The customer experience is now a centerpiece of brand strategy, PR and marketing initiatives, and the ever-evolving practice will get more intricate as expectations increase. But pigeonholing customers on channels is quickly becoming obsolete: new research from customer experience agency Mindstream Interactive reveals that consumers can no longer be put into the category of either an online or offline customer, given how connected people are through mobile devices while still expecting in-person experiences.
The study, CX Revisited, Our Obsession with Customer Experience, and the Surprising Role of Brands, explores how today’s constantly-connected customers use their mobile devices—and how that behavior will dictate their expectations of customer experience in 2018.
“Customers are online the vast majority of the day and they expect brands to be there as well,” said Marti Post, Mindstream VP of strategic services, in a news release. “Even when shopping in a store, people go on their phones for coupons, to read online product reviews, watch video tutorials, download an app, or ‘check in’ to score a good deal. Brands who know how their customers make their buying decisions using both digital and offline experiences and use that insight strategically, will be the leaders in their markets.”
Some key insights from the study:
The role of the brand website has changed
Once an all-important hub for everything, it’s now flanked by many other touchpoints and distribution channels. Websites are still important, but nearly half of the respondents said they visit the site as a second or third step when considering a purchase.
Only 19 percent of respondents trust completely that what brands say on their website is truthful
Instead, they rely on reviews on other sites to provide honesty.
Most customers will only tolerate a 1-hour response window
This is regardless of how they reach out (social media or web contact form).
Customers are online from early morning until after 10pm
This will likely start to shape new hours of operations for social media and customer service departments and/or increase the use of other digital properties like messenger bots.
- 34 percent of respondents said they can’t recall the last time they interacted with a national brand without the use of digital support, 36 percent said the same for a local brand.
- 35 percent of respondents (the top answer) said retail experiences have been enhanced most with the advent of digital.
- 74 percent of respondents prefer to shop in department stores (Macy’s, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, etc.) or online retail sites, versus branded stores (Oakley, Fossil, Victoria’s Secret, Pink, etc.) sites or apps (24 percent).
- The vast majority of customers are not ready to accept augmented or virtual reality yet, some calling it a “gimmick” or “marketing tactic.”
“The results of this survey show us unequivocally that customers are very savvy and their expectations are very high,” said Post. “For brands, this means it’s more important than ever to understand their customers’ journey as well as their expectations, from every perspective online and offline, so they can create the customer experiences that keep them coming back.”
Trust in traditional media has declined overall from 72 percent in 2016 to 50 percent this year, new research from PR and integrated creative network Ogilvy reveals. The firm’s survey of news media pros also found that an overwhelming majority of journalists (68...
While social media might be the obvious choice as the go-to channel for video, video can and should be utilized more broadly to support other outbound communications efforts because we live in a visual world now. Forbes covered it and we’re living it—video content is...
If Albert Einstein, Cleopatra, Audrey Hepburn, Henry VIII, Napoleon, and Florence Nightingale woke up in 2018, what would they Google? Have you ever wondered what your favorite historical figures would be like if you met them in real life? What restaurants would they...