Achieving strong business agility allows quick adaptation to customer and business needs, but it may be ‘easier said than done’: study

Based on a survey of 3,900 customers and 3,900 customer experience and customer service personnel across organizations of all sizes, together with data from more than 90,000 customers across 175 countries, a customer experience vendor has released some findings about the link between business agility and business success.

The final report from Zendesk’s report has suggested that achieving extreme agility is “easier said than done” in some countries, especially amid the global pandemic situation.

Other research findings include recommendations such as:

  • Offer more choice, more often: 49% of customers in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) were more or much more likely to buy from a company that offered a preferred approach to service.
  • Put the voice of the customer first: 80% of business leaders in the research ‘agreed strongly’ to the prompt that their organizations had relied heavily on analytics this past year to understand how teams were performing, making it easier to use analytics to recognize and respond to customer shifts.
  • Be ready for change: Leaders were consistently more flexible about changes in how customer service agents work.
  • Have the right tools for support: In APAC, self-service tools have risen in popularity among the organizations studied, with the region outpacing others by adding 23 Help Center articles when ticket volume increased, compared to only about 14 added in other regions.
  • Businesses that have led investments in the tools, process and culture for agility have seen positive returns: Agility has been linked to cost and time savings:Agile businesses were better placed to reduce service costs in the past year. Also businesses in the research were increasingly seeing the value of adapting to customer needs as the call center takes on a new role amid the pandemic. In Singapore, commercial organizations were grasping this the most quickly, with 63% of business leaders viewing customer experience primarily as a revenue driver; and only a quarter viewing it as a cost center. That number decreased for other organizations of other sizes, with 59% of small- and medium-sized enterprises and 44% of enterprises viewing customer experience primarily as a revenue driver.

Said Wendy Johnstone, COO (APAC), Zendesk: “The consumers’ demand for a complete journey—one that is convenient, personalized and simple—is driving the agility imperative. To listen and respond to customer needs, businesses must invest in the tools, processes and resources that empower agility and drive long-term success.”