Three quarters of consumers want more human interaction with companies in the future, not less, according to a new study from analyst firm PwC.
According to PwC’s Experience is Everything report, 66% of the 15,000 respondents who were surveyed feel that companies have ‘lost touch’ with the human element of the customer experience. The study found that 60% of respondents would stop doing business with a company due to unfriendly service, 46% would go elsewhere if employees weren’t knowledgeable about products and services, and 50% would not remain loyal if they didn’t trust the company. One in three said also said they would walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience.
According to PwC’s study, 73% of global respondents say that a positive experience is among the key drivers that influence their brand loyalties. In addition, 52% of consumers would pay more if a company offered greater speed and efficiency, 43% would pay more for greater convenience, and 41% would pay more for knowledgeable and helpful employees.
“The ‘Experience Economy’ has ushered in a new customer experience mindset, steering brands beyond emphasising products and services to selling rich consumer experiences,” said David Clarke, PwC principal and Experience Consulting leader. “Our findings quantify the potential return on investment on investments in providing a quality customer experience of, upwards of 16%.”
PwC’s survey respondents also said that a company’s employees are central to a good customer experience – 71% said they had a significant impact on their experience. However, only 44% believe that employees understand their needs well.
“Brands won’t be able to solve their customer experience problems with technology alone – it’s just an enabler, facilitating the connection between a product or service and consumers,” said Clarke. “Instead, they must find a way to create an experience that blends consumer demand for tech with their strong desire for authentic, personal interaction. They don’t need to look far, though – employees hold the key to creating and sustaining great interactions with consumers.”