Top 5 reasons companies are struggling to maintain customer trust

Top 5 reasons to maintain customer trust

KPMG’s latest research based on a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting points to five areas where companies struggle most executing a customer centric digital strategy and maintaining customer trust.


Board Member

KPMG in Cyprus


Today’s consumer has high expectations of retail companies: they want them to offer nothing less than personalised products and services, an effortless experience across channels, reliable privacy protections, evidence of good corporate citizenship, and value for their money. As consumer and retail companies push towards engaging with consumers through digital channels, they continue to face a number of obstacles in delivering this desired customer experience.

1. Security and compliance

 {Customers want their personal data protected}

Ongoing cyber security threats, expanding privacy protections (GDPR, CCPA) and evolving regulations in a variety of jurisdictions are challenging companies to balance their investments appropriately between growing their digital brands and maintaining their digital security.

Most organisations are constrained by multiple legacy IT systems and databases that were put in place for their traditional storefronts but are not well integrated with their digital channels (stores, online, mobile, etc.). Trying to establish a robust security architecture across incompatible systems can drive up costs significantly.

2. Technology and data

 {Legacy systems, inadequate governance and technology silos magnify complexity}

Companies are struggling to track and share customer interactions across multiple channels and countries. In addition to posing security concerns, legacy systems and data spread across multiple databases exacerbates the considerable challenge of attaining a single view of the customer.

Solid information governance practices can create the firm foundation needed for regulatory compliance and supporting targeted analytics, customer intelligence and richer interactions within the guard-rails of privacy regulatory obligations.

3. People and process

{Customer trust is built when the experience is seamless across channels}

Most organisations lack the infrastructure they need to deliver a cohesive, cross-functional customer experience or the capabilities and incentives their teams need to collaborate effectively. Our research confirmed that, in the absence of qualified in-house capabilities, organisations may look to third-party providers to deliver portions of their customer experience strategy. However, lack of transparency and ineffective communication with third parties could hinder the delivery of a trusted experience.

Lack of qualified personnel with relevant digital experience continues to slow down rapid deployment of their digital strategies. Organisations will need to consider strategies to train and enhance the skillset of their employees in order to meet the ever increasing marketplace demand of their customers.

4. Business silos

{Customer trust can be impacted by a company’s ability to meet delivery commitments and product returns}

Many organisations are organised by channel, each with independent leadership, applications, forecasts, inventory and reporting. Many have built their supply chains around a traditional business model. But often, supply chain systems and processes have not been updated and configured to meet customer expectations for “always available and immediately deliverable” products and services. The result is supply chain and inventory management systems that cannot meet the commitments made by the pre or point of sales instances.

5. Strategy misalignment

Customers reward companies based on their best experience

Organisations are struggling to balance stakeholder expectations for growth and profitability with delivering the 21st century experience their customers demand. While companies say they are focused on customer centricity, they remain challenged by lack of appropriate executive sponsorship, a company-wide strategy and sufficient funding to enable execution. Our experience is that most consumer product organisations take a case-by-case approach to a connected enterprise strategy, which results in essentially unwiedly cross-channel experiences for customers.

“”Traditional consumer and retail organisations are challenged to navigate these obstacles because they lack the right data and technology capabilities to respond, versus newer, more innovative players””

Strong relationships are based on TRUST

Customer-centric organisations earn the trust of their customers by addressing specific aspects of organisational governance:

· Process and systems governance

Companies need to assess the end-to-end transaction across multiple use cases to identify where things could break down or simply deteriorate, resulting in a poor customer experience. Are you delivering the right product to the right customer at the right time? Leveraging new applications, data and automation to monitor transactions activity, including the quality of those transactions, can improve the organisation’s ability to maintain and enhance customer trust. Organisations should also consider fraud detection and prevention controls as they build out these processes.

· Data governance

Privacy compliance and data enablement start with a clear understanding of what data is in the environment, the purposes for which that data is used and the people, processes and technology that allow for sustainable visibility and control of that data. Achieving this understanding represents a significant, transformational change for most companies and must be approached in a thoughtful, practical way. The good news: given overlap in many activities, investment in privacy compliance requirements (CCPA, GDPR, etc.) can help to fund these foundational initiatives. Further, strong data governance can serve as a strong foundation for information protection and security, supporting risk-based protection of information assets.

· Third-party governance

Companies are leveraging cloud based platforms, custom application developers and various third parties within their supply chains to deliver a customer-centric experience. Now they need to develop new governance policies, procedures and capabilities to ensure appropriate oversight of third parties in the digital age.

Maria Zavrou, Board Member, KPMG Limited, 22 209 000,

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