News Risk Management04 Apr 2018

Companies need to provide more of the human touch to consumers-PwC

04 Apr 2018

In an age of chatbots, digital payments, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data, two-thirds of customers feel companies have lost touch with the human element of the customer experience, according to a PwC survey.

PwC’s Experience is Everything study found that companies need to work harder to strike the right customer experience (CX) balance. Three quarters of customers, based on the international survey of 15,000 consumers across 12 countries (US, UK, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Germany, Japan, Mexico and Singapore) say that they want more human interaction in future, not less.

Price and quality top of mind

Price and quality remain top of mind when consumers make purchasing decisions, but 73% of global respondents say that a positive experience is among the key drivers that influence their brand loyalties. In fact, the price premium for quality CX among consumers worldwide is up to 16% on products and services.

“The ‘Experience Economy’ has ushered in a new customer experience mindset, steering brands beyond emphasizing products and services to selling rich consumer experiences. Our findings quantify the potential return on investment on investments in providing a quality customer experience of, upwards of 16%,” said Mr David Clarke, PwC principal and Experience Consulting Leader.

Bad experiences drive consumers away

The survey underlined how bad experiences drive consumers away. Of the consumers surveyed, 60% would stop doing business with a company due to unfriendly service, 46% because of employees lack of knowledge (46%) and half because they do not trust the company. One in three (32%) say they would walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience.

Speed and efficiency (80%); knowledgeable and helpful employees (78%); and convenience (77%) universally matter most. These cornerstone elements are so highly valued that the majority (52%) of consumers would pay more for greater speed and efficiency; 43% would pay more for greater convenience; and 41% would pay more for knowledgeable and helpful employees.

Employees critical to the experience - and spending

While the consumer generates the revenue, employees drive the experience. 71% of consumers think a company’s employees have a significant impact on their experience. But only 44% believe that employees understand their needs well. Consumers in Japan, the U.S. and Singapore are less convinced that their needs are understood (21%, 38% and 38%, respectively).

“Brands won’t be able to solve their CX problems with technology alone – it’s just an enabler, facilitating the connection between a product or service and consumers. 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.”

The crux of the study was that consumers are willing to pay for a customer experience that goes beyond the norm and brings together the best elements of people, technology and service with a smile.

For more findings, visit pwc.com/future-of-cx

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