What does CX mean to a customer? A comparison of customer and business views

While the vast majority of organisations aim to provide the best possible customer experience – or at least claim to do so – it is not always straightforward to determine what elements most contribute to making such a positive customer experience a reality. 

Nonetheless, the question has to be considered, given how this shapes organisations’ investment and resource prioritisation. 

So, what has recent research uncovered about the specific factors that are regarded as especially important to customer experience, from the perspective of businesses and customers alike? 

What do businesses consider to be the key customer experience factors? 

One recent survey asked organisations to rank eight factors on the basis of what they believed to be most important to a customer when contacting an organisation. 

Mirroring the findings of many previous ContactBabel research surveys, it was discovered that first-time resolution was clearly regarded as the most important factor impacting upon customer experience. More than half of those questioned – 54% – ranked this factor in first place, while an additional 36% of the research participants put it in their top three overall. 

The businesses surveyed also considered a short queue time or wait time for a response to be important, with some 53% of them placing it in their top three. Meanwhile, polite and friendly employees were ranked as a top-three customer experience factor by 45% of the organisations questioned. 

More in four in 10 – 44% – of business respondents said that having the issue dealt with by a single employee was of top-three importance to the customer experience. Top-three status was also given to “choice of channels” as a customer experience factor, by 37% of firms polled. 

Do the customers themselves share firms’ views on CX factors? 

It is a fascinating question and one that, here at ContactBabel, we sought to investigate ourselves. Having commissioned a poll of 1,000 UK consumers, we discovered some significant differences in opinion between organisations and customers on the question of which factors exerted the greatest impact on customer experience. 

As happened with the aforementioned business survey, the customer respondents were asked to state the three factors that were of most importance to them when they contacted an organisation for customer service. The factors that were presented to them were the same that had appeared in the business survey, to ensure direct comparison. 

One thing that the consumers did have in common with the businesses questioned was a belief in first-contact resolution being the most important single factor impacting on customer experience during contact with a business. There was also agreement between businesses and consumers on a short queue/wait time being a key part of a positive customer experience. 

Intriguingly, though, customers placed a much bigger emphasis than the businesses themselves did on the importance of an organisation having UK-based employees. Indeed, this was ranked as a particularly crucial factor by older respondents to the customer poll. 

It is certainly insightful to look across the age groups of respondents to see how opinions differed, or in some cases, were consistent from one cohort to the next. 

First-contact resolution, for instance, was ranked highly as a factor among all age categories in the most recent survey findings. This differed from the situation in previous years, when older demographics tended to place a lot more emphasis on it than their younger counterparts. 

And there was further evidence in the findings of younger respondents greatly valuing their limited free time. For example, they placed greater importance on longer opening hours and short call/web chat duration than did older groups. 

Finally, when the consumer data was segmented on the basis of socio-economic group, the AB segment seemed to place greater emphasis on short call times compared to other cohorts; otherwise, there was relatively little difference in priorities across the different groups. 

The above are just some of the insights that can be gained from our “2022-23 UK Customer Experience Decision-Makers’ Guide”, which can be downloaded for free now from the ContactBabel website. Access the report today to learn more about how to prioritise your own organisation’s CX optimisation efforts. A US version is also available free of charge