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Customer experience: it’s been a big buzzword for years now, but mostly just that – something talked about, watched and waited upon, but never acted on – until now. According to Forrester Principal Analyst Kate Leggett in a new report, Navigate the Future of Customer Service in 2014, customers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied because organizations are often delivering (1) inconsistent cross-channel experiences, (2) reactive not proactive customer service, (3) one-size-fits-all customer engagement processes, and (4) inefficient agent interactions.

Let’s face it, in most cases, the current customer experience is all over the place. Time for sales, marketing and customer service to come together, get focused and deliver on the elusive consistent customer experience. Need some supporting stats and statements to make your case? Here are 14 for 2014:

1. By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. – Customers 2020 Report

2. The customer of 2020 will be more informed and in charge of the experience they receive. They will expect companies to know their individual needs and personalize the experience. Immediate resolution will not be fast enough as customers will expect companies to proactively address their current and future needs. – Customers 2020 Report

3. 90% of customer experience decision makers say that a good experience is critical to their success; 63% think the importance of the customer experience has risen. – Forrester Research

4. In 2013, 62% of global consumers switched service providers due to poor customer service experiences, up 4% from last year. – Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Survey

5. Sixty-three percent of companies expect to spend significantly more or somewhat more on customer experience in 2014 than they did in 2013, up from 54% in 2012 and 46% in 2011. – Temkin Group Customer Experience Expectations and Plans for 2014

6. By 2020, the need for a unified consumer omni-channel experience will be complicated by the need for nearly perfect execution. However, expert use of business intelligence tools, coupled with a profound understanding of shoppers‘  needs and experiences in real time, may make omni-channel a realistic goal. – PwC Retailing 2020: Winning in a Polarized World

7. 51% of companies plan to increase the staffing of their centralized customer experience team in 2014, while only 3% expect a decrease. – Temkin Group Customer Experience Expectations and Plans for 2014

8. In a poll of enterprise contact centers by Deloitte, 82% view the customer experience as a competitive differentiator, and view accuracy and quality of information provided (82%), as well as ease of interaction (73%), as the most important attributes of a quality customer experience. – Deloitte’s 2013 Global Contact Center Survey Report

9. 78% of companies plan on dedicating significantly more or somewhat more effort to improving their web experience in 2014. – Temkin Group Customer Experience Expectations and Plans for 2014

10. 84% of companies expect to increase their focus on customer experience measurements and metrics. –Temkin Group Customer Experience Expectations and Plans for 2014

11. While 73% of companies with the most positive CX impact understand the link between customer experience and business results, only 35% of companies with the least positive CX impact claim the same. – Temkin Group Customer Experience Expectations and Plans for 2014

12. The revenue impact from a 10 percentage point improvement in a company’s customer experience score can translate into more than $1 billion. – The Business Impact of Customer Experience

13. 58% of companies say they are just now developing a strategy for delivering an integrated customer experience; and only 8% of companies surveyed said they currently provide a ‘very integrated’ customer experience. – Econsultancy/CACI Integrated Customer Experience Report 2013.

14. In the age of the customer, executives don’t decide how customer-centric their companies are — customers do. – Kate Leggett, Forrester Research Navigate the Future of Customer Service in 2014

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