Industry Research : The Increasing Power of the ‘Digital Native’
As further evidence that customer complaints can’t be kept quiet in the digital age, research from NewVoiceMedia, a provider of cloud contact center technology, reveals that a third (34%) ofUS consumers take their revenge online following inadequate customer service; spreading the complaint across their network and beyond.
Thanks to social media, internet forums and review channels, the modern consumer has a convenient public platform at their fingertips and will spread negative sentiment about a business without thinking twice. The survey of 2,030 adults from the United States showed that the figure soared to nearly 60 percent (59.3%) among 25-34 year-olds – clearly demonstrating the generational importance of a channel that’s likely to explode in relevance as Gen Y consumers’ spending power increases.
While 64% of those surveyed stated that traditional forms of communication such as email and phone were their preferred means of complaining for a fast response, more than a quarter of Gen Y and millennials (those aged 16 to 34) believe social media is the most effective means of issue resolution, with Facebook proving to be the favored social network for interacting with businesses. One respondent explained, "The risk of getting other people's attention will cause the service providers to act quickly."
However, the significance consumers place on excellent service presents opportunities as well as threats, as organizations can boost their business by getting it right, even turning complainants into advocates by prioritizing the service they receive through other channels. NewVoiceMedia offers social media routing through its cloud contact center solution ContactWorld which integrates with salesforce.com and enables agents to identify callers with specific social media data before their call is answered, and prioritize accordingly.
Seventy percent of respondents said that good service had a considerable influence on their loyalty and 69 percent would recommend the company to others. Half would use the business more frequently and42 percent are prepared to spend more money with them.
Jonathan Gale, CEOat NewVoiceMedia, who commissioned the research, comments, "Not long ago, customers would tell friends and family if they were dissatisfied with service they’d received. While this is damaging to a brand, it’s not nearly as powerful and immediate as customers who take their complaints online; particularly as consumers areincreasingly turning online to read about others’ experiences before choosing a product or supplier. Over the next few years we expect to see these statistics soar as the younger generation matures.
"Customers want personalized and engaging experiences every time, through every channel. Great customer experience is the critical differentiator and by doing it well, organisations can drive the customer acquisition, retention and efficiency that make leading companies successful."
Shep Hyken, customer service expert and New York Times bestselling author, adds, "Give customers a positive experience and they reward you with loyalty. Fail and you risk being one of the companies that collectively has lost $41 billion when customers switched to a competitor."
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Published: Thursday, March 6, 2014