Recent research carried out by PwC highlights the need for more focus on customer service when it comes to doing business. The company surveyed 15,000 consumers from across 12 different countries across the globe. This comes after a similar report was carried out by PwC Ireland which came to the same conclusions.

Two-thirds of surveyed consumers felt that companies have lost touch with the human element when it comes to customer experience, with three quarters stating that they want to see more human interaction in this department.

In an ever-growing digital world where chatbots, artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data, etc are taking over, companies need to put more effort into ensuring the right customer experience balance for customers; ensuring the presence of both human interactions and technology.

While price and quality remain the top choice for consumers to purchase from a brand, a staggering 73% of those surveyed stated that positive customer experience was also key in determining brand loyalty.

 

Increase of up to 16% in ROI

More importantly, the research highlighted that businesses can benefit from up to a 16% increase in return on investment if they incorporate quality customer experience into their business model. Gone are the days when the focus was solely on the sale of products and services, more and more consumers are seeking out in-store experiences. Across the globe, customers are also willing to pay more for the following elements when it comes to customer service:

  • Speed & efficiency (52%)
  • Convenience (43%)
  • Knowledgeable & helpful employees (41%)

 

Cost of Bad Customer Experiences

It’s also important to incorporate positive experiences because bad customer experiences drive people away and will cost you money if consumers were to stop doing business due to unfriendly employees or lack of trust. In fact, 60% of those surveyed said that unfriendly service was a factor of bad customer experience, while 46% mentioned lack of knowledge among employees and half stated a company’s trustworthiness.

 

Use of Technology & Mobile Devices

When it comes to positive customer experience, traditional retailers could be at an advantage as consumers care less about the shopping part and more about the actual experience.  However, more in-store training is still needed, especially when it comes to the incorporation of mobile devices to make the shopping experience even more interconnected. Speaking of mobile devices, however, more than half of Irish consumers are still concerned about security when making a payment through their mobile phone. They are also very concerned about how their personal information is used and are afraid in case this information is misused.

 

Employees are Important to the Experience

In order for companies to benefit from increased ROI, a company’s employees must be the driving force behind a customer’s experience. Out of those surveyed, 71% feel that it’s the employees who have a significant impact on their experience but only 44% of employees actually understand consumer needs. Brands also can’t solve customer problems using technology alone. It’s all about using a mixture of consumer demand for technology and mobile devices with their desire for authentic, personal interaction with employees.

You can read the full report here.