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Digital disconnect in customer engagement

Companies need to rebalance digital and traditional investments to drive growth.

Overview

The 11th annual Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Survey measured the experiences of 24,489 customers in 33 countries and across 11 industries to assess consumer attitudes toward marketing, sales and customer service practices.

Our results show that even in the “digital age,” human interaction remains a vital component of customer satisfaction. Eighty-three percent of US consumers prefer dealing with human beings over digital channels.

Furthermore, 52 percent of consumers have switched providers in the past year due to poor customer service. In the United States, the estimated cost of customers switching due to poor service is $1.6 trillion.

Key Findings

Reliance on digital technologies has resulted in “human-less” customer services:

  • Eighty-three percent of US consumers prefer dealing with human beings.

  • Fifty-two percent have switched providers in the past year due to poor customer service.

  • In the United States the estimated cost of customers switching due to poor service is $1.6 trillion.


Human interaction is vital to customer satisfaction:

  • Seventy-seven percent of US consumers prefer dealing with human beings for advice.

  • Forty-five percent are willing to pay more for better customer service.

  • Sixty-five percent agree in-store service is the best channel for tailored experiences.


Room for improvement in customer services delivery:

  • Seventy-three percent expect customer service to be easier and more convenient; 61 percent, faster.

  • Having switched, 68 percent of consumers will not go back.

  • Eighty percent of “switchers” feel the company could have done something to retain them—83 percent said better live/in-person customer service would have impacted their decision.

Geographic Findings

Find out how your country ranks in the 11th annual Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Survey

Profitable Customers

The most profitable customers navigate multiple paths to get the outcomes they want. To catch and keep those consumers, companies need to offer digital and traditional interactions that customers value, appreciate and can’t do without.

DOWNLOAD DIGITAL DISCONNECT IN CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT: WHY DO YOU THINK YOUR DIGITAL CUSTOMERS ARE THE MOST PROFITABLE? [PDF]

Digital Tipping Point

To optimize their growth potential and deliver the experiences customers demand, companies need to balance their digital exuberance with a human touch. What’s needed is a strategic mix of digital and non-digital options that allows customers to engage with providers in multiple, highly satisfying ways.

DOWNLOAD DIGITAL DISCONNECT IN CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT: THE HIGH PRICE OF OBSESSION HAS DIGITAL REACHED ITS TIPPING POINT? [PDF]

Fast and Fickle

Intensely digital customers are also intensely impatient. They're also not as wedded to digital experiences as we would like to believe. To keep this fickle and fast-moving group engaged, companies simply can't give them a reason to leave. That means they need to focus less on luring customers with digital marketing and sales and more on dazzling them with superior service across all channels of interaction.

DOWNLOAD FAST AND FICKLE: HOW TO KEEP YOUR DIGITAL CUSTOMERS [PDF]

Recommendations

To re-balance digital and traditional customer service channels, companies should:

  1. Put the human and physical elements back into customer services by rethinking investment strategies to focus on delivering satisfying, integrated customer experiences across all channels.

  2. Make it easy for customers to fluidly move from digital to human interactions to get the experiences they want.

  3. Identify the customer experiences that have the greatest potential downside and leverage those insights to guide investment strategies.

  4. Guarantee personal data security so that customers will be more willing to hand over personal information which can be leveraged to deliver better experiences.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ACCENTURE STRATEGY


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