I’m pleased to share a guest post by Uma Bhat of Clootrack. Note: I’m one of the 102 customer experience experts included in Clootrack’s report.

What are the biggest challenges that brands face when they want to implement an exceptional customer experience?

Recently, Clootrack conducted a study around customer experience by interviewing 102 industry leaders from various domains, including customer experience experts, senior leaders of various brands, marketing agencies, CX consultants, analytics and insights experts, and customer experience professionals across the globe.

The study reveals the top challenges and the actions recommended by the 102 CX front-runners who are really able to foresee the upcoming challenges and have succeeded in captivating their customers with the best-in-class customer experience.

Here, we have summarized 11 key takeaways that can guide any customer experience professionals:

1. Tapping Into Real-Time Insights And Rich Customer Data

In the CX report, 1 out of 8 leaders says that the significant challenge brands face today is “not utilizing the rich resources of data and insights they already have!”

As per Greg Kihlstrom, most companies are still using the soulless NPS scores to understand their customers’ experiences. Instead, they should invest in tools for analyzing real-time insights to know customer behavior.

2. Building A Customer-First Culture

Being seller-centric rather than customer-centric will put a brand in jeopardy sooner or later. It’s ideal if a brand’s overall activities and actions focus on customers.

Jared E. Fink from Siegel+Gale recommends brands orchestrate their internal organization around the customers by using different teams, additional tools, and information to provide a delightful experience consistently.

3. Break Down the Silos or Break Your Customer Experience

Working in silos makes different teams in an organization unaware of the activities of other departments. It is a barrier to working around a single customer experience goal.

Silos do not allow a company to have a unified vision. If companies work in functionality silos, the customer experience they deliver will be terrible. Internal politics, a large number of customers, and lack of resources will put the customer experience in danger, says Jim Sterne, the president at Target Marketing of Santa Barbara.

4. Executive Commitment and Alignment

All critical decisions start with leadership, and then they will pass on to the employees to make them work out. What if the leaders still live the old management mantras that focus only on increasing revenues? [AF: Note that each of the five challenges listed above “lack of leadership commitment” exists because there is a lack of leadership commitment and alignment!]

Annette Franz, the Founder, and CEO of CX Journey Inc., says that even if the leaders commit to improving CX, most of them only focus on metrics. They are only considering getting a good score in their survey metrics instead of understanding their customers and experience.

5. Great Listeners Can Transform Their CX To a Great Level

There is nothing more important than ‘customers’ in any business. Attracting new customers, making them happy, and retaining the current customers is not a cakewalk. Hence listening to each customer is essential to know their issues, experience, and expectations.

By analyzing all the customer feedback through listening, brands can weave a delightful experience that satisfies customers’ all issues. Says the Chief Experience Officer at The Experience Maker, LLC, Dan Gingiss.

6. Actionable Insights & Real-Time Data Elevates CX

Capturing real-time insights and data throughout the customer journey will help measure the experience effectively since calculating the survey scores cannot produce valuable insights.

Anna Noakes Schulze from Team Wakabayashi says companies need to listen to customers carefully to capture their insights. These insights can be used to create or update the experience roadmap efficiently.

7. Customer-Centric Companies Explain What Sets Them Apart

A unified CX view is important to customer-centric companies, as it gathers about 14.25% votes of all the total CX survey responses.

Brands should unite the entire organization with a single vision of improving the consumer experience. Every person and every department should link seamlessly with the customer experience, says Daniel Lafrenière, Multichannel Customer Experience Strategist.

8. Unbiased 3rd Party CX Tools To Optimize CX

Seven percent of survey participants suggest brands implement robust third-party customer listening tools across all critical customer touch points to build a 360-degree view of the customer journey.

To elevate understanding the customers’ experience to the next level, using 3rd party CX tools and AI integrations play a significant role.

Brands need to get all the necessary and essential tools to get the insights of customers’ experience throughout their customer journey for understanding them in depth. Says Adi Tobias, Head of Customer Experience Strategy & Operations SSA at Uber.

9. Different Industries Encounter Different CX Challenges

There are different industries, and they have different types of customers. Hence the CX challenges will be different from one industry to another.

Priscilla Mullery from Coty says, in the cosmetics industry, technology should be a part of delivering delightful experiences to make customers feel the brand is modern, convenient, and meeting their expectations.

10. CX Consultants Have a Different View on CX Challenges

22.45% of the CX consultancy firms believe that the biggest challenge still today when it comes to the customer experience is executive commitment and alignment.

The CAO of Shepard Presentations, LLC, Shep Hyken, says listening to customers through their comments, feedback, and reviews is more important than reading satisfaction surveys. And, there should be an easy way for the front-line who directly interact with customers to share them with the other teams.

11. Top Challenges as Per Marketing and Advertising Industry Experts

31% of leaders in the Marketing and Advertising industry state that the lack of adopting a customer-first approach is the major CX challenge, followed by breaking down organizational silos (23%), not tapping into rich customer insights (23%), lack of a uniform CX vision (15%), and not listening to customers (8%).

Julianna Katrancha, SVP, Global Strategy Director, McCann New York, recommends brands to have teams that are dedicated to finding the why behind customer behavior.

There’s More in the CX Report

The CX study unearthed a lot of other challenges and actions recommended by the 102 customer experience experts, and they are very significant! For more findings on the challenges and actions recommended by 102 CX professionals, download the 102 CX Experts Report.

Uma Bhat is a Customer Experience and Consumer Insights leader at Clootrack, a real-time customer experience analytics platform. Uma is focused on helping brands decode customer data and transform customer feedback into intelligence.

Images courtesy of Clootrack.


Annette Franz is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, speaker, and author. In 2019, she published her first book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business); it’s available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. In 2021, she wrote the manuscript for her second book, Built to Win: Designing a Customer-Centric Culture That Drives Value for Your Business, which is now available to preorder on Amazon, Books A Million!, Target, Barnes & Noble, and more! Sign up for our newsletter for updates, insights, and other great content that you can use to up your CX game.