PRESS RELEASE: Consumers are increasingly using multiple channels to contact brands, and expectations for a response time are soaring, especially when it comes to social media, with 47% expecting a response within an hour, and 84% waiting no longer than a day. Fuelled by increased mobile engagement and the rise of social media, nearly half of all people surveyed will comment on social media if their experience with a company is good or bad.
These are findings from a new survey, titled “The Omnichannel Evolution of Customer Experience”, released by Spider Marketing and commissioned by Altitude Software, a global provider of omnichannel solutions to deliver great customer experiences. It details the behaviours and attitudes of more than 3,000 consumers in Latin America and Europe towards customer contact channels.
There is an omnichannel customer that uses a mix of contact solutions, with demand for social media solutions growing.
The emerging omnichannel customer uses a mix of contact solutions, with demand for social media solutions growing the most among millennials, according to the report. At present, 82% of consumers phones suppliers of goods and services, with a further 62% turning to email. Perhaps more striking, however, is the 20% who contact suppliers via Facebook; this climbs to 29% of 18 to 34 year olds, highlighting the growing demand for omnichannel contact solutions from “tomorrow’s consumers”.
With over 80% of customers expecting a response to emails and social media postings within 24 hours, brands need to have a well thought out customer contact and response strategy. The risks are high if they get it wrong, as 50% of consumers go so far as to agree that if they received no response to a negative post they would not use that company again. Even higher, 62% agree that reading negative comments about a company on social media puts them off using them. But the rewards are there if companies get it right with 75% agreeing they’re more likely to use a company if they’ve read positive things about them on social media.
Mobiles and social media fuel rocketing consumer service expectations
The role already played by social media in customers’ commercial as well as social lives is clearly too powerful to ignore, as is the power of mobile phones. 56% pick up their mobile when contacting a company through social media. Also, more customers use their mobile than a landline to phone a company, with similar proportions turning to their mobile when it comes to email.
“A major consequence of this instant, on-the-move connectivity, is rocketing consumer expectations. If a customer is able to contact a supplier anytime, anyplace, in a matter of seconds, they come to expect the same back” states David Romero, Chief Marketing Officer of Altitude. “If companies do not fully embrace all customer touchpoints and demands in today’s ultra-close knit world they are inviting significant reputational damage to their brand. But getting the customer experience right will reward a brand with earned marketing reach and increased customer acquisition”.
Other key findings in the report include a dramatic digital divide between older and younger customers. The latter clearly prefer to use mobile devices and new technologies like Videochat when contacting vendors. The report also highlights the rise of the multi-channel, multi-device customer, the rise of consumer expectations and an emerging “punish or promote” culture as people share their experiences. Companies increasingly need to support mobile access with multi-channel customer contact solutions or face losing out future customers to the competitors who do.
Download the “Omnichannel Evolution of Customer Experience” Report and learn about the 2016 trends on consumer behaviors and expectations for omnichannel customer service solutions .