Everything You Need to Know About the Consumer of 2017

The days of winning over your customers’ hearts and minds based solely on the quality of your product or service are over. In the digital age, prices and products are easily imitated. This leaves delivering a speedy, personalized and friendly customer experience as the best way to differentiate your business from its competitors.

To help arm you with the information needed to thrive in this competitive environment, here are 10 stats that tell you everything you need to know about today’s consumer.

Half of consumers move on after poor customer service

In NewVoiceMedia’s whitepaper, Serial Switchers Strike Again, we learned that 49 percent of consumers switch companies after receiving service that does not meet their expectations. Common reasons for switching included not feeling appreciated, rude staff, getting passed around multiple agents and being put on hold for too long. If your customers feel dissatisfied for any of these reasons, it’s highly likely that it’s costing your business money.

Poor customer service costs business billions annually

During our study into serial switchers, we discovered the collective price paid by businesses that don’t nail their customer service totals $62 billion per year. If consumers are not happy with the service you provide, they usually don’t think twice about switching. That’s money transferring from the balance sheet of your business into the hands of your competitors.

Finding new customers costs more than retaining them

Flowtown did the math and calculated it costs seven times more money to earn a new customer than to keep an existing one happy. When you consider how much your business needs to spend on advertising and promoting your product or service, this makes perfect sense. Doing everything in your power to track and process complaints is one of the quickest and simplest things you can do to help protect your business’ bottom line.

Using multiple retail channels promotes success

Research by Salesforce revealed that companies are 22 times more likely to retain their customers if they have a strong omni-channel strategy. Today’s always connected consumers expect to enjoy a seamless experience across every retail touchpoint, both digital and in-store. This means it’s crucial that businesses invest in robust systems capable of tracking customer feedback across multiple channels.

Consumers won't trade price for bad service

When choosing a product or service, The Institute of Customer Service says that consumers usually look for a balance between service and cost. Some companies think that offering low prices as a compromise for poor service is a viable strategy. However, as this statistic illustrates, 60 percent of customers don’t tolerate poor service under any circumstances.

Consumers expect more today than a year ago

According to The 2015 Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report, expectations around customer service are increasing. Dubbed the ‘Amazon Effect’, today’s customers — a whopping 60 percent — expect a personalized, speedy and consistent experience from every business they use, so your sales and service departments need to be ready.

Mobile devices now rule digital media time

Marketing Land reported that all digital growth now comes from mobile usage. Modern consumers are smartphone addicts with 65 percent of digital media time now spent on mobile devices, which means your business needs to make mobile customer experience it’s number one priority. In response, big name retailers such as Starbucks are investing in loyalty and messenger apps to provide customers with 24/7 support.

Consumers connect to organizations on social media

As the lifeblood of any business, it’s vitally important that you engage with your customers. Salesforce found that 56 percent of customers feel a strong connection to organizations who engage on social media, proving that social media provides a platform for you to do it on their level. A good social strategy focuses on people and building a community. From there, you can start conversations that allows you to connect with your customers in a way that adds value.

Consumers expect self-service customer support options

The 2015 Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report indicates that customers are more comfortable than ever making purchases without the help of a sales rep. As a business, this means you need to provide customers with the tools and information needed to research your product or service online. With 90 percent of consumers expecting access to self-service customer service portals, failure to provide such capabilities means you risk losing them to a competitor that does.

Customer service centers need updating

As little as 10 years ago, the only thing contact centers needed to worry about was manning the phones. Fast forward to today and the typical service agent is required to manage a complicated mix of calls, email, instant messages, social media, video chat and more. Eighty percent of contact centers predict their customer service systems won't meet their ensuing needs. In the future, the complexity of handling customer service communications is only going to increase, so your contact center will need to be ready.

To learn even more about taking your sales and service strategy to the next level, take a look at our selection of insight-packed whitepapers.

Which statistic do you think will have the biggest impact on the future success of your business? Share your thoughts below.

Download our Serial Switchers research report to find out what happens to relationships with customers when they receive great service

Written by Vonage Staff

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