Not listening

CX programmes are ignoring core customer concerns, finds report


Whilst customer experience strategies are focusing on seamlessness, simplicity and efficiency, customers have other priorities. 

11th Feb 2022

Despite organisations having invested billions of dollars in customer experience management, new research suggests that less than half of customers around the world believe that the brands they interact with are focused on their needs.

The study by Havas CX, which surveyed 50,000 consumers across nine markets (U.S, UK, France, China, Brazil, Turkey, India, Portugal and Spain), found that a global average of 60% of consumers believe the brands they interact with are not “centred on their needs as a customer.”

Now in its fourth year, the 2022 X Index report compiles ratings of all interactions that consumers may have with a brand throughout their journey, with consumers ranking 35 discriminating customer experience criteria through statements such as: “I trust this brand,” “This brand always keeps its commitments,” “The staff is expert and knowledgeable”, and “The purchase process is seamless”.

But the report indicates that organisations are generally out of step with shifting customer expectations and customer needs. 

And whilst seamlessness, simplicity and efficiency still feature as key facets of customer experience and are the source of much focus from organisations, consumer expectations are now much more centred around the issues of trust, sustainability and inclusivity.

A brand’s ability to show the consumer what actions they are taking to create a welcoming environment is now crucial to the consumer – shifting the traditional idea of customer experience to citizen experience.

The report outlined four key principles that will enable organisations to provide high quality citizen experience.

  • Commit to trust: Brand trust is the most powerful denominator around the globe, with the report revealing that across every country surveyed, the main discriminating criterion wass “I trust this brand”. A key factor in gaining and maintaining this trust is by keeping their commitments to customers and being there in times of crisis.
  • Build an experience that includes everyone: For customer experience to become a citizen experience, brands must be inclusive. Consumers are more interested in whether brands are fostering an inclusive environment than ever before. This includes how they treat their frontline employees, as well as inclusivity and diversity in representation and marketing.

  • Always be of service: The speed in which customer services reply or react to a consumer issue is paramount in shifting towards a citizen experience model. In six of the nine countries surveyed in the report, “Customer service reacts promptly to my requests” was considered a discriminating factor. Consumers have become time intolerant, and expect fast, knowledgeable responses from their customer service providers.

  • Provide for the age of extra: ‘Going the extra mile’ may be something of a cliche in customer service circles, but for consumers it is a key aspect of a personalised experience that they crave. This is highlighted within the report, with both “personalisation” and “Providing extra attention that go beyond expectations” featuring highly across several countries.

For Sébastien Houdusse, chief strategy officer of Havas CX agency BETC Fullsix, the shift from customer experience to citizen experience is essential: “Although $641B will be spent on CX technologies in 2022, customer-centricity has not been achieved – nor will it until brands evolve their thinking around customer experience to citizen experience.”

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Aki Kalliatakis Photo
By aki.kalliatakis1
14th Feb 2022 09:51

I like your approach Rhys, and it's always important to focus first on the things that need to be fixed. When clients ask me "Where should I start?" my answer is always the same: before doing any of the fancy stuff, kill the "dumb things." It's low-hanging fruit, it has a high impact on customer loyalty, and it prepares staff for the rest of whatever CX initiative is coming.

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