Findings from a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive and inContact, a provider of cloud contact center software, prove companies cannot rely on brand loyalty when it comes to keeping existing customers or winning new ones.
The survey, conducted online February 11 through February 13, 2013 using a nationwide sample of 2,191 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older, examined changing consumer behavior trends and customer service preferences. Survey findings confirmed that consumers are less likely to make buying decisions based on brand loyalty, and more likely to choose a company that offers personalized customer experience options.
The survey’s key findings include:
- 56 percent of respondents indicated that they would be, at least, somewhat likely to switch brands based on customer service options.
- Women are nearly ten percent less likely than men to feel loyalty toward a brand.
- 86 percent of U.S. adults expect brands to offer multiple options and flexible timing to interact with customer service.
- 68 percent of respondents indicated that companies without other options than a 1-800 number seem outdated.
- 25 percent of U.S. adults do not feel loyalty toward any type of brand.
When asked which types of communication methods are most important, 96 percent of respondents felt it was important for companies to have email communication. A 1-800 number option was a very close second with 95 percent of respondents indicating that it was important for companies to have live reps available for customers to contact them by phone.
84 percent of the respondents aged 18 to 34 said that it was important for a company to have apps for mobile devices. 77 percent of all respondents claimed online chat was an important option, and 67 percent felt that consumers should have the ability to contact companies via SMS/text messaging. 54 percent of the respondents wanted to be able to communicate with a company using social networking sites.
From the survey results, it is obvious marketers must continue to modify their methods of communication, offering multiple options based on consumer preferences. According to Paul Jarman, CEO of inContact, “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.”