This is a 2009 study of 2,295 U.S. adults ages 18 years or older by Harris Interactive on behalf of RightNow Technologies. Although the stats aren’t recent, I think the findings are still useful today.
The Customer Experience Impact: North America 2009 Report shows that consumer expectations are high, social networking is amplifying consumer voices and never before has delivering great customer experiences been more critical. Empowered by the social web, consumers are forcing change. Companies can no longer manage the customer relationship; however they can control the customer experience.
Finding highlights include:
- 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company due to a bad customer experience, up 27% from 2005;
- 60% of consumers will always or often pay more for a better experience, up from 58% in 2008;
- 82% of consumers that had a bad experience told others about it, up 22% from 2006;
- Many consumers that had a bad customer experience and told others about it shared their experience online by posting a negative customer review on the company’s website (23%), Facebook (7%), or a blog (6%);
- 28% of consumers online said that by improving website usability and search functionality companies can better engage with them to encourage them to spend more;
- 73% of consumers prefer to speak directly to a live customer service agent;
- 66% want to send an email when they interact with a company;
- When consumers are researching a company’s product or service online or having a problem with a product/service, they usually call (62%) or email (49%) the company directly;
- 18% of consumers want to be able to chat online with a live agent when they are having a problem;
- Agent influenced sales have increased 83% in 2009, increasing from 24% to 44%;
- 51% of consumers who have contacted a company looking for customer service and ended up making another purchase based on the agent’s recommendation, made the other purchase because the offer was relevant and complimentary to what they had already purchased;
- 58% said if they had complained about a bad experience with a company on a social networking site, such as Twitter, they would like the company to reach out directly and respond to their comment;
- When online consumers follow a particular brand on Twitter:
- 62% are looking for special offers; and
- 38% are looking for tips or advice.
It is clear that consumer expectations are high and they demand excellent customer experiences. This presents a challenge for businesses, but it also presents an opportunity.
How is your company meeting consumer expectations in the 21st century?