According to this new 2013 study from IBM, C-suite leaders say that in the next 3 – 5 years, 88% of all interactions with customers will happen digitally.


Though 76% of CxOs want to know their customers better, they are still lagging in one area: the social component. What urgencies are driving the C-Suite right now? rising customer expectations, decreasing tolerance, the limited insights face-to-face contact with customers provides.

While it’s no surprise digital will take up 88% of all forms of customer interactions, how can companies adapt to this?

“The most progressive enterprises analyze social data to understand customers’ core values and what’s happening in their lives.”

Data analysis is absolutely essential. Collecting data and really using that data to target specific users and predict their future purchases is a must. An improved customer experience is a real value to a company and will keep sales up. While responding to emerging trends is important, it certainly isn’t the most important thing. Understanding the customer, tailoring content and creating a consistent experience starts with improving collaboration and communication with employees first (creating a social business).

This entire chart should be flipped:

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Another key finding that is an improvement:

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What more companies should be doing:

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CEOs are beginning to open the doors to ensure collaboration. Many have taken steps to make sure their company is transparent in the past 12 months and over half claim customers now have a major influence on their organizations. However, 1/3 of CEOs still worry that the rest of their C-suite is out of touch with customers. 

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Opening up to customers and bridging the digital and physical to create a better customer experiences isn’t something a CEO or a company can do alone. The most successful businesses have good relationships with customers, partners and suppliers, and “actively promote the development of employee networks.”

“Encouraging others to collaborate isn’t enough. Members of the C-suite must also pull together. That’s not easy. Nevertheless, it can produce major financial benefits. A full 92 percent of CEOs heading outperforming enterprises think they and their fellow CxOs work effectively together in a collegial manner.”

Read more from the IBM study and open conversations in your company about collaboration and improving your customers’ experience. You will immediately see the benefits financially and internally.