How do customers want to communicate with companies? What you need to know is revealed by our latest survey.
We carried out a comprehensive poll to learn what customers desire and anticipate from customer service, and we made some fascinating findings. In order to better understand what US consumers want and expect from businesses as we approach 2023, our most recent survey contacted 1,000 US consumers across generations.
“Of the four customers surveyed, three cited feeling appreciated as the most important consideration in their choice to stick with a particular business.”
The resounding message is that clients want to feel appreciated. Customers ranked a sense of value as the top determinant in their decision to keep doing business with a company, and 64% said they would take their business elsewhere if they didn’t get that feeling.
Understanding context and your clients’ unique preferences in-depth is necessary to provide an amazing customer experience. Consumers have increasing expectations for businesses to be open, present, and available to interact with. Customers’ continued patronage of you depends on how you speak to them, where you speak to them, and what you say.
The findings offer some exciting new information on preferences for how and where businesses should communicate with their customers, as well as what they should say. Here are some of the key conclusions:
How you converse with customers
Personal customer service is built on tone and communication style. The days of formal correspondence, including emails, are long gone.
Tone: The study revealed a preference for a professional tone (56%), which was mostly driven by Boomers. However, with 61% of Gen Z purchasers supporting a relaxed approach, that preference appears to be changing quickly over the coming years.
Message format: Millennials had the largest preference (49%) for receiving multiple shorter messages as opposed to lengthier paragraphs, making up more than one-third (35%) of those polled.
Use of emojis: Your company’s tone extends beyond the words you use to the pictures you use. Customers approve of businesses utilizing any emojis, according to 59% of customers, but be sure to consider your target market. Emoji usage in talks with businesses is popular with younger audiences like Gen Z and Millennials, but Gen X and Baby Boomers are less enthusiastic, with acceptance rates of 60% and 32%, respectively.
In order to determine which emojis people prefer and which they could do without, the study probed a little deeper. Only 13% of customers like object-based emojis, while 1 in 4 prefer simple face expressions. No matter how many emojis you choose to use, be careful not to overdo it. According to 28% of consumers, businesses that overuse emojis in their communications risk losing their patronage.
Top takeaway: Just like with website text, match your tone to your audience.
where you converse with clients
The study confirmed what we already knew: context is essential for providing top-notch customer service. To provide your consumers with the seamless, individualized service they demand, it is essential to comprehend the channels they use and the kinds of messages they anticipate to receive on each one.
Yes to direct messaging: We use texting to communicate with our friends and family, so why not the companies we do business with? A staggering 86% of respondents said they’d be fine with businesses talking to them the same way they chat to their friends and family, and 60% of respondents across all generations said they’d prefer it if businesses used direct messaging and text messages to contact them.
At 92% and 93%, respectively, Gen Z and Millennials exhibit a resounding preference for chatbots in specific circumstances.
Automated phone systems are the least preferred form of contact, according to 58% of survey participants. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has recently been caught in the dreaded automated phone loop. Context is everything; when consumers pick up the phone, they anticipate speaking to a live person.
Chatbots are sometimes more effective than online chat, according to nearly four out of five respondents (79%): these include instances where a fast inquiry has to be answered, an appointment or delivery time needs to be confirmed, or an item needs to be canceled. But be aware of the generation gap in this situation. At 92% and 93%, respectively, Gen Z and Millennials demonstrate a resounding preference for chatbots in specific circumstances, although Boomers are less likely to use chatbots.
The main lesson is to match the medium to the message.
What you tell clients
Knowing what to say to consumers and how to say it is essential to personalizing your customer service. Understanding the degree of personalisation your consumers are comfortable with when it comes to their data is a key component of this.
The study underscores that the best way to keep customers is to make your communication more personal – to show each customer that you know them, understand their issues, and can resolve them in the way they want.”
Sensitive information is a touchy subject. According to the report, 76% of Boomers and 72% of Gen X customers feel appreciated by companies that demonstrate that they are familiar with them and their order history, compared to 59% of Millennials and 49% of Gen Z customers. When providing support to your clients, think carefully about how you ask them to share their data with you. Only 27% of Millennials and even fewer members of younger and older generations are at ease communicating critical material over chat.
Pick your words wisely: 64% of consumers indicated that being treated disrespectfully by a firm would cause them to do business elsewhere. Inauthentic communication (35%), cringe-worthy language such as improper slang (41%), and trying too hard are some warning signs that will make your consumers think twice.
The most crucial thing to say is something, even if it’s simply to acknowledge a customer’s request and promise to respond to them shortly. According to the study, customers stated they would stop doing business with a company if their complaints weren’t addressed, if they didn’t get a response from it, and if it took too long.
The most important thing is to say something, but it helps to understand your customers in order to know what to say.
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