Conduent Report: Nearly Two-Thirds of Communications and Media Customers Loyal but Can Brands Keep Them?

Nearly two-thirds of consumers are loyal to their communications (63 per cent) and media (66 per cent) providers, having stayed with them for more than three years, despite signs this could change quickly if brands don’t adapt to customer experience demands. This news comes from the final two reports from The State of Customer Experience 2017 survey via Conduent Incorporated.

While communications and media brands should be encouraged by loyalty, they need to recognise nearly half (47 per cent for communications, 48 per cent for media) of their customers say they have no problem ditching their provider for the right reason, including rewards, recommendations from friends and family, or the promise of better service.

These days, consumers expect their customer experience interactions to be similar to how they communicate in their personal lives. For example, they want to converse with their phone provider about a billing question on social media or chat online with their media company about when the next season of their favourite show will be released.

Old School Wins

Brands have reacted to this demand by offering virtual assistants and self-help tools to solve problems. But only 10 per cent of media consumers are actually satisfied with the help they receive via these digital channels, with communications respondents sharing, in surprising news, that an old-school phone call is a three times better experience than interacting with a brand’s digital care services.

“We’re encouraged to see high loyalty rankings, especially relationships lasting more than three years, but without immediately improving digital experiences, brands are at risk, particularly in the competitive communications and media worlds,” said Christine Landry, group chief executive, Consumer & Industrials. “This is especially critical to attract and grow younger clientele, and secure long-time customers.”

The New Media Incentive

New on-demand media brands are looking to disrupt the status quo with a digitally focused strategy, requiring established brands to embrace this path or risk losing market share. With new services becoming available every day raising the churn rate, media companies need to be mindful of an 18 per cent decline in customers believing their provider understands them, from 49 per cent in 2015 (when the survey was first conducted), to 40 per cent in 2017. During this time, overall engagement also dropped 17 per cent.

Communications App Use Rises

Communications consumers prefer traditional (58 per cent) to digital channels (42 per cent) for contacting a brand; however, overall digital channel usage has increased 50 per cent since 2015, driven by social media and on-device help apps. The survey also found communications brands have 10 minutes or less across the majority of channels to resolve a customer’s question if they want to make a significant impact on satisfaction levels.

Other key findings:

  • Tradigital” Communications: Today’s consumers are considered “tradigital” communicators with media and communications brands, with 80 per cent of questions coming through four or more channels.
  • Instant Gratification: Two-thirds of customers expect their question to be answered within the hour.
  • Satisfaction Fading: Despite high loyalty rates, total satisfaction has dropped 10 per cent for media companies and 11 per cent for communications sin ce 2015.

The Future

Brands must address these digital experience pitfalls now, before embracing the future needs of customers, who will soon expect proactive outreach regarding problems they’re experiencing and a highly customised experience. For example, customers might expect automated call centre responses from a simulated favourite celebrity or sports star.

Conduent has more than 25 years of experience providing ”tradigital” omnichannel customer service solutions for global companies, including voice, email, chat, text and IVR self-help. Conduent handles more than 2.5 million daily interactions in 30 languages with customers of the world’s top brands.

About the Study:

The State of Customer Experience 2017 study was conducted via an online panel in August and September 2017 on behalf of Conduent and surveyed 6,000 consumers in the United States (2,400), the U.K. (1,200), Germany (1,200) and the Netherlands (1,200). The study is available in three editions: Technology, Communications and Media. Conduent measured the state of customer experience in the same industries in its Customer Experience 2015 study.