IBM Survey: Businesses Don't Know What Consumers Want - InformationWeek

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5/2/2006
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IBM Survey: Businesses Don't Know What Consumers Want

More than three-quarters of companies reported marketing and promoting products without clearly understanding consumer expectations, according to the IBM report.

Seventy-nine percent of companies surveyed by IBM reported marketing and promoting products without clearly understanding consumer expectations.

IBM announced Monday that the survey, of more than 700 consumers and business leaders in North America and Europe showed less than half of retail banking consumers had experiences that exceeded their expectations.

Most consumers reported that a sense of dignity and empathy were more important than encountering friendly and informed employees, while only 17 percent of business leaders said they consider emotional factors when making consumer-related decisions.

"In-depth consumer understanding and proactive management of key interactions represent a significant opportunity for differentiation in today's fiercely competitive and price-driven marketplaces," IBM announced in a prepared statement.

The company's Global Business Services Consumer Experience Survey found 74 percent of business leaders focus on efficiency and speed rather than understanding consumer values. Companies also use inspiration and emotion for branding but often fail to deliver on those promises when interacting with customers, according to IBM.

Business leaders said they were twice as likely to prioritize improving call center operations as they were to try to predict loyalty, invest in face-to-face interactions or measure business outcomes. That means business leaders can lack insight into how consumers rate in-store service, kiosks and other interactions that can have a major impact on their experience, according to IBM.

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