Just four in 10 (41%) UK companies exceeded their revenue goals in 2020, highlighting a failure by companies to capitalise on customer engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These are the findings from a study by customer engagement platform Braze, which also revealed that six in 10 companies state that customer satisfaction is not their top priority.
Braze’s inaugural Global Customer Engagement Review, which identifies the top trends, challenges, benchmarks and strategies for the next era of customer engagement, positively identifies that marketing budgets are set to increase for half (50%) of UK companies.
However, the findings, made up of 1,300 marketing executives responses, show marketers plan to put this money behind investment in machine learning and artificial intelligence (47%) before customer analytics (45%) and customer satisfaction (43%).
James Manderson, GM and VP success, Braze EMEA, said: “While it is positive to see that UK companies are upping their marketing budgets this year, it is imperative they place it into customer engagement strategies and tools that impact revenue.
“As the UK continues to live in another national lockdown, digital channels are the only line of communication that many companies have with customers. Across all sectors, companies are fighting for customers’ attention and we know a third (36%) of them find breaking through or standing out in a crowded market a challenge. In order to rise above the noise, companies must communicate with customers in personalised, human and ultimately engaging ways.”
The report suggests more needs to be done to educate marketers on the importance of customer engagement and its business impact, according to Braze. 81% of marketers at companies that exceeded revenue goals, say they are concerned customer engagement metrics don’t translate into outcomes. Braze also found that, while 79% of marketers feel confident in their customer engagement strategy, 77% struggle to showcase customer engagement through business outcomes. However, these stats are unsurprising considering only three in 10 (30%) share a company-wide understanding of how to define customer engagement success.
Manderson added: “2020 was a wake up call to marketers who learnt that products or services alone are not enough to win customer loyalty. Today, customers are in the driving seat and want to be communicated with in a way that suits them – it’s important companies respect that and take action.
“While the industry has a long way to go to fully understanding the importance of customer engagement, it’s taking steps in the right direction. We can see this in the success of UK brands we work with – like Deliveroo, Bloom&Wild and Babylon. Thanks to prioritising customer satisfaction and adopting customer engagement technology they are able communicate in personalised and human ways in real-time.
“The brands best placed to engage with customers in a way that suits them, on the right channel, with the right message and at the right time, will ultimately be those that survive, thrive, and boost their bottom line in 2021 and beyond.”