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Customer experience trends: No ‘third time lucky’ for brands

There’s no ‘third time lucky’ for brands failing at customer experience, with two in five consumers (39%) would consider switching to another retailer after two bad experiences with a brand.

The study surveyed 4,000 consumers in the US and UK to uncover what consumers today expect of brand experiences in banking, auto, insurance, telco, energy and retail.

Thunderhead, the leader in customer engagement and journey orchestration, also found that two in five consumers (38%) had already taken action and stopped buying from a brand altogether as a result of a bad experience in the last year.

These poor experiences are having a damaging impact on brands, resulting in declining customer loyalty, with 19% stating that their trust in the brand would be lost forever. This in turn, is causing a much wider domino effect, with four out of five (82%) dissatisfied consumers turning to social media to share their frustrations. Of these, 20% said they’d go on to share these experiences with more than five people.

These issues are a direct result of the challenge brands face in delivering seamless experiences, with almost all consumers (94%) claiming to be frustrated by disjointed encounters. With almost one third (31%) still regarding their interactions with brands as merely transactional, there is clearly more that brands can do to build personal and memorable experiences.

Moreover, the research unearths the gap between what consumers expect versus the experience that brands are actually providing today. Although three quarters (75%) of consumers agree that their expectations have increased in recent years, just two in five (40%) believe that their experiences are actually improving.

As a plea to brands to shape up, one in three (35%) consumers said they would be willing to pay more for a seamless online experience, highlighting a significant opportunity for brands that manage to get this right.

Thunderhead’s market leading ONE Engagement Hub and Intent Analyzer solutions address the customer experience challenges faced by brands head on. The ONE platform is a state-of-the-art AI powered solution that works across existing systems and touchpoints to provide real-time actionable insight and omnichannel customer journey orchestration. Intent Analyzer is Thunderhead’s new solution for deep customer journey analysis and journey-based audience discovery.

Jason Hemingway, CMO, Thunderhead said, “Leading Customer Experience surveys published over the last few years paint a consistently sad picture of stagnating CX, across all industry sectors. While brands pay lip service to the importance of customer experience and engagement, most are struggling to deliver the level of experience that customers expect.

Brands need to make the transition to the new era of engagement-led marketing, based on nurturing relationships with customers and focusing on lifetime customer value. It’s time for brands and marketers to look with fresh eyes at how they can build experiences and deliver the level of engagement that customers today expect.”

“These findings reinforce just how critical a customer-first approach is for marketers and CX professionals. While many brands aspire to provide seamless journeys, clearly there is more to be done to meet their customers’ expectations. Marketers that harness the opportunity that real-time journey analysis and orchestration provides in understanding true customer intent, will be well equipped to utilise that insight to foster engagement at scale, increase customer satisfaction, and drive business growth.”

For a more detailed analysis of what consumers today expect of brand experiences, you can read the full report entitled “Engagement-led marketing: driving the customer journey into 2019 and beyond” here.


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