MIAMINov. 14, 2018 — The majority (75 percent) of U.S. consumers would stop doing business with a company if they received poor customer support or had a bad experience. What’s more, half of consumers (50 percent) say they have stopped doing business with a brand in the past year due to a negative customer experience. That’s according to Sitel Group‘s 2018 CX Index Report, which analyzes consumer sentiment toward customer experiences, honing in on key gender and generational differences. The report also takes consumers’ temperatures on hot button issues like data sharing, personalized communications, the use and integration of digital CX agents and more.

“Sitel Group is committed to helping brands strengthen their customer relationships and engage with shoppers in more meaningful ways,” says Mike Small, chief client officer, Sitel Group. “With the 2018 CX Index Report, we are able to demonstrate the core needs and expectations of today’s multigenerational customer base and provide unparalleled insight into what makes or breaks consumers’ loyalty to and advocacy of brands.”

While consumers’ loyalty to brands is delicate at best, the 2018 CX Index Report offers compelling data that companies can leverage to boost their online and in-store CX, while strengthening customer relationships with an eye toward convenience and personalization.

Additional findings from the report show that:

Men dominate online shopping, citing cheaper pricing as a primary reason

  • Somewhat surprisingly, men are savvy online shoppers, with nearly three in five (58 percent) claiming to have better online shopping experiences than women (44 percent), citing cheaper pricing (16 percent) as a primary draw.
  • Millennial men (61 percent) are most likely to have better experiences shopping online, while baby boomer women (53 percent) are most likely to have better shopping experiences in-store.
  • While millennials (60 percent) prefer to shop online overall, baby boomers (53 percent) would rather shop in-store. However, one in four (26 percent) of baby boomers admit that the convenience of online shopping is a plus, whereas millennials (29 percent) prefer the availability and larger choice of products online shopping provides.

Consumers are willing to part with money and data to pay the price of CX

  • While nearly half (47 percent) of all consumers would pay more for improved CX, millennials (51 percent) are more willing than baby boomers (36 percent) to pay more for a product or service in exchange for better CX.
  • Millennial men (52 percent) are the most likely to cough up cash for better CX, and baby boomer women (35 percent) are the least likely.
  • When it comes to sharing data, consumers are most willing to share personal data with brands in the banking and financial services industry (BFSI) in exchange for better CX, followed by travel and hospitality (18 percent) and retail (15 percent).

Brand advocacy and criticism are equally intense, especially among millennial women

  • U.S. consumers are quick to advocate for a brand when they have a positive customer experience with nearly half (49 percent) of all consumers saying that if they had a positive experience with a brand, they would post a positive review online or on social media to encourage others to shop with the brand.
  • Millennial women are the strongest brand advocates when they receive positive CX, with 54 percent saying they would post a positive review online or to social media to encourage others to shop with the brand.
  • If consumers receive poor customer support, however, one in three (30 percent) consumers would post a negative review online or to social media to prevent others from shopping with the brand.
  • Millennial women can cause the most damage in this regard, with 37 percent admitting they would post a negative review to discourage others from shopping with the brand.

Consumers favor traditional communications methods, wary of chatbots and other digital reps

  • The majority of consumers say they prefer to engage with a brand or company on the phone (28 percent) and over email (25 percent), with nearly three in four (70 percent) saying they would prefer to interact with a human customer service rep versus a digital customer service rep or chatbot (9 percent).
  • However, two in five (41 percent) millennials compared to one in four (25 percent) baby boomers have confidence that digital reps or chatbots can interpret and assist their customer service requests.
  • Baby boomer men (57 percent) are the most skeptical about the ability of chatbots to solve their customer support needs.

Women (esp. millennial women) value personalization; men and baby boomers want quick service

  • Millennial women (68 percent) are the most likely to say personalized communication over email, chat and social media is important to them when doing business with a company – compared to millennial men (62 percent), baby boomer men (58 percent) and baby boomer women (55 percent).
  • While nearly two in five (39 percent) consumers say they would wait on hold to speak with a customer service rep for six to 10 minutes before hanging up, men (37 percent) are only willing to wait on hold for one to five minutes.
  • Baby boomers (41 percent) are much more likely than millennials (27 percent) to hang up on a customer service call after waiting one to five minutes.

To learn more about Sitel Group’s 2018 CX Index Report and view additional findings, download the full report here.

About Sitel Group
Sitel Group is one of the largest customer experience management companies in the world. The group is comprised of industry-leading firms providing business process outsourcing, digital customer experience, training and talent management, technology and innovation and consulting and analytics solutions.

With subsidiaries such as Sitel, TSC, Learning Tribes, Extens Consulting, Sitel Insights and Novagile, the group’s services are leveraged across geographies, verticals and all stages of the end-to-end customer journey, helping clients effectively harness the industry’s explosive digital transformation and consistently deliver outstanding customer experiences.

With over 30 years of industry-leading experience, Sitel Group’s 75,000 associates service over 400 clients – Fortune Global 500 companies as well as local businesses – through its network of more than 150 offices in 25+ countries.

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