New IBM Consumer Experience Survey: You Just Don't Get It, Do You?
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Our "IBM Global Business Services Consumer Experience Survey" (hey, if the title of the survey wasn't at least seven words long, it wouldn't be from IBM) surveyed over 700 consumers and business leaders in North America and Europe and found that consumers believe companies are acting without understanding them -- and many companies even admit it!
Of more than 100 business leaders questioned, 79 percent admitted to taking significant marketing and promotional actions without clearly understanding customer expectations.
By way of example, less than half of retail banking customers surveyed had experiences that exceeded their expectations. They indicated that "higher-order emotive characteristics" (sounds painful) such as "dignity" and "empathy" as top preferences, while characteristics such as "friendly" and "informed" are less important. In other words, laugh a little, listen to what I have to say, and cash that check without a lot of questions!
But here's the rub: Only 17 percent of business leaders as a whole said that they consider such emotional factors when making consumer-related decisions. Instead, some 74 percent indicated that they act on an operational basis (e.g., "what can be made faster or more efficient"). And while many companies continue to put inspirational and emotional brand messages into the market, they often fail to deliver on those promises when they interact with customers.
My take on the study: The essence of a brand is every experience your customer has with it: in person, online, on the phone, in your TV commercials. So, listen to your customers and optimize their experience with your brand 360 degrees, and your company can demonstrate that they get it...and subsequently laugh all the way to -- and inside -- the bank.