Brands, Consumers Differ on What Makes a Poor Brand Experience

Interaction with store associates matters more than you may think

What factors into a negative brand experience? It depends on who you ask. 

Brands are more likely to say it's the inability to trial or test a product or service, while for consumers, a poor interaction with a store associate can contribute to a lackluster experience.  

In fact, a survey from customer experience management firm InMoment, which polled 2,000 US internet users and 1,000 US brand professionals in December 2017, found that poor customer service can certainly impact a shopping experience—even more so than brands think. 

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of internet users said that interaction with staff—whether it's a poor attitude or lack of knowledge—can lead to a negative experience. Meanwhile, brands "significantly underestimate the real damage employees can do to their CX," InMoment found. Just 29% of brand professionals said that interaction with staff can contribute to a lackluster experience. 

Similarly, a significant number of internet users cited the availability of staff to help when needed, the lack of understanding their needs and an impersonal and generic experience as key factors that likely lead to a negative brand experience. And again, fewer brand professionals saw it the same way.  

In some instances, however, both brands and consumers were somewhat aligned with what can contribute to a poor brand experience. For example, 21% of internet users and 27% of brand professionals said price can be a factor. They were also in agreement when it comes to mobile apps or sites, in-store tech and self-service checkouts not being easy enough to operate—or in some cases unavailable.

By and large, brands acknowledge that improvements are necessary to deliver great customer experiences.

A CMO Council and SAP Hybris survey of marketers worldwide in August 2017 found only 12% of respondents say they're doing an “exceptional job” of meeting consumers' needs and expectations both online and offline. A large share of respondents (43%) said they're doing well, but there's certainly room for improvement.