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Customer experience: where is the greatest weak spot?

In a world where customers are expecting more and more, and where competition only gets fiercer, delivering exceptional customer experience is essential. In 12 years of Investor in Customers' (IIC) assessments, we have gathered feedback from more than 2 million of our clients' customers - providing robust trends for the strengths but also the weak links in CX delivery.

The gap between management perception and reality

Our unique assessment methodology gathers feedback from our clients' customers, employees and managers, split down into different specific business areas and customer segments. Typically we find that over 70% of managers and employees rate the CX they deliver higher than their customers do, and senior managers usually give the highest rating of all. This highlights a dangerous gap between management perception and the reality of what is happening for their customers.

Would this be true in your organisation?

It's important to personalise your customer relationship

The IIC assessment is built around four principles of customer experience, which are divided into 16 themes. The principle 'Delight Customers', has been a consistent and growing strength with clients over the past 12 years. Recognising the fact clients usually treat customers fairly, that they regard the customer as always being right, and they deliver an increasingly great post-sales service. However, as you can see from the charts below, the weakest principle is often 'Understanding Customer Needs'. This may sound conflicting – but many organisations encourage employees to delight customers through promotions and 'giving in to every request', but unless they understand the specific needs of individuals then this is just lip service, and glosses over their deficiencies in personalising the customer relationship. Something the IIC assessment then pinpoints and can help resolve through the action plans provided as part of the assessment report.

Drilling down, when we look at the 16 CX themes below the four IIC principles, we find 'Product Quality' to be the highest performing theme over the last 12 years, and once more, we find 'Understand Needs' to be the weakest. Further demonstrating that businesses still often fall short in delivering 'needs-led' personalised services and communications, which creates barriers to customer advocacy and retention.

How would your business compare?

Do you really understand your customers and build your strategy and service delivery against their needs and expectations? Do you know where your own real CX strengths and weaknesses are? After all, you can't fix what you don't know is broken.

We help our clients to harness the power of insight to build on their strengths and address their weak spots. If you want to see how your business compares and find out how you can attract and retain more business, increase employee engagement and boost profitability, talk to us now.