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Customer Experience Delivery Gap

Most companies assume they consistently provide their customers exactly what they want.

But a study by Bain and Company revealed the gap between what companies believe they deliver as a customer experience and what their customers actually perceive as their customer experience to be significant.

80% of the firms believed they provided a “superior experience” to their customers. But only 8% of those customers said the companies were really delivering a great customer experience.

Why is the Customer Experience Delivery Gap so Large?

It is really not surprising that the executives at these companies believed strongly they were providing a superior customer experience. None of us would knowingly provide a poor experience for our customers.

The gap starts to form because so few companies are able to keep a finger on the pulse of exactly what their customers are actually experiencing. Once the sales and marketing team tosses a customer over the wall to operations, their attention shifts back to acquiring more customers.

The operations team, facing different internal and external challenges, believes it is delivering exactly the service that marketing advertised and sales promised. This is where the customer experience gap begins to form and widens over time, as your new customers try to figure out what they will really experience on the other side.

Is Sales Tossing Your Customers Over the Wall to Operations?

How to Pinpoint Your Customer Experience Delivery Gap Problems

Of course not all customers are the same and no two customers are going to have the exact same expectations. You need a method to categorize your customers and prioritize the issues you need to address in creating a phenomenal customer experience.

Bain suggests you start by determining where your customers are in a relationship matrix. On the horizontal axis, measure the level of customer advocacy based on your Net Promoter Score and the level of customer profitability on the vertical axis. 

This will allow you to isolate your customers into six groups:

  • Detractors who are unhappy and also unprofitable
  • Detractors who are “buying but mad” with high profitability
  • Passive customers who are ambivalent with low profitability
  • Passive customers who are ambivalent with high profitability
  • Promoters who are “happy but thrifty” with low profitability
  • Promoters who are high profitability

The key takeaway you will see is the different actions you should take based on the customer grouping, ranging from addressing detractors immediately to seizing opportunities to delight to cross-selling to targeting more of the high profitability promoters.

 You may find it challenging to discover which of your customers are in which category. But if you are going to take the right actions to improve your customer experience and close your CX delivery gap, you will need to start asking through surveys and interviews.

Customer Experience Relationship Matrix

Source: Bain and Company

Closing Your Customer Experience Delivery Gap 

Customer Experience Delivery Gap Silos

Here are four ways to start closing your customer experience delivery gap:

1. Identify your customer groupings and design unique solutions that deliver the customer experience they expect.

2. Break down your organizational silos and create cross-functional teams that develop and deliver compelling experiences.

3. Develop the capabilities to continuously learn from your customers and develop your team members to use their IQ and EQ to make customers feel delighted to do business with you.

4. Commit to measuring your results and taking action to continuously close your customer experience delivery gaps.

If your business is ready to start closing your customer experience delivery gap, connect with us to explore the possibilities.

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Andrew Kolikoff Aurelius

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Customer Experience Transformation

Aurelius Transformation, LLC
Phoenix, Arizona | Vancouver, Washington

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