With a large number of companies keeping records and personal data of millions of consumers, a number of consumers across Europe are worried if they should trust companies with their data. What's more, consumers are now more demanding than ever that companies listen to them and resolve their complaints in the shortest possible time. With a large number of companies vying for leadership in almost all fields, consumers have the choice to switch and they are more than eager to do so if their companies don't listen to them.
Buying a gadget this Christmas? Don't forget the security software!
A study conducted by Qualtrics on 3000 customers across Europe revealed that 98% of consumers want companies to display their contact numbers on home pages or within one click, 97% felt it is important to be able to trust companies with their personal data, 35% believed that they aren't sure if companies are actually listening to them and another 35% want companies to respond within six hours once they've lodged a complaint regarding service quality.
“In a global society conversations are amplified by technology and younger people exercise a disproportionate amount of influence. Because they are constantly connected and very vocal, they have become as important for their spending power as for the influence they wield across society. The message to companies is clear - your customer base is undergoing radical behavioural change, and so must you," said Ian McVey, U.K. Director at Qualtrics.
Vodafone fined £4.6m for shoddy customer service by Ofcom
The customer viewpoint isn't much different when it comes to usage of technology in customer service. While only 5% of companies are using artificial intelligence to deliver customer service, around 40% customers want them to do so actively. The kind of customer service demanded by the younger generation of customers is also much more demanding compared to the customer service expected by the elderly. Overall, customers are likely to be satisfied 2.5 times more through AI customer support programmes compared to human staff. At the same time, the study notes that 58% of all customers would be more than happy to switch to online-only offerings rather than purchasing products and services in-store.
A commentary from BACs, Ofgem and U Switch have also suggested that pricing isn't the key issue responsible for customers switching between providers. Along with competitive pricing, a large number (73%) of customers feel that engagement is also as important if companies want to retain their loyalty. Henley Business School also said that the overall number of complaints about products and services doubled in over a year to number 66 million in 2014 alone.