New study shows Welsh professional services companies are missing CX basics, costing them business
Customer experience (CX) is the new business battleground for the professional services industry, but a new research study assessing the experiences of potential customers shows that many businesses in Wales are failing and may even have hurt to the company.
The results, published by insight6 in The 2021 Professional Services Customer Journey Report, is the most ambitious study by customer experience specialists to date and shows varying results from region to region.
The in-depth study looked at 256 companies across the UK with 500 new inquiries from four main types of professional services firms – accounting, insurance and finance, legal and real estate. The research covered the entire customer journey of a new request from the basics, such as how long it took to answer the phone and whether the initial contact was welcoming and how long it took for businesses to follow up on their calls. requests, etc.
The results now provide a benchmark for customer experience and satisfaction within the professional services industry by region. Great Britain The average Net Promoter Score (NPS) * was a dismal -42.
The South West was the best performing region overall, but still struggling with an NPS of -24, and the North of England scored the worst at -55. The remaining regions, ranked from best to worst NPS, were: Scotland -29, Wales -37, South East -39, Midlands -41 and Northern Ireland -51.
For comparison, Amazon’s NPS is 53, Netflix is 55, and Apple is 56. Research from the London School of Economics shows that for every 7% increase in a brand’s NPS, its revenue will increase by 1 % as a direct consequence.
“It is clear that professional service companies have a huge opportunity to improve CX, deliver a superior experience to new and existing customers, and reap significant business benefits by doing so.” says Rhian Anstey, director, insight6 North Wales.
The study found that companies offered great CX, but for many there is a huge opportunity for improvement. Typically, it’s just a matter of applying emotional intelligence – a human touch, an effort to listen and explain without jargon, and make a follow-up call.
Rhian adds: “Winning customers is more than making a one-time sale. It’s about earning their loyalty and trust for life. Helping clients with their finances, home, work, or legal affairs all requires a human connection. Establishing that connection with customers through a great CX is the most effective way to stand out. And as every business knows, the customers who recommend your services are the most powerful sales force in the world.
What’s interesting is that it’s not the complex nature of the job or the required expertise that let professional service companies down, but the most basic day-to-day interactions that cost them dearly. In addition to calculating NPS scores, the Professional Services Client Journey Report 2021 reveals a catalog of basic and preventable errors, which have caused a disruption of the customer journey and would have potentially lost the activity of these companies.
Customer expectations are increasing. In a world that is rapidly moving towards new communication channels and with younger generations (the customers of tomorrow) increasingly eager to use alternative communication channels, professional service companies are falling behind.
Website contact forms are a quick and convenient way for customers to contact businesses and are used frequently. However, the report shows that more than a third (34%) of web requests made by a potential customer went completely unanswered. A bad experience at the “interest” stage of the customer journey negatively impacts the business, and prospects may think their demand is unimportant and therefore choose to do business with a responsive competitor.
You might expect professional service companies to master traditional communications better, but they weren’t. The report shows 42% of phone calls were not returned, even when the new prospect left a voicemail message. In reality, only 8% of businesses bothered to respond to a new customer telephone request within the next business week; this figure increased slightly to 10% when the request was made by email.
“Professional service companies know that the best companies take the long-term view and have a legacy of service and great customer experiences. They are often unaware that due to weak CX and fragmented customer journeys, their own business is jeopardizing their reputation and heritage ”, Rhian said.
Overall, the researchers were disappointed with the way the companies handled their requests. Just 23% felt the team member tried to add value or go further to help them, and only 43% said they would recommend the company to others.
Behind a bad CX, you can find underlying issues in a company’s culture, such as short-term goals, disengaged teams, or siled work. Beyond technology, effective CX is often about empowering staff and providing them with the skills, tools and authority they need. Finding the problems is the starting point for improving CX, but it is also half the battle because once the faults are identified, the solutions are often very simple.
Rhian concluded, “Professional service companies don’t have the most cost-effective solution to improving their bottom line. Simply put, a well-mapped customer journey and a positive customer experience is the surest route to sales. ”
If you would like to download a copy of the report, go to: https://tinyurl.com/PSCJReport21