How can Companies Bridge the Experience Gap?

By Managing Every Experience that Matters

When 80% of CEOs believe they deliver a superior experience, but only 8% of customers feel the same way, it’s more than a difference of opinion. It’s a potential disaster!

It’s even got a name – an Experience Gap – and these gaps are everywhere. There are product gaps, customer gaps, employee gaps, and even brand gaps. But, fundamentally, they all come down to the same thing – a disconnect between what enterprises think is going on, and what’s actually happening.

Or, to put it another way, it’s the difference between what people want and what they get.


X Marks the sweet spot

These days companies are disproportionately rewarded when they deliver great experiences, and severely punished when they don’t. Even the smartest, most data-driven organisations are getting blindsided by these gaps.

One reason is that most of that data is of the operational kind. Things like sales data, finance data, HR data, tangible records of tangible activities. O-data is really helpful because it tells you about win rates, profitability by product line, and employee attrition.

Even companies that do pretty well with O-data still have gaps. So, clearly the answer isn’t more data. What they need is different data. Experience data. X-data!


Figuring the human factor

X-data is all about the human factor – the beliefs, the emotions, and the sentiments. It brings the people a business cares about into strategic conversations. Ultimately, these employees, customers or prospects are the key providers of value for any company. Giving their experiences a voice puts a business several steps ahead of the competition.

While there are plenty of technologies to help companies manage their O-data, until recently there hasn’t been much technology that makes it easy to capture X-data. Let alone solutions that enable them to understand and manage these critical human aspects of any business.

Finding the right XM solution

I said until recently. One of the most popular Experience Management solutions is SAP’s Qualtrics, which is used by more than 9,000 brands. Offered on a subscription basis, it’s a cloud-based solution makes simple for any organization to collect, understand, and take action on experience data.

However, there’s a lot to consider. So, before you start thinking about what might be right for your business, look out for these 5 key characteristics and ask whether the solution is:

  • Conversational: Reliable X-data comes from honesty. A great XM platform creates a natural dialogue with customers, prospects and employees to get open, honest feedback in the moment.
  • Predictive: Guessing is gambling. An XM platform should use machine learning to identify trends and uncover hidden insights that empower you to make informed decision
  • Flexible: General solutions can only solve general problems. Most business challenges come with a unique set of circumstances that require unique solutions. A serious XM platform should offer the flexibility needed to meet the specific challenges your company faces.
  • Integrated: Data that lives together, works together. An exceptional XM platform combines O-data and X-data into a single location by easily integrating with existing systems such as HRIS, CRM, or web analytics. This also eliminates the need for any stand-alone program used for customer experience, market research or employee feedback.
  • Democratised: Easy-to-use so it gets used. An ideal XM platform is intuitive, so everyone – not just trained experts – are able to uncover actions they can take to make a direct impact on the business.


Mind the gaps

To be successful, companies need to avoid gaps by managing experiences carefully. That means, for example, obsessing over product experiences. Being fixated on customer experiences. Steering every aspect of the employee experience. And maniacally managing their brand experiences.

Furthermore, experiences are not independent. They are completely interdependent. Managing one or two isn’t enough. You have to get them all right. Because, today measuring every experience that matters, matters more than ever.

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