Creating a seamless customer experience

March 30, 2015


March 30, 2015

Martin Koehring

Senior Manager for Sustainability, Climate Change and Natural Resources & Head of the World Ocean Initiative

Martin Koehring is senior manager for sustainability, climate change and natural resources at (part of The Economist Group). He leads Economist Impact's sustainability-related policy and thought leadership projects in the EMEA region. He is also the head of the, inspiring bold thinking, new partnerships and the most effective action to build a sustainable ocean economy.

He is a member of the Advisory Committee for the UN Environment Programme’s Global Environment Outlook for Business and is a faculty member in the Food & Sustainability Certificate Program provided by the European Institute for Innovation and Sustainability.

His previous roles at The Economist Group, where he has been since 2011, include managing editor, global health lead and Europe editor at The Economist Intelligence Unit.

He earned a bachelor of economic and social studies in international relations from Aberystwyth University and a master’s degree in diplomacy and international relations from the College of Europe.


Key findings

  • Consumers look at the whole transaction and want simplicity, speed and accuracy across all channels. Company executives, in contrast, continue to think in terms of individual platforms.
  • Online companies are seen by consumers as examples of excellent customer service. Four of the top five companies listed most frequently as offering excellent customer service are relatively new online companies. Retail is cited as the best sector for customer service, closely followed by consumer goods and banks.
  • Improving the customer experience is cited as a priority by most firms, but many companies still have some basic work to do. Few have created roles such as a chief customer officer to take charge of the overall customer journey; many have basic work to do on integrating content between different platforms; and less than one-third track customer behaviour across channels.
  • Company executives accept that the biggest obstacles to better customer service are organisational, rather than technical. More than a third (36%) of executives see silos within their organisation as the biggest issue and around a quarter (24%) cite lack of senior management vision, while close to half of consumers cite a lack of interest in customer satisfaction as the largest hurdle.
  • If companies deliver bad customer service, then consumers will walk away. Close to three-quarters of consumers say they will stop doing business with a company following a bad experience, and more than half will complain to families and friends. Slow replies to questions and inaccurate product information are their main complaints—irrespective of the platform.

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