Research about consumer trends and customer satisfaction abounds in today’s society. With the Internet, we now have the means to reach millions of people and gather data on all manner of topics, including customer needs and wants. And the overarching question is: what exactly do customers want?
While every customer is unique, trends and studies can certainly provide useful insights -- and there’s more data than ever on consumers and what (generally) makes the masses tick. Curious to see what the studies show us? Here are four important takeaways:
1. Customers prefer to do things themselves
If you sell a product or service, it’s inevitable that your customers will need some support. But hands-on help isn’t always the way to go these days: rather than call a number or send off an email to get an answer from a support team, many consumers would rather deal with the issue on their own.
About 53 percent of online adults in the U.S. will abandon an online purchase if they can’t find an answer to their question fast enough. 89 percent of Millennials reported using a search engine to find an answer prior to calling customer support. And overall, 50 percent of customers consider it ‘important’ to solve a product or service issue on their own.
The takeaway is clear: give your customers the tools to help themselves. Provide a repository of information for them that they can access on their own time -- whether it’s an online FAQ or Help Center, a collection of informative blog articles, or a Knowledge Base full of useful support documents. Your customers will appreciate the autonomy (and your support team will thank you as well)!
2. They believe a good experience is everything
It’s all about the experience, especially for younger generations: 72 percent of Millennials would prefer to spend money on experiences rather than material things. That philosophy also informs the public’s opinions on customer service: many consumers say that customer experience is important to their buying decisions, and 86 percent will pay more money if a better customer experience is guaranteed.
Why give your customers anything less than the five-star experience they’re expecting? There are so many ways your organization can provide a valuable, positive experience for your customers: from offering an easy-to-access, intuitive channel for customers to submit comments and complaints, to following up as soon as possible when a ticket gets submitted, to updating clients regularly as their ticket moves from creation to completion.
3. They appreciate personalization
Adding a touch of personalization can go a long way. Think about it: you’re much more likely to open a letter addressed to your name than to “Resident of…” or any other placeholder name. Research shows that same preference for personalized correspondence applies to purchasing products as well: a 2017 survey found that 90 percent of respondents found personalization appealing. People want to see, hear, and buy things that are personally relevant to them -- and they don’t want to be treated like just another faceless member of society.
Customize and personalize your interactions with your customers as much as you can: use their name in correspondence and show you remember their preferences. Email is a great way to get started: there are plenty of email distribution platforms on the market that make personalizing each and every email simple. Doing so will help you draw in new customers and retain those who already patronize your business.
4. They’re not afraid to look for better service elsewhere
Your customers may love your product or service, but they’re not beholden to you -- especially if you haven’t been providing them with the customer service they think they deserve. An incredible one in three consumers will stop patronizing a company after just one bad experience. Having “one bad day” may be a reasonable excuse, but it won’t stop customer churn from happening -- and that can happen in the blink of an eye.
To prevent churn, focus on keeping your organization’s quality of customer service high and keep your ear to the ground when it comes to customer correspondence. And when you do end up with unhappy customers, it’s how you follow up that really matters -- don’t brush these individuals by the wayside! Apologize for their inconvenience and try, if you can, to work with them to find a solution they’ll appreciate. You may find they’re willing to stick around and give you another chance.
Want to read about how our issue tracking software can help your organization improve, automate, and streamline its customer support process? Visit our website, or talk with one of our product experts today!