Use research for a deeper dive or lose customers

As a marketer it’s obvious that you need to know what consumers are doing, particularly in terms of the channels they use to engage with a brand and buy products and services, but taking a closer look at why could help brands retain customer loyalty.   

Mindi Chahal

Research revealed in Marketing Week shows that UK consumers are unimpressed by brands’ customer service in digital channels, which leads to consumers switching brands. 

However, if a brand can look at the reasoning behind these switches it might be able to prevent losing customers. 

The study by Accenture, which surveyed 1,034 UK consumers, finds that people are less able to rely on digital channels for service and support, in fact 81 per cent use the phone to contact customer service.     

One of the reasons for this is that they feel the problem will not be resolved through the digital channel alone. If brands understood this about customers, more effort might be put on solving problems via social media or live chat tools on websites, for example. 

Instead of concentrating on making sure a brand has a digital presence for customer service it should use insight to see whether it’s effective and what those customers get or don’t get from using that channel. 

If it’s not working, there is an opportunity to add insight and evaluation of strategies to make changes to keep customers. 

Customer service and its effectiveness should be on the radar for marketers as research released last week shows that customer service is increasingly coming under the remit of chief marketing officers and are having to follow through with the service that is being advertised and respond to issues or complaints.

The study, by Deloitte and Salesforce, states “inadequate customer service can impede revenue growth and marketing effectiveness, particularly as marketers are increasingly expected to respond in real time, using data and analytics to make brand messages more targeted.” 

Both pieces of research highlight the importance of identifying customers’ issues, but also that it’s not enough to know that people are moving to digital for service queries.  

Brands should take a closer look at whether customer queries are being dealt with appropriately and see whether the channels they are in are serving customers effectively by looking at feedback and insight.  

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