Digital teams suffer from a perception gap that hinders efforts to improve the customer experience
Organizations often face gaps in perception, and many of these impact their ability to improve both customer and employee experiences.
Bain is probably responsible for the famous. In 2005, their research found that 80% of companies surveyed believed they offered a superior customer experience, while only 8% of their customers agreed.
Then there was the less famous but equally problematic. In 2019, PwC found that 90% of senior executives believe their company pays attention to people’s needs when introducing new technology, but only about half (53%) of employees say the same.
Recently, another perception gap has emerged thanks to research conducted by Heap, a digital information platform. Their research found that while the product and web teams think their digital experiences are easy to use, consumers don’t agree.
Specifically, their research found that:
- 95% of product teams say that it is “somewhat” or “very easy” for users to navigate and use their site,
- But 43% of consumers think most websites aren’t designed with the end user in mind.
By digging into the experience and perspective of these product teams, they also found that:
- 71% of them use multiple tools to provide data and insight on how users interact with their product or website, and
- 69% of them consider these tools to be reliable and they are convinced that they collect data on all user actions.
But, worryingly, Heap also found that:
- Only 16% of the same product teams know why most (> 75%) of their customers abandon their sites,
- Only 24% of them say they have a complete view (75-100%) of user journeys on their site, and
- Only 19% of respondents say more than 75% of their prioritization or roadmap decisions are based on data.
Now, given the massive digital rush we’ve seen over the past 16 months and the need to be more nimble to adapt to this change, it’s shocking to see these numbers.
There is an obvious problem here.
Dan Robinson, CTO at Heap, believes that much of the problem can be attributed to the data that organizations decide to collect.
Specifically, Robinson believes that much of the problem is with executives inserting their assumptions about what is important and not into the data collection process. In doing so, he thinks, they limit their view of the customer and, potentially, exclude data that might include, as Robinson puts it, “changing” information.
Robinson provides a fascinating perspective on how this perception gap might occur, and collecting a more comprehensive data set will no doubt help organizations make better decisions and uncover more information. It will also help teams create and see a more complete picture of the customer journey.
But, we must remember that customers are more than their data. I would like digital teams to spend more time talking and observing customers about how they use products and sites. While more data and analysis is useful, talking about and observing customers will likely help bring the data collected to life. It will also help digital teams develop a better and richer understanding of their customers and the territory they travel to.