A new eMarketer report reveals that half of US shoppers will partake in brand abandonment after a bad experience. What can you do to curb this? We discuss!

To Be or Not To Be

Before we dive into the numbers, eMarketer points out that the problem isn’t just customers abandoning brands. Often, marketers and business leaders don’t have the same priorities for customer service as a customer. eMarketer says that, “customer service professionals from various industries worldwide said that a seamless omnichannel user experience (34.0%) and the encouragement of self-service tools (29.7%) will be two of the most transformative customer service innovations over the next five to 10 years.” That’s according to April 2019 data from business intelligence company Incite Group.

“If you don’t have an integrated, seamless omnichannel approach, customers will notice it right away,” said Carey Stoker, senior vice president of customer services at omnichannel commerce company Radial. “Think of the customer experience like a Ferris wheel. The customer is in the middle, and everything rotates around them. Each car is a different touchpoint. But when one of those cars is removed, the ride—or the journey—becomes unbalanced. The consumer feels unsettled and questions the brand or retailer’s ability to provide a fully integrated experience.”

Brand Abandonment

There’s some major discrepancies between what businesses think their customer wants, and what the customer actually wants. For instance, 84% of marketers in North America and the UK said “they are satisfied with their company’s abilities to leverage technology to deliver on key customer experience measures, but only 68% of consumers felt the same,” according to a January 2019 survey conducted by The Harris Poll,

In addition, good customer service is important. For example, 60% of consumers worldwide said a quick resolution to their issues or questions was the most important aspect. Only 46% of business leaders said the same. Typically, business leaders focused on knowledgeable service agents and fast responses.

eMarketer says that “55% of US shoppers said that just one bad experience would stop them from returning to a brand, according to a July 2019 survey from alternative payments provider Klarna.” Unfortunately, 36% of respondents said they struggle to keep pace with changing consumer expectations, and about 69% said they have to work harder than ever to retain customers.

Stoker says it is important to keep in mind what makes the brand and brand experience unique. “[A] frictionless ease of service and low consumer effort are going to be important in an ongoing way,” Stoker says. “That is really where differentiation will occur, and businesses need to make sure that they’re building their brand footprint around that.”

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