Stepping into the Client Experience Gap

August 23, 2021

There's a disconnect between CEOs and Client Feedback.

80% of CEOs believe their businesses have a compelling client experience (CX) journey. Yet, it’s been proven that only 8% of clients agree. This phenomenon is known as the Client Experience Gap. What’s the cause of the divide? Where did the disconnect begin? I blame the internet. There, I said it.

I know, I know. I'm a Digital Marketing Specialist, without the internet, I have no career. Nevertheless, allow me to begin with the wonders of growing up in the 90s. My fellow GenX and Millenial Cuspers can relate to the magic of our childhood. Building treehouses, drinking from a water hose and wandering independently outdoors until the glow of the streetlamps told us it was time to head home. This is back when parents didn’t send a text message that dinner was ready, they yelled your name out the front door.

What makes our childhood memories most unique is witnessing the internet in its infancy, as opposed to the rebellious pubescent stage it seems to be in today. We can relate to the curiosity and giddiness of dialing a gigantic machine into Prodigy or AOL as a child. Try not to smile at the amusement of irritating your siblings by tying up the phone line with the archaic screech of LAN line internet services. In speaking of which, the internet was almost like a sibling developing simultaneously with our own prefrontal cortices.

Obviously, with newfound technology, errors would abound. What would we do if something went wrong? Search engines were merely getting their start and were far more finite than they claim to be today. Chatbots weren’t a thing, and there wasn’t an app you could simply login to. Nope. Most often our parents would simply dial the 800-number and a fellow human would walk them through the appropriate steps.

The Convenience Gap

Back in those days we were far more connected through human contact. Empathy was often used while troubleshooting the issues of the world. A solid person-to-person interaction was more common than communicating through text or a screen. Nevertheless, as the internet evolved, the gap to be filled was based on convenience. Making people’s lives easier by enabling them to FEEL more connected to the world through automation, yet decreasing their interactions with actual people.

Many of the greatest entrepreneurs of the ’80s and ’90s fearlessly stepped into that convenience gap. They paved the way for technology-based solutions to make life simpler. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Mark Cuban just to name a few. Even a guy named Reed Hastings noticed a need in the Customer Journey when it came to the annoyance of late fees in the video rental space, creating a mail delivery model that came to be known as Netflix.

Meanwhile, when the pendulum swings one way, another chasm grows. Therefore, as convenience increased through automation, empathy decreased from a lack of human interaction. THAT’S where the Client Experience Gap finds its origin.

The Empathy Bridge

Don’t get me wrong. Most CEOs absolutely WANT to connect more with how their clients are experiencing their firm's services. The truth of the matter is that feedback isn’t generally a KPI to latch onto for C-Suite executives. Their hyper-optimism isn’t based on denial, but the lack of good data in front of them.    

Admittedly, I know the internet isn't ENTIRELY to blame. The tech leaders I mentioned are all legends in their own right. They made the world better, safer, more accessible, and easier to navigate. The true villain is the Client Experience gap itself, and our generation now has an opportunity to address it.

We get to rediscover the balance between growing our businesses by acquiring a very real understanding of what clients experience in our firms.  We get to step back into that CX Gap by finding out what clients REALLY say about you.

Perhaps I’m a bit optimistic but Client Savvy would be honored to take that step with you. With a patented customer feedback tool and transformational CX practices, you can bridge the divide between you and your clients through understanding their needs on a much deeper level. Let’s team up to find that balance together, shall we?

Schedule a 15-minute call with a Client Experience expert today!

Check out our Voice of Client (VoC) Case Study.

Ryan Suydam

Ryan Suydam co-founded Client Savvy in 2004, to help firms create fierce client loyalty by designing, implementing, and measuring client experiences. He has coached nearly 700 organizations and over 30,000 professionals on the skills required to be “client savvy.”

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