Obvious problem, obvious solution, yet 95% think it is not being solved

A few weeks ago readers of Inside Retailing were invited to give me their opinions about customer experience. This is the result. This wasn’t meant to be research. I know nothing about the respondents, and there were no controls in place. Furthermore, only 22 responses were analysed, so consider that before evaluating the validity of this analysis.

(Despite the fact that one respondent claimed my questioning was based on a false dichotomy; there is nothing wrong in principle with asking a yes/no question and then exploring the reason for the specific arguments.)

Q1: Do you think Australian companies are successful in creating effective/productive and positive customer experiences?

95% responded with a NO.

There was an optional question for those who answered ‘no’ to elaborate – that is; ‘tell me why you answered the way you did”.

I analysed the responses and discovered five distinct themes that emerged as possible causes of our inability to deliver great customer experiences in Australia:



Headline Conclusion


(expectations/ demands)


Consumer is to blame: 20%


(attitudes & behaviours)


Staff are to blame: 20%



Management is to blame: 60%



Management & Culture



I would hazard a guess that none of these ‘causes’ of poor customer experience come as a surprise to anyone reading this.

I am not sure you can blame the consumer. I am not sure that you can really blame the staff. Which means: management is to blame for everything. (What’s new?)

The types of issues raised by the respondents blaming management included examples such as:

-        lack of understanding

-        poor decision making

-        being remote or absent (not on the floor)

-        poor culture (understand it and managing it)

-        wrong strategy/ lack of alignment

-        poor systems implementation

-        being risk averse

All of these causal factors can be remedied, but interestingly, they are not addressed. Don’t you too find that interesting?

-        EVERYBODY knows what the problem is.

-        EVERYBODY knows what the solution is.

-        YET; 95% of us think the problem is not being solved.

This raises another round of ‘why would that be’ questions.  I gave you my views previously (published HERE).

But what do you think? (No more research, but I look forward to reading your comments…)


Dr Dennis Price is a consultant, trainer and speaker working with the retailers and the supply chain to effectively implement their brands on the consumer frontline with the right skills, strategies and systems.