Customer Experience Generation Gap

As I prepare to gather consumer data for the 2009 Customer Experience Index (CxPi), I went back and ran another analysis on the 2008 CxPi dataset. In a report called The Customer Experience Generation Gap, I looked at the difference in feedback in 12 industries across 5 generations of US consumers. Here are some of the findings:

  • Seniors give the highest ratings. For all 12 industries, Seniors gave their providers the highest average ratings of any generation. The scores from this older group ranged from 86% for retailers to 61% for TV service providers. 
  • Gen Y give the lowest ratings. For 11 of the 12 industries, Gen Y gave the the lowest scores. What was the only exception? Older Boomers were the low mark for PC manufacturers. The scores from Gen Y ranged from 78% for retailers to 38% for health plans.
  • Health plans have the largest generation gap. When we compared the scores from Seniors with those from Gen Y, health plans had the largest gap, 38%. Seven other industries had gaps of at least 20%: ISPs, airlines, credit card providers, investment firms, wireless carriers, tv service providers, and insurance providers. 
  • Health plans and TV service providers widely disappoint. For all five generations of consumers, health plans and TV service providers get the two lowest scores.
  • Retailers and hotels are the most enjoyable. I also examined the  underlying components of the CxPi. It turns out that all five generations gave retailers and hotels enjoyability rankings of 70% or more, but no other industry ended up with even a single score that high.

The bottom line: Firms need a Gen Y experience plan.

Written by 

I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile:

One thought on “Customer Experience Generation Gap”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.