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New Study Shows Customer Experience is a Competitive Differentiator.

In a Challenging Economy, New Study Proves That a Focus on the Customer Experience Pays Off

CARY, N.C. -- According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 the results of a new survey from SAS (1) (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, A software company that specializes in data warehousing and decision support software based on the SAS System. Founded in 1976, SAS is one of the world's largest privately held software companies. See SAS System. , the leader in business analytics, Peppers & Rogers Group The Rogers Group is a Mauritius-based conglomerate. The Group has a portfolio with interests in sectors such as aviation and tourism, logistics, financial services, distribution and industrials. The Group employs almost 3,000 people.  and Jubelirer Research, companies that have better customer experience management capabilities, along with a strong customer orientation Customer orientation (CO) is the set of beliefs in sales that says that customer needs and satisfaction are the priority of an organization. It focuses on dynamic interactions between the organization and customers as well as competitors in the market and its internal stakeholders. , enjoy a decisive competitive advantage.

Over 150 senior executives from leading U.S. corporations were polled to gauge their customer experience management capabilities in the first annual Customer Experience Maturity Monitor study. The results are now available by viewing an American Marketing Association The American Marketing Association, one of the largest professional associations for marketers, has 38,000 members worldwide in every area of marketing. For over six decades the AMA has been the leading source for information, knowledge sharing and development in the marketing profession.  Video Discussion "Multi-Channel Mayhem mayhem (mā`hĕm, mā`əm), in common law, the crime of willfully injuring a person so as to diminish his or her capacity for self-defense. : Tapping the Customer Experience for Competitive Advantage". Some key findings:

* Among companies reporting high customer-experience maturity, 81 percent reported outperforming their competition.

* Companies that reported outperforming competitors also reported higher future investment plans in customer experience capabilities.

* Although 76 percent of respondents reported that they motivate employees to treat customers fairly, only 62 percent provide the right tools and training to earn customer trust.

* While 76 percent reported that customer trust is tied to the financial success of the business, only 60 percent consider how a proposed action increases or decreases customer trust when making decisions.

* Most companies want to focus on enhancing the customer experience but are pressured for short-term results. Only 42 percent of respondents agree that their company can do what is right, despite the pressure to make current-period numbers.

"As the 4-P's of marketing - product, price, place and promotion - become increasingly tactical, this study confirms that more companies are embracing the 3-I's of marketing - customer insight, interaction and improvement - as the key to growing long-term profitable customers. However, there is room for improvement," said Jeff Gilleland, Global Strategist strat·e·gist  
One who is skilled in strategy.

Noun 1. strategist - an expert in strategy (especially in warfare)

market strategist - someone skilled in planning marketing campaigns
 for Customer Intelligence Solutions at SAS.

"Companies are doing a good job gathering customer data but are falling short at creating proprietary insight from it," observed Gilleland. "You can't manage the customer experience if you don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)

"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party.
 what your customer is likely to buy next or if they are going to attrite at·trit   also at·trite
tr.v. at·trit·ted also at·trit·ed, at·trit·ting also at·trit·ing, at·trits also at·trites
1. To lose (personnel, for example) by attrition.

. Of the companies we surveyed, only 39 percent rate their capabilities as "good" or "excellent" in predicting a customer's likelihood to purchase, cancel or leave. Looking around the curve and predicting future outcomes is where the value of customer insight lies."

Some 60 percent of respondents report treating customers differently, based on an understanding of individual needs. "That's important," added Gilleland. "Needs represent the "why" behind the "buy". Knowing individual customer needs enables a company to craft more relevant customer experiences to improve loyalty."

Even with information that can improve the customer experience companies don't always have the infrastructure to share it effectively. Only 26 percent of respondents rated their companies as "good" or "excellent" at distributing intelligence to the customer touch-points where it can affect the customer experience. Importantly on 18 percent rated "good' or "excellent" on creating individual treatment tracks to manage the customer experience across products and channels.

"Getting the customer experience right requires a cultural shift," explains Peppers & Rogers Group Founding Partner, Martha Rogers, Ph.D. "From the research, we learned that the success of a company's journey toward customer experience excellence is founded upon and guided by a strong organizational orientation toward the customer. It requires a long-term focus that takes into account short-term realities. The research shows that companies are struggling with the balance, but the ones that are taking the longer term view are seeing results."

Customer-centricity is growing. Companies are beginning to manage organizational performance Organizational performance comprises the actual output or results of an organization as measured against its intended outputs (or goals and objectives).

Specialists in many fields are concerned with organizational performance including strategic planners, operations,
 and customer improvement by incorporating customer metrics metrics Managed care A popular term for standards by which the quality of a product, service, or outcome of a particular form of Pt management is evaluated. See TQM.  as key performance indicators Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are financial and non-financial metrics used to quantify objectives to reflect strategic performance of an organization. KPIs are used in Business Intelligence to assess the present state of the business and to prescribe a course of action. . In fact, 43 percent of companies rated their customer metrics as "good" or "excellent". Gilleland sees this as progress "Putting customer metrics on the executive dashboard demonstrates a changing focus. It's not going to happen overnight, but this survey indicates that companies are taking steps in the right direction."

About Pepper & Rogers Group

Peppers & Rogers Group is management consulting Noun 1. management consulting - a service industry that provides advice to those in charge of running a business
service industry - an industry that provides services rather than tangible objects
 firm dedicated to helping its clients improve business performance by acquiring, retaining, and growing profitable customers. As products become commodities and globalization globalization

Process by which the experience of everyday life, marked by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, is becoming standardized around the world. Factors that have contributed to globalization include increasingly sophisticated communications and transportation
 picks up speed, customers have become the scarcest resource in business. They hold the keys to higher profit today and stronger enterprise value tomorrow. Using a proprietary consulting methodology, Peppers & Rogers Group helps clients build long-term customer value.

For more information, visit

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. With innovative business applications supported by an enterprise intelligence platform, SAS helps customers at 45,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW([R]).

SAS and all other SAS Institute SAS Institute Inc., headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, USA, has been a major producer of software since it was founded in 1976 by Anthony Barr, James Goodnight, John Sall and Jane Helwig.  Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. [R] indicates USA registration. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright [c] 2008 SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 17, 2008
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