Qualtrics on the Experience Gap: What Most Companies Miss When it Comes to CX

Kindra Cooper


There’s often a chasm between what customers expect of the businesses they buy from versus what the business thinks its customers expect. Experience management company Qualtrics calls this the “experience gap” where factors like mismanaged expectations and failure to communicate brand values contribute to customer churn.

The way to overcome the gap, the company says, is to marry operational data (eg: how long it took for a customer to receive a shipment) with experiential data (what the customer expected from the business, based on the totality of their purchasing experiences across different brands and industries).

To drive the point home, Qualtrics even distributed chocolates shaped as Xs and Os at the X4 Experience Management Summit in Salt Lake City, where it unveiled a series of new products and features.

Why it’s important for companies to benchmark their data

Qualtrics announced that customers using the Qualtrics CustomerXM platform now have access to XM Benchmarks and custom market research to benchmark their CX programs in real-time and gain insights from other industries and geographies, rather than simply relying on internal systems to guess at what a “good” experience looks like.

“We’re really excited that we’ll be announcing a number of partners that will be joining an ecosystem to have those benchmarks that are not just within their industry but also cross-industry,” Webb Stevens, head of product and VP of customer experience at Qualtrics, told CCW Digital ahead of the launch.

Read more: The Latest Innovations in CX Automation 2019

The quality of the experience your brand offers should be measured against the disruptors, not just your immediate competitors, said Luke Williams, head of CX strategy and thought leadership at Qualtrics, hence why it’s so important to have access to this type of data.  

“There are so many industries - taxi cabs are a perfect example - that were dominant for generations and believed they were providing some kind of experience that customers would always rely on  and then got disrupted by an entirely different model of ridesharing, because it wasn’t the experience that customers ultimately expected.”

Today’s businesses optimize in real-time

That same day, Qualtrics announced the launch of QualtricsiQ, a set of machine learning data collection tools that lets businesses monitor the customer experience in real-time with capabilities like sentiment analysis on open text responses, churn prediction, real-time speech analytics, and predictive analytics that flag which metrics are most important to your business at a specific point in time.


Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith debuts the new technology

The new online reputation management tool also allows organizations to solicit surveys/reviews and identify customer insights from social listening across dozens of review sites and communicate directly with customers on the review platforms where they left feedback.

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However, rather than that feedback remaining siloed in a dashboard accessed only by staff in the contact center, the software is designed to perpetuate CX insights across the entire organization by using Smart Routing to deliver actionable insights to the right person through the tools or platforms they currently use in their daily workflow.

“There’s two important components to this,” explained Stevens. “The ability to collect data from many places where somebody might be providing feedback, aggregate that and now smartly route it to the team that actually needs it.”

Volkswagen Australia, for example, monitored CX across its 104 dealerships, but those insights often weren’t shared with the relevant people until three or four months later. With a newfound ability to collect and distribute insights in real-time, and customizable dashboards and access, Volkswagen could finally deliver prescriptive insights to dealers as experience gaps are identified.