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Consumers are making less of their buying decisions based on brand loyalty, but rather on which companies can match their desired experience, according to inContact’s February 2013 survey that examines the state of customer service and the changing preferences of consumers.
According to the findings, 56 percent of U.S. adults would be at least somewhat likely to switch to another brand or company if it offered more options and channels than their current provider. Additionally, younger consumers aged 18 to 44 (64 percent) indicated this was true significantly more than their counterparts aged 55 or older (45 percent), showing a major shift among the younger consumer base in terms of decision making.
Based on the findings, the younger generation of consumers -- who are used to an influx of information and a variety of choices -- showed a desire for options that allow for a tailored experience in their interaction with brands. To that end, younger consumers demand more options and availability to handle these interactions, while companies are at risk of losing customers if they neglect to accommodate preferences or adopt evolving channels of communication in providing service.
"The survey results are clear: consumers expect more choices and more ways to interact with business today,” said Paul Jarman, CEO of inContact. “The smartest companies are quickly adapting to changing consumer behaviors and needs, extending customer service beyond just phone and email to mobile apps, text messaging, chat and social media."
Survey respondents showed overall that they not only prefer, but expect, companies to offer options for a variety of channels and devices.
Key findings of the survey include:
- 56 percent of U.S. adults indicated that they would be at least somewhat likely to switch to another brand/company based on customer service options.
- 25 percent of U.S. adults do not feel loyalty toward any type of brand.
- 63 percent of U.S. adults indicated that brands that don't offer options for communication other than the 1-800 number seem outdated or old fashioned.
- 86 percent of U.S. adults expect brands to offer multiple options and flexible timing to interact with customer service.
- Women (71 percent) are nearly 10 percent less likely than men (79 percent) to feel loyalty toward a brand.
- 70 percent of U.S. adults say that mobile apps are at least somewhat important.
The survey was conducted online among 2,191 adults by Harris Interactive on behalf of inContact, a provider of contact center software and agent optimization tools.