2016 Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report Reveals Big Difference in How Brands and Customers Perceive Feedback Sentiment

December 3, 2015

Comprehensive Study of Consumers and Brands Finds Where They Align and Diverge on Key CX Elements

Salt Lake City (Dec. 3, 2015) – InMoment, a cloud-based Customer Experience (CX) optimization platform that gives companies the ability to listen to and engage with customers to improve business results, today released its second annual CX Trends Report that captures how both consumers and brands feel about key elements of customer experience.

Key findings include:

  • A Difference of Opinions: Customers and brands have very different perspectives on the tone and tenor of customer feedback. Customers report they give more positive, productive feedback than negative. On the other hand, companies in 9 of 12 industries the study tracked reported that negative feedback outweighed positive. Following are a few verbatim comments from customers illustrating their perspective:

    “Many customers don’t want to complain about something. Instead, they want to provide feedback about the experience and it is usually positive.”

    “I think it is important to give feedback for positive experiences. I think most companies get little of that. I think in many ways the customer can help set the tone of the service they get.”

    “I feel the only time you receive a response from most companies is when you write a critical or negative review. I personally take time out to make reviews when I receive excellent customer service and have had an enjoyable experience.”

  • Customers Want to Know: Brands ask customers for feedback, and they oblige. But what comes next? The study found that many customers want their feedback acknowledged and would like details on how the company is addressing both concerns and applause. Customers are particularly passionate about wanting brands to pass along the praise they give about outstanding employees.

    “Frequently the feedback loop seems ‘lost’ to the person providing the feedback—either positive or negative. It would be nice to hear/read a comment such as: ‘We heard you and are doing thus and so… about your comments.’”

    “Even big companies that solicit opinions give you nothing more than a ‘Thank you’ screen at the end.”

    “Saying thank you at the end of a survey is not sufficient. Tell me more about the company, what are their plans, etc.”

    “I find that many companies do not share survey information with their staff… even if it is a compliment. Big mistake.”

    “I think it would be nice to know that if I gave a positive review about an employee’s customer service that they actually got a reward from their employer.”

  • Consensus: Customers and companies both agreed that the single most important element in a great customer experience is personalizing interactions to customers and their individual needs. Customers also expressed an expectation that the data they provide companies should and can be used to accomplish this goal:

    “With all the data businesses receive—or are capable of receiving—I would like coupons and incentives to be personalized to my purchasing habits.”

    “I enjoy the ease of ecommerce, but I also like knowing there is someone I can talk to or a store I can go into for a personalized experience.”

    “If you can make us feel less like a mass of unknown faces and help us to feel like we are really important to the company we might be able to bring back brand loyalty.”

“Just as in last year’s study, we see continued indications that customers crave a more personal versus transactional relationship with brands,” said Paul Warner, PhD, who heads InMoment’s Data Science Team. “Yes, customer expectations are changing and they are insisting on more human, collaborative interactions. For the companies that can make the transition from the old brand-centric and transactional way of doing business to a more customer-centered model, the opportunities for accelerated business success are vast.”

The 2016 study also revisited six key trends from last year to see whether priorities among consumers and companies have shifted. Those trends include Transparency, Feeling Drumpfs Function, Shorter Surveys/More Stories, 24/7 Mobile, More Reliable Online Reviews and Personalization. For more information and to receive a copy of this year’s report please visit the InMoment website.

Methodology: The InMoment Panel, one of our largest (and growing) research initiatives, consists of tens of thousands of consumers across the United States and Canada. Representing various demographics, these consumers constantly engage with our panel through various interactive studies and activities. For the CX Trends study, we collected a large-scale data set from North American consumers and from business professionals involved in CX delivery. Overall, we collected data from approximately 10,000 North American consumers and 500 brand representatives across a range of industries.