In “Revisiting the Gaps in Customer Experience,” the second Harris Poll survey commissioned by Redpoint, marketers and consumers remain split in their perceptions regarding the delivery of an omnichannel CX. The survey, released today, reveals that while 51 percent of marketers believe they are delivering an “exceptional” CX, only 26 percent of consumers say the same. That 25-point differential is down from 30 from the initial 2019 survey. More shared agreement is certainly good news, but it also comes with heightened demands that an omnichannel customer experience may be a requirement for doing business with a customer. Consider that 39 percent of consumers surveyed said they will not do business with a company that fails to offer a personalized experience.
The extensive research also explores reasons for the disparity, identifies what marketers and consumers consider the most important aspects of CX, examines CX from an industry standpoint, looks at technology’s role, and reveals some of the biggest hurdles marketers must overcome to meet the heightened demands. The survey also looks at CX through the lens of the vastly changed landscape since 2019, particularly the impact of COVID-19 and digital acceleration as it pertains to customer journeys.
Elevation of the Omnichannel CX
A digital acceleration of customer journeys, marked by an increase in digital-only or digital-first engagements, is reflected in the survey findings where, unlike in 2019, consumers ranked omnichannel consistency – meaning a brand recognizes them as the same customer across all channels, and delivers a consistent experience – as the most important dimension of CX, up from a second-place ranking. A majority (61 percent) reported being frustrated if that recognition is lacking, with 31 percent saying that it would make them less likely to do business with the brand.
A large majority of both marketers and consumers agree that the pandemic has made it more important for brands to know customers’ individual needs and preferences. Marketers say it has changed their CX strategy, with a majority citing an increased emphasis on flexible delivery systems, a focus on integrating digital and physical channels, and an embrace of new channels.
Closing the Gap with Data Quality
On the technology side, marketers were asked to rank the top barriers preventing their existing marketing solutions from accomplishing their strategic goals. A lack of data integration between channels and the use of a closed marketing cloud were each cited by 41 percent of marketers as the top two barriers to managing an omnichannel CX.
To break through this logjam, 91 percent of marketers said that martech investment is a key initiative (up from 89 percent). Asked to identify specific areas of investment, 41 percent cited the ability to create personalized, relevant experiences as the top purpose for martech investment.
There was agreement between the two groups that data quality – or a lack thereof – is also an area of opportunity. Marketers cite customer data being inaccurate, fragmented and incomplete as their biggest data quality challenges. Meanwhile, half of consumers say brands are failing to deliver personalized experiences because data is not accurate or up to date. Both groups agree that accuracy is the area most in need of improvement as a conduit to create the type of personalized CX consumers demand.
For the consumer, an inaccurate representation of who they are – likes, preferences, behaviors, etc. – because data is not up to date explains why roughly half of all consumers surveyed said they feel undervalued and unseen by the brands they engage with.
Because marketers seem to acknowledge where they fall short and the steps they need to take address and close the CX gap, there is an expectation that customer experience will remain a priority as a key for driving revenue growth. Additional CX enhancements will certainly help, but they will also serve to reinforce consumer expectations that a consistent personalized experience is a base-level requirement for engaging with a brand.
Download the full whitepaper, “Revisiting the Gaps in Customer Experience” for more detail.