Consumers four times more likely to dump brands after a bad experience

A positive customer experience keeps consumers coming back - but a new report reveals a big disconnect between retailers and consumers.

What customers want seems to be different to what brands think they want according to a new report.

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According to South Jordan, UT-based cloud customer experience intelligence company InMoment, almost a quarter (23 percent) of consumers report they are angry after having a bad experience with a brand.

For its 2018 Customer Experience trends report, it surveyed 2000 consumers and 1000 brands across the US to find out about the customer experience. Topics included memorability, personalization, and the use of new technologies.

It discovered five trends indicating what consumers want from brands today and where brands are succeeding and failing in meeting those expectations.

Brands' "personalization" can be perceived as "creepy" and do not benefit the end customer - especially when personalisation crosses over between the physical and digital world.

The survey showed that three out of four (75 percent) of consumers find most forms of personalization at least somewhat creepy. Almost 40 percent of brands admitted they are being creepy with their personalisation mechanisms.

Millennials are misunderstood - especially their attitudes about technology, including digital compared to in-person experiences. Brands might be making some false assumptions that could be misguiding their customer experience strategy for this group.

Flashy is fun, but basics matter most. Regardless of the fancy wrapper, consumers still appreciate the simple things.

The two basics of "human interaction" and "being treated special" with exclusive offers, or loyalty programs are highly influential on memorability, which emphasizes how important it is to get this part of the experience right.

Humans offer both the greatest opportunity and the great risk to the consumer experience. They leave the most significant and longest lasting impression on customers -- whether online, over the phone, or in person.

Consumers four times more likely to dump brands after a bad experience ZDNet
InMoment

Almost two thirds (65 percent) of consumers reported that "staff interaction" highly influenced their decision to buy more products from a brand, while another 65 percent reported that access to educators and experts is highly influential.

Almost three-quarters (74 percent) of consumers report that poor staff experiences (due to poor attitudes, lack of knowledge, or other reasons) contributed to a bad brand interaction.

By comparison, less than one in three (29 percent) of brands reported the same. This could be a potential nightmare if brands do not invest in well-trained staff.

Whether they are good or bad, experiences that customers remember tend to have strong emotional components. Unfortunately brands are failing to capitalize on this.

Brands believe that three quarters (75 percent) of memorable experiences take place in-person, compared to 59 percent reported by consumers.

Phone calls also make a difference, with 28 percent of consumers reporting that their most memorable experiences occurred while chatting with staff on the phone.

Almost three quarters (72 percent) of consumers say they will choose one brand over another if they are made to feel special, and four out of five (80 percent) are willing to share personal information if they receive special or exclusive offers.

The power of memorable experiences can transform a fleeting moment into a memory that stays and inspires action for the customer -- both positive and negative.

Brands can not afford to underestimate the emotional and financial impact of missing the mark, and need to have a technology solution in place that prevents common customer pain points.

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