STUDY: Brands Underestimate Emotional Impact of Breaking Promises

–Annual customer experience study from InMoment reveals where
consumers and brands differ and align on range of customer experience
elements, including emotion and personalization

–Consumer expectations are reasonable, but negative emotions strong
and personal when brands don’t deliver

–CXPA webinar on Jan. 24 explores results in depth, along with
recommended actions

SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new study from InMoment
reveals that brands lack important understanding of the emotions that
drive customer loyalty and significantly undervalue the negative impact
of failing to deliver on customer expectations.

Conducted by customer experience optimization leader InMoment, the
annual CX Trends Report reveals how consumers and brands prioritize
various aspects of the customer experience, examining where they are
aligned, and where disconnects exist. In an additional set of annual
benchmark questions, InMoment data scientists explored the areas of
emotion and personalization.

“Our previous two studies, as well as this year’s, confirm that
customers increasingly see their interactions with brands as more
relationship-oriented than transaction-based,” said Brennan Wilke, SVP
Customer Experience Strategy at InMoment. “Customer expectations are
actually very reasonable, so failing to deliver on the brand promise
leaves them with strong, negative emotions. If the brand promise is in
alignment with consumer expectations and consistently delivered,
customers are much more like likely to continue, and even, grow that

Meeting Expectations Brings Satisfaction and Loyalty

Thirty-eight percent of consumers associated the emotion “satisfaction”
with positive brand experiences, while 40 percent of consumers chose
that same emotion to describe their experience with brands to which they
are loyal. Pairing these findings with a deeper dive into the
qualitative data revealed that consumers are both happy and loyal when
brands simply deliver on what consumers feel they’ve been promised.

While brands selected “satisfaction” as the most common emotion they
associate with delivering positive customer experiences, they do so at a
lower rate (26 percent versus 38 percent), and place much more stock in
emotions like “feeling part of something special” (14 percent for brands
and just 7 percent for consumers).

Missed Expectations Elicit Strong, Personal Emotions

In the study, consumers used strong, personal language to describe bad
experiences. The top emotions were “disappointed,” “disrespected” and
“frustrated.” In the open-ended comments, consumers across every market
used pointed language, including words like “impotence” (Spanish
consumer), “rage” (Finnish consumer), and “inconsequential, worthless”
(American consumer).

Brands also ranked “disappointed” highest at 29 percent. However, they
drastically underestimated the rates at which consumers feel
“disrespected” at just 13 percent, and consumers were nearly twice as
likely as brands to say they associate the emotion of “anger” with bad
experiences (19 percent versus 10 percent).

In other words, brands believe consumers are simply let down when their
expectations are not met. In reality, consumer emotions are much
stronger and much more personal.

Personalization Should Span Customer Journey

In years past, the study has included personalization of advertising and
marketing messages as one of the consistent benchmark questions. This
year, researchers expanded the definition to also include personalized
support and purchase interactions.

Consumers prioritized personalization during support interactions (45
percent), followed by purchase (35 percent) and advertising/marketing
(20 percent). Brands were fairly aligned with consumers in their
rankings. However, due to the complexity of delivering personalized
support, many brands still struggle to actually deliver on this top
priority of their customers. The study did identify some variation by
geography, with North American and U.K. consumers choosing service at a
higher rate than average, while consumers in France and Spain ranked
personalized purchase interactions above their peers in other countries.

“While there are variations from country to country, global customers
are far more alike than they are different,” said James Bolle, VP, Head
of Client Services, EMEA at InMoment. “They want brands to keep their
promises and make an effort to personalize the support they offer across
the entire customer journey. When brand promise delivery is aligned with
customer expectations and being executed consistently, they should then
look at investing in elements that surprise and delight.”

Webinar and Full Report

Wilkie and Bolle will host a free, live webinar on Tuesday, January 24
at 11 a.m. ET, 4 p.m. GMT. To register, click here.

To download the 2017 CX Trends report, please visit the InMoment

About InMoment

InMoment™ is a cloud-based customer experience (CX) optimization
platform that helps brands leverage customer stories to inform better
business decisions, and create more meaningful relationships with their
customers. Through its Experience Hub™, InMoment provides Voice of
Customer (VoC), Social Reviews & Advocacy, and Employee Engagement
solutions, as well as strategic guidance, support, and services to more
than 350 brands in 95 countries. For more information, visit


The study included responses from 20,000 consumers and 10,000 brands
from 12 countries, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland,
France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom
and the United States. The report tracks six benchmark questions and in
addition, and explores the role of personalization and emotion in the
brand-customer relationship.


Lisa Davis, 801-230-9399
VP Communications