Few executives are prioritizing personalized digital experiences, or understand its connection to customer satisfaction, according to NTT DATA’s newly released research.
In partnership with Oxford Economics, NTT DATA conducted a survey of 1,000 business and IT executives across 16 industries, with 10% of respondents serving in the federal government. While there was widespread recognition of the need for improved customer service, many cited technology challenges related to that mission.
“Organizations must prioritize personalization using data insights and AI to inform experience delivery, as well as modernize their applications strategy,” said Lisa Woodley, vice president of digital experience at NTT DATA Services.
Yet many struggle in this area. Among federal respondents, 58% said effectively managing data continues to get harder. Only half, 51%, said their organization has implemented predictive analytics. (To the government’s credit, that puts federal leaders ahead of any other industry surveyed.)
Hurdles around technology appear to impact mission readiness. Only 17% of federal respondents, for example, said their industry is prepared to deal with change related to health crises and natural disasters over the next two years.
Nor do government leaders appear ready to connect the dots between technology and worker satisfaction. Only 18% said providing flexible work options is a top factor driving employee satisfaction and engagement.
While 66% of respondents overall said increasing customer satisfaction is their No. 1 priority, they aren’t necessarily leveraging the available tools to drive improvements. Only 6% of respondents report using artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and predictive analytics to improve customer experience.
Yet among those who do use modernized tools — for example, AI in support of conversational interfaces and virtual agents for customer-facing processes — 80% said they have seen an uptick in customer satisfaction.
Data is a key area of interest, as a tool for improving customer interactions and as a possible source of concern, especially around issues of privacy and security. Protecting customer data is a top priority, with 95% of those surveyed report their organizations are either somewhat or highly effective at maintaining trust in privacy and security.
At the same time, only 24% of respondents said they’re highly effective at sharing data with partners, “which means they miss out on opportunities to build connected experiences and gain more complete customer profiles through shared data,” the researchers noted.
Overall, the research brings to light a lukewarm embrace of technology in some quarters.
“Despite half of respondents saying the pace of technology change will have a positive impact on their operations, only 40% are highly prepared to meet those challenges,” the researchers noted. “Even more alarming is nearly half of respondents still view innovation as ‘nice to have’ rather than critical to their survival.”
NTT DATA advocates for a more proactive stance.
“Organizations that want to implement successful digital experiences must focus on putting customers first, doubling down on actionable data and connecting the customer ecosystem for real-time journey management,” Woodley said.