Alexa Customer Experience Gaps that are Hidden in Plain Sight

CX Gaps that are Hidden in Plain Sight

| by Patricia Jones

Customer experience (CX) is no longer a buzzword; it’s the business mantra of a successful venture. Today, when customer loyalty is hard-won, “not-so-good” CX can destroy your positive image at any time. Being consistent in delivering a positive experience is thus survival imperative for businesses. 

Despite the growing emphasis on CX, many companies still struggle to meet customer expectations. There are CX gaps that remain unnoticed for years, they widen over time, resulting in long-term damage. This article delves into the concept of the CX gap, explores the reasons behind it, and offers actionable strategies for businesses to bridge the widening gap while creating a truly customer-centric experience.

The CX Gap: A Disconnect Between Perception and Reality

Here’s a real-life scenario. Let’s say most of your offline footfalls result from the large-scale marketing you do online. 

They envision a helpful and knowledgeable salesperson assisting them, a smooth checkout process, and a hassle-free return policy in case the product doesn’t meet their expectations. However, upon arrival, they’re greeted by an indifferent staff member, encounter a long queue at the checkout, and discover a restrictive return policy. This is a gap between expectation and reality. The customer’s anticipated experience and the one he gets while visiting the store are different from each other, resulting in a dodgy CX and zero customer loyalty.

Suh CX gaps often remain unnoticed and can manifest in various ways.  From slow and infrequent responses to complex product information- everything falls under poor CX. It’s not always about providing excellent services, rather it’s more about delivering personalized services While a company might believe they’re providing exceptional service, customers may have a vastly different perspective. This disconnect can lead to frustration, disappointment, and ultimately, customer churn.

Causes of the CX Gap: Why Businesses Miss the Mark

CX gaps originate from the difference between expectation and reality. But, most of the time these blindspots are so elusive that they often go unnoticed. Here’s a look at the common culprits behind  CX gaps and why businesses miss the mark.   

  • Communication Silos: A business is structured with distinct departments – marketing, sales, operations, customer service and more. Unfortunately, they operate in isolation, which leads to communication silos. Being unaddressed it becomes a norm over time. It results in a fragmented customer journey which affects the credibility of the company. For instance, the marketing team might portray a product as user-friendly, while the customer service team struggles to address customer inquiries due to inadequate product knowledge. This inconsistency creates confusion and frustration for customers.
  • Customer Feedback Disconnect: Prioritizing customer feedback is crucial for every business. However, many businesses fail to maintain consistency in collecting customer feedback. They never solicit feedback through surveys, reviews, or social media interactions. This lack of customer insights makes it difficult for businesses to understand customer needs and expectations, leading to a mismatch between what they offer and what customers truly desire.
  • Employee Disengagement: Employees are the face of the brand, and their attitude and behavior significantly impact customer experience. Disengaged employees who lack proper training or motivation are less likely to go the extra mile for customers. This can result in impersonal interactions, slow response times, and a lack of empathy, ultimately creating a negative customer experience.
  • Stay Aligned with Technological Advancements: Technology is rapidly evolving, and customer expectations are keeping pace. Businesses that fail to adapt to these advancements risk falling behind. For instance, if a company doesn’t offer a user-friendly mobile app or an omnichannel customer support experience, it may create a gap between its offerings and what customers expect in today’s digital age.
  • Focusing on Sales Over Relationships: While sales are undoubtedly important, businesses that solely focus on closing deals often neglect to build long-term customer relationships. This transactional approach can leave customers feeling like a number rather than a valued patron.

Bridging the CX Gap: Strategies for Customer-Centric Success

Fortunately, the CX gap is not an insurmountable obstacle. With the right strategies it can be achieved   Businesses can implement several strategies to bridge the divide and create a customer experience that fosters loyalty and drives business growth.

Obsess Over Customer Feedback: Make customer feedback the cornerstone of your CX strategy. Actively solicit feedback through surveys, reviews, social media interactions, and even informal conversations with customer service representatives. Analyze this feedback to identify areas for improvement and tailor your offerings to better meet customer needs.

Embrace a Customer-Centric Culture: “Lack of customer focus is a point of failure”, says Gartner.  In the next five years, more than 30% of businesses are going to succumb due to this, yet, only 14% of the CMOs perceive “customer-centricity as the hallmark of their business”, reports CMO Council.

Personalization is Key: The customer relationship management (CRM) system helps build a relationship with customers by giving them personalized information about their needs, what they like and don’t like, and how to fulfill them. In addition to providing basic customer data, CRM systems can also be used as an advocacy tool. Customers will appreciate this high level of service if they know they will receive it consistently.

Omnichannel Customer Support: Customers today interact with brands across various channels – phone, email, social media, and live chat. Businesses must provide seamless and consistent support across all these touchpoints. Invest in omnichannel solutions that allow customers to easily switch between channels without having to repeat their inquiries.

Final  Thoughts

Customer experience (CX) is the battleground for business success in today’s competitive landscape. A critical yet often overlooked threat is the CX gap – the disconnect between what businesses perceive they deliver and what customers experience. This gap can manifest in various ways, from communication silos to employee disengagement, ultimately leading to customer frustration and churn.

The good news is that the CX gap is bridgeable. By prioritizing customer feedback, fostering a customer-centric culture, personalizing interactions, and offering omnichannel support, businesses can close the gap and create a seamless, positive experience that fosters customer loyalty and drives long-term growth. Remember, happy customers are your biggest advocates – bridge the CX gap and unlock the true potential of your customer base.

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