Today’s consumers have become accustomed to instantaneous services and subscriptions, and new research from CX management firm Medallia reveals they want to give brands real-time feedback across multiple digital channels to improve their overall brand experience.

According to the firm’s latest study, Customer Engagement Now: Real Time is the Right Time, a majority (52 percent) of survey respondents report that a negative experience in the past year could have been improved if they had the opportunity to give real-time feedback, and the brand took immediate action.

Consumers want to give real-time feedback—how can brands avoid having "deaf ears"?

But opportunity alone isn’t good enough—44 percent have abandoned a customer feedback survey without completing it, primarily because of its length. Of those who abandoned a survey, 57 percent did so because it was too long. Fifty-one percent reported ignoring a customer survey because the company didn’t make enough of an effort to resolve past issues.

“Consumers have spoken and they want convenient, real-time access to brands across multiple digital channels, and they want the opportunity to give brands real-time feedback,” said Emma Sopadjieva, head of research at Medallia, in a news release.

“Today, experiences are won or lost in the moment they occur. Brands need to be able to engage with consumers on the right channel, at the right time, and provide a seamless digital experience,” she added. “Brands that do not will suffer.”

Consumers want to give real-time feedback—how can brands avoid having "deaf ears"?

Consumers want to communicate with brands across multiple digital channels, such as a brand’s mobile app, email, connected devices, social media, messaging apps and online reviews.

What’s more, respondents demand an impressive set of capabilities from these channels—35 percent of consumers want to be able to ask questions about a service or product through real-time messaging, the same proportion want to give product or service feedback through a brand’s mobile app, while about 20 percent of consumers would like to live chat with a representative through a connected device.

Consumers want to give real-time feedback—how can brands avoid having "deaf ears"?

“Today’s connected consumers expect flawless experiences regardless of channel and many brands are falling short,” said Leslie Stretch, CEO at Medallia, in the release. “If brands manage to be everywhere their customers are in real time, then they will be able to influence the customer experience while it’s happening for the better.”

Consumers want to give real-time feedback—how can brands avoid having "deaf ears"?

Other key findings include:

Traditional forms of collecting feedback are no longer effective

Long, convoluted surveys are no longer getting the job done and customers often believe their feedback will never be read or acted upon. The study found that 46 percent of UK and 41 percent of US respondents have abandoned a customer feedback survey without completing it.

Consumers today want real-time assistance

In an era of instant gratification, it’s imperative to engage customers in real-time conversations to address customer problems the instant they arise. Of the US respondents, 79 percent expect the ability to contact a customer representative immediately when they need help.

Consumers demand seamless and convenient omnichannel experiences

Sixty-six percent expect the ability to provide feedback about products and services on the channel they are currently using, while 63 percent expect easy transitions between channels when they engage with a business.

Consumers expect brands to treat them as individuals and anticipate their needs

Three-in-five consumers would like companies to personalize communications based on what they know about their past experiences with the brand, while 49 percent of consumers would like brands to offer help before they have asked for it themselves.

Download the full report here.

Consumers want to give real-time feedback—how can brands avoid having "deaf ears"?

Medallia commissioned a panel survey of 3,000 consumers from three countries — the U.S. (1,000), the U.K. (1,000), and Australia (1,000). The collected sample was matched to the census of each country on age and gender.

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Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders.

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