Research from Thunderhead indicates 39% of consumers would consider switching to another retailer after two bad experiences with a brand. The study surveyed 4,000 consumers in the US and UK. It looked to uncover what consumers expect of brand experiences in banking, auto, insurance, telco, energy and retail.
Thunderhead, a company that specialises in customer engagement and journey orchestration, also found that two in five consumers (38%) had already taken action and stopped buying from a brand altogether as a result of a bad experience in the last year.
These poor experiences are having a damaging impact on brands. As a result, customer loyalty declined, with 19% stating that their trust in the brand would be lost forever. This in turn, is causing a much wider domino effect. Four out of five (82%) dissatisfied consumers turned to social media to share their frustrations. Of these, 20% said they’d go on to share these experiences with more than five people.
These issues are a direct result of the challenge brands face in delivering seamless experiences, with almost all consumers (94%) claiming to be frustrated by disjointed encounters. With almost one third (31%) still regarding their interactions with brands as merely transactional, there is clearly more that brands can do to build personal and memorable experiences.
Moreover, the research unearths the gap between what consumers expect versus the experience that brands are actually providing today. Although three quarters (75%) of consumers agree that their expectations have increased in recent years, just two in five (40%) believe that their experiences are actually improving.
As a plea to brands to shape up, one in three (35%) consumers said they would be willing to pay more for a seamless online experience, highlighting a significant opportunity for brands that manage to get this right.
Continuity is critical for brands. The failure to deliver a seamless experience across all channels is hampering the efforts of brands to establish an ongoing relationship with their customers. Indeed, around a third of consumers (31%) still view their interactions with a brand as nothing more than transactional. But some are obviously getting it right. Twenty-nine percent of consumers claimed that their relationship with a brand depended on the brand itself.
Brands paying lip service to customer experience
Thunderhead’s market leading ONE Engagement Hub and Intent Analyzer solutions address the customer experience challenges faced by brands head on. The ONE platform is a state-of-the-art AI powered solution that works across existing systems and touchpoints. The platform provides real-time actionable insight and omnichannel customer journey orchestration. Intent Analyzer is Thunderhead’s new solution for deep customer journey analysis and journey-based audience discovery.
Jason Hemingway, CMO at Thunderhead said: “Leading Customer Experience surveys published over the last few years paint a consistently sad picture of stagnating CX, across all industry sectors. While brands pay lip service to the importance of customer experience and engagement, most are struggling to deliver the level of experience that customers expect.
“Brands need to make the transition to the new era of engagement-led marketing. This is based on nurturing relationships with customers and focusing on lifetime customer value. It’s time for brands and marketers to look with fresh eyes at how they can build experiences and deliver the level of engagement that customers today expect.
“These findings reinforce just how critical a customer-first approach is for marketers and CX professionals. While many brands aspire to provide seamless journeys, clearly there is more to be done to meet their customers’ expectations. Marketers can harness the opportunity real-time journey analysis and orchestration provides to understand customer intent. These companies will be well equipped to utilise insight to foster engagement at scale, increase customer satisfaction, and drive growth.”
Enterprise Times: What this means for business?
When a customer interacts with a brand, they’re actually interacting with a collection of different moving parts. This includes sales, marketing, digital, mobile and ecommerce management, and various backroom functions such as inventory and supply chain management. The secret to delivering a quality customer experience is to ensure that the customer doesn’t notice these silos. Most brands find this difficult, with 94% of consumers claiming to be frustrated by disjointed experiences in their journey.
The report suggests brands need to shift to engagement-led marketing, based on nurturing relationships with customers. They also need to focus on lifetime customer value. The report makes all the correct sounds regarding how brands and customers should interact with each other. However, the problem is the internal silos which exist within some organisations, protecting turfs, internal budgets and resources. The result is inconsistent user experiences across different channels and poor user engagement.