By Ben Page, Director of Sales
Not long ago, grocery shopping happened solely in-store, and banking was done with the help of a human teller. But the internet, social media and mobile devices have dynamically changed this relationship, and consumers have come to expect much more from their brand communication.
Brands can no longer just be transactional entities. To truly make an impact, a company must be a constant presence in its customers daily lives. In fact, 89 percent of customers have switched brand loyalties due to poor customer experience (CX). Every interaction could be the difference between earning a loyal customer or losing out on a lifetime of purchases.
That puts a lot of stress on your brand communication, but by understanding how customers want to be contacted, you can set your business apart from the crowd.
Survey Says … Brand Communication is Still a Win
West surveyed more than 500 U.S. consumers to understand how they define high-quality CX. We discovered how communication preferences shift across self-service and proactive interactions, and we identified which industries are leading and lagging behind.
With that, here are 27 key stats from the survey that show how you can make the most of your brand communication.
1. 76% of customers see speed to resolution as the best indicator of good service when they’re contacted by a business.
2. 61% prioritize convenience when their brand contacts them.
3. When customers initiate the interaction, 77% rated speed to resolution as the best indicator of good service.
4. And 55% opt for convenience when contacting a brand.
5. For self-service, 65% of customers prefer to talk on the phone, compared to 55% for email and 48% for online chat.
6. But when brands contact customers, 82% prefer email for notifications and 77% for questions and issues.
7. 49% want notifications by text, compared to 25% from a contact center agent.
8. 45% want questions to be asked by a live agent, compared to 37% by text.
9. In the last six months, 77% of consumers have opted out of brand communication.
10. 45% of customers who opted out said brand communication was too frequent.
11. 30% said the message was irrelevant.
12. 25% of opt outs were due to other factors, including redundancy, too much information and lacking a human touch.
13. When making, changing or confirming appointments, 53% of customers choose to contact a brand by email, 50% by phone and 34% by website.
14. To make a purchase or payment, 77% use the website, 36% use a mobile app and 30% pay in person.
15. If a data breach occurs, 64% will contact by email, 51% by phone and 29% by website.
16. To learn about a new product or troubleshooting, 51% go to the website, 44% use a web tutorial and 38% call a representative.
17. Retail businesses are most likely to solicit CX feedback at 48%. The travel and hospitality industry is second at 45%.
18. 11% of utilities survey customers about CX, the least likely of all industries surveyed. Education is next at 12%.
19. 60% of men prioritize convenience in self-service, versus 49% of women.
20. 45% of women prioritize personalization, versus 34% of men.
21. In proactive communication, 41% of women and 34% of men see empathy as a sign of good service.
22. 55% of women have opted out of brand communication because it was too frequent, versus 37% of men.
23. 23% of millennials prefer a mobile app for notifications. 16% prefer online chat.
24. When asking questions, all age groups preferred phone calls to online chat, including 86% of baby boomers, 69% of Gen Xers and 59% of millennials.
25. 62% of millennials see convenience as a driver of good service, compared to 37% of baby boomers.
26. 26% of baby boomers prioritize security in good service, compared to 17% of millennials.
27. 40% of millennials prefer to make purchases via mobile app, compared to 36% of Gen Xers and 16% of baby boomers.
Read more about the survey and check out more stats in our in-depth whitepaper, CX Marks the Spot: What Consumers Expect from Brand Communication.
A Few Key Takeaways
Having this kind of demographic data is great, but it can still be a challenge to put it into practice. So how do you use all these stats to improve your brand communication?
- Know your customer. Not every customer is the same. Millennials have different preferences than baby boomers. Men may communicate differently than women. Find which people most frequently use your brand and provide the most value, and tailor your brand communication to meet their needs.
- Define excellent service. Service is the most important ingredient of delightful CX. More than three-quarters of consumers rank speed to resolution as the most likely indicator of such service, but pay attention to other factors as well.
- Consider all channels. Most consumers say they prefer dealing with a person over the phone when they reach out to a brand. But other channels, like email and texting, rise to the top when brands reach out to them.
- Don’t count on social media. Despite the constant presence of social media in consumers’ lives, many don’t view social platforms as helpful customer service channels. Communicate on the channels your customers want, but be prepared to adapt as preferences change.
Lasting Impressions Made Every Day
If you’re looking for more specific ways to optimize your current brand communication, read our blog post about 10 Proven Champion-Challenger Optimizations to Improve CX. And we invite you to get even more information from one of our CX consultants by calling or texting West Interactive Services at 800.841.9000.
When building your CX ecosystem, one size doesn’t fit all. In the realm of customer experience, brand communication is everything. And that communication has to reach your most valuable customers wherever they are. So use these stats to put your best foot forward and make sure you’re creating the impact consumers expect to see every day.
Ben has more than 10 years’ experience in both finance and sales. Before joining West in 2009, he studied aerospace engineering, civil engineering and business management at Iowa State University, University of Nebraska at Omaha and Nebraska Wesleyan University. Today, Ben builds strong relationships with Fortune 100 companies to drive strategic planning, solution development and relationship management initiatives to help them create exceptional experiences for their customers.