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Personalization, Data Security, and Speed Drive Customer Loyalty Amid Uncertainty — Salesforce Research

connected customer research

81% of consumers say they will reassess their budget over the next 12 months as they seek more personalized experiences 

52% of consumers say poor quality service is the primary reason they won’t make a repeat purchase

Over 60% expect companies to react instantly with up-to-date information when transferred between departments 

A new global survey of 5,000 consumers reveals critical changes to consumer spending amid inflation and economic uncertainty.

These findings highlight current sentiment on spending and what it will take to earn consumer loyalty in 2023.

Retail, travel, hospitality, media and entertainment most at risk as consumers rethink spending

Consumers are thinking more critically about where they will spend their money in 2023, with 81% saying they will reassess their budget over the next 12 months. 

Retailers are most at risk. Seventy-nine percent of consumers say they will reassess their spending with retail brands over the coming year. Travel and hospitality and media and entertainment also face the potential for lowered spend, with 78% and 70% of consumers, respectively, reporting reassessment plans in those sectors.

Personalized, real-time experiences drive loyalty for spend-conscious consumers

An economy plagued by inflation and staffing shortages hasn’t lowered consumers’ expectations for top-notch service. Fifty-two percent, in fact, expect a better experience from their favorite brands as a result of the current economic climate.

The good news is these same consumers are clear about what they believe makes an improved experience.

Seventy-two percent say they will remain loyal to companies that deliver faster service, and 65% say they will stay loyal if the company offers a more personalized experience. 

Consumers also expect brands to use their data to offer more relevant customer services, with over 60% reporting they expect companies to react instantly with the most up-to-date information when transferring across departments. Bolstering trust can also be an opportunity for loyalty; 76% of consumers say that companies that provide data security will encourage their loyalty.

Disconnected experiences spark frustration for consumers

On the flip side of the coin, consumers were also willing to report what made for a poor experience.

They reported top frustrations ranging from disconnected experiences (40%), to being asked questions that they’ve answered before (35%), and being offered products that aren’t relevant to them (33%). 

When added together, frustrating experiences create negative brand perceptions — and possibly, a future customer lost. According to 52% of consumers, poor quality service is the primary reason that prevents them from making a repeat purchase.

Real-time data drives exceptional customer experiences 

Research shows that personalized customer experiences are no longer ‘nice to have,’ they are essential to competing in a changing economy. 

Real-time data offers a path for companies that want to compete in this new economy and deliver the personalized experiences consumers expect. When pulled together into a single source of truth, real-time data offers rich and actionable insights that can help deliver intelligent and connected customer experiences. 

To retain market share and drive revenue growth amid macroeconomic uncertainty, brands need to ensure their offerings stand out from their competitors. That requires more than just a great product at a low price. Today’s consumers want personalized experiences and faster service, and they’re ready to shop around if their expectations aren’t met.

Matt McLarty, Global Field CTO, MuleSoft

“Companies that want to increase customer loyalty must leverage real-time, intelligent, and automated technology solutions that support seamless connected experiences and personalized journeys,” continued McLarty. “Businesses must be capable of both understanding and acting on their data. This will mean the difference between thriving or surviving as businesses navigate challenges in 2023.”

More information:

Research Methodology

Salesforce conducted this global survey in partnership with Survey Monkey in December 2022. The total sample size was 5,038 adults: UK (1,015 adults), U.S. (1,008 adults), Canada (1,006 adults), Australia (1,005 adults), and Singapore (1,002 adults). The figures are representative of adult populations (aged 18+).

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