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Over two thirds of consumers prefer long-term meaningful contact

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13th Feb 2013
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New research has revealed that both women (73%) and men (64%) prefer regular contact and follow-up from brands, instead of a “hearts and flowers approach.”

SAP’s survey of over 1,000 UK online shoppers revealed that companies should be looking to court consumers this Valentine’s Day and personalise relationships if they want to keep them coming back for more.

According to the findings, both women (78%) and men (65%) want personal responses to their service queries. And this is true particularly on social media. Women were found to demand a speedy answer via social channels (72%), compared to men (62%), the figures showed.

However, 29% of men and 23% of women claimed they would stop using or buying from a company or brand and take their business elsewhere if they don’t receive a direct and personal response, in a timeframe acceptable to them.

If done with the right approach, however, the report revealed that consumers are keen to become brand advocates – over two thirds of women were found to tell their social networks about a great experience purely for the feel good factor it gives them. But a third of women also agreed that companies should reward people for making genuinely positive comments about them on social media.

Roland Van Breukelen, solution adviser of SAP Cloud, EMEA, said: “Companies have a great opportunity this Valentine’s Day to provide consumers with the sort of service that creates lasting loyal relationships. Listening to and engaging with customers is crucial; avoiding the hearts and flowers approach, instead opting for more meaningful contact.

“To do this, companies need to ensure that all social media messages are personal; and by personal I mean truly knowing who you are speaking to – knowing their purchase history, details of previous positive or negative comments, any past issues, how they like to be communicated with. This is the power of social media, and now is the time for companies to understand how to use it to their advantage and to demonstrate their love and commitment to their customers.”

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