Udesh Jadnanansing
Udesh Jadnanansing 15 November 2019

What is the Customer Experience Gap?

We hear companies throwing around common phrases like, ‘Customer centricity is at the heart of our organisation’ and ‘We’re very much in tune with the needs of our customers’. Not surprisingly, seeing as how according to a study carried out by Bain and company, 80% of organisations they surveyed believed that they were providing a superior customer experience to their customers. Meanwhile, just 8% of their customers shared this opinion. Only eight percent! This is a huge disconnect and gap in perception, one that is commonly referred to as the customer experience gap.

What is the Customer Experience Gap?

The customer experience gap is essentially the gap between what customers want and what organisations actually give them. In other words, it is the result of your brand failing to meet expectations at any point across the customer journey. Ideally, we all want to have a small gap or no gap at all. Not the case? Then it’s time to start focusing on how to minimise this disconnect…

Mopinion: What is the Customer Experience Gap? - Gap

Bridging the Customer Experience Gap

Before we get started, it’s important to point out is that while the experience gap is typically attributed to more traditional CX ways of working, it can also be applied to the digital side of CX.

Ideally, you’ll want to implement holistic digital platforms and deliver a seamless experience. Customers typically gravitate towards brands (across various digital channels) that can deliver smarter, personalised, and seamless experiences. This isn’t always a straightforward process, one thing is sure: engaging, multichannel, and personal experiences for your digital customers will deliver the best experience.

Mopinion: What is the Customer Experience Gap? - Bridging the Gap
Despite the figures above, there are still plenty of organisations that HAVE been successful in aligning their digital experience delivery with customer expectations. The question is, what exactly did they do to achieve this?

Let’s take a look:

Step 1: Collect insights into how your customers experience your brand

In a traditional sense, there are plenty of ways to collect customer insights and boost CX, whether that’s through call center feedback or traditional surveys. However, since we are talking about digital CX in this article, we’ll focus on collecting insights from digital channels such as websites and mobile apps.

That being said, you’ve got your standard web analytics tools, your chat tools, your heatmapping tools and your session recording tools. But one of the best and most profitable tools in terms of customer insights is customer feedback.

Mopinion: What is the Customer Experience Gap? - Feedback Insights

This is because customer feedback tools have a secret weapon. Customer feedback tools can determine the why factor. Why are your visitors behaving the way they do? Having this information at your fingertips enables you to obtain a deeper understanding of your customers and come up with ways to make their experience better.

Online customer feedback is essential for a sustainable B2C relationship, increased online conversions and improved customer loyalty. However, collecting the right customer feedback takes careful planning and a firm understanding of the journey your customers take when buying a product on your website or app.

Step 2: Get your entire organisation involved

Decentralising your feedback efforts is the best thing you can do. Try allocating team members to be ‘subject matter experts’, or team leads who will manage all feedback designated to their department. For example, for all feedback related to pricing, allocate one person from your sales team to the project. Assigning a team lead will give your programme structure as well as help you spread out the responsibility evenly.

Mopinion: What is the Customer Experience Gap? - Team

As Nemo Verbist, Group Executive for CX at Dimension Data, puts it:

Customer experience must be higher on the agenda for every business. The whole organisation should get behind it. Brands acknowledge how crucial customer experience is, Yet few are making it a board-level responsibility, leaving it siloed or delegating it to individual managers.

Additionally, this diversity in roles will not only provide several viewpoints that are unique to your own, but it can also spark inspiration for the feedback agenda as well as give you the opportunity to look beyond your own team and get more support internally.

Not sure how to get your team on board with the idea? Check out these tips and tricks.

Step 3: Focus on opportunity

Lastly, it’s important to keep your teams focused on opportunity. You are all working towards a common goal and that is to provide an optimal customer experience that will satisfy your customers, and thus close the customer gap.

Mopinion: What is the Customer Experience Gap? - Opportunity

Take the insights you’ve attained from your feedback and turn them into action. Whether that’s optimising your purchasing funnel, clarifying content on a product page or changing the design of a certain page to make it more user-friendly. There’s plenty to learn from your customers! And don’t forget to let them know you’re doing something with their input!

How big is your Customer Experience Gap?

It’s time to eliminate this common disconnect organisations have with their customers. We need to start making customer experience the priority we say it is. Otherwise, the chances are high that your customers will get fed up and run off to your competitors. You know, the ones offering a more compelling user engagement?

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