Research reveals five key behaviours of the post-recession consumer

16th Sep 2010

Customers in a post-recessionary world are no longer afraid to make complaints, feel little loyalty to particular brands, are less influenced by advertising and demand effective customer service from a mix of channels.

These are the findings of a study undertaken by contact centre analysts ContactBabel on behalf of call centre software provider Alcatel-Lucent Genesys and systems integrator Datapoint. The report warned that the recession had led to a number of new customer behaviours, which must be taken into consideration when organisations plan their contact centre strategies.

Lucille Jackson, senior marketing manager for Northern Europe at Alcatel-Lucent’s enterprise market group, explained: "There has been a fundamental shift in what customers demand from businesses over the last two years. This isn’t over though as the new behaviour patterns of the post-recession customer will continue to impact customer service strategies."

Those organisations that recognised and worked to bridge the gap between customer demands and their ability to fulfil them would be the ones to see bottom line gains, she added.

The research identified five key consumer behaviours.

Firstly, ‘dissatisfied’ customers have made 140 million more complaints since the start of the recession, indicating that they are no longer afraid to have a moan if they are unhappy. Such clients are also increasingly intolerant of customer service errors.

‘Vocal’ customers, on the other hand, are ready to use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to voice their opinions, while ‘mobile’ or ‘disloyal’ customers neither feel loyal towards a particular brand nor do they display a fixed pattern of behaviour. Instead they seek out the best possible value fit for their requirements no matter what the source.

The fourth type - ‘knowledgeable’ customers – no longer simply rely on adverts as a means of learning about new products and services. Instead research from BIA/Kelsey Group indicates that a huge 97% research products and future purchases online, which means that marketing and customer support programmes will need to become more targeted.

Finally, the ‘multichannel’ customer expects to use email, text-based chat, self-service and SMS on top of traditional voice services when interacting with a brand. Recent research by analysts Datamonitor and Ovum revealed that four out of five consumers have employed more than one such channel over the last year, highlighting their increasing technical sophistication.


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