Emplifi, the leading unified customer experience platform, has released its “11 key things consumers expect from their brand experiences today,” a new report offering deep insights into customer expectations for B2C brand experiences. The report looks at everything from expected customer service response times and preferred communication channels to show how integral CX is to brand loyalty. Surveying more than 2,000 consumers from the U.S. and the UK, Emplifi found that 86 percent of consumers will leave a brand they were once loyal to after only two to three bad customer service experiences. Sixty-three percent of the survey participants confirmed they would leave a brand because of poor customer experience, and 49 percent admitted they had left a company they were loyal to in the past 12 months for that reason.
“There is a major disconnect happening right now between what consumers expect and what brands are delivering when it comes to their CX efforts,” said Emplifi CXO Shellie Vornhagen. “Consumers have too many options to stick around after a poor customer experience. If you’re not delivering exceptional CX, your customers are going to turn to your competitors, no matter how loyal they were once upon a time.”
Emplifi’s survey findings highlight just how critical CX is to brand perceptions and outcomes. The report revealed slow response time as the leading contributor to a negative experience, followed by a lack of 24/7 customer service support. Out of the consumers surveyed, 52 percent expect brands to respond to customer service inquiries via digital channels within an hour, with 22 percent expressing a preference for social media, 19 percent for email, and 16 percent for website chat.
According to Q4 2021 social media data, there was a slight decline compared to Q4 2020 response rates across all three platforms – Facebook (-3%), Instagram (-2%), and Twitter (-2%). Brands were also more likely to respond to questions on Instagram than they were on Twitter, except brands in Automotive and Home and Living, which both had higher response rates on Facebook than Instagram.
The biggest takeaway from the report: Brands that fail to prioritize CX initiatives are putting brand loyalty — and revenue gains — at risk. This goes for brands in both the U.S. and the UK: A nearly identical number of consumers from each country (63 percent of U.S. consumers and 62 percent of UK consumers) said a poor customer experience is enough of a reason to leave a brand they were previously loyal to.
U.S. consumers do expect more from brands: 49 percent of U.S. consumers attach high importance to social media CX experiences compared to 37 percent of UK consumers. U.S. consumers are also more discerning when it comes to CX, with 65 percent of survey participants in the U.S. willing to pay a premium price for outstanding customer service compared to 56 percent of UK consumers.
“The differences we are seeing in terms of customer expectations among U.S. consumers and UK consumers are minimal. The reality is that people want an exceptional customer experience no matter where they’re located,” said Vornhagen. “The good news is that the technology needed to close the customer experience gap happening across the customer journey is readily available. Brands that invest in superior CX platforms will outperform the competition every time.”