Study: Gap Found Between Customer Expectations And Reality

According to a Talend study released Wednesday, 63% of respondents said using data to better understand customers is a top business priority for 2017, with 80% of companies ranking it at an eight or above on a 10-point scale.

Talend, which supports cloud and big data integration software, surveyed the international consumer and IT business with Researchscape, identifying a gap between customer expectations and the reality of what organizations provide. The study aggregates responses from 361 IT professionals and 1,094 consumers in the United States, the U.K., France, and Germany.

Despite a wealth of data available about customer behavior and purchase choices, companies have a long way to go to use the data to meet consumer needs, the study reveals. Looking through customer-360 initiatives don't always provide marketers with a clear view of the customer, even when calling on the company's IT professionals to help support projects with data.

About 80% of IT professionals say they make data accessible to broader business units. And while 88% of IT departments believe the organization truly understands their needs, only 61% of consumers feel companies do.



Some 63% of the IT professionals said the company uses data to better understand customers, but the marketing department doesn't necessarily spearhead initiatives to improve customer experience.

Nearly 40% of those participating in the survey said the CIO/CTO takes responsibility to improve customer experience; followed by 33%, business unit managers; 21%, CEOs; 21%, COO; and 16%, CMOs.  

Companies may recognize the importance of data in driving company strategy, but most are just scratching the surface when it comes to understanding the dramatic impact customer-360 initiatives can have on increasing customer loyalty and improve experiences.  

Under increasing pressure to improve the customer experience, many have invested growing budget in a range of customer relationship management tools. About 66% said they have invested in live chat tools; 60%, data visualization; 52%, speech recognition; and 58%, retargeting tools.

Despite heavy investment by IT to support customer tools, many businesses still do not track basic customer feedback. In fact 50% or less of the surveyed companies deploy elementary barometers of customer satisfaction. About 39% use attribution path-to-purchase tools; 52%, purchase behavior history; 36%, online reviews; 43%; social media; and 50% past purchase or communication preferences.

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