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The CX tipping point

How thriving in 2020 can indicate long-term success

Businesses across industries are at a tipping point when it comes to customer experience. But the rollercoaster of 2020 is proving to be just one chapter in a long story about not only succeeding, but enduring.

Health and safety, economics, and social good are driving much of the decision-making across the globe as the COVID-19 pandemic continues rocking the world. Heads of industry have a renewed interest in discussing their corporate values, their people, and the technology they need to support a distributed workforce indefinitely, as well as the ties that bind them together.

Collaboration tools like Slack and Zoom have become a way of life, with shares of Zoom (NASDAQ: ZM) more than tripling in value since the start of Q2 2020. But recently released research indicates that those who emerged as true customer experience (CX) leaders this year didn’t decide one fateful morning in March that CX was important. It was already important, and forward-looking leaders did their companies a favor by ensuring they were prepared for a storm.

To help leaders pinpoint where they stand on CX—and learn how they can emulate the leaders in good stead for the future—Zendesk partnered with ESG Research to build a framework around CX maturity and success. After surveying 1,000 CX leaders around the globe, ESG identified three levels of maturity: the leaders, those in the middle of the pack, and those at risk of falling behind—the Champions, the Risers, and the Starters. Their insights explain why CX maturity directly impacts CX success, while giving businesses the tools to evaluate and achieve maturity over time.

For midsize and enterprise companies, Champions are 3.3 times more likely than Starters to have grown their customer bases over the past six months, according to the report. Furthermore, Champions were 8.7 times more likely than Starters to have significantly grown customer spend over the past six months. Over these past six months in particular, that is quite an accomplishment.

Here’s why Champions are poised for a CX marathon.

They eliminate friction for agents, not just customers

It’s become essential to provide a seamless customer experience across multiple channels. The vast majority of Champions—84-87%—across all regions believe their customers would say they are easy to deal with. But the need for seamlessness has extended to agents, too. Champions embrace emerging channels like social messaging, and they make it easy for agents to meet customers wherever they are.

The result is a greater number of one-touch resolutions, higher customer satisfaction (CSAT) ratings, and fewer instances of unresolved issues. According to the findings, those outcomes are true for Champions across all regions.

They use real-time insights to change course if necessary

Champions across regions are much more likely to review metrics often. Across regions, Champions report the ability to capture comprehensive and timely service and support data, and put that data to work to optimize team performance. Compared to Starters, Champions are between 3 times (AMER) and 7.8 times (APAC) more likely than Starters to review metrics daily. As a result, Champions have the necessary information they need to course-correct operations, come what may. 

Building a strong CX foundation

Having real-time insight into performance and sensible technology that supports agents on the front lines gives CX Champions a much rosier outlook on their companies’ futures. According to the findings:

All is not lost for those who find themselves among Risers and Starters. But making smart CX decisions today gives Champions the edge for 2021 and beyond.

Download the reports to learn more habits of CX Champions worldwide, and how you can start putting those processes into practice today.