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Independent Study Confirms Value of Connected Experiences and Shows Path for Delivering Them to Customers and Employees

Omnichannel personalization is a top priority for brands, but most companies lack the ability to optimize real-time digital interactions for customers and employees
Companies that connect employee experiences with customer experiences improve both, with dramatic boosts in revenue growth and customer satisfaction
Five attributes underpin connected experiences: real-time personalization, capturing signals, understanding intent, cross-channel delivery, and machine learning

Lucidworks, the Connected Experience Cloud provider, shared results from a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on its behalf. After surveying 350+ technology and business leaders, the study found that connecting employee and customer experiences is a clear path to omnichannel personalization and overall business success.

The study, “Connected Experiences Are Personalized Experiences”, outlines the aspirations, challenges and benefits around creating connected experiences for employees and customers. Companies that provide connected experiences report dramatic benefits around revenue growth, innovation, cost reduction, customer experience and digital transformation.

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Employee Experience Drives Customer Experience – But Data Woes Abound

Most brands put personalization and omnichannel capabilities at the top of their enterprise-level priority list. Despite this, two-thirds of respondents report an inability to consistently service customers across touchpoints and personalize those experiences.

For years, customer experience (CX) has taken priority over employee experience (EX), but companies are increasingly discovering a connection between better EX and improved CX. Engaged employees, on top of being more productive and higher performing, deliver better customer experiences. However, data woes hinder employee productivity.

  • Almost every respondent in the survey reports having data-related challenges serving customers over digital channels
  • A majority of survey respondents say they are not using data from individual voice of the customer channels for strategic decision-making

Enterprise Search and Customer Search – Better Together

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Strong customer search delivers results that are personalized and demonstrate an understanding of customers’ intent. Strong enterprise search helps employees do their job faster, more effectively and with greater satisfaction. However, it is the connection between customer search and enterprise search, using data from one to feed the other, that empowers employees and delights customers.

“Personalization is more than delivering the right results according to what users are typing into the search bar,” said Will Hayes, CEO, Lucidworks. “A connected experience applies insights to deliver what users need, in real time across every channel. Customers receive relevant product recommendations, support agents help customers in their moment of need, and employees see the bigger picture to make strategic decisions.”

For many companies, this is still aspirational. The survey shows that search remains an incomplete tool for personalization, and data from search is rarely used to connect employees to customers, or to empower those employees to do their jobs optimally. Companies that understand real-time intent from customer search and browse to personalize an experience within that moment gain quantifiable business benefits.

  • More than 50% more likely to report revenue growth
  • More than 40% more likely to report innovation
  • Almost 30% more likely to report operational efficiency

In addition, companies that strongly agree that they provide connected experiences across channels are almost twice as likely to report major operational efficiency gains as a result of their employee search capabilities than those who do not (64% vs. 33%).

“The study findings mirror those we see in our own customer base with clients such as Morgan Stanley and SAS. Enterprises who connect search and knowledge management experiences across channels consistently outperform those who don’t,” said Hayes. “Our customer Lenovo saw conversions increase by 35 percent after they began capturing customer signals and applying those insights to their business.”

“The search platform is more than just a little box on the screen, it’s actually providing a lot of insights into our customers,” said Marc Desormeau, Product Owner for Site Search and Product Data Optimization, Lenovo. “People are starting to understand there’s some real data here that’s valuable, and we can use that to present our customers with a better experience.”

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Five Attributes Underpin Connected Experiences

The Forrester survey uncovered five key business capabilities that, taken in concert, enable businesses to deliver connected experiences. Lucidworks’ customer base also sees examples of these five capabilities.

  • Real-Time Personalization: The Forrester study shows highly connected companies are 40 percent more likely to use real-time intent to personalize experiences in the moment. Lucidworks customer base includes a leading retailer who uses Fusion to deliver signals-based personalization, creating a $10 million annual increase in revenue.
  • Harnessing Customer Signals: The Forrester study shows the lack of signals from customer behavior, as well as an inability to derive insights from signals, were two of the top five challenges identified by respondents seeking to personalize customer experiences. Lucidworks discovered that one of their customers, a leading department store, saw a 50 percent increase in conversions by capturing signals and applying insights in real time to optimize the shopper experience.
  • Understanding Intent: The Forrester study shows an overwhelming 97 percent of respondents have challenges understanding customer intent. Lucidworks saw one of their customers, a leading provider of open-source software solutions, use signals-based intent detection on their customer support portal to improve customer self-solve rates by 300%.
  • Cross-Channel Delivery: According to the Forrester survey, without a coordinated cross-channel strategy, creating relevant experiences that span the customer’s journey is nearly impossible. Lucidworks found that one of their customers, an enterprise data management firm, saved over $5M in costs after deploying signals-based personalization across multiple support channels using Fusion.
  • Machine Learning (ML): According to the Forrester study, 40 percent of respondents cite a lack of machine learning as an obstacle to understanding customer intent. However, when brands deploy ML they can realize major benefits. Lucidworks reports that one of their customers, a major home goods retailer, deployed Fusion’s out-of-the-box ML to improve their digital experience, resulting in $200 million in organic annual growth.

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