inContact announced the findings of their February 2013 survey, that examined the current state of customer service and the changing preferences of consumers.
The study, conducted online by Harris Interactive among 2,191 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older shows that consumers are making less of their buying decisions based on brand loyalty, but rather on which companies can match their desired experience, at a time of their choosing. According to the findings, more than half (56%) of U.S. adults would be at least somewhat likely to switch to another brand or company if it offered more options and channels to connect with them than they were currently using. Further, younger consumers aged 18-44 (64%) indicated this was true significantly more than their counterparts aged 55 or older (45%), showing a major shift among the younger consumer base in terms of how they’re making decisions.
Based on the findings, this generation of consumers, who are used to lots of information and being presented with a myriad of choices, showed a desire for options that allow for a tailored experience in their interaction with brands, and is demanding more options and availability to handle these interactions when and how they see fit. The survey results clearly show that consumers are demanding control of their experience, and companies are at risk of losing customers if they neglect to accommodate customer preferences or adopt evolving channels of communication in providing service.
When asked about preferences regarding how they wish to interact with brands, respondents showed overall that they not only prefer, but expect, companies to offer options for a variety of channels and devices. Key findings of the survey include:
- 56% of U.S. adults indicated that they would be at least somewhat likely to switch to another brand/company based on customer service options
- 25 % of U.S. adults do not feel loyalty toward any type of brand
- 63% of U.S. adults indicated that brands that don’t offer options for communication other than the 1-800 number seem outdated or old fashioned
- 86% of U.S. adults expect brands to offer multiple options and flexible timing to interact with customer service
- Women (71%) are nearly ten percent less likely than men (79%) to feel loyalty toward a brand
- 70% of U.S. adults say that mobile apps are at least somewhat important for companies to offer
“The survey results are clear: consumers expect more choices and more ways to interact with business today. The smartest companies are quickly adapting to changing consumer behaviors and needs, extending customer service beyond just phone and email to mobile apps, text messaging, chat and social media.” said Paul Jarman, CEO of inContact. “At inContact, we believe that offering a personalized customer service experience is at the forefront of success for brands today. We have added significant new features to our own platform to help our users adapt to new channels and new ways of communicating.”