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Personalisation could help customers forgive bad brand experiences

Customers like to feel brands know them personally, but many are suspicious of how companies use their data

More than 40% of customers are willing to forgive mistakes made by brands if they feel the brand knows them personally, research has found.

In a study by analytics firm Verint, 52% of customers globally said they liked being offered a personalised experience, and 51% said it was important that an experience reflected them as a person.

These factors are less important to customers in the UK, however, where only 37% thought a personalised customer experience was important to them.

“In today’s environments, organisations need to focus on laying foundations for customer relationships that are based on trust,” said Nick Nonini managing director, EMEA, at Verint.

“This comes down to getting the basics right, leveraging technology and analytics to better understand what is really on the minds of customers, and then working to help ensure the right resources are in place to address evolving needs, issues and requirements.”  

The study found that good customer service drives brand loyalty, with 89% of customers saying good service makes them feel more positive towards a brand, and 27% saying a good brand experience would convince them to sign up to a loyalty scheme.

How quickly a problem is dealt with also influences how customers view a brand, with 46% saying that the speed at which a brand deals with an issue is what prevents them from turning to competitors.

Almost one-third of customers said they thought a good customer interaction included a brand knowing about customer history, but many customers do not trust brands to collect the data that makes this sort of service possible.

Almost half of global consumers are suspicious of how brands use their data, and this figure rises to 63% in the UK.

Read more about retail

  • Retailers know consumers are becoming more mobile and want an omni-channel experience, but customers still seek more.
  • Customers are becoming more comfortable with being tracked in-store, as long as they gain a good customer experience as a result.

Retailers use various technologies to track customer journeys in an omni-channel world, including customer logins and facial recognition.

But globally, 20% of consumers do not trust any provider to keep information about them safe, and 30% of UK consumers think the same.

Cases such as Mark & Spencer’s data breach, which allowed customers access to other people’s data, and TalkTalk’s high-profile third-party breach do not improve consumer brand confidence.

Nonini added: “Recent high-profile, data-related business cases have shed new light on the importance that consumers attach to data protection.”

The proliferation of social media among the younger generation has also led to a number of firms having to deal with customer service complaints or public interaction on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

One-third of customers claim to have turned to social media to gain a good customer experience, but said the interaction did not meet their expectations.

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