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Unsatisfied Customers Cost Indian Companies Over $412 Billion

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Abandon Human Your Own Risk

In a report titled, “Digital disconnect in customer engagement”, Accenture Strategy brings to light the findings of consumer behavior perspectives when it comes to customer service. This report is based on the company’s eleventh annual Global Consumer Pulse Research, which used experiences of 24,489 customers in 33 countries, across 11 industries (550 samples were from India). The report contemplates about how effectively digital involvement has solved various customer problems. The final verdict of the report published said, “even in the “digital age,” human interaction remains a vital component of customer satisfaction

Reliance on digital technologies has resulted in “human-less” customer services, says the report, which predominantly focused on the US customers, stated that human interaction is the key for successful brands.

Here are a few key statistics

Parameters USA India
Consumers prefer dealing with human beings than digital channels 83% 54%
Consumers having switched brands due to poor consumer service 52% 88%
Consumers say they are even willing to pay a higher price for goods and services if it ensures a better level of service. 45% 63%
In-store service is the best channel for getting a tailored experience 65% 51%
Consumers willing to be sold new or upgraded products when receiving a face-to-face service compared to online NA 49%
Customers would rather go to a store first than use digital channels to get advice on the best products and services. NA 44%
Consumers admit that it is frustrating dealing with a company that does not make it easy to do business with them NA 57%
Consumers expect customer service to be easier and more convenient 73% 65%
Consumers want it to be faster 61% 83%
Once a provider loses a customer, Consumers not willing to move back 68% 52%
‘Switchers’ feel the company could have done something to retain them 80% 81%
Companies could provide customers with better live or in-person customer service, it would have impacted their decision to switch provider 83% 74%

The cost the companies have to bear due to consumer switching for US companies for their poor performance works out to $1.6 trillion, while for Indian companies, it is $412 billion. However, it was also found that 88% of the Indian customers would change their brand, if frustrated by poor service. Mostly seen in Internet service providers, retailers and banks were the worst offenders.

Everything that can be digitalized, may cut down costs for the companies but again can prove to be ineffective in retaining customers. More involvement of human beings means more accumulation of goodwill.

Explaining the how futile the trend of digitalizing most consumer services is, Raghuram Devarakonda, MD of Accenture Strategy said, “Companies wrongly assume that their digital-only customers are their most profitable, and that customer service is a cost. Consequently they over-invest in digital technologies and channels and lose their most profitable customers, multi-channel customers, who want experiences that cover both digital and traditional channels.”

So the magic sauce in being a profitable company with strong customer base is the proportion of the following mentioned ingredients

  • Bring back the workforce to deliver more smiles on customer’s faces. Focus on creating experiences rather than making digital interactions.
  • Make the transition of digital to human interactions less cumbersome.
  • Keep customer data confidential and make it a point to customize company products to suit customer needs. Do not sell customer data.

Famous leadership management guru and the best selling author of “The Monk who sold his Ferrari” also reinstates the importance of customers in one of his books. He writes, “If you’re in business, one of the most important things I invite you to consider is that people don’t buy with their heads so much as with their hearts. The competition in today’s marketplace is not for customers’ money. Not at all. How does walking into your favorite restaurant and being greeted like Diddy or Madonna make you feel? You get my point.”

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