There’s a disconnect between marketers and consumers as to whether brands deliver exceptional customer experience (CX). Research by software firm RedPoint Global and The Harris Poll shows that 34 percent of marketers feel that brands do an excellent job of delivering exceptional CX, compared to the consumers themselves; only 18 percent feel the same way. These findings, which highlight that while brands might believe they are delivering a superior experience, the consumer perception says otherwise, may present an opportunity for promotional products to better serve these brands.

Further findings from the survey of 3,000 consumers and 450 senior marketers in the U.S., UK, and Canada, also emphasize the gap between the two groups. Marketers consistently rate their performance higher than consumers do across all four core dimensions of CX: personalization, customer understanding, omnichannel/consistency and privacy.

Technology may be holding marketers back. The survey found that 57 percent of marketers believe their company has the right CX strategy in place but is unable to execute it effectively. Additionally, most marketers report having a difficult time providing a seamless customer experience.

“While marketers understand the importance of transforming the consumer experience, many continue to face roadblocks in delivering the seamless personalization today’s consumers demand,” says John Nash, chief marketing and strategy officer at RedPoint Global. “In the survey with Harris Poll, we saw a consistent gap in perception between consumers and marketers in the success of these personalization efforts, with marketers acknowledging they are unable to execute their advanced CX strategies very well. Ultimately, bridging the gap in customer experience expectations will only happen when marketers have the ability to overcome their silos through a single point of control over all data, decisions and interactions.”

Research by RedPoint Global shows that 63 percent of consumers expect personalization as a standard of service and they feel like a brand recognizes them as an individual when they are sent unique, special offers (52 percent) and are recognized as a customer across all touchpoints (43 percent). Yet according to the consumer, many brands are not keeping pace with personalization expectations. Interactions that consumers label as “very frustrating” include brands sending them an offer for a recently purchased item (34 percent), sending offers that aren’t relevant (33 percent) or when a brand fails to recognize them as an existing customer (31 percent).

Privacy also stands out as a key part of the overall experience for consumers. The survey found that 54 percent are willing to share personal information with companies if it will be used to create a personalized experience, which rises for younger generations like Gen Z (72 percent) and Millennials (70 percent). The trade-off is that in exchange for sharing personal information, consumers appear to expect transparency, with 74 percent saying it’s very important or absolutely essential brands tell them what information is being collected.

Marketers and consumers do agree there is room for improvement. Most marketers (76 percent) admit their company still has significant room for improvement in delivering a consistently exceptional CX, with nearly the same percentage of consumers (78 percent) agreeing.