Experience and data guardianship are the keys to customer loyalty – global survey

Despite growing fears that their data will be compromised, customers are willing to swap personal information for better experiences, says a new Salesforce report.

This article was sponsored by Salesforce to let readers know about the 2018 ‘State of the Connected Customer’ report »

The new ‘State of the Connected Customer’ report from Salesforce has unveiled three values that drive loyalty among modern customers: experience, customer success and data guardianship.

 

Experience

The report revealed that customer expectations are higher than ever and seem to be increasing still. Globally:

  • 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations,
  • 51% say most companies fall short of their expectations,
  • 62% say they share bad experiences with others,
  • 72% say they share good experiences with others,
  • 67% will pay more for a great experience, and
  • 76% say it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere.

In Australia and New Zealand specifically, 61% say most companies fall short of expectations for a great experience.

 

Customer success

“Companies focused on quick sales will face strong headwinds in today’s customer landscape,” says the report. Winning customers today requires a firm understanding of their unique needs, objectives and circumstances. In this area, AI-driven experiences are proving effective. Globally, 59% of customers are open to companies using AI to improve and personalise their experiences. Examples include:

  • 81% like email spam filters,
  • 76% of customers like automatic reminders,
  • 62% like predictive text, and
  • 56% like personalised recommendations.

67% percent of customers recognise the good that can come from AI, and 61% believe the technology presents positive opportunities. It’s worth noting, however, that 31% of customers are wary of companies’ use of new technologies.

 

Data guardianship

Customers will swap data for a better experience. Overall, 54% say a commitment to safeguarding their data strengthens their loyalty and 79% are willing to share information about themselves in exchange for contextualised interactions. The challenge, however, is using it in respectful and protected ways. 51% of consumers believe companies do a bad job at protecting their personal information.

Transparency about how customer data is used emerged as a powerful way to earn their trust:

  • 92% of customers say they’re more likely to trust companies with their personal information if the company gives them control over what information is collected about them,
  • 91% are more likely to trust companies that are transparent about how their information is used,
  • 91% are more likely to trust companies that show commitment to presenting their information, and
  • 90% trust companies that have a strong data policy.

Other actions that help to earn customer trust include asking for explicit consent to use customer information, refraining from sharing data without permission and explaining how personal data can improve personal experience.

In Australia and New Zealand specifically, 57% of consumers are confused about how companies use their data and 70% believe their personal info is vulnerable to a security breach.

The report surveyed 6700 consumers and business buyers worldwide, including 300 consumers and 150 business buyers in Australia and New Zealand.

 

 

 

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