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Today's connected consumer is not looking for omnichannel perfection, notes the CMO Council consumer study - titled "The Customer in Context" - undertaken in partnership with SAP Hybris. In fact, consumers have a short list of critical channels they expect to have access to, including company website, email, a phone number to call and a knowledgeable salesperson to speak with as part of their customer journey.
When asked to outline the key aspects of an exceptional customer experience, 52 percent expected fast response times to needs, suggestions or issues, and 47 percent wanted knowledgeable staff ready to assist wherever and whenever needed. Less important were elements like always-on assisted service (8 percent), brand-developed social communities to connect consumers with other fans (9 percent), and access to multiple touch points as part of the customer journey.
Despite the appetite for a frictionless experience, many consumers face common frustrations while engaging with brands, chief among them being price increases on products while failing to see added value or improvements to the products in question. The second most common frustration (36 percent of respondents) is when consumers are not treated like the loyal customers they are. The cost of continuing to frustrate consumers is brand abandonment as 47 percent say they will stop doing business with a brand. While 32 percent of consumers would email the company to complain and 29 percent would tell all family and friends, the overwhelming reaction to frustration was to abandon the brand and spend their money elsewhere.
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