Boardroom efforts to make customer experience a priority being hampered by rising costs, retention and bad debt

The ability to convert data into insight and leverage AI techniques will be the factors that deliver competitive advantage

12 February 2019: New research shows that despite a determined drive towards improving customer experience, increasing trust and satisfaction, half of all companies across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), continue to be challenged by rising costs of customer acquisition, cost-to-serve, retention and the impact of bad debt.

At the same time, four out of five CEOs readily acknowledge just how important data, analytics and AI also are to their growth. Over the coming year, these areas will be the focus of investments to enable faster, more reliable and better-informed decisions.

But businesses across the region admit their legacy technology and the inability to deliver consistent decisions across multiple channels continue to pose an ongoing struggle to improving their agility and customer experience. In fact, more than one in four (28%) admit they are unsure they can consistently offer friction-free experiences for new customers, while a similar number (26%) simply don’t believe they’re making the most of advanced analytics.

The findings emerged from a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Experian. It includes insight from more than 700 senior decision-makers from across Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EMEA).

Francesco Nazzarri, Managing Director of Commercial Strategy for UK&EMEA at Experian, says: “It’s clear these are exciting times and they’re challenging times. But many business leaders realise that their growth is now reliant on agility and the ability to move at the speed of their market – or even faster. Success is dependent on a combination of scale, innovation, spotting and adapting to new opportunities as soon as they emerge.

“Businesses of all sizes accept they need access to as large a data universe as possible, while ensuring they’re armed with the analytical firepower to identify and inform the insights, before acting to continually ensure they best serve their customers.

“As a strategic partner, these are all critical challenges we’re continually helping our clients around the globe resolve. By helping them deliver competitive advantages from vast quantities of data that are converted into smart, actionable insights and by leveraging the latest machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques, they can drive the very best outcomes for all.”

Across EMEA, Experian Ascend Analytics on Demand has now been launched enabling businesses of all sizes build their own predictive models and make the very best decisions. It applies machine learning and AI techniques to anonymised credit, client and alternative data, creating rich, comprehensive market views. Thanks to Ascend's analytical tools, layers of content can be readily mined to gain deep insights about business and consumers. Results are delivered within a matter of seconds, via flexible self-service tools and powerful visualizations that drive fast, smart and well-informed decisions.

Innovation, smart data and the drive to customer-centricity is the third annual Experian-commissioned report conducted by Forrester Consulting. It covers three key themes around the universal drive to digital, SME servicing and customer management. Inside it contains a mass of insight into critical investment plans for EMEA boardrooms, as well as taking a deep-dive into emerging trends, vital priorities and front-of-mind challenges for hundreds of CEOs. To read the report in full, simply click here.


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About the research

Forrester Consulting, working on Experian’s behalf, surveyed more than 700 decision-makers from across EMEA with responsibility or influence, over customer data, analytics, risk, and SME services. The full report Innovation, smart data and the drive to customer-centricity, can be downloaded here.

About Experian

Experian is the world’s leading global information services company. During life’s big moments – from buying a home or a car, to sending a child to college, to growing a business by connecting with new customers – we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organisations to prevent identity fraud and crime.

We have 16,500 people operating across 39 countries and every day we’re investing in new technologies, talented people and innovation to help all our clients maximise every opportunity. We are listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and are a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

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