Despite all the talk about consumer experience and the increasing emphasis brands put on it, Accenture is out with a global survey that shows brands in many instances are falling short in the CX space. And consumers are frustrated.
According to the survey, consumers who had a frustrating shopping experience are three times more likely than satisfied consumers to not buy from the retailer or brand again. Conversely, companies that consistently exceed customer expectations can profit handsomely.
The research is based on a survey of more than 20,000 consumers across 19 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Respondents were deemed to be frustrated if they said their most-recent shopping (i.e., browsing and/or purchasing) experience didn’t meet their expectations and/or if they found any aspect of the shopping experience frustrating.
Forty-two percent of the respondents fell into the “frustrated” bucket.
Another finding: Nearly half (47%) of frustrated respondents said they would avoid doing business with the retailer or consumer goods brand, showing that a frustrating experience can significantly damage brand loyalty.
But 47% of all the respondents said they would be willing to pay more for an experience that exceeds their expectations every time, with frustrated customers almost twice as likely as satisfied consumers to say they’d be willing to pay more for such an experience.
“Despite digital technologies fueling an explosion in opportunities to engage and interact with consumers throughout their browsing and shopping experience, many retailers and brands still struggle to deliver a seamless experience across the integrated marketplace,” stated Laura Gurski, senior managing director and head of Accenture’s Consumer Goods and Services practice.
“Meeting or exceeding expectations calls for a complete rethink, all the way from developing new concepts through manufacturing to the store shelf and beyond. And with so many consumers willing to pay more for an experience that exceeds expectations, there’s a potential pot of gold for those that get it right,” she added.
That makes a lot of sense, especially in the age of the so-called “empowered” consumer. Give them a crappy experience and there are myriad ways they can let the world know. Not to mention plenty of competitors that will replace them.
Points-based loyalty programs are no longer enough to keep customers in the corral, says Jill Standish, senior managing director and head of Accenture’s Retail practice. A better alternative, she says, is devising “responsible, mobile-enabled, customer-focused concepts” that retailers and consumer brands can offer to “strike a new kind of value bargain” with customers that provides “a hyper-convenient personalized digital experience.”
In return, brands receive new insights into consumer preferences and behavior.
Sounds like the tools are there and brands need to do a better job of utilizing them to maximum advantage. Accenture commissioned Coleman Parkes Research to field the survey.