New research from Accenture (NYSE: ACN) reveals that companies which view customer service as a value center, rather than as a cost center, achieve 3.5X more revenue growth and these high-growth companies are spending an average of only 50 basis points more of their revenue on customer service.
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When customer service is perceived as a value center, revenue growth is higher. (Graphic: Business Wire)
Titled “End-to-Endless Customer Service,” the report insights include sentiment of more than 2,000 executives with customer service responsibilities, surveyed alongside 16,700 consumers and business customers in 13 countries and 14 industries. Through this research, Accenture sought to identify the role of service in driving shared value creation for both customers and businesses.
“For decades, companies developed service strategies that were fixated on cost reduction, which relegated customer interactions to cost drivers. Today, thanks to the abundance of customer data, analytics, and new technologies, service interactions are becoming an essential opportunity to drive value," said Erika Simpson, managing director, Accenture Strategy, Customer Sales and Service. “There is a real need for a full shift in the organizational mindset of companies, to a model that continuously turns customer interactions into predictive insights and meaningful actions that expand trust and drive growth.”
The research and advanced modeling uncovered three key opportunities to activate customer service as a value center. They are:
- Grow Trust with proactive, predictive service: 75% of B2B and 66% of B2C customers indicated that proactive service solutions are important, but less effectively provided. Service organizations can mitigate the severity and frequency of customer-initiated effort by injecting proactive, predictive capabilities into “end-to-endless” service.
- Grow Usage by helping customers get more value: The second most substantial value driver for B2C customers is when service helps them get the most value out of their products. Customer service agents can become trusted advisors to maximize value delivered to customers by providing personalized and contextually relevant strategic advice on how to get the most value from their purchases.
- Grow Possibility by activating service insights in the front office: Companies are seeing 10X+ higher revenue growth the more involved their service organization is in the development of new products. Companies can modify how products and services are developed by integrating insights from the service organization into the product innovation process.
Ultimately, a real end-to-endless customer service will require strategy and technology investments underpinned by a reimaged service experience for customers to maximize the potential value creation opportunity.
“Customers remember the unexpected – both good and bad – and the leaders will be those who reinvent service around shared values with their customers and help deliver good both ways,” said Dr. Edwin Van der Ouderaa, global lead for Customer Sales and Service at Accenture. “The key to a successful customer service strategy is using your data and insights to empower your business to anticipate customer needs and ensure all interactions add value to the customer’s experience.”
The full report is available at www.accenture.com/servicebuzz
About the Research
Accenture set out to understand how businesses can turn customer service into an opportunity for shared value creation for both customers and their product/service providers. From March to June 2021, we surveyed 2,030 company service leaders (defined as executives, including C-level but excluding CEO, who make decisions related to the activities that occur across various customer service channels), 3,428 B2B customers (enterprises and SMBs) and 13,327 B2C consumers across 13 countries (US, UK, Canada, China, Singapore, Germany, Japan, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Brazil, Italy and Spain), and 14 industries, including retail, automotive, consumer goods, retail banking/financial services and high tech. Our Research team used logistic regression analysis to understand the relationship between customer value and their service experiences. To understand the relationship between company revenue growth and its service organization capabilities, we developed a unified scoring algorithm to comprehensively assess companies' customer service organizations.
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