Just under three quarters (70 percent) of Irish business leaders believe they must put customers first if their organisation is to succeed in the long-term, with a similar number (76 percent) citing ‘trust’ as an important factor for maintaining strong customer relationships. This is according to a global study commissioned by Fujitsu, which found that 57 percent of business leaders in Ireland believe customers’ mistrust has increased significantly over the past three years. The good news is that the majority (74 percent) believe their organisation is well positioned to meet customer expectations over the next decade.

As these customer expectations evolve, over two-thirds (68 percent) of Irish business leaders have found their customers expect them to be more innovative in their work with them. According to the majority of business leaders (70 percent), digital technology is playing a vital role in improving the customer experience. For a quarter (23 percent), customer relationships have significantly improved over the past few years because their organisation took steps to invest in digital technology. For example, over half (53 percent) pointed to AI as a technology that will transform the services and products offered to customers.

“Emerging technologies – like Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things – are fundamentally changing the way we work and engage with customers. Ireland’s new National Digital Strategy should map out how we can positively embrace these digital advances for the benefit of citizens, businesses, and communities in Ireland.” said Tony O’Malley, CEO Fujitsu Ireland. “Today, forward-thinking businesses across many industries are at the forefront of a revolution, using technology innovatively to differentiate their experiences from the competition.”

When considering the role that technology plays in customer service, there’s no sign of it slowing down. Indeed, when asked how their business is planning to adapt to meeting customer expectations over the next decade, over a third (38 percent) said they will invest in digital technology to improve both services to customer and business operations and efficiencies. One example of this is the automation of certain roles in order to free up employees’ time to focus on the customer – the report revealed that the majority (59 percent) of business leaders said their organisation plans to automate some human tasks within the next three years.

Tony O’Malley adds, “While technology can be used to improve customer service and better equip staff, the human touch will always be necessary to make an emotional connection. Technology should be prioritised to take on the time-consuming and mundane tasks, making way for humans to spend more time on the work that matters – such as engaging and connecting directly with customers. In a world where businesses are increasingly needing to think of innovative ways to stay a step ahead of competitors, Irish organisations should be bringing technology and employees together. After all, whilst technology will transform the workplace, it will be humans that accelerate its impact.”

To download the full report, please visit: www.fujitsu.com/success

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