In 2017, our research uncovered a significant expectation gap between marketers’ perceptions of their CX delivery and consumers’ actual levels of satisfaction.

In 2018, we set out to help Australian businesses understand how to close the expectation gap – which had widened to a staggering 106%. Closing the gap is crucial to future success as we know that declines in CX performance translate into a decline in business growth.

We partnered with MESH Experience Agency, using their innovative, mobile-diary-based research methodology, to record individual experiences with brands in real time, wherever they occur. We asked not just what happened as a result, but also how it made people feel.

We discovered:

The Power of Positivity

Very positive experiences had a 10X multiplier effect (vs. positive experiences) on brand choice. This really demonstrates the value of moving from ‘good’ to ‘great’ in terms of what we’re providing consumers.

So what are the essential elements of very positive experiences?

Personal Relevance

Overall, 41% of experiences were very positive. The share of ‘very positive’ rose to 81% among personally relevant experiences. Showing the importance of people feeling that an experience gives them what they value – what they really want. This goes beyond what marketers think of as personalisation … towards being truly personal.

Real Life

Occasions such as talking to others, watching other people use a product, in-store experience or using a product yourself are 2.4x more likely to be very positive.

Making People Feel Valued, Connected or Excited

Human motivations are fundamental drivers for us as people. Motivations stay constant, even as the world and technology around us change so quickly. However, marketers are undervaluing the importance of these motivations in designing experiences for people. This disconnect will need to be addressed if we are to close the expectation gap.

Connecting Experiences

Experiences that link directly from another are 1.5x more likely to be very positive. It is important to help people encounter your brand across experiences that link together in an intuitive and useful way.

The outcome is a framework for Return on Experience.

Linking Business Outcomes (positivity and brand choice) with Human Outcomes (what it made me feel).

In this context, we believe the primary role for paid media will be to connect and amplify the personal and real life experiences that drive positivity and brand choice.

Graeme Wood
Author

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