CX Action Management Study Part 1

10 Key Highlights and Results

How effective are companies in converting customer insights into action and triggering initiatives to improve customer experience, products, processes, and services? Action Management pioneers zenloop studied and surveyed a global community of CX professionals and customer-centric organizations to find out.

Laptop with rocket

The CX Action Gap and Action Management

Customer experience management, as we know it, is broken. Caused by a disconnect between customer thoughts and company actions – a challenge now commonly known as the Action Gap. In short, companies are struggling to translate customer feedback into actionable measures and close the loop with their customers.

zenloop is the first company to address this new challenge by developing an Action Management System that allows companies to approach their Customer Experience from a different angle.

To assist in developing this new system, we needed to validate our hypotheses regarding the Action Gap by conducting interviews with experts, analysts, and CX leaders in different organizations as well as performing an extensive Action Management research study.

action gap

CX Study Purpose

The purpose of the study was to link Action Management with specific internal processes at companies that collect customer data. We wanted to measure how effective and fast companies of different sizes are when reacting to customer feedback.

To give an adequate overview of the hurdles companies face when improving processes, products, or services based on customer data, this study focused on the following topics:

  • How reactive companies are to customer feedback
  • How companies collect and manage insights
  • What the main obstacles of customer-driven actions are

CX Study Participants

For our study, we reached out to 350 CX professionals from 25 countries, working in 24 different industries for companies of all sizes – from micro-entities with less than 150 employees to large corporations with over 50,000 employees. Every participant in this study works directly or indirectly within units responsible for customer experience management.

The Complete CX Action Management Study

Although this article powerfully summarizes the results, highlights, and key takeaways of our research, it is still a condensed version of the incredibly insightful and in-depth full 84-page study. So to dig even deeper, we recommend you read the complete Action Management Study.

10 Key Highlights From the Study

zenloop’s Action Management Study addresses the current issues many companies encounter with their customer experience efforts to try and present a clear picture of the current status quo. Here are ten key findings from our extensive study:

Chart Collecting Customer Feedback

1. Over Half of Businesses Fail at Collecting Customer Feedback

Many businesses are still struggling with the basics of CX, namely the first step – collecting customer feedback.

The CX study indicated that 53% of companies are not gathering customer feedback throughout the entire user journey – or struggle to collect meaningful information that they can turn into actionable insights.

2. Only 9% Excel at Turning Customer Feedback into Insights

Companies are slowly tackling the challenge of turning customer information into actionable insights – but only a few are doing it well and focusing on key opportunities to maximize customer lifetime value.

One in ten companies claim they are excellent at deriving valuable insights from customer data. And only 20% of businesses mentioned that customer feedback is a key driver for internal initiatives and improvements.

Chart Deriving insights from Data

Chart Triggering Internal Innovation

3. Only 25% of Organizations Translate Customer Insights Into Actions

Plenty of companies are able to collect feedback and insights but then struggle to overcome the Action Gap – turning learnings into actions that improve products, processes, and services.

Just one-quarter of CX professionals think their company has mastered the challenge of translating customer insights into internal innovation.

4. Only 20% of Brands Say They Are Good at Winning Back Customers

Retaining and winning back dissatisfied customers is a significant pain point for most businesses. However, they perform slightly better in identifying happy customers and potential fans – involving them in advocacy programs, and improving online ratings.

The Action Management Study revealed that just one-fifth of companies win back unhappy customers successfully – and only one-third are leveraging promoters and fans to boost referrals and advocacy.

Chart Winning back unhappy customersWinning back unhappy customers

Chart nforming customers after launching innovative initiatives

5. 60% of Companies Are So-So at ‘Closing the Loop’ With Customers

Informing customers about new initiatives based on their feedback, known as Closing the Loop, is a challenge that only one-third of businesses are able to strategize.

60% of companies say they’re “somewhat good” at informing customers on new initiatives, although another study by iAdvize shows that only 8% of customers agree.

6. Companies Agree That Feedback Impacts Decision-Making Processes

Most companies surveyed agree that customer feedback greatly influences their decision-making toward improving products, services, and processes.

70% of companies see a strong link between customer feedback data and innovation.

Chart Driving meaningful ainnovation means taking into account customer feedback

Chart adapting our product_services based on customer feedback.

7. Only 6% of Companies Quickly Turn Feedback Into Product Improvements

Transforming customer insights into product-improving initiatives can be difficult enough without the right know-how and tools to effectively drive change and innovate – but to do it quickly is a mountainous task for many organizations.

A case in point is that a mere 6% of businesses say they’re fast at converting customer feedback into improvements and initiatives. Not only that, a further 5% fail to turn customer insights into forwarding actions at all.

8. 60% of Brands Are Not Great at Utilising Feedback to Adapt Products and Processes

Regarding change processes, we invited companies to rate their proficiency in adjusting existing practices based on customer feedback.

21% of companies ranked their ability to change as poor or very poor – and four out of ten respondents said their performance in this area was satisfactory. This is a particularly thorny subject for larger companies, who lag behind in this area.


Chart adapt products_services and processes based on customer insights A

Chart adapt products_services and processes based on customer insights B

9. Almost 40% of Companies Are Good at Using Feedback to Adjust Products and Processes

Leveraging feedback to transform existing processes, modify services, and adapt product characteristics is seemingly a successful task for medium-sized businesses – who are much more agile than their larger counterparts.

Almost 40% of respondents mentioned that their company is good or very good
at adapting products and existing processes – and 9% gave themselves a perfect score, indicating outstanding performance.

10. Nine in Ten Companies Agree That Action Management Platforms Can Help Turn Insights Into Initiatives

The role of software applications in CX is viewed as necessary across the board, with only 11% of companies unsure of the effectiveness of customer experience platforms.

in contrast, 60% of companies say that an Action Management Platform like zenloop can successfully support the process of turning customer insights into cross-functional projects.

In addition, 30% believe these platforms can support their efforts to drive internal and trigger automation – transforming one-to-many communications into automated and personalized one-to-one conversations with customers

Chart Intelligent software can support the process of turning insights into actual projects

In Summary: Action Management Study Results

In general, the companies surveyed as part of the CX Action Management Study are relatively ok at identifying issues that impact their CX. Still, they fail badly when translating insights into actual projects and workflows (the Action Gap).

An undeniable link between competitiveness and Action Management

A key takeaway from the study is that 95% of the participants agree that converting customer feedback into action is the best way for companies to remain competitive.

Winners in the digital economy will be the organizations that use Action Management frameworks designed to successfully translate customer information into action plans that improve products, processes, and services – delighting customers along the way and turning them into loyal fans.

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