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and
outsourcing company, with more than 358,000 people serving clients in
more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience,
comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions,
and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies,
Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance
businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of
US$31.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2015. Its home page
is www.accenture.com.

Accenture Interactive, part of Accenture
Digital
, helps the world’s leading brands drive superior marketing
performance across the full multichannel customer experience. Accenture
Interactive offers integrated, industrialized and industry-driven
digital transformation and marketing solutions. To learn more follow us @AccentureSocial
and visit www.accenture.com/interactive.

Contacts

Accenture
Jens R. Derksen, + 49 175 57 61393
jens.derksen@accenture.com