Recent social and technological changes have transformed the traditional relationship between a company and its customers, putting the customer first, according to a new survey.
The survey, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by salesforce.com, found that 89% of those that define themselves as "high-performing" are trying to take action, by letting their customers lead their business. 27% of all companies agree that they need to improve customer loyalty.
However, 40% of companies say a lack of clarity about how the customer-led economy will evolve has hampered their efforts so far. Less than half of CEO respondents at the highest performing companies have taken personal responsibility for the challenge are not showing leadership in this area of customer loyalty.
The survey found that 51% of companies are still relying on their website as their main communication tool, with 40% mainly relying on email and only 23% using social media. A mere 10% use mobile apps are their main communication tool.
43% of respondents said that over the next three years, this will change, and social media will gradually become their main channel for reaching customers.
As customers use more technologies, businesses are failing to follow fast enough to keep up. Mobile and cloud-based applications are leading this trend, along with more use of social media tools.
More than 80% of the executives surveyed say that improving connections between partners, products, employees and consumers will enhance the customer experience.