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How well does your brand understand its customers?
Many brands are out of touch with their audience, often overly optimistic about customer engagement and the frequency of customer service issues. To further investigate the disconnect between buyers and brands, we commissioned Forrester Reporting to survey over 200 enterprise brands and more than 1,000 customers. Our survey found that businesses underestimate how often customers have poor experiences by an average of 38%. Check out main takeaways and statistics from the study below, and download the full Getting To Know Your Customers report to see other customer experience insights.
Customer service includes any and all efforts made by a company to assist their customers. As customer needs change, as do the methods which businesses use to service those customers. What customer service looks like today is very different from what it looked like ten, five, or even one year ago. Modern customers demand fast and efficient customer service interactions, asynchronous support across different agents and communication channels, and for brands to take a proactive service approach with social monitoring.
Your business could face serious consequences for lagging behind competition in customer experience. Not only did customers respond that poor customer care experiences made them feel disappointed, unhappy, and angry, but 65% of customers also said they have switched to a different brand because of a poor experience.
If you want to build customer loyalty, not lose it, ramping up your brand’s customer service efforts is the best place to start. Customers overwhelmingly agreed (83%) that they feel more loyal to brands that respond and resolve their complaints.
Fellow business owners might urge you to level-up your customer care sooner rather than later. 73% of brands expect the number of inbound channels to increase in the next one to two years, and 53% also believe the same for outbound channels. Make sure you’re ahead of the curve by checking out our top insights based on the latest customer service statistics and our customer care solutions.
Brands waste resources by focusing on things that aren’t important to customers. Instead of taking the time to identify what aspects of engagement are most important to customers, brands have opted to put resources into all methods which have the potential to boost engagement. For example, our survey found that 44% of brands believe recommending products based on preferences or past purchases is important, but only 11% of customers felt the same.
Rather than trying to do everything that could potentially boost engagement, brands should focus on addressing the most important customer service issues. In our survey, responding to questions in a timely manner with personalized and helpful answers was the most commonly noted quality of customers’ favorite brands.
Simply showing products and offers isn’t enough to build strong relationships with customers — they want to interact. Our survey found that 79% of consumers had a valuable experience from participating in an online chat with a customer service rep. Additionally, 75% of consumers found value from interacting with other customers in a brand’s online community and 67% found value from messaging a brand through their mobile app.
Customers want to feel like they’re making a human connection with brands, which is supported by the fact that 75% of consumers prefer an authentic human voice over a perfectly crafted brand message. This means brands should toss out the script and focus on genuine, personalized responses.
Brands may be hesitant to adopt this policy because it appears more costly and time-consuming, but improving the customer experience can lead to increased sales. In fact, our survey shows that 68% of customers will spend more money with a brand that understands them and treats them like an individual.
According to the survey, almost two-thirds of US online adults believe that valuing their time is the most important thing a brand can do to provide them with a good customer experience.
Customers have the capability to communicate with brands through seemingly endless channels, but interacting across them can be time-consuming and frustrating. This is because communicating with a brand across multiple channels typically means customers will have to repeat themselves or wait for a customer service rep to gather prior conversation data from another internal team.
In our discussions with brands, 77% said they struggled to create a cohesive journey across channels and devices. This is especially troubling because 62% of customers want to be able to engage with brands across multiple digital channels and 77% of consumers want brands’ internal teams to communicate and collaborate with each other so they don’t have to repeat themselves.
According to the survey, when contacting a brand, 79% of consumers want to receive a fast response. Furthermore, brands should take additional steps to ensure customers can seamlessly communicate across all of their favorite channels without jumping through a million hoops.
When making a purchase, 83% of customers cited good customer service as their most important criterion for deciding what to buy (not including logistical considerations, such products and prices offered).
Brands can increase their sales by taking the time to understand customer needs. Our survey discovered customers value personalized responses in a timely manner above all other factors.
Download our full report to see more insightful customer service statistics and visit our platform page to learn how Khoros can help your brand engage with customers in meaningful ways across all of their favorite channels with marketing, care, and community solutions.