CX Professionals and Customers See Four Areas through Different Lenses

A new study from SurveyMonkey shows a significant dissonance between consumers’ feelings and CX and digital marketing professionals’ perceptions about customer experiences.

The analysis of 1,000 consumers and more than 600 CX and digital marketing industry professionals shows that they see four important areas differently: the value of AI, the level of post-COVID-19 support, consumers’ preferred feedback channels, and the amount of personalization they receive.

“Providing experiences that better align with consumer needs and expectations in 2023 and beyond starts with leveraging the right insights. The experience gap we’re seeing stems from limited knowledge across the entire customer journey. This presents a significant opportunity for CX teams to further invest in initiatives that bring them closer to a deeper understanding of how customers perceive experiences throughout their entire journey with a brand or company and explore best practices to optimize those experiences,” said Marci Kirkpatrick, Customer Experience Program Director at SurveyMonkey. 

1. CX pros more optimistic about AI: 63% of CX professionals expect AI to positively impact the customer experience. 82% of them also say it is a priority for their company. In contrast, only 25% of consumers see AI as a good thing for engagement experiences, and 32% expect it to have a negative impact on their interactions.

2. When it comes to the ongoing impact of COVID on CX, there's also a gap: 72% of CX professionals believe the level of customer experience their company provides has improved following the pandemic. On the other hand, only 27% of consumers agree.

3. CX professionals' and customers' views also differ on customer feedback channels: CX and digital marketing professionals want more investment in customer feedback programs (52%) and product feedback programs (47%). In addition, 49% cite the website as the preferred communication channel. However, 53% of consumers select the phone as their preferred means of providing feedback.

4. CX teams think the personalized experiences they deliver are up to the mark: 86% of CX and digital marketing professionals said their customers receive a personalized experience all or most of the time throughout the entire customer journey. Yet, only 8% of consumers felt that they received a consistently personalized experience. What's worse, 10% of consumers said that they never received a personalized experience.

While companies are going all in on expanding CX teams, 40% said customer experience is not a priority for leaders. They also said they occasionally talk about CX but fail to act on it. Further, only 25% have a single CX leader who oversees and manages the entire customer journey.

The survey cites a lack of information as the primary cause of the disconnect between CX professionals and customers across these areas. Namely, 35% of CX professionals said they don’t have the customer data and insights they need, specifically in the consideration stage (57%), purchase stage (53%), and awareness stage (45%).