Data Shows Significant Gap Between Perception And Performance Of Customer Experience

ActionIQ, an enterprise customer data platform (CDP), on Wednesday released its first CX IQ Index, with findings from a survey measuring the state of customer experience (CX) from the perspective of businesses and consumers in the U.S. and the U.K.

The U.S. findings reveal a significant gap between CX perception and performance, showing that while 61% of businesses rate customers as “very satisfied” with CX, only 23% of consumers feel the same.

The research also revealed that when it comes to CX, data protection and privacy are most important to consumers. Some 55% of consumers say data protection is “very important” to customer experience -- more than any other CX characteristic, while 48% said the same for brands respecting their privacy.  

ActionIQ surveyed more than 400 consumers across the U.S. and U.K. to understand what matters most to them in terms of CX, and 350 U.S.- and UK-based businesses to learn how they evaluate their CX performance, as well as how their assessments compare to those of consumers.

The biggest takeaway is that brands must know their customers to provide them with a better user experience. Consumers are much more concerned about brands understanding their needs than knowing who they are, with 23% rating understanding their needs as “very important” compared with brands knowing who they are, at 11%.

Media and publishing is the industry with the largest disparity in how companies rate themselves, compared with actual user experiences, with a gap of 20 percentage points or more across many categories.

While this sector scored the highest in satisfaction compared to other industries, it is due to one vertical lifting others in streaming services, such as with music, audio, video.

The customer reviews are significantly more negative for media and publishing brands focused on news. Only 23% of consumers said they are “very satisfied” with customer experience for online news and information sites, and just 16% echo that sentiment for print media.

When analyzing and comparing media and publishing brands with the way consumers perceive issues, discrepancies are wider between company and consumer perception.

When it came to “protects my data,” media and publishing brands gave themselves a rating of 49% versus consumers at 22%, while “respects my privacy” was rated at 51% versus 18%; “is knowledgeable about their products and services” was rated at 60% versus 26%; and “has fast resolution of problems” was rated at 49% versus 18%, respectively.

B2B technology brands were similar to media and publishing companies. They were more likely to rate their performance as “very strong” than the average across different CX characteristics.

Retail brands were less likely to rate their CX performance as "very strong" when compared to other industries, but retailers still overestimate their performance across most categories.

Consumers gave retail brands higher marks for characteristics related to convenience and reliability.

Financial services companies outperform other industries across the majority of characteristics consumers say are most important to CX. The data suggests this may be due to the company’s direct access to the customers and the amount of authenticated customer traffic they have across their digital channels. The banking vertical in particular performed well in terms of CX satisfaction.
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