Your customers have high expectations. But who could have guessed that 82% are disappointed or upset by brands!
A recent research study by Oracle CX in partnership with my marketing pal, Jeanne Bliss, takes a cross-generational look at customer preferences, behaviors, and expectations. What they uncover about the customer experience is very telling.
“Companies no longer compete on price and value alone. CX is the new battle ground, and consumers are hyper-attuned to whether a brand meets their needs or misses the mark entirely. They’re watching closely, evaluating every step of the buying (and owning) journey.”
ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL
Let’s begin with what we already know: bad customer experience (CX) sends customers packing. In fact, one-third of respondents will walk away from a brand after having a disappointing interaction. So, if your customers have just one poor experience, imagine what many could do to your bottom line or mission over time.
Generation Z (ages 18-24)
According to the report, Generation Z (ages 18-24) is paying the most attention to customer experiences. Their perceptions and resulting behaviors will have a far-reaching impact as they eclipse Millennials in numbers, set trends, and influence future business practices.
Of all the generations in this study, 79% of Gen Z share impressive brand experiences with friends, family, and colleagues. And, they’re more forgiving than the rest. Eight out of 10 Gen Z respondents are willing to give brands a second chance after an upsetting experience. But, take note… this tendency decreases with age.
Other noteworthy report findings:
Would your customers pay as much as 20% more for an impressive experience?
Surprisingly, Boomers are more amenable to this idea than both Gen Z and Gen Xs. Millennials, however, are the most willing to pay a premium for better service.
Who do your customers trust when shopping?
In general, 88% of your customers trust recommendations from people they know. These results far outweigh online reviews, company employees, or influencers.
How about shopping recommendations (or ads) delivered on evolving digital platforms?
Not really. 52% of your customers are skeptical of these recommendations.
“Despite a brand’s best data-informed intentions, blatant shopping recommendations on our smart TVs, via push notifications on our cell phones, or through voice-activated devices feel intrusive.”
What about ads in social media channels?
Here’s a paradox: Less than one-quarter of respondents trust shopping recommendations from these platforms, but nearly twice as many (45%) report using social channels to discover new brands at least once a month.
Do your customers trust influencers and bloggers?
86% of them say no. That’s shocking considering that the influencer marketing industry is expected to reach $6.5B this year!
What do your customers trust, then?
They trust sincere content that adds value to their lives. That’s how you’ll earn their confidence and admiration, especially on emerging, data-driven channels.
“Relationships between brands and consumers begin when a customer has faith in a company. That trust can’t be bought. It must be cultivated. To earn the right to growth, brands must trust and respect their customers in return.”
What do they want?
- They expect to talk to a human when they call customer service.
- They want the opportunity to choose how they consume products or services from your brand.
- They appreciate emails and product recommendations tailored to their browsing history.
- They want brands to understand their unique needs and desires and value personalized experiences.
- They want to buy from companies that offers novel ways to experience their products and services.
- They seek convenience and are more likely to expect companies to offer frictionless commerce options.
- Don’t rely on trends and studies that show where other marketers spend their budgets. It doesn’t matter, especially when they may be wrong.
- Do your own due diligence and learn everything you can about your customers so you can serve them better.
- If you have limited financial and human resources, select the most successful and affordable customer service channels you can provide.
“Invest in your CX, and your business will be rewarded with customer accolades and loyalty.”
ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL