Customer Experience and the Connected Consumer
Does your organization know how to find the right balance between your customers’ desire for privacy and personalization when it comes to customer experience? What do your customers find friendly and helpful - or intrusive and unsettling?
Consumers are more connected than ever before – armed with multiple devices that help them interact with a variety of sources and data on a non-stop basis. With more choices and options, today’s “connected consumers” have higher expectations when it comes to interacting and doing business with organizations. Businesses that want to grow and succeed must meet the needs and demands of these connected consumers and provide a personalized, omnichannel experience.
Customer experience (CX) encompasses every touchpoint consumers have with a brand – from the ads they see, the email they receive, the company’s mobile app and website, customer support interactions, and more. These touchpoints lead to data silos that make it hard for companies to have a complete view of the customer. By breaking down the silos of marketing, sales, and service, organizations can create great “in-the-moment” consumer experiences.
To better understand the connected consumer and their attitudes and expectations regarding the customer experience and consumer preferences, Selligent surveyed 5,000 consumers across a variety of age groups in North America and Europe. The 2019 Selligent Global Connected Consumer Index Results identify consumer preferences and behaviors related to social media, voice-enabled assistant devices, privacy, personalized customer experiences (CX), customer service and support usage and expectations, and more.
The results were enlightening, validating some existing assumptions, while presenting a few surprises.
Privacy and Personalization
Survey respondents were loud and clear - they want personalized customer experiences and expect brands and organizations to provide easy ways to interact with them across channels. Personalization has become a key brand differentiator and way of delivering seamless/relevant experiences and fostering customer loyalty. Consumers want to feel that the brands and companies they interact with understand their needs and pain points.
Companies and brands need to walk a fine line and find the right balance between consumers desire for personalization as well as privacy. The survey found that consumers are willing to share information to get a more personalized experience, yet, at the same time, don’t want brands or companies to know too much about them.
Privacy becomes an increasing concern in the age of social media. A large portion of survey respondents have reduced their use of social media due to privacy concerns, which has significant implications for marketing professionals.
A more recent phenomena is the role of voice-enabled devices and assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Home and their impact on consumer privacy. While the use of these assistants has exploded in the past few years, so have concerns about improperly accessing personal data. With almost half of the respondents use voice-enabled assistant devices, the majority worry that these devices are listening without the consumer’s knowledge or consent.
Customer Service and the Customer Experience
Companies and brands interact with consumers in many different ways throughout the customer journey - from when a consumer begins researching a brand, to purchasing a product or service, to receiving customer service and support. Although customers research and shop in different ways and on different platforms, they expect a consistent experience.
Customer service is where companies can really thrive and set themselves apart. When consumers reach out to customer service/support to deal with an issue or question, they have high expectations for responses and resolution. Not surprisingly, the survey found that it doesn’t take many negative experiences for consumers to abandon a brand altogether
Consumers expect to be heard, and they expect a response or acknowledgement from the organization when reaching out or complaining. If they don’t get a response, it impacts the level of trust with the organization.
Good customer experience is contextual, personalized, and proactive, as businesses understand what consumers need when they need it, while providing options to consumers based on prior purchase history, the interaction channel, specific marketing campaigns or promotions, etc.
Using the right tools, technologies, and platforms can help companies and brands provide exceptional customer experiences and best serve consumers’ needs throughout the customer lifecycle. We know that providing positive customer experiences results in long-term benefits for organizations, including loyal customers who say positive things about the brand, helping to increase customer satisfaction and company revenues. But how can organizations provide those stellar experiences based on consumer expectations?
I’ll be joining Selligent’s Chief Marking Officer Niki Hall in a webinar on Thursday October 17, 2019 2:00 PM Eastern Time, 11 AM Pacific time to discuss the survey findings and the implications for CX and marketing professionals. Niki and I will cover a range of topics, including:
- Connected consumers and rising customer expectations
- The role of personalization and privacy
- Social media and emerging channels
- How to make the customer experience contextual, personalized and proactive
By understanding consumers’ choices throughout the customer journey, as well as the influence of social media on the purchase and decision-making process, and the role of customer service, CX and contact center professionals can have a greater impact on customer choices and the resulting outcomes. With insights into consumer preferences for privacy, personalization, and customer support, companies and brands can develop better CX and marketing programs to optimize resources and technology investments.