The results of a large-scale study of more than 18,000 consumers in nine countries, including South Africa, published by Verint® Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VRNT), with support from analyst and consultancy firm Ovum and research company Opinium, highlights the importance of quick, easy and personalized service in securing their trust. It additionally uncovers deep divisions over attitudes in how personal data is used to deliver this service.
The research was carried out by Opinium on behalf of Verint. It found that while almost nine in 10 respondents (89 percent) agreed that good service makes them feel more positive about the brands they engage with, nearly half (48 percent) also said they are suspicious about how their data is used. Only one fifth of respondents agreed they want companies to understand their mood and cater to them accordingly. However, 43 percent admitted that when companies make mistakes, they are more forgiving to those they believe understand them.
“This study is a wake-up call for brands looking to revamp their customer service to cater to today’s more demanding and better-informed customers,” says Jeremy Cox, principal analyst, customer engagement, Ovum. “While brands have the ability to precision-target highly personalized communications for every single customer, the study shows what people around the world actually value most are the basics—questions answered with minimal effort on their part.”
Adds Cox, “Brands therefore have a fine balance to strike between the customized and impersonal service they deliver. Customers expect to be recognized, but will have adverse reactions if they feel stalked.”
This study also explored the impact of poor service on switching behaviour, as well as the benefits brands can reap if they get it right. Though cheaper pricing is the single biggest motivation for switching (31 percent), rude staff (18 percent) and too many mistakes (16 percent) are second and third on the list.
The research also found that good experiences can have a powerful impact on customers’ attitudes to brands. In fact, 61 percent of respondents said they would tell friends and family about their experiences, while more than one in four (27 percent) reported that they would sign up to the company’s loyalty scheme. Only one in seven (15 percent) didn’t think good service would change their behaviour in any way.
“The new rule book of customer service has less to do with personalization at all costs, and everything to do with making life easier for people,” comments Dave Capuano, global vice president, integrated marketing, Verint Enterprise Intelligence Solutions™. “On the whole, consumers have no patience with firms that don’t get the basics right. This is a challenge for providers and an opportunity to help ensure frontline staff have information at their fingertips to deliver a quick and seamless service relevant to each customer’s individual needs. Staff should be empowered to make decisions and ‘go the extra mile’ when required.”
Verint has partnered with industry analyst Ovum to launch a new report titled The New Rulebook for Customer Engagement, which will be published on October 8, 2015. The study advises organizations on how to tailor offerings to boost customer trust and retention across demographics.
About the Research ……….. Interviews were conducted amongst 18,038 consumers in the following countries: Germany (2,006), France (2,001), Netherlands (2,002), Poland (2,001), UK (2,004), South Africa (2,010), USA (2,007), Australia (2,007) & New Zealand (2,000). The research was conducted online, in the local language for each area and respondents were incentivized to participate.
Behind the scenes:
Verint® is a global leader in Actionable Intelligence®, which has become a necessity in a dynamic world of massive information growth. By empowering organizations with crucial insights, Verint solutions enable decision makers to anticipate, respond and take action, and make more informed, effective and timely decisions. Our solutions are designed to address three important areas of the actionable intelligence market: customer engagement optimization; security intelligence; and fraud, risk and compliance. Verint’s vision is to create A Smarter World with Actionable Intelligence®, and today, more than 10,000 organizations in over 180 countries—including over 80 percent of the Fortune 100—already benefit from this vision. Learn more at www.verint.com and NASDAQ: VRNT.
This piece contains “forward-looking statements,” including statements regarding expectations, predictions, views, opportunities, plans, strategies, beliefs, and statements of similar effect relating to Verint Systems Inc.
These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and they are based on management’s expectations that involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements. For a detailed discussion of these risk factors, see our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2015, our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 31, 2015, and other filings we make with the SEC. The forward-looking statements contained in this piece are made as of the date of this piece and, except as required by law, Verint assumes no obligation to update or revise them or to provide reasons why actual results may differ.