Freshworks, a leading software company empowering businesses to delight their customers and employees, has announced survey findings that reveal the complexity and contradiction of consumer expectations.
With just 9% of the 2,000 UK consumers surveyed (part of a broader study of 11,500 global consumers) expecting to be wowed by brands, the findings underscore a major opportunity for companies to exceed expectations in delighting their customers. A majority of consumers are willing to exchange information for a more personalised, faster and values-driven experience.
Low customer expectations offer business opportunities
Brits revealed surprisingly low expectations for the quality of their customer experiences with companies – confirming that many legacy systems used for customer engagement are broken and ripe for a fresh approach.
Consumers expect brands to understand their personal values
Two-fifths (39%) of Brits admitted the pandemic had changed their expectations of how brands should communicate with them.
With social justice and sustainability discussions dominating global news, people increasingly are identifying with brands based on causes they care about. Over half (55%) of consumers expect brands to consider their personal values when communicating and will exchange personal information for a better experience.
UK consumers are slightly more private than their global counterparts, with 70% (compared to a global average of 77%) willing to share their personal data in exchange for a better experience, including browsing/purchasing data (26%), relationship history (15%), values they care about (15%) and salary (6%).
However, 77% of Brits want more honesty from brands and nearly two-thirds (61%) seek more empathy from companies.
John Crossan, Vice President and General Manager, Europe, Freshworks, said: “Our research paints a complex picture of what customers expect. The importance of authenticity and values in customer services isn’t anything new but it has taken a big leap forward since the pandemic as people have had more time to reflect on what is important to them. But people also want to build closer, more personal relationships with the brands they’re dealing with, giving businesses a huge opportunity to delight their customers.”
Complex customer needs require different channels
Consumer attitudes toward engaging with companies are complicated and seemingly paradoxical at times. While most seek the human touch, many consumers would rather work with automated technologies. Companies must offer a range of communications channels to meet differing and ever-changing consumer preferences.
While 67% of UK consumers would rather speak with a person than use self-service technologies, 30% would rather go the self-service route than have to speak to a company using any other channel.
Over a third (37%) don’t enjoy communicating with companies at all, higher than the global average of 26%, while 33% want to hear more from them.
Email ranked highest for making a complaint (38%), tracking an order (29%), getting a refund/exchange (29%) providing feedback (26%) and seeking product information/support (25%).Click below to share this article