THE DIGITAL CUSTOMER

It's time to play to win
and stop playing not to lose

After years of playing not to lose against the uncertainty and volatility of the global recession, companies are struggling to regain their momentum. They must adapt to the demands of the new digital consumer or face missed opportunities in excess of $5.9 trillion USD globally.

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Playing not to lose

The metrics aren’t moving. Despite having ample time to understand and respond to the needs of the new digital consumer, companies have yet to take a proactive approach.

Companies are not working hard enough to stop consumers from switching

Customer experience indicators are flat to falling, it’s not surprising that switching due to poor customer service increased relative to 2012.

66% of consumers switched companies in at least one of ten industries due to poor service in the past year.

82% of consumers felt their service provider could have done something to prevent switching.

The switching economy

Accenture estimates that the “Switching Economy” puts potentially $5.9 trillion USD of global revenue up for grabs. Companies that capture the changing nonstop customer dynamics in a new way will define the revenue potential driven by consumer switching.

The shift takes both complete and partial switching into account

The shifting economy calculates the potential expenditure shift from customers that switch from one provider to another, or those that take portions of their spending to new providers.

70% The largest portion of the “Switching Economy” is in shifts of consumer spending for “goods” - especially in emerging markets where the “services” economy is still growing.

60% Almost two thirds of the “switching economy” potential is driven by the US plus the BRIC countries.

Every customer is a digital customer

While customers move at different speeds and take different paths, every customer is now a digital customer. Consumers are increasingly using the Internet and mobile channels. Companies that play to win recognize that today’s consumers will define their own experience based on their personal expectations and needs.

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Internet penetration continues to grow at a global level

As long as they are within arm’s length of a smartphone, tablet or PC, today’s consumers can use any and all of the components of traditional channels when and where they want, online.

Use of online channels

89%of consumers now use at least one online channel when prospecting with an average of three digital channels used by consumers across the global sample.

38%of these consumers access these sources at least half the time via their mobile phone or tablet.

Customers are choosing their own pathways to purchase

Enabled by technology, customers have greater control and vary their routes within and across channels to suit their needs at any given moment resulting in the need for a new customer model.

Digital customers

A customer’s path to purchase is no longer linear and predictable. Today, customers have multiple touch points where they can constantly re-evaluate their purchase options.

The nonstop customer model

Enabled by technology, customers expect to easily control and vary their routes within and across channels to suit their needs at any given moment. For most businesses this means they need a new customer model.

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Customer-driven blueprint

Taking an offensive strategy and playing to win means making some bets and taking calculated risks in order to achieve greater rewards. Companies that deliver customer experiences that are noticed and valued, base their customer blueprint on five core elements: hyper-relevance, relationships at scale, seamless experience, inherently mobile and naturally social.

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Know me: Hyper-relevance

Consumers are in control – they reward relevance but punish irrelevance by clicking away, disengaging and broadcasting their dissatisfaction through social media or word of mouth.

21% of consumers across all industries agreed their providers offer them a tailored experience while 26% disagreed.

26%of respondents posted negative comments about a bad customer service or support experience in the past year.

Show me you know me: Relationships at scale

Thanks to technology, businesses now have rich channels through which to communicate with consumers in much more personal ways. Digital brings a new level of intimacy but companies must redefine how they create trusting relationships with customers online and offline.

79%of consumers find false expectations in marketing and selling to be a major source of frustration.

44%of consumers who do not use online sources to learn about products and services would agree to use them, if they would get some form of guarantee that they will not be spammed afterwards.

Delight me: Seamless experience

Traditional channels remain as important as online channels yet providers continue to "bolt on" new channels rather than integrate them. The result is they’re falling short of giving the customer the seamless multi-channel experience they demand.

6the average number of channels customers are using for prospecting, with the majority relying on digital and traditional channels.

65%find it frustrating when they’re presented with inconsistent offers, experiences or treatment through different channels when shopping for the same product or service.

Enable me: Inherently mobile

The mobile channel’s importance to consumers throughout the sales and service relationship with a provider is established and growing.

38%of consumers accessing service through digital channels use their mobile device to do so at least half the time.

45%of consumers said offering better service and support options via their mobile device would have made a difference in their decision to switch.

Value me: Naturally social

Social media has fundamentally changed the ways in which people interact and is not just a new channel for pushing information to consumers. The power balance has shifted from companies to consumers as they can easily “raise their voice”, control the interaction process, and collaborate and co-create with other customers.

83%of consumers in emerging markets use sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. for personal reasons such as interacting with friends and family.

28%of consumers agree that positive and negative comments posted on social media sites contribute to their consideration of buying a given product or service.

23%report they are more likely to do business with a company that they know can interact within a social media environment.

Explore the five drivers to success for digital companies:

Changing the game

To create truly personal consumer relationships, companies must seize
first-mover advantage to fuse social, mobile and digital capabilities. This requires agile front office capabilities, investment in process and operational changes, a digital technology foundation, and an action plan that prioritizes the highest impact capabilities.

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Conclusion

Companies must leverage customer relationships to drive purchases and win revenue. To do this, they must eliminate the complexity inherent in analog processes and channels and build new capabilities based on a digital foundation. It’s time to step up the game. It’s time to play to win.

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About the research

The Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Research is an annual research project that assesses consumer attitudes toward marketing, sales and customer service practices and consumers’ behaviors in response to companies’ practices.

Respondents

Accenture surveyed 13,168 end consumers in 33 different countries via the Internet between May 28th and July 16th, 2013. Respondents were asked to evaluate 10 industry sectors (up to four industries per respondent).

 Global Consumer Pulse Research 2013 – Accenture Sales and Customer Services (CRM) 
 Accenture’s Global Consumer Pulse Research 2013 – After years of playing not to lose against the uncertainty and volatility of the global recession, companies are struggling to regain their momentum. They must play to win in an environment where customer experience is dictated by the digital customer.
 GCPR, consumer research, customer behavior, digital customer, customer experience
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