Barely a week goes by without a major brand hitting the headlines for failing to live up to customers’ expectations.

When a single customer complaint can go viral and get millions of views on social media, those larger failures have now become mainstays on the national, and sometimes international, news agenda.

Airlines, car manufacturers, retailers… it’s happening to brands everywhere.

It all comes down to an experience gap.

There’s an experience that brands think they’re delivering. And then there’s the experience their customers are getting. And all too often they’re miles apart. Check out Qualtrics co-founder and CEO Ryan Smith speaking about experience gaps on BBC News this week:


 

Your customers are ready to forgive you

But all is not lost – consumers can be a forgiving bunch, but only when brands make things right.

Customers are more likely to think highly of a brand if they put things right after something goes wrong than those customers who never had an issue in the first place.

But to get there, brands need to be able to identify the gap. They need to understand exactly what customers expect and map that back to what they need to do to close the gap.

In some cases, that’s solving an employee issue.In others, a tech issue. Or even a product issue.

The faster a brand can identify the issue, the faster the news headlines go away. It’s simple.

 

Speed is everything

Hunting out and closing experience gaps won’t stop every CX failure – after all, sometimes it’s an issue outside a brand’s control.

But by having access to the data to quickly and easily identify the root cause AND model the potential remedies, brands can get ahead of the news stories.

Putting things right as fast as possible gets you out of the headlines, and  it’s the only way to escape without lasting damage to the brand.

But first you need to know your customers inside out.

See how Qualtrics is helping brands close the experience gap

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