Are you meeting your customers’ service expectations? New research has revealed that the majority of Brits now expect retailers to offer self-service.
Digital Marketer Steven Van Belleghem surveyed around 270 UK consumers and found that this is true for both post- and pre-sales. Just under a third of consumers (27%) said they prefer to ask pre-sales questions over the phone, whereas 56% already have a preference for a self-service option.
Post-purchase, 35% of respondents said they would like to call someone to complain whereas nearly half (48%) said they would go for the self-service approach in this case as well.
"Self-service offers the unique advantage of round-the-clock availability,” said Belleghem. “The consumer picks his own time and place and can solve his question(s) at his/her own pace. For the customer, the speed and flexibility of the concept are huge advantages, whereas the boost in efficiency is obviously a major asset to any company.”
The survey also showed that consumers have exceedingly high expectations of service with 95% claiming it’s important to be helped quickly and 88% want the transaction to be completed on the first contact. Additionally, 89% said they want a transparent overview of the next steps in a purchase or complaint procedure whilst a further 89% said want a transparent overview of the next steps in a purchase or complaint procedure.
Belleghem added: “Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding and due to social media, word about good and bad service experiences gets around quickly. Accounts of positive experiences raise the pressure on less successful companies. Society as a whole is becoming faster and faster and customer expectations reflect this trend.”
The study also examined consumers’ willingness to share personal information with brands and found that consumers are willing to share data as long as they benefit in return. According to the figures, 48% would like to receive personalised offers, 43% would like to receive bespoke promotions and 33% are interested in personalised advertising.
Ovum analyst Mark Little recently wrote that Internet players and data collectors of every type are at risk of taking the consumer’s personal data, their ‘little data’, for granted, and turning the Big Data value system into a battleground.