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BizReport : Advertising archives : March 23, 2016

Report: Human connection important for brands

With more consumers turning to email and social media to solve product problems, one report indicates that the human connection remains important for businesses.

by Kristina Knight

Accenture has released the Digital Disconnect in Customer Engagement which finds the human factor can be crucial for brands trying to build loyalty. Researchers found that 52% of consumers have switched brands/providers in the past year because of poor customer service. Researchers also found most (82%) of consumers 'prefer dealing with humans' for customer service issues.

"Companies have lost sight of the importance of human interaction and often make it too difficult for consumers to get the right level of help and service that they need," said Robert Wollan, senior managing director, Advanced Customer Strategy, Accenture Strategy. "Companies wrongly assume that their digital-only customers are their most profitable, and that customer service is a cost. Consequently they over-invest in digital technologies and channels and lose their most profitable customers - multi-channel customers - who want experiences that cover both digital and traditional channels."

Other interesting findings from the Accenture report include:

• 45% of consumers 'would pay more' for goods/services if they were guaranteed better customer service
• 81% say it is 'frustrating' to deal with brands who don't make interactions simple
• 73% 'expect simple' customer service
• 61% want customer service to be quicker
• 44% use social media to complain about customer service

Researchers also found that most (68%) of customer will not go back to a business after a bad experience.

"U.S. companies have reached a tipping point in their customer's digital intensity and need to rebalance their digital and traditional customer services investments if they want to improve loyalty, differentiate themselves and drive growth," said Kevin Quiring, Managing Director, Advanced Customer Strategy, North America Lead, Accenture Strategy. "Companies abandon the human connection at their own risk and are facing the need to rebuild it to deliver the varied and tailored outcomes that customers demand."

How can businesses win back - or not lose - customers? Most consumers say they can be swayed to say if businesses do something to retain them - 83% say live/in person customer service could encourage them to stay.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: Accenture, customer service, customer service trends, ecommerce trends

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