In the recently-released State of the Connected Customer Report, Salesforce Research surveyed over 7,000 consumers and business buyers around the world to learn more about what’s on the minds of today’s technology-empowered customers. What do they expect from their experiences with brands big and small, and how can businesses earn their loyalty?
In the final report, five statistics stood out to us (but the whole report is chock-full of insights, so download the full report here.) To learn more about the driving forces behind the numbers, we sat down with Keith Pearce, VP of Marketing for Service Cloud, Salesforce, for his perspective.
66% of consumers say they are likely to switch brands if they are treated like a number instead of an individual.
Almost every aspect of our lives has been digitized and, as a result, consumers are craving human connection, even in their interactions with businesses. This means building relationships beyond transactions that will help the customer and endure throughout the entire customer lifecycle. However, this is not the mentality that most businesses expected from customers or planned for. For businesses that are prepared to pivot and invest in humanizing and personalizing their customer interactions, there are more opportunities than ever and a customer base eager to build those individualized relationships.
57% of consumers agree they’re willing to share data with companies that send personalized offers and discounts.
Previously, consumers were extremely wary of providing their personal information and data to companies. But now the tradeoff is more clear than it ever has been — customers have an expectation that by providing their personal information, they get highly personalized, highly tailored experiences in return. This presents an extremely exciting opportunity for service departments to deliver the type of customer experience that creates customers for life. However, customers are also more in control than ever and are prepared to leave in an instant if they provide personal information and do not receive a tailored experience in return.
This data validates just how crucial the customer service agent truly is. In today’s business landscape, the role is about so much more than simply answering a customer’s question. The agent is on the frontlines of nearly every customer interaction and customers aren’t just expecting an answer — they’re expecting the agent to form a human connection with them. Agents can’t create personalized experiences all on their own — businesses must provide the right tools and technology for agents.
71% of consumers say that customer service provided on any day, at any time influences their loyalty.
Customer loyalty is a two-part consideration: increasing share of wallet and transforming customers into promoters. Share of wallet is the percentage of a customer’s spending within a category that’s captured by a given brand, store, or firm. Happy, loyal customers are the best marketing that your business can have, however, both share of wallet and Net Promoter Score are entirely contingent on the customer experience. Customers are wary of sales tactics, marketing gimmicks or short-lived price promotions, and these are no longer enough to build strong relationships that increase customer loyalty.
73% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company provides inconsistent levels of service across departments.
Consistency truly is key to thrive in today’s service environment. Regardless of channel, such as in-app mobile service, social media, or chat, customers expect the same fast, personal experience across every stage of the customer journey. It’s well-documented that switching costs have enormous impact on revenue for companies of all sizes around the world. By investing in technology that ensures consistency in the service experience, businesses not only reduce those switching costs, but also add a double benefit with the enormous ROI of customer loyalty and increased promoters. On average, loyal customers are worth up to ten times as much as their first purchase. What could that mean for your bottom line?
71% of business buyers say it’s absolutely critical or very important to receive product and customer support and service via their mobile devices
In the past year or so, the number of mobile-only users overtook desktop users. Yet in many customer service departments, mobile customer service continues to lag. Tools like in-app messaging and video chat remain outliers rather than the norm for most businesses. Even as little as five years ago companies were struggling to make the move towards digital. Businesses are just now coming to terms with the fact that the mobile revolution is here — and the gap between mobile versus desktop will continue to widen.
To learn more about what today’s customers are expecting from businesses, download the full report: State of the Connected Customer 2016.