NEW DELHI: Customers of Indian businesses want to be treated as unique but many companies are failing to deliver on this, whether through personally tailored communications or by linking communications across all channels.

Avaya, a provider of business collaboration and communications solutions and services, surveyed 1,268 businesses and 8,500 consumers across 13 countries in order to examine companies' customer experience management (CEM). It found that increasingly high expectations were creating a business environment where the majority of organisations struggled to keep up.

In India, 80% of customers expected that their individual preferences would be taken into account in a company's communications with them, but only 49% of businesses (49%) were managing to achieve this.

A similar proportion of customers expected organisations to offer them a wide variety of contact methods and for customer-facing staff to be fully up to speed on past conversations, emails and social media posts.

Again, less than half of companies (45%) were able to link - in real time - all threads of communication across different channels. A higher proportion (58%) said they could give customer-facing staff a single customer view in real time when a customer contacted the company.

Nor was it just existing customers who needed to be tracked but potential customers. Fully 93% of Indian respondents said that the way a company treated them before they had actually spent any money had an impact on how they felt about that company in the future.

While less than half of businesses were delivering the personalised experience customers sought, rather more were aware of the need to do so.

Some 75% of business managers in India described CEM as extremely important, putting them in the global lead, ahead of Mexico (67%), the US (59%) and Brazil (59%).

And 72% said they had a CEM solution in place, far better than the global average of 59%.

"A majority of businesses acknowledge the need for a comprehensive CEM program, but somehow fail to deliver on what it takes to implement one," observed Johnson Varkey, Director, Contact Center Sales, India and SAARC, Avaya.

"Breaking down functional silos, tapping the expertise of internal and external resources and investing in technologies that bring customers and employees closer together will help put companies on the path to success," he advised.

Data sourced from BusinessWire; additional content by Warc staff