5 Customer Experience Myths: Debunked

By: Elizabeth Clor

April 21, 2016

CEM Programs
CEM Solutions
Customer Engagement
customer experience
customer experience management
Net Promoter Score

Let’s face it—Customer Experience Management (CEM) can be tough. While most companies have begun to embrace a customer-first mindset, few of them have concrete strategies and plans in place to make “customer-first” a reality. Whether your company is in the early stages of starting a CEM program, or if you’ve had something in place for a while, debunking these five myths will help you on your journey.

NPS is enough.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a widely used KPI for customer satisfaction at businesses of all sizes. But NPS alone is not actionable. Your business needs to understand the drivers of loyalty, happiness, excitement, trust, and all the other emotions that determine a customer’s assessment of your brand.

The real power of NPS is in the comments section. The comments allow you to discover exactly what your Promoters like about you, and what your Detractors are complaining about. Equipped with these insights, you can take action to address the concerns of the Detractors and Passives. Even more powerful is the combination of the NPS score + an analysis of the comments + demographic data + purchase history. Looking at all of this data in aggregate reveals a clear picture of where you need to focus your improvements. For example, you may notice that millennials on the west coast who spend more than $100/month with you complain the most about your mobile app. You may also be able to tell that men between the ages of 35-50 who only occasionally do business with you are unsatisfied with your returns policy.

The social media experience is a marketing function.
This was true 5-10 years ago when social media was born and its primary business use was brand promotion. Now, however, customers expect to be able to contact businesses over social media and receive a response—and a quick one at that!

While publishing content on social media is still a marketing function, responding to inbound requests belongs squarely in customer service. Your marketing team will likely not know the answers to the questions that come in, and they will have to spend their time tracking down the right information. Meanwhile, the customer is anxiously waiting a reply and getting frustrated at the slow response.

Having a dedicated social customer service team will not only save your marketers and your customers from becoming frustrated, but it will also save you money. According to the Harvard Business Review, resolving an issue through social media costs only 1/6 as much as the cost of a call center interaction. For a call center receiving thousands of calls per month, this translates into significant bottom-line savings.

The omni-channel experience is best understood through surveys at the various touchpoints.
Who has time for surveys these days? Surveys provide a narrow view of the true customer experience, through the lens of the people who decided to take the time to fill them out. And guess what? Typically people complete surveys when their experience exceeded expectations, or failed to meet their expectations. If you thought your experience was “just okay,” would you be motivated to complete a survey about it? Probably not.

This is where unsolicited, non-survey feedback comes in. If you want to truly understand what your customers think about your brand, then listen to them in their natural habitat! That could come in the form of a Tweet, a Facebook post, an inbound email, an online review, a blog post, or from various other places.

All customer feedback is equal
Your top priority should be your most profitable customers. These are the customers who regularly do business with you and have an overall positive sentiment toward your brand. If CEM is your primary responsibility, you probably encounter quite a few complainers, particularly on social media. It’s important to understand which of these complaints to address and with what priority level.

Industry expert Jay Baer’s recent book Hug Your Haters explains the various types of complainers and how to best navigate through their feedback. And remember, the customer is not always right. Sometimes you need to do what’s best for your business and your employees. That can be a tough call to make, but as I stated up front, CEM isn’t easy.

There’s no way to demonstrate the ROI of CEM
According to the Harvard Business Review, 45% of organizations find it difficult to tie CEM investments to business outcomes. But that’s simply because they haven’t figured out how to properly measure it. Forrester recently released a report that covered nine different industries. For each of these industries, the report found a connection between improved CX and increased revenue. A one-point increase in CX Index score resulted in $15 million to $175 million in revenue, depending on the industry.

Still struggling with how to measure the ROI of CX? Check out Forrester’s method for creating a measurement framework.


Elizabeth Clor is the Sr. Director of Content Marketing and Communications at Clarabridge. In this role, she is responsible for solidifying Clarabridge’s position in the marketplace as the leading Customer Experience Management (CEM) technology vendor. Elizabeth has 17 years of experience in high-tech marketing and communications, and is a regular contributor to various marketing publications. She holds a B.A. of English from the University of Virginia.