New State of CX study from SurveyMonkey shows major disconnect between CX and digital marketing pros and customers

New data from SurveyMonkey, a global leader in online surveys and forms, reveals a drastic disconnect between consumers’ feelings and CX and digital marketing professionals’ perceptions about customer experiences.

The analysis of 1,000 consumers and more than 600 CX and digital marketing industry professionals shows that they do not see eye to eye in four important areas: the value of AI, the level of post-COVID-19 support, consumers’ preferred feedback channels, and the amount of personalization they receive.

The findings expose insights that can be used to transform how these professionals work and engage with consumers to provide a better experience and enable greater customer satisfaction.

Key differences include:

  • CX and digital marketing pros are more optimistic about AI tools than consumers: 63% of CX and digital marketing professionals expect AI to positively impact the customer experience and 82% say it is a priority for their company. However, only 25% of consumers expect AI to positively impact their engagement experiences and 32% expect it to have a negative impact on their interactions.
  • There is a significant disconnect about the ongoing impact of COVID on CX: 72% of CX and digital marketing professionals say the level of customer experience their company provides has improved following the pandemic, but only 27% of consumers agree.
  • There is a noticeable difference between preferred customer feedback channels: CX and digital marketing professionals want more investment in customer feedback programs (52%) and product feedback programs (47%), and 49% cite the website as the preferred communication channel. However, 53% of consumers select the phone as their preferred means of providing feedback.
  • CX teams are far more confident about the personalized experiences they deliver than consumers: 86% of CX and digital marketing professionals said their customers receive a personalized experience all or most of the time throughout the entire customer journey. But only 8% of consumers felt that they received a consistently personalized experience, and 10% expressed that they never received a personalized experience.

Despite CX teams expanding, 40% said customer experience is not a priority for leaders, who occasionally talk about CX but fail to act on it; and only 25% have a single CX leader who oversees and manages the entire customer journey.

The disconnect on these topics and others likely stems from a lack of information, with more than one out of three (35%) CX and digital marketing professionals saying they don’t have the customer data and insights they need, specifically in the consideration stage (57%), purchase stage (53%), and awareness stage (45%).

“Providing experiences that better align with consumer needs and expectations in 2023 and beyond starts with leveraging the right insights,” Marci Kirkpatrick, Customer Experience Program Director at SurveyMonkey. “The experience gap we’re seeing stems from limited knowledge across the entire customer journey. This presents a significant opportunity for CX teams to further invest in initiatives that bring them closer to a deeper understanding of how customers perceive experiences throughout their entire journey with a brand or company and explore best practices to optimize those experiences.”

A complete report of the research can be found here:

SurveyMonkey also recently released similar research about consumer views on AI and CX. The full findings from this study can be found here:


This SurveyMonkey study among customer experience professionals was conducted April 24-26, 2023, among 161 digital marketers and 442 customer experience professionals. Respondents were selected from an online panel.

The SurveyMonkey study among consumers was conducted on April 24, 2023 among a sample of 1,000 U.S. adults age 18+, with data weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States, resulting in a modelled error estimate of +/- 3.5 percentage points. Respondents were selected from an online panel.


SurveyMonkey is a global leader in online surveys and forms that empowers people with the insights they need to make decisions with speed and confidence. Our fast, intuitive feedback management platform connects millions of users worldwide with real-time AI-powered insights that drive meaningful decisions. We provide answers to more than 20 million questions every day so that people and organizations can attract new audiences, delight customers, create advocates, and extend their competitive advantage in the marketplace. Our vision is to raise the bar for human experiences by amplifying individual voices.

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