The Consumer Conversation report, produced by Econsultancy in partnership with IBM, highlights the gap between marketers intentions and their customers’ satisfaction. Based on two separate surveys of marketing managers and consumers fielded in the first quarter of 2015, the report finds that brands’ belief in the strength of their customer experience doesn’t line up with their customers’ reality.

Customer experience (CX) is every interaction between brands and individuals. If their sum is positive, a customer spends more, promotes the brand and may even pay a premium to remain in the relationship. Conversely, a negative overall experience means critical word of mouth and lower spending, if not an end to the relationship.

Consumers give a sober account of the quality of the retail and service relationships in their lives. They are willing to give their information to brands they trust, but they rightly believe that there should be significant value in that exchange. So far, they’re not getting it.

This report looks at the areas where marketers can build that value.

Findings include:

  • 81% of consumer brands say they have a working holistic view of their customers
  • Most consumers don’t feel understood by brands – only 37% say their favourite retailer understands them.
  • On the subject of their favourite companies, only 35% of consumers say that communications are usually relevant.
  • 64% of marketers strongly agree that identifying high value customers is vital to their growth.
  • 48% of marketers strongly agree that their growth depends on personalizing the customer’s experience.