Thought leadership

Engage Hub, the data-driven customer engagement solutions company, has launched a research report entitled, “Managing the fragile customer experience in the information age”.

This inaugural report includes the findings of research commissioned by Engage Hub, which surveyed over 2,000 consumers in the retail, mobile network operator (MNO), and financial service (FS) sectors. It examines how consumers define good customer service, and how those experiences are changing.

The report  identifies key areas where the customer experience is falling short in the retail, financial services and mobile network operating industries, and how it can be improved

The research found that over half (52%) of consumers believe retailers and 42% believe the financial service sector could improve the customer experience by being seen to take feedback on board better, while 41% of retail customers and 47% of MNO subscribers want to be provided with more tailored offers.

Along with being friendly and helpful, which were common themes across all three verticals, consumers believe that good customer service means being quick to solve queries (61% of MNO customers and 58% of retail customers), and providing good accessibility to products and services (65% of FS customers).

Another consistent finding was that good communication was having one of the biggest impacts on consumers’ experiences in the last year; 47% identified this from MNOs, 48% from retailers, and 53% from FS providers.

Lorna Crowley, Head of Marketing at Engage Hub commented, “Technological advancements have changed the way businesses, in every sector, communicate with their customers. But with every advancement, comes a new set of challenges. The proliferation of technology, easier access to information and the sheer level of competition has divided consumers’ attention as their options increase”.

The report also examined the impact of technology on the customer experience, and over 50% of consumers (57% MNO, 62% retail, 64% FS) have seen technology have a positive effect on customer experience. In the main, where technology is being deployed to interact and engage with consumers, it is being done so with a degree of success.

Crowley added, “Consumers now expect organisations to communicate through an ever-increasing number of digital and physical channels. Consequently though, expectations as to what a good customer experience constitutes in the information age is changing, as consumers expect a seamless and tailored experience. There is no one size fits all approach to delivering a best in class customer experience, but this report looks to identify some of the biggest opportunities for improving services and increase loyalty in some increasingly competitive markets.

Other findings – Retail:

  • A fifth (22%) of consumers believe the retail customer experience is getting worse
  • A poor instore experience (25%), delivery issues (18%) and a lack of communication (16%) all caused consumers to stop shopping with retailers in the last year
  • Despite 73% of consumers believing that retailers consider the customer’s experience to be an important part of the service they deliver, a third (33%) believe the negative feedback they give is either infrequently, or never acted upon

Other findings – Mobile network operators:

  • When consumers started using the services of an alternative provider, targeted promotions (25%) and a personalised service (23%) were key factors in their decision to switch
  • Experiences with MNOs have not significantly improved in the last year: 59% believe they are the same, while 17% believe they have gotten worse
  • Despite 62% of consumers believing that MNOs consider the customer’s experience to be an important part of the service they deliver, a third (33%) believe the negative feedback they give to MNOs is either infrequently, or never acted upon

Other findings – Financial services:

  • When consumers started using services elsewhere, better in-store experience (26%), more personalised services (25%), targeted promotions (19%) and a better mobile experience (17%) were key factors in their decision to switch
  • A third (33%) of consumers don’t believe financial service providers consider customer experience as an important part of their service offering and a quarter (25%) of consumers believe that feedback based on a bad customer experience is infrequently, or never acted upon.
  • Other factors consumers believed would improve the customer experience included tailoring of offers (38%), personalised communication (37%) and making services available through more channels (27%)

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